The Rosicrucian Rules of Paracelsus

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John Augustus Knapp: Paracelsus operates the Palingenesis experiment (1895)

This is the profound doctrine of Love that springs from the Rosicrucian teachings, as testified by the words of Paracelsus: 

He who knows nothing, loves nothing.

He who does nothing, understands nothing.

He who understands nothing is despicable.

But he who understands, loves, sees, observes.

The greatest Knowledge is inextricably joined with Love.

Being Love was incarnated in Jesus and we know him under the name of “Christ”. Christ Jesus loving man and the Earth drew it from its condition of decadence in the clutches of Lucifer and Ahriman.

And Christ acts in that subtle rift between the Past that is no longer and over which Lucifer has dominion; and the Future that is not yet, over which Ahriman has dominion. Christ is in the Eternal Present.

Rosicrucian Alchemy

The doctrine of the Tria Prima, the three philosophical principles of Salt, Mercury and Sulphur was the basis of the Rosicrucian meditative practice, later used in the form of alchemic medicine by Paracelsus. The Rosicrucians, through their meditative practice, perceived the spiritual reality behind matter, thus going back to the principles of formation of the world of phenomena:

  • Philosophical Salt, the Sal, whereby the crystallization of solid salt into a liquid saturated with dissolved substance was like the prayer that allowed the conscious realizations of the spiritual worlds to crystallize, so that these pure spiritual thoughts could be isolated and remain for later generations. Just as salt preserves matter, so pure thoughts preserve the spirit. These thoughts were outside of the duality of manifestation, having reached the eternity of the spiritual worlds, they could therefore be passed from master to disciple. Spiritual beings, thinking, crystallize the substance into the physical world.
  • Philosophical Mercury, the Mercur, in contrast to crystallization, in the dissolution of a crystallization was like love dissolving every obstacle, dissolving every form into a single substance, even going so far as to bring opposites closer so that they may be compensated, like the Snakes of the Caduceus of Mercury which allow the opening of the wings of the apple placed at its apex. Spiritual beings, by loving, dissolve the substance in the physical world.
  • Philosophical Sulphur, the Sulphur, whereby the substance that is calcined, i.e. subjected to combustion by Fire, is reduced into three parts: the ash that crystallizes (Salt), the smoke that rises (Mercury), the aroma and the heat that is released (Sulphur). The burning in the flames was a sacrifice that spiritual beings made for the Higher Angelic Hierarchies. Spiritual beings, by sacrificing themselves, spiritualize matter in the physical world.

The experiments took place through the Athanor, “the Deathless”, an oven that represented the outer space of their soul. The experiments thus conducted were very profound spiritual experiences which allowed the Rosicrucian to become a sharer of the reality of the spiritual worlds, of the Hierarchies, and to perceive the spiritual individuality incarnated in human being, the “I” which had a special bond with Antimony. Each of their experiments led to an outward result which, however, was of no value to the Rosicrucians: the metallic gold thus produced was given in a completely anonymous form. In this the true Rosicrucian alchemists distinguished themselves from the so-called “Blowers” who, desecrating their athanor, tried to accelerate the process of transmutation of physical metals into metallic gold. These were the ones who originated “chemistry” as an external form of alchemy.

As we can understand, the Rosicrucian Path was especially addressed to alchemy as the science of transmutation of the soul

In reality, nothing was ever written about this inner work, and what was written about it was always by people who, ignoring the true condition of things, considered external phenomena as an end in themselves. Only a false alchemist considered the value in the obtained matter and in its use. A true alchemist did not consider at all the matter he obtained through the process, but only the process itself and the experiences derived from it. The contemplation of the process and the inner experiences, intellectual and moral, were important to him. That is why it was a strict law for all of them never to sell for money, but only to give away the material obtained. The man of today does not even have a fair idea of what he can feel in front of such natural phenomena. The medieval theosophist experienced a whole drama of the soul, while he obtained a metal in his laboratory. From the process that was needed, for example, to obtain antimony came the experimental alchemist, enormous moral experiences, and these things had to precede the current scientific investigation. It was a sacred natural science, the one that was being pursued by experts.

– Rudolf Steiner, Mystery and Personality by Christian Rosenkreutz, p. 21.

It was in this way that the Rosicrucians came to Imagination. By means of this higher state of consciousness, all the experiments conducted in the Rosicrucian Order were then transcribed in symbolic form in the symbolic summa called The Hidden Figures of the Rosicrucians, published only a century later by Henricus Mathadamus.

It was from alchemy not understood in this way that chemistry was born, as a study of the transformation of substances, studied for itself.  

By undertaking these processes with different materials in the laboratory, the experimenter consciously abandoned himself to the thought that in salification, solution and combustion, he had, before him, divine thoughts, divine love and divine sacrifice. Then he discovered this: that when in this state of mind he saw salification taking place, then pure thoughts arose in his soul which also purified him. In surrendering himself to the contemplation of the process of solution, he felt incited to loving kindness, while in the process of combustion he felt the will to sacrifice the Whole. And the task of these natural processes was precisely to awaken in him these feelings. Now, the clairvoyant who had observed the medieval theosophist during these experiments would have seen the following: he would have seen his aura, which before the process was a normal aura, transforming first into a copper-coloured aura, then into a silver-coloured aura and then into a shining golden aura. For this reason the alchemists said that they had taken silver and subjective gold from the crude aura.

– Rudolf Steiner, Mystery and Personality of Christian Rosenkreutz, p. 22.

Mercur as the centre of the Tria Prima is the origin of the lower half of the air (hot and humid) and the upper half of the water (cold and humid). It is in fact the compensation of the extremes of the Sulphur (upper) formed by fire (hot and dry) and the upper half of the air (hot and humid) with the Sal (lower) formed by the lower half of water (cold and humid) and the earth (cold and dry).

Therefore we have the following correspondences between matter of the macrocosm (world) and components of the microcosm ( human):

  1. Sulphur = fire + superior air = superior spirit;
  2. Mercur = lower air + upper water = Middle Soul;
  3. Sal = lower water + earth = lower body.

If we take the symbol of Mercur, identical to that of the planet Mercury, we have that the symbol of the Sun (the circle with the point) is located in the center of the Tria Prima. So there is an occult identity between the Sun as a planet in the macrocosm and the Mercur of the Tria Prima in the human being. Mercur receives the spirit in the lunar cup (Holy Grail) facing upwards, enlivens it in the central Sun and thus impregnates the lower matter represented by the cross of the four elements.

The Rosicrucian Rules of Paracelsus

From what has been said, it can be understood that Paracelsus’ rules are in fact the result of the transmutation of inner alchemy according to the First Tria. This transmutation is obtained through meditation as an introjection of exterior alchemical transmutations: where before these were real chemical reactions, today, thanks to the evolution of the conscious soul, since 1413, they can be actions of life.

In order to have an authentic spiritual experience in meditation, it is absolutely necessary that the demands of the physical body, the etheric body and the astral body be minimized to silence. The physical body has physiological needs (temperature, suffering, tiredness), the etheric body of instincts (hunger, thirst, sex) and the astral body of passions (pleasure/pain, compulsions, neurosis, psychosis). Because only in the neutralization of the respective automatic demands of the lower bodies is it possible to reach a condition of inner serenity and calm that mirrors the cosmic spirit in our soul.

It is possible to reach this state of equilibrium by following seven simple rules that we draw from the philosopher and doctor Paracelsus, who worked as a thaumaturge in the Rosicrucian Stream:

  1. The first is to improve health. This requires breathing, as often as possible, deep and rhythmic, filling the lungs well, outdoors or in front of an open window. Drink daily in small sips, about two litres of water, eat lots of fruit, chew food as perfectly as possible, avoid alcohol, tobacco and medicines, unless, for some serious reason, you are undergoing medical treatment. Bathing daily should be a habit that you owe to your dignity.
  2. Absolutely banish from your mind, for whatever reason, all thoughts of pessimism, anger, resentment, hatred, boredom, sadness, revenge and poverty. Escape like the plague every opportunity to deal with people who are slanderous, vicious, cowardly, mumbling, lazy, gossiping, vain or vulgar and inferior because of natural limitations of understanding or sensual arguments that form the basis of their speeches or occupations. The observance of this rule is of decisive importance: it is about changing the spiritual plot of your soul. It is the only way to change your destiny, because this depends on our actions and thoughts. There is no such thing as chance.
  3. Do all the good you can. Help every unhappy person whenever you can, but never have a soft spot for anyone. You must keep your strength under control and escape all forms of sentimentality.
  4. We must forget all offense, and in fact, strive to think well of your greatest enemy. Your soul is a temple that should never be desecrated by hatred. All great men have let themselves be guided by that gentle Inner Voice, but it will not speak to you immediately; you must prepare yourselves for some time, destroying the superimposition of layers of old habits, thoughts, and errors that weigh upon your spirit, which is divine and perfect in its essence, but powerless because of the imperfection of the vehicle offered to it today to manifest itself, the weak flesh.
  5. You have to gather every day, where no one can disturb you, even for half an hour, sitting as comfortably as possible, with your eyes half-closed and not thinking about anything. This strongly strengthens the brain and the spirit and will put you in touch with beneficial influences. In this state of meditation and silence, the most brilliant ideas often arrive, which can sometimes change an entire existence. In time all the problems that arise will be solved victoriously by an Inner Voice that will guide you in these moments of silence, alone with your consciousness. This is the demon of which Socrates spoke.
  6. You must keep absolute silence about all your personal affairs. Refrain, as if you had taken a solemn oath, from reporting to others, even to your innermost self, everything you think, hear, know, learn, suspect or discover; for a long time at least, you should be like a walled house or an enclosed garden. It is a rule of the utmost importance.
  7. Fear not men and fear not tomorrow. Keep your heart strong and pure and everything will be all right. Never think that you are alone or weak, because there are powerful armies behind you that you cannot conceive even in dreams. If you rise up in spirit, no evil can touch you. The only enemy you must fear is yourselves. Fear and mistrust of the future are the deadly mothers of all failures, and they attract bad influences and with them disaster. If you study the people of good fortune carefully, you will see that, intuitively, they observe most of the rules set out above. Many of those who amass great riches, it is certain that they are not entirely good people in the sense of righteousness, but they possess many of those virtues that are mentioned above. On the other hand, wealth is not synonymous with blessing, it could be one of the factors that leads to happiness, for the power it gives us to perform great and noble works, but the most lasting blessing can only be achieved through different paths, where it never dominates the ancient serpent of legend, Satan, whose real name is Selfishness.
  8. Conclusion: never complain about anything, dominate your senses, flee from both humility and vanity. Humility takes away your strength and vanity is so harmful that it is as if we were saying “mortal sin against the Holy Spirit”.

The rules as you can well understand are very simple, yet very complicated is for man, especially in today’s world of consumism, information and instability, to be able to respect even just one of them. It is also true that if you begin to train your will by imposing at least one of these rules on yourself, the others will follow the first one more easily than by forcing them all together.

Complaining with others

Our negativity must never be projected onto others by “venting”. One can find a way to express the same concept of grievance by creating a new thought and not by brooding over the swamped ones one already has.

Pain is “sweet”, it contains in itself a luciferic element, so much so that complaining becomes habit, a way of expressing oneself and attracting attention. “I need help!” they say, so you are the center of attention. But to inoculate negativity in one’s neighbor is to want to make him like us: Narcissus would do this because he loves himself for the uniqueness of his suffering “I am special because I suffer. Look at me.”

In the most serious cases depression becomes a non-verbal way of communicating, you expect a messiah who will not come because you will not recognize him, so full of what is wrong. The fault is not ours, we are convinced that the world is bad, the other is the problem. But in truth the messiah of ourselves is us when we put aside our selfishness and let the true Self of the Human Being shine forth, redeeming the lower bodies by uniting ourselves with the omnipresent help of Christ and other spiritual entities, “Not I, but Christ in me”.


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