In our treatment of the human body we have to remember that in composition it is not an inanimate object capable of sustaining the kind of treatment accorded to a sack of sand, but a delicate organism possessed of the capacity of feeling, consciously and unconsciously, and must be handled accordingly. The cell life of the body is selective in the finest sense, the cells rejecting any substance unfit for their use, and consequently it is as reasonable to expect to run a modern aeroplane engine on inferior fuel as to ingest into the human body for its maintenance a drug of a gross nature, or a food devoid of its natural vital principle.
We all have constant proof of the fact that at a certain stage in his life man's body apparently begins to deteriorate, the reason given for this deterioration being the slowing down of the cell activity with the result that the body's wasting process proceeds more rapidly than does the repairing process. This explanation is correct, for as man gets older, the vital energy does not flow through to the cells of his body so efficiently as in his youth, and the cells of the body, when unable to obtain their requisite elements, become sluggish in their action and ultimately diseased. In this connection our ideas on so-called diseased bacteria have to be very much revised; the so-called bacteria is the medium through which the vital energy is transferred to the cell life. This is its work, the purpose for which it was created, and if for some reason the flow of that energy is impeded in its passage, then the bacteria takes its energy from the cell, and at once becomes pathological. For this reason it has been regarded by the medical faculty as the cause of the disease; but any bacteriologist will realize how nearly he has approached to the truth of this statement when he in his turn states, for example, that certain types of bacteria are oxygen-eating, that is, in the event of their being unable to obtain their oxygen from such a substance as sugar, they take it from the human body and so debilitate and disease that body. For this reason, if we really desire to become an A 1 race, we must find and understand the preparation of those elements which the human body's cell-life requires to assist its correct functioning, for when the cell-life of the body fails, then the body itself fails also.
Alchemy, as demonstrated by two of its most prominent exponents, Basil Valentine and Paracelsus, is concerned not only with the attainment of the Philosopher's Stone, but with the preparation of medicines, by which is meant the separation of the ethereal from the gross, the true secret of the Spagyric Art.
At the present day we have two definite systems of medicine, the one termed allopathy, the other homeopathy. Both these systems have countless remedies, but neither is by any means perfect, for where the allopath gains his cures, the homeopathist has to admit defeat, and where the homeopathist succeeds, the allopath may fail. The allopath, whose methods are the more widely practised at the moment, maintains that the homeopathist gains his successes through the imagination of his patients, but the homeopathist believes his methods to be the more scientific, since he deals with a more finely divided and spiritualized medium; for while the allopath uses his drugs without trituration, the homeopathist triturates his drugs from the first decimal to the higher potencies even up to the two-hundredth decimal. Even so, although his method is the more perfect of the two, it is still far from the ideal
The homeopathists, of course, teach that the founder of their system was Hahneman, but in actual fact this is inaccurate. Hahneman merely rediscovered in part a system which had been taught in alchemy for hundreds of years. I say in part because the alchemist's interpretation of the system was very much more perfect than is the modern homeopathist's.
In regard to the question of potencies, I will repeat once again the definition of the Quintessence: 'Nothing of true value is located in the body of a substance but in the virtue thereof. And this is the principle of the quintessence, which reduces, say, twenty pounds to a single ounce, but that ounce far exceeds in potency the entire twenty pounds.' Thus to find the Quintessence of Iron, for example, the metal is changed into its vitriol or salts, which in turn are purified by several washings in distilled water, and after each washing re-crystallised. The salt is then calcined to redness
and its spirit drawn off in a special manner and also in its turn carefully distilled several times, the result being a red oil of iron which is its true essence, a few drops constituting a dose.
The first essential of a really effective healing agent is that it should contain the Quintessence or vital principle of the herb or metal used, and it is the homeopathist's failure to provide this element in his preparations which entails the loss of the real value of his medicaments.
The allopath's failures lie in the fact that his remedies are always administered in too crude a form. In the administration of a metal, for instance, it must be understood that the body of a metal is worthless, as a medicine, it cannot heal: it is the essence alone that is curative. Only too often the body is poisonous, and until that gross part of the metal be broken up, its administration is definitely harmful. Probably one of the most common forms of metallic poisoning is that of mercury, but remove the harmful parts of the metal and the healing essence is free to do its work thoroughly. Nitrate of silver is a caustic poison, but remove the gross part of the metal and the essence of the silver is a cure for diseases of the brain. Lead salts are poisonous, it is true, and in many cases their administration has resulted in death from lead poisoning, but remove that poisonous matter and the remaining essence, which is clear, sweet-smelling, and aromatic in taste, forms a cure for all diseases of the spleen. Copper, when the gross body of the metal is removed and the essence unlocked, is invaluable for the nervous system and the kidneys; likewise, tin for the liver, iron for all inflammatory diseases, and the bile, and gold for the heart and general circulation. But gold, too, is only suitable for a medicine when the salts of gold are reduced into the oil of gold and distilled into a golden liquid; then and only then is gold tolerated and utilized by the human body. The salts of gold used at the present day can never be assimilated, for by their present method of preparation they can never be properly distilled and purified.
From the foregoing paragraphs it will be seen that the whole principle of cure rests on the proper separation of this Quintessence to which alchemy, and alchemy alone, provides the key. The whole principle of the system is that the body of the metal impedes the action of the essence, and those metals which have hitherto been regarded as poisonous (mercury, antimony, lead, arsenic) are all non-poisonous and capable of greater curative potency when this process has been faithfully carried out.
A third system of medicine which I have not mentioned, and which is not much practised in this country, has recently come into being. I refer to the colloidal system. Although even here the methods of preparation have not been pushed quite far enough, the results of some of its experiments would seem to indicate that this particular branch of research work is being conducted on the right lines, and is paving the way to a more efficient system of medicine.
The Rockefeller Institute, in the course of its research work, has demonstrated that iron taken in this form is much more easily absorbed by the body than in its cruder state, whilst copper administered as a colloidal preparation is a powerful agent in the reduction of neuralgic and nervous conditions. In their laboratory experiments too, it has been found that flowers rescued from the rubbish heap and placed in a bowl of colloidal copper regain their freshness.
A further proof of the efficacy of the system was provided during a bad outbreak of goitre in one of the American states. The epidemic was almost entirely eliminated by the addition of a colloidal preparation of iodine to the supply of drinking-water in those districts where the goitre was most prevalent.
For a medicament to be brought to its highest grade of action, the preparation is of inestimable importance, but so long as the physician is content with the preparation of the chemist, I fail to see how any vital improvement in the quality and efficacy of our healing mediums can be expected. The physician is no chemist, the chemist has no clinical experience, and so the medicinal art must fail repeatedly not because its students themselves are incompetent, but because the system under which they work is so inadequate. We contribute enormous sums of money to the maintenance of our hospitals and at the same time drive into them the victims of our foolish system of drugging and feeding. I repeat, it is not the body of men that I condemn, but merely our absurd system of contradictions. Paracelsus has said:
'If, then, it be of such vast importance that Alchemy shall be thoroughly understood in Medicine, the reason of this importance arises from the great latent virtue which resides in natural things, which also can lie open to none, save insofar as they are revealed by Alchemy. Otherwise it is just as if one should see a tree in winter and not recognize it, or be ignorant what was in it until summer puts forth, one after another, now branches, now flowers, now fruits, and whatever appertains to it. So in these matters there is a latent virtue which is occult to men in general. And unless a man learns and makes proof of these things, which can only be done by an alchemist, just as by the summer, it is not possible that he can investigate the subject in any other way.'
Again he says:
'Who will deny that even in the very best things a poison may be hid? All must acknowledge this. And if this be true, I would now ask you whether it is not right that the poison should be separated from what is good and useful, that the good should be taken and the evil left. Such should certainly be the case. If so, tell me how it is separated in your surgeries. With you all these elements remain mixed. See your own simplicity, then, if you are forced to confess that a poison lies hid, and are asked how it is to be got rid of. Then you bring forth I know not how many correctives, which shall drive out and take away the poison. Does not the poison remain afterwards as before? And yet you boast that you have so corrected it that the poison no longer harms. Whither has it gone? Exceed the proper dose, and you will soon see where the poison is.
'The elimination of a poison can only be done by separation; if this is not brought about you cannot be sure of your work. If a sure foundation be necessary for the extraction of the poison, this is afforded by alchemy. But when the bodies are contrary, it is absolutely necessary that one of them should be taken away and removed, so that in this way all contrariety should be separated from the good. It is necessary that everything which is to benefit man shall have passed by fire to a second birth. Should not this then be deemed the right fundamental principle by every physician?'
I put forward these ideas because I believe that in the medicine of metals there is a perfect curative system; that in the seven metals, gold, silver, iron, copper, tin, mercury, and lead can be found elements to cure all discords in the human body, and that when this system is properly understood and practised, the multitude of remedies may be discarded. Be it understood that this is not my system, but one which is as old as man himself. Truly it has been said that there is nothing new under the sun, for knowledge is revealed and is submerged again, even as a nation rises and falls. Here is a system, tested throughout the ages, but lost again and again by ignorance or prejudice, in the same way that great nations have risen and fallen and been lost to history beneath the desert sands and in the ocean depths.
To what end do we study history if not to learn from it? To profit by the example of those who have gone before, to learn from their mistakes, if needs be? Our civilization of today might be a far greater civilization if it would but borrow from the past, for knowledge there has always been, and wise men there have always been, who despite the persecution and opposition of their fellow men, have yet laboured to preserve these secrets for posterity.