Sources: Primitive Psycho-therapy And Quackery
ROBERT FLUDD, surnamed "the Searcher," an English physician, writer and
theosophist, member of a knightly family, first saw the light at
Milgate, Kent, in the year 1574. His father, Sir Thomas Fludd, was
Treasurer of War under Queen Elizabeth. Robert was a graduate of St.
John's College, Oxford.
After taking his degree in 1598, he followed the example of many another
man of original mind, athirst for knowledge of the world, and led a
roving life for six years, "in order to observe and collect what was
curious in nature, mysterious in arts, or profound in science."
Returning to London in 1605, he entered the College of Physicians, and
four years later receiving a medical degree, he established himself at
his house in Coleman Street, in the metropolis, where he remained until
his death in 1637.
Fludd was a voluminous writer, and one of the most famous savants of
his time. He was at once physician, chemist, mathematician, and
philosopher. But his chief reputation was due to his system of
theosophy. Profoundly imbued with mystical lore, he combined in an
incomprehensible jumble the doctrines of the Cabalists and Paracelsians.
William Enfield, in the "History of Philosophy," remarks of the
peculiarity of this philosopher's turn of mind, that there was nothing
which ancient or modern times could afford, under the notion of modern
wisdom, which he did not gather into his magazine of science. Fludd was
reputed to be a man of piety and great learning, and was an adept in the
so-called Rosicrucian philosophy. In his view, the whole world was
peopled with demons and spirits, and therefore the faithful physician
should lay hold of the armor of God, for he has not to struggle against
flesh and blood. He published treatises on various subjects which are
replete with abstruse and visionary theories. The title of one of these
treatises is as follows: "De Supernaturalis, Naturalis,
Praeternaturalis, et Contranaturalis Microcosmi Historia, 1619."
The phenomena of magnetism were ascribed by him to the irradiation of
angels. Robert Fludd enjoyed the acquaintance and friendship of many
scientists at home and abroad, and was without doubt one of the most
versatile and erudite of contemporary British scholars.
He devoted much time to scientific experiments and natural philosophy,
and constructed a variety of odd mechanisms, including an automatic
dragon and a self-playing lyre. Moreover, he was a believer in
mystical faith-cures, and in the existence of a kind of dualism in
therapeutics, whereby sickness and healing were produced by two