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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 know
edge 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

antagonistic forces.