Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks Series
This series of limited edition hand-bound books by Adam McLean were initially produced between 1979 and 1986. They were never sold through book dealers, but only by direct mail order. Consequently, these books became collectors items, often fetching high prices on the second-hand market. Only a few copies remain of some of the older titles in this series and a number are now entirely sold out. Since 1997 thirty new titles have been issued with more in preparation.
No. 34. The Speculative Philosophy
by Gerhard Dorn
Translated by Paul Ferguson
Gerhard Dorn (1530-1584) was a key figure in the promulgation of Paracelsist ideas into the latter half of the 16th century. He translated, edited and commented on the works and ideas of Paracelsus. He was a Paracelsian physician and a prolific writer. Early in his alchemical career Dorn abandoned the idea of seeking metallic transmutation and instead saw the goal of alchemy to lie in the preparation of medicines. Being deeply religious, he was also drawn to the philosophical and spiritual aspects of alchemy.
One of his most important works was the Speculativa Philosophia included as the second part of his Clavis totius Philosophiae Chymisticae 1567. Little attention has been paid to this work until Carl Jung became rather attached to it, as Jung saw in Dorn, ideas which prefigured his own. Jung and his colleague Marie-Louise von Franz were fond of quoting from this work which they saw as giving credence to the Jungian view of alchemy. Unfortunately, they were rather selective in their quotations and no one thought it worthwhile to have the entire text itself translated. I was much drawn to read the entire text and see what other ideas lay within it. I could find little to confirm the Jungian view of the work, and yet my abilities in Latin were insufficient for me to feel confident to attempt a translation. I started looking for a translator. Over a decade or so a number of people offered to make translations but none of these came to fruition, until I was lucky to find Paul Ferguson, who set about the task in a straightforward and professional way and within a few months I had this translation in my hands. So now after four and a half centuries we are finally able to read Dorn in English, and let the man speak directly to us.
Limited edition of 250 signed and numbered hardbound copies. 85 pages.