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Saintly Souls

By:Andrea Elliott
Date: Fri,18 Nov 2011
Submitter:Andrea Elliott

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I fell upon a Pagan calendar, on one of my surfing expeditions today. The calendar noted the death of Saint Albert Magnus, a 13th century Bavarian friar. This struck me as rather odd. I would never had expected a saint to be included in a calendar, which a) would have been created long before Christianity hit the big time and b) as far as I am aware, Paganism is not a fan of Christianity; given that the orders took over the Pagan celebrations and renamed them “Christian” names.

However, now I have chastised the author, I continued to read on………………..

It turns out this Albert Magnus chap was a bit of a Harry Potter. Rumour has it, although not substantiated, he was an alchemist, magician and the holder of the Philosophers Stone. This legendary ”stone” was meant to cure ills, be the elixir of life and turn metals, such as lead, into gold – certainly a helpful thing to have when lining the pockets of the church, in Medieval Europe, while the peasants rot. The Philosophers Stone’s existence was documented in 300AD and may not even be a stone, but a specific chemical or formula – perhaps this was documented on stone, hence the reference. It is also believed the stone was created by God and passed onto Adam. However, as this account was written in 1620, you can make what you will of that.

Anyway, back to Albert; a credible historical figure of the Christian church. The German theology teacher rose through the Dominican Order ranks, winning the respect and admiration of his peers. He was called on to deliver his teachings in France, Germany and Austria, and no doubt creating quite a following. So, what does any influential person of high social standing do? They influence of course – in modern times we could refer to Nelson Mandella or even Bono from U2, both of which came from humble backgrounds. But now, in the public eye, they air their views to the world, which is exactly what the now Bishop Albert Magnus did. He turned to philosophy which served him well and was fascinated by Astrology, believing the stars influenced every human life and could even predict the future.

Now, I may be completely ignorant here but I was under the impression that any subject outside of the biblical scriptures was viewed as heresy? However, Albert’s biggest influence was Thomas Aquinas, an Italian who fled the clutches of his disapproving family to join the Order. Following in his mentors footsteps, Thomas became a Master of Theology, teaching and creating many written works - mainly to suppress the questioning masses who favoured the philosophies of Aristotle. After many years in Paris, Thomas returned to his Italian roots. He was offered a “carte blanc” post in Naples. But his priorities changed dramatically after an apparent paranormal experience. It seems to be a life-flash-before-eyes moment, as he dismisses his life’s work as rubbish! And it went down hill from there. Within a year, Thomas died, leaving a legacy of teachings behind him, which eventually gained him a sainthood.

As an intellect Thomas was a philosopher, a visionary and, through examining other works, formed his own opinions on life; although I believe many of his true beliefs were suppressed by his desire to please the church. One such truth was his belief in life after death and, reading between the lines, reincarnation. He states the human soul makes the human body complete but it is not reliant on it, and continues long after the body has died. He believed that unlike the human body the human soul is immaterial; so it is not a physical thing that you can touch or hold, and it exists in both the spirit world and the earthly world - at the same moment in time.

So, this 13th Century priest is saying that we co-exist in both worlds, at the same time, we do not rely on a body AND we continue to co-exist in this manner in order to gain intellect.


Many religions have held the same belief for centuries. But it has come as a surprise as, correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t the church burn those who thought outside the box, let alone write outside the box?

Anyway, my point is, these figures came from a more simplistic era and yet the philosophies and beliefs are far beyond the thoughts of many humans today - which could boil down to the hectic lives we now lead. They believed in Astrology, they believed in spirit, they believed in the continuous existence of the human soul, they also believed in prediction and prophecy. Whereas our world has, to a large extent, dismissed such thoughts.

I am not religious in any way shape or form, instead I have my own beliefs, based on my own thoughts and feelings and, in a very materialistic world, I feel that we have lost sight of our sense to grow, to learn and create. So, I invite you to really take the time to read, learn and perhaps question what society leads us to believe as unbelievable, so you can choose to be you.

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