The Life and Doctrines of Jacob Boehme, by Franz Hartmann, , at sacred-texts.com
"If you wish to hear the Holy Ghost speak out of the mouth of another you must first enter yourself with your will into the spirit of holiness."—Jacob Boehme.
IT is perfectly useless to attempt to enter into theoretical speculations for the purpose of trying to find out whether or not the doctrines of Jacob Boehme in regard to that which transcends the reasoning power of man are true or not. Logic can never supply the place of perception; it can only teach us what a thing cannot be, but it does not enable us to see what it is. The only way to convince ourselves whether there is a divine state of existence and celestial powers is, by the aid of God, to seek within ourselves for these powers which Jacob Boehme describes. If we succeed we shall then know the Holy Trinity and the archangels; in the meantime a consideration of Boehme's doctrines may serve -to destroy the erroneous conceptions which hinder us from seeing the truth as it exists in ourselves.
God (the divine primordial Will) by becoming objective to Himself, and thereby constituting Himself a created being, assumed a threefold aspect, which gave rise to three different self-conscious divine powers, called "archangels," representing the three types of the Holy Trinity. The angels or powers are called Michael, Lucifer, and Uriel. 1
"God, constituting Himself a created being, assumed the aspect of such a being in regard to His trinity; and as this trinity is the greatest and highest in God, also He created three princes of angels (divine reflections of His own image) which are superior to all others." (Aurora, xii. 88.)
"Michael represents God the Father. 1 This is not to be understood as if he were God the Father Himself; but there is among the created beings (the angels) one who represents God the Father. The circle or space wherein he with his angels is created is his kingdom, and he is a beloved son of God, a joy for his Father. You ought not to compare him with the heart or the light of God, which is in the totality of the Father, and which, like the Father Himself, has neither beginning nor end. This prince is a created being, and has (as such) a beginning; but he is in God the Father, and bound to Him in love. Therefore he wears upon his head the crown of honour, power, and strength, and except God Himself in His trinity, there can be nothing found in heaven that is higher, or more beautiful or powerful, than he." (Aurora, xii. 86.)
"As Michael has been created after the type and beauty of God the Father, so was Lucifer created after the type and beauty of God the Son, bound to Him in love, and his heart was resting in the centre of light, as if he were God Himself." (Aurora, xii. 101.)
"The third king, Uriel, is formed after the type and character of the Holy Spirit. He is a magnificent and beautiful prince of God, and also bound up in love with the other princes, as in one heart." (Aurora, xii. 111.)
From the three result the seven, according to a law that is manifesting itself eternally on all planes of existence. There are seven qualities or properties revealed in the life of God; there are seven natural qualities,
and there are likewise seven high angels besides the former three, after which follow innumerable subdivisions of angels and spirits, occupying different ranks on the ladder of eternal progression.
These "angels," "thrones," and "dominions" we find also in the Hindu mythology, although under different names. It ought to be kept in mind that "myths" are not "fables." Myths are representations of actualities clothed in a fabulous form. Their kernel is true, even if the shell in which it is clothed is an illusion.
"There are seven principal qualities in the divine Power, wherefrom the centre of God is born, and likewise there are some powerful princes of angels created, each one, according to his main quality, being a ruler in the army to which he belongs. Each of them, is next to his king or archangel, the chieftain of other subordinate angels." (Aurora, xii. 7.)
"God has also called into existence other princes of angels, corresponding to the seven spirits, such as Gabriel, Raphael, &c." (Aurora, xii. 88.)
"We have to consider especially seven high princely divisions in three hierarchies, according to the fountain of the seven qualities of nature, each of these forms ultimating in one throne." (Grace, x. 24.)
Although these self-conscious powers or angels are differentiated, each class and each individual having its own special characteristics, nevertheless they originate all from one common root, and in so far as they have remained faithful to their Creator, they are united by the most powerful love and harmony, and mingle with each other like the individual tones constituting one grand accord in creation.
"The angels have among themselves only one love-will. Neither of them envies the other on account of his beauty, but they are in regard to each other like the spirits of God. They love each other, and neither of
them imagines himself to surpass another in beauty; but each rejoices in the beauty and loveliness of the rest." (Aurora, xii. 17).
"When the spirits of God arise in their divine glory, they cannot be bound in such a manner as would prevent them from intermingling with each other, and the angels are not limited by the locality in which they reside. The spirits of God perpetually rise within each other, and in their eternal generation they enjoy a continual exchange of love. Thus the holy angels move within each other and go with each other in all the three kingdoms, whereby each one receives from the other beauty of form, loveliness and virtue, and supreme happiness; but each one retains the position belonging to hire (his centre of gravitation) which in his aspect as a created being has: been assigned to him as his own special property." (Aurora, xii. 57.)
All the angels have been created out of the fire and the light; each of them is therefore a complete being, having within himself all the seven qualities in various stages of unfoldment. In the evolution of the seventh the corporeal body is formed, because the third quality reappears in the form of the seventh. This reappearance of the third within the seventh constitutes the "resurrection of the flesh." Not in a dead and putrefied corpse, but in the living soul, does that resurrection take place.
"When God created the angels, the principle of fire and light became manifest. Their spirit or life-anguish (consciousness) has its origin in the fire. From thence it passed through the light, and became there the anguish of love, by which the wrath was extinguished." (Menschwerdung, i. 3–10.)
"The angels have all been created in the first principle, formed and corporified by the moving Spirit, and illumined by the light of God." (Three Principles, iv. 67.)
"From all eternity the light of God was lovely, sweet, and clear; but when God moved to create, the matrix (the foundation), with its fiery, dark, acrid and bitter qualities, became manifest; for the angels have been created out of that matrix into the light, and rendered corporeal by the moving Spirit." (Aurora, v. 24.)
"Each angel has the power of the seven primitive spirits within himself." (Aurora, xii. 8.)
"The body of the angels—that is to say, its apprehensibility, originates from the seventh spirit, and the generating powers in that body are the seven spirits." (Aurora, xvi. 15.)
The body of the angels is the incorporated spirit of nature, and it encloses the seven other spirits. They generate themselves in that body, as is also the case in the Godhead." (Aurora, iii. 30.)
If the terrestrial world which we know is corporeal to us, having been thrown into objectivity by the power of the divine Will acting upon the images existing in the bosom of eternal Wisdom, there is no reason why the same Will should not have called into existence in the same way a superterrestrial, supersensual, and celestial world, whose subjects will be as real and corporeal to its inhabitants as the objects in our world are corporeal to us.
"There is a life superior to life in this world in eternity. The spirit of this world (the terrestrial mind) cannot conceive of its nature. It has within itself all the qualities of this terrestrial life, but not in such inflamed essences as the latter. Truly, it also has a fire, and a very powerful one, but it burns in a different way; it is sweet, mild, and without pain; it does not consume, but causes majesty and living splendour, and its spirit is pure love and joy." (Threefold Life, viii. 1.)
"In heaven, in the spiritual world, are the same qualities as there are in the terrestrial world; but they
are there not manifested in such a furious (gross) form, but in a superior state, like darkness that is absorbed by light." (Mysterium, x. 7.)
As the eyes of the blind are unable to see the objects of the external world, so those whose spiritual perceptions have not been opened will be unable to. perceive the objects existing within the inner world.
There are objective products in that celestial world which appear there as "natural" as ours appear on the terrestrial plane; but as the celestial world is far more refined, glorious, and beautiful than the terrestrial world, those products must also be superior to any that can be found upon this earth.
"The celestial powers, by their interaction, generate trees and bushes, whereon grows the beautiful and lovely fruit of life. Likewise, by means of these powers, there arise various flowers of beautiful celestial colours and exquisite odour, in a similar manner as in this perverted and dark terrestrial valley various kinds of trees, shrubs, flowers, and fruits grow, and as the earth produces beautiful stones, silver, and gold. All these external forms are symbols of the celestial generation. Nature labours very diligently with the degenerated and inert earth, for the purpose of producing celestial forms and kinds; but she produces only dead, dark, bitter, cold, and evil fruits. In heaven there are no such dead, hard, wooden trees as in the terrestrial sphere, but spiritual growths. Nevertheless we speak, not symbolically, but of real, actual plants, and this is to be taken in no other than in a literal sense." (Aurora, iv. 10.)
The objects existing in the ideal, but nevertheless perfectly real world, are as far above those existing in the external world as tile ideal conceptions of a great genius are above what he can possibly execute by his hands.
The realm which formerly was governed by Lucifer embraced our earth and the whole depth of the starry sky. The realms of Michael and Uriel are equal in extent to the former, and exist beyond the starry sky.
"What Boehme says about the extent of the kingdoms of Michael and Uriel is not to be taken in an external terrestrial sense. The realm of Lucifer before his rebellion was immaterial like the others, and only afterwards descended into materiality and terrestrial relations to space." (Hamberger.)
"The whole locality of this world, the depth of the earth and above the earth, up to the sky and the created heaven itself, which we see with our eyes, but which, nevertheless, we cannot comprehend with our senses—all this space is one kingdom, wherein Lucifer was the ruler before his fall; but the other two kingdoms, that of Michael and Uriel, exist beyond the created heaven (space) and are equal to the former realm." (Aurora, vii. 7.)
"The angels are God's instruments in governing the world, and as such they not only glorify the celestial nature wherein they rule, but they also dominate over the terrestrial world and its individual regions."
They rule the world according to the principle of divine wisdom which is manifested in and through them, and not, like man, according to their notions or smartness or policy. They execute the will of God, and not any will of their own.
"God the eternal One rules all things by means of the activity of the angels. The power and the action is of God; but they are His instruments." (Theosophical Questions, vi. 7.)
"That which the angels will and desire is brought into images and forms by means of their thoughts." (Theosophical Questions, vi. 9.)
They are full of the will of divinity, and therefore their thoughts are rendered effective by that will, and do
not vanish like the superficial fancies of man, fed by his imaginary self-will.
"Whenever the celestial melody of the angels begins to sound, there are arising within the divine sal-nitre various worlds of growths, figures, and magnificent colours." (Aurora, xii. 24.)
"Each country has its princely guardian spirit, with its legions. Likewise there are angels governing the four elements—fire, water, air, and earth." (Mysterium, viii. 9.)
If man knew the beauties of the spiritual world by which he is surrounded, and which he may see when he awakens from the dream of external life by becoming self-conscious in the spirit, his interest in the affairs of this mundane existence would be diminished to a considerable extent. Such a knowledge, however, is only attainable to those who are capable of entering the interior state, and has nothing to do with the dreams of the visionary who revels among the products of his own fancy.
St. Martin says: "There" (in the higher world) "it is not like in our dark dwelling-place, wherein sounds can only be compared with sounds, colours with colours, and a substance only with that which is directly related to it. There all things are more closely related with each other. There the light is sounding; melody produces light; colours have motions, because they are living, and the objects are all at once sounding, transparent, moving, and can penetrate each other."
The belief in guardian angels is not a fable. Man is surrounded by good and by evil, self-conscious and invisible powers, which may influence him for good or for evil. His soul is the battle-field where the combat between devils and angels takes place, and he is free to side with the one or the other, as is beautifully described in the "Bhagavad Gita." The evil influences are easily attracted if we merely remain passive to their power; but
the spirit of holiness cannot enter unless unholiness is chased away. In this battle against evil the angels are always ready to assist man in an invisible manner against the temptations of the "devils," provided that he is willing to receive such an aid.
"The external nature of this world cannot comprehend the nature of heaven: Both are compared with each other, like death compared with life. We cannot see the angels according to our external nature, neither can they be with us externally; but they reside internally with us. Whenever we battle with the devil they ward off his blows, and thus they take under their protection the soul that aspires for that which is holy." (Aurora, xix. 30.)
"Know that the devil often fights with the angels. When the soul of man is secure in God, then the devil desires to enter; but he is stopped, so that he cannot do what he wills. Whenever the soul imagines, and lustful desires begin to arise, then is the devil victorious." 1 (Threefold Life, xiv. 13.)
"Each principle is attracted by, knows, and loves that which is like unto its own self. The principles existing within the periphery are acting upon their corresponding principles in the centre. Love acts upon love, hate upon hate; good is attracted by good, and evil by evil. If there is no evil desire active in man, evil influences cannot take root in his soul. The devil is the poorest of all creatures. He cannot move a leaf upon a tree unless the wrath is contained therein." (Theosophical Points, v. 18.)
Man without any principle could know nothing; it is always a certain principle in him that recognises its corresponding principle in nature. A man without love cannot know what love is. Neither can any one recognise the Christ, or be recognised by Him, unless he has the Christ within his own soul.
The self-will, i.e., the will of God perverted in a created being, is the "fire-life" of the latter and the cause of its anguish. All the angels have originally been created out of the light; but for the purpose of remaining therein they had to give up to God their fire-life, and not rise up in their self-will against the Lord.
"Each angel who wishes to live in the light and power of God must give up the selfhood of the dominion of the fire within the desire; he must surrender himself and all that belongs to him to the will of God; he must die in regard to his self-will, and unfold in the light of love as a fruit of divine love, so that the will-spirit (the spiritual will) of God shall rule his life." (Stief. ii. 49.)
"The devil was an angel, and it would have been his duty to put his imagination (faith) into the light of God. In that case he would have received the divine substantiality in his imagination, and his light would have remained luminous. The fire-fountain would have remained in that essence and quality, and he would have remained an angel." (Tilk. i. 187.)
Thus those who crave for intellectual knowledge, while deserting the basis of the true knowledge of God, will ultimately become the victims of their own conceit, and turn into devils.
In the recognition of good and evil rests the freedom of choice. This knowledge is attained by means of the fourth form. If that quality has awakened in a being, then may the latter go ahead in a forward direction either toward absolute good or evil until the orbit is reached, where the attraction of one or the other ceases to act. As long as this limit is not reached, a being may either enter the divine love-will, or turn in the opposite direction, and sink within the lower qualities of nature.
"In the lightning flash, the fourth form of nature, is the origin of life, and it attains perfection in the constancy of the fire. Here, in the object of division, is the
spirit born, and this spirit can either go backwards and enter with his imagination into his mother, the dark world, or move forward, and by means of death sink into the anguish of the fire, and then bloom out into life. He is free, and therefore either of these two ways is within his choice." (Theosophical Points, vii. 2.)
Every being is free and responsible only according to the degree of its knowledge; not its intellectual knowledge, but according to that which is the result of the experiences of its spirit—its "conscience."
"In the principle of fire is the turning-point. There the will may move in whatever direction he chooses. If it desires the "Nothing," i.e., freedom, it must sacrifice itself to the fire, and sink in the death of that principle. 1 Then the Father, the eternal Will to nature, will put it into the will of the Son; where for the great deal which that being has given, it will receive all; but not to its own honour, but for the glorification and power of God. When this is accomplished, God in such a man is his will and his doing, and his fire becomes a light and a clear mirror; but if he does not will to do so, but wishes to be himself a master, and to possess multiplicity for his own self; then must he enter into the severe astringency, into the world of darkness, and cannot conduct himself in his principles higher than up to the fire, or rather only up to the lightning flash. He remains in darkness, because only freedom outside of nature can supply the light and the clearness." (Theosophical Points, vii. 6).
The fourth form is the object of division after the death of the body, and the centre of consciousness will be either with the higher part or the lower, according to the preponderance of either good or evil. The higher
consciousness enters the light; the lower consciousness continues to exist in its own hell-fire and self-created suffering. God "redeems" man by redeeming Himself from man's animal elements, to which he is tied during the terrestrial life of the personality.
Lucifer could have retained his state of celestial life; it was by his own will that he surrendered himself to the wrath of nature.
"The life of the eternal creature was in its beginning entirely free, because it was in the appropriate harmonious temperature. The angels were created for heaven, and even if the world of darkness with the realm of phantasy was contained therein, it was in latent condition, and not manifest. By the action of the free will in the fallen angels the world of darkness became objective in them; because they were inclined towards phantastry (speculation), and consequently the latter took possession of them and arose in their essence." (Grace, iv. 45.)
"One should not think that King Lucifer could not have remained that which he was. He had before him the light of the majesty, just like the other throne angels. If he had contemplated therein, he would have remained an angel; but because he acted according to his own selfish will, he is now an enemy of the love of God, and of all holy angels." (Menschwerdung, i. 217.)
He knew the will of God, and nevertheless acted in opposition to it, and therefore he did not become merely an idiot, but a devil.
"The realm of illusion has been from eternity, and gave cause to the angels' fall; it presented the conditions without which such a fall from the angelic state could not have taken place; but Lucifer entered into it by his own free will, and without any coercion." (Grace, Vi. 2.)
"Lucifer had within himself the fire and the light. He
was free. Why then did he imagine (project his consciousness) into the fire? The light and the power of God did not draw him into the fire, but the wrath of nature. Why did his spirit consent?" (Menschwerdung, i. 5.)
"The fiery lust, which was strong in Lucifer, incited him. Likewise the darkness (matter) wanted to become created (objective) in him." (Mysterium Magnum, ix. 9.)
The very divine beauty, and the high power and authority with which Lucifer was invested, incited him to attempt to rise above God, instead of surrendering himself to Him in humility, 1 and thus he stimulated the activity of his sourcive spirits (latent principles) in an unnatural manner.
"When the kingly body of Lucifer became corporified (organised), and his spirits (principles or qualities) began to become qualified and generated (unfolded), the lightning flash of life arose in his heart, and the spirit went from the heart back again into all the veins of his (organising) body, inflaming all the seven spirits. Thus he stood, a divine king, in transcendent clearness." (Aurora, xiv. 4.)
His condition may be compared to that of a man who uses the powers which are given him for the purpose of enabling him to rise up to the kingdom of God to feed his own passions.
"When Lucifer saw that he was so very beautiful, and when he realised his high birth and great power, the spirit which he had generated in himself (i.e., his own free will) arose and became desirous to triumph over the divine birth, and to exalt itself above the heart of God." (Aurora, xiv. 13, 32.)
"When Lucifer was in such a kingly form, and placed in such high glory, he ought to have moved in God as God moved in him; but this he did not do, for after his
sourcive spirits were endowed with such a glorious light, they were filled with so much joy that they revolted against the natural right (the law), and desired a still higher, prouder, and more magnificent qualification than God Himself. Then it happened that the acrid quality contracted her essence to such a state of hardness that the sweet water therein became exsiccated. Simultaneously (with that) the lightning flash was so glaring that it became intolerable to the rising spirits, because it went ihto the acrid quality in such a terrible manner, as if it wanted to burst them asunder with great joy." (Aurora, xiii. 116.)
It must not be supposed that God created an especial pain for the purpose of punishing Lucifer for his sinful conceit; but Lucifer himself inaugurated a hell for himself by turning away from God and exciting the lower natural qualities.
"God did not create a hell or a special state of suffering wherein to torment the creatures that deserted Him; but as soon as the devils went out of the light and attempted to rule by the power of fire over the beatitude in the heart of God, in the same moment they were outside of God and in the four lower qualities of eternal nature. Thereby they were kept imprisoned in the abyss of hell." (Threefold Life, ii. 5 3) 1
"The devil is not affected with any pain coming from the outside, but (the cause of all suffering) is in himself. This is the bell wherefrom he is created, and the light of God is his eternal dishonour, because he is the enemy of God, and no longer in the light of God." (Three Principles, iv. 36.)
"The foundation of hell was from eternity; however, it was not manifest, but hidden until it became awakened." (Theosophical Questions, xv. i.)
"The four lower principles without the eternal light are the abyss, the wrath of God, and hell. Their light is the terrible lightning-flash, wherein they must awaken themselves." (Threefold Life, ii. 50.)
"The acrid and stern desire moved in Lucifer, awakening the sting and the desire of anguish. Thus the beautiful star overshadowed its own light and perished, and its legions acted as he did." (Mysterium, ix. 10.)
Neither could Lucifer's legions have acted in any other way, because it was his will acting in them. They are parts of himself.
All the forms of nature are warring furiously against each other in Lucifer, being in a state of implacable animosity towards each other. They generate in him a proud and dark monster, instead of a son of God, united with Him in love.
"If the spirits arising (in Lucifer) would have interacted peacefully and according to the will of God, they would have generated a son within themselves who would have been like the Son of God and His beloved brother; but when they arose in a state of keen ignition, they generated a self-conceited, triumphant son, who, according to the first quality, was hard, harsh, cold, and dark; and according to the second, of a bitter, burning, fiery appearance. The sound in him was a hard fire-sound, and in the place of love there was proud enmity. Thus in the seventh form of nature there appeared a proud monster which fancied to be above God and that there was no equal to it. Love was grown cold; the heart of God could not touch this perverted being. Whenever that heart, full of benevolence and loveliness, moved to meet it, the heart of the monster appeared dark, cold, hard, and fiery." 1 (Aurora, xiii. 40–47.)
"The acrid quality was the first murderer, for seeing that he was generating a beautiful light, he contracted still harder than God had created him. The second quality, as the second murderer, went with great strength into the acrid one, as if he wanted to rend its body to pieces. The heat, being the third murderous spirit, killed its mother, the sweet water. The sound arose so furiously that it sounded like a clap of thunder; it intended thereby to prove its own new divinity, and the fire arose like a terrible glare of lightning. Thus the whole body became a dark valley, and there was no comfort nor help. Love turned into enmity, and the angel of light became a black and dark devil." (Aurora, xiv. 19–25.)
As the saint becomes identified with God, so the wicked may become identified with the devil. Either of the two is an "incarnation" of that principle which has attained self-consciousness in him.
Lucifer having conceived a will entirely opposed to the divine, and intending to put his own products in the place of the formations of God, not only God, but also the pure angels, especially Michael with his legions, separated from him.
"Lucifer saw creation and knew its foundation. Thereupon he also wanted to be a god, and to rule in all things by the power of fire. He wanted to bring into form his own thoughts, and not that which the Creator desired. Thus he became an enemy of God, and desired to destroy what was formed by the action of God for the purpose of putting in its place his own effects and figurations." (Theosophical Questions, x. 1.)
"Lucifer having left the harmony of God, the holy name of God separated from him and remained in its own unity; but Lucifer remained in the qualities of the central fire which he had awakened within himself." (Theosophical Questions, x. 6.)
"The dark realm of phantasy and the creature which is constituted by the fallen angels is only one thing, one will, one being; and as this rebellious will did not want to reside and rule solely in the phantasy, but wanted to rule also in the holy power wherein it stood at first, the holy power repelled it out of itself and hid itself away before it—that is to say, the inner heaven shut it out of its own state, so that it could not see God. Thus it died to the kingdom of goodwill." (Grace, iv. 46.)
"When Lucifer proved to be such a tyrant and corrupter of all that is good, the whole army of heaven turned against him, and he likewise turned against everything. Then the battle began, and the arch-prince Michael with his legions fought against him, and the devil with his legions conquered not; but was driven away from his position as one who has been conquered." 1 (Aurora, xvi. 9.)
The separation of Lucifer from the world of light was a total separation, but not a local one in the ordinary sense of this word.
"The world of light knows nothing of the devils, and the devils know nothing about the world of light except that they once belonged to it." (Theosophical Points, v. 2.)
"Heaven is in hell, and hell is in heaven, and nevertheless there is neither of them revealed to the other. Even if the devil were travelling for many hundred thousands of miles, for the purpose of going to heaven, he would nevertheless always remain in hell. Thus the angels do not see the darkness; they see only the light of divine power; but the devils see only the darkness of the wrath of God." (Mysterium, viii. 28).
Every being is in that state which constitutes its own consciousness.
The hellish being has not yet attained completion in its development. The existence of the terrestrial world, in whose evil parts the evil spirits reside and work, is an obstacle to that.
As man loses his knowledge of God, he correspondingly loses his power for evil A man cannot become a complete devil until he attains Godlike knowledge and corresponding powers.
"As the devils, led by conceit and wantonness, ignited themselves, they have now been entirely cast out from the generation of light, and cannot conceive or comprehend it in all eternity. Nevertheless the dwelling of Lucifer is not yet completed, because in all things in this world there are love and wrath still residing together, and wrestling and battling with each other. Still those things or beings realise not the wrestling of light, but merely the wrestle of wrath." 1 (Aurora, xviii. 32.)
"The hellish being is not yet fully manifest; the devils will have to wait for a still greater judgment. The sun and the water keep their kingdom still hidden unto the day of reckoning, and therefore the devils have so much fear of the judgment day." (Theosophical Questions, xiii. 5.)
"There are always two kingdoms (states) to be distinguished in the elements. In one of these rules the love that issued from God, and in the other His wrath. The devils reside only in the realm of wrath, where they are enclosed within eternal night, and they cannot come in contact with the good powers of the elements." (Theosophical Questions, xiii. 7.)
The evil spirits are especially inimical to man; but they cannot injure him if his will is directed towards the divine, and if he does not permit himself to be captured by evil desire.
No man, except he who is regenerated in the spirit, is free and his own master. It is always either divine or diabolical influences acting through him; but he is endowed with a certain amount of divine reason to choose either the one or follow the other.
"If we leap into earthly desire, we shall be captured by it, and then will the anguish of the abyss be lord over us. But if by the power of our will we ascend beyond this world, then will the world of life capture our will, and God will be our Lord." (Theosophical Points, vi. 5.)
"Let no man think that it is in the power of the devil to tear from his heart the works produced by the light. He can neither see them nor understand what they are. Therefore, even if in the most external generation the devil rages and storms, as long as you do not yourself transfer the products of wrath into the light of your heart, your soul will be safe from being injured by the devil, he being deaf and blind in the light." (Aurora, xix. 97.)
Lucifer anticipated the misery which he was bringing upon himself; but his knowledge was only a "science"—that is to say, it was not a condition fully realised by his experience; it was rather of a theoretical character than actual self-knowledge, and having lost the spiritual power of faith to aid him to maintain his position, this "science" was not sufficient to keep him from his fall. Moreover, Ile was curious to attain something entirely new.
"Did then Lucifer not know of the judgment of God and the fall? Yes, he knew it well; but he had this knowledge not in his feeling (he did not realise it as an actual experience); it was with him merely a science, an intellectual conception." (Mysterium, ix. 9.)
"Lucifer knew that he was not God, and he also knew the extent of his power; but he wanted some entirely new experience, he wanted to be higher than God, and to elevate his power over all kingdoms, and over all of the Godhead." (Aurora, xiv. 14.)
God also knew, in His eternal wisdom, that the fall of Lucifer would take place.
"In eternal wisdom, or, to speak more correctly, in eternal nature, the fall of the devil (and also of man) has been perceived even before the world was created." (Three Principles, ix. 22.)
"The image of the created being has been seen in wisdom according to its aspects in wrath and love. Herein also has the Spirit of God, issuing eternally from the the light and the fire of the Father, foreseen the fall--namely, that this image, if shaped into a corporeal being, would be attracted by the wrath, and lose its divine splendour." (Stief. iii. 58.)
Although God foresaw that fall, nevertheless it could not be prevented.
"It may be asked why God did not restrain Lucifer from his evil desire? But how could this have been done? If this being of fire would have been led into still more mildness and love, his glorious light would then have become still more manifest to him, and his fiery self-will would thereby have increased. Should He educate him by punishing him? It was already Lucifer's purpose to excite within himself the magic foundation, and to play with the centre of the qualities." (Mysterium, ix. 14.)
Lucifer wanted to know the darkness, and had no desire for the light. Man must know evil for the purpose of becoming able to realise the good, after which he returns to the latter; but as everything seeks for its own corresponding principle, he in whom evil has become paramount will remain in evil.
"Behold a thistle or a nettle. The more sunshine and power they receive, the more stings will they produce. Thus, if God pours His love into the devil, the products of the devil are anger and hate." (See Grace, iv. 37.)
An end of the hellish torment 1 is inconceivable. Such an end would involve either a change of Lucifer's pride into humility, or a destruction of the whole work of creation.
"If Lucifer were again to become an angel, to become such he would have to draw again from the unity and love of God; his fire-life would have to be consumed by love, and to be changed into humility; but this the hellish foundation (the will) in the devils refuses to permit." (Theosophical Questions, vii. 5.)
"The hellish essence, having an eternal foundation, the will cannot perish, unless the whole of creation would cease to exist and eternal nature in her own loveliness be extinguished. But in this case the kingdom of joy would be equally lost." (Theosophical Questions, v. 3.) 2
101:1 Whether we call them by those names, or whether we adopt the names by which they are called in other theologies, will be of no consequence, and not alter the fact that such powers exist.
109:1 Therefore no man can resist, successfully resist the devil by fighting him on the same level, nor can any one overcome temptations in the end except by rising above them.
111:1 To "desire the Nothing" does not mean to become unconscious of everything, like a man when he goes to sleep, but it means "contentment," and a state of perfect rest and happiness found in the self-consciousness of being and possessing the All.
113:1 True humility does not consist in self-abasement, but in the entire sacrifice of one's lower self, whereby the power and the majesty of God become revealed in man.
114:1 Hell is created in man by the awakening of his lower qualities, whereby they attain self-consciousness and self-will, and refuse to obey the divine will in man.
115:1 The same is the case with every one who turns away from the light and seeks the darkness, until at last he becomes identified with the darkness, and can no longer separate himself from it.
117:1 It must not be supposed that the good angels "made up their minds" to fight Lucifer, but this separation was according to natural laws, in the same sense as water is opposed to fire.
118:1 The good which we receive is not recognised, because it causes no pain. No one complains about receiving more blessings than he merits; but the deserved evil which we receive causes suffering, and the unmerited evil is keenly resented.
121:1 The word "torment" means here not necessarily "pain," but "consciousness." The "devil" does not suffer as long as he is in his own element.
121:2 That which has become self-conscious in evil cannot be changed into good without first becoming unconscious of its own evil self; but if the being is wholly evil, such a complete death would also prevent the possibility of its becoming conscious of good.