The Life and Doctrines of Jacob Boehme, by Franz Hartmann, , at sacred-texts.com
"Without special divine aid, humanity would have gone to eternal perdition on account of the sin." 1 (Hamberger.)
"Adam would have been lost eternally if the heart of God with the word of promise had not entered his soul, awakening the spiritual hope which maintained him." (Forty Questions, viii. 5.)
"If the divine principle of love were not still pervading all nature in this terrestrial world, and if we poor created beings had not with us the warrior in the battle,
we would all be sure to perish in the horror of hell." 1 (Aurora, xiv. 104.)
God, on account of His infinite mercy, desired to aid mankind. 2
"God desires that all mankind shall be saved. He does not desire the death of the sinner, but that he become changed, and turning again to God, find life in Him." (Three Principles, Preface, i. 6.)
"(Superficial) reasoning represents God as an unmerciful being, and teaches that He has thrown His wrath upon man, and cursed him to death, because He found disobedience in him. But you should not believe this. God is love and goodness, and in Him there is no angry thought. Man would be all right if he had not punished himself." (Three Principles, x. 24.)
There was no other way to save mankind, except that the Son or the Light of God should enter into them. 3
"When the soul went out of the light of God and entered into the spirit of this world, then began the torment
of the first principle. She saw and felt herself no longer in the kingdom of God, until the heart of God came and appeared between her and that kingdom, so that she could enter therein and become regenerated." (Three Principles, ix. 6.)
"There was no other salvation for the divine image in man unless divinity had moved according to the second principle, i.e., according to the light of eternal life, and by the power of love rekindled the substantiality (of the soul) that was imprisoned in death." (Menschwerdung, i., 11, 22.)
"The soul has separated her will from the will of the Father and entered into the lust of this life. There could have been no other way of redemption, except that the pure will of the Father should again enter into her substance and bring her again into the state which she formerly occupied, so that her will would be directed again into the heart and light of God." (Three Principles, xxii. 67.)
"If the soul was to be aided, the heart of God with its light, and not the Father Himself, had to enter her, for in the Father she was anyhow; but she was turned away from the entrance to the generation of the heart (the beginning of the divine self-consciousness) of God, and her desires were directed towards this external world." 1 (Three Principles, xxii. 68.)
The preparations for that redemption were already made before the creation of this world, as the name of Jesus was embodied in man. 2
"The name of Jesus embodied itself into the tincture of the soul in Paradise when Adam fell, and even before Adam was created; as Peter mentions in his first letter (i. 20), where he says that we have been provided for in Christ, even before the foundation of the world was laid." (Menschwerdung, i. 8. 1.)
"The name Jesus was incorporated into the image of eternity as a future Christ, that it may become a redeemer of men, and out of the dying in the wrath regenerate them again into the pure being of divine and paradisiacal power." (Stiefel, ii. 74.)
"The word which God spoke in regard to the power that was to bruise the head of the serpent, was a spark of love from the divine heart of God, and therein has the Father from eternity seen and elected humanity. In this spark of divine love-light the whole world was to live, and Adam was already therein while his creation took place, as is also expressed by Paul (Eph. i. 13), where he says that man was elected in Christ before the foundation of the world was made." 1 (Three Principles, xvi. 107.)
As long as Adam had not ceased to resemble God, the Redeemer within him did not render Himself perceptible. This, however, took place immediately after the fall. 2
"From all eternity stood the name Jesus in immovable love in man as the image of God. But when the
soul lost the light, then the Word spoke the name of Jesus into what was movable; into the faded ens of the heavenly world's substance." 1 (Grace, vii. 34.)
"Before the fall Adam received the divine light out of Jehovah; that is to say, out of the one only God, wherein was hidden the name of Jesus. But during the time of suffering when the soul fell, God manifested the treasure of His glory and holiness, and by means of the living voice of the Word He incorporated Himself with the divine fire of love into the eternal image, representing the banner of the soul, which she was to follow as a guide. But if she was not able to penetrate therein, being as one dead relatively to God, nevertheless the divine breath penetrated into her, and warned her to stop her evil activity, so that its voice might again begin to become active within the soul." (Grace, vii. 32.)
"As Adam manifested in himself the centre of wrath, God instituted opposition to evil, and manifested in him the power that bruises the heel of the serpent, which heretofore, at the time when sin had not yet appeared, had been hidden (latent) in the power of God, and in Jesus as the love of God, in divine unity." 2 (Stiefel, ii. 161.)
The power of the future Redeemer became first of all active in Eve. 3
"The in-speaking of the devil, wherefrom evil will originated, took place in Adam while he was still man and woman, and yet neither the one nor the other, but an image of God. From Adam it penetrated into Eve,
who began to sin. Then occurred the in-speaking of God, and this took place at first in Eve as the mother of all mankind, and opposed itself through her to the consciousness of sin that had begun to be manifested in Adam." (Grace, vii. 47.)
"Not in the tincture of man, which represents the fiery essence, did the word of promise desire to become incorporated, but in the tincture of the light, in the virginal centre, which was to generate magically in Adam, in the celestial substance of the holy generatrix, because in that tincture of light the fiery soul-essence was weaker than in the fiery nature of man." (Mysterium, xxiii. 43.)
"Not through Adam's fire-tincture was this event to take place, but in and through Adam's light-tincture, wherein the love was burning that had become separated from him to constitute woman, the mother of all mankind. It was she in whom the voice of God promised again to introduce the living, holy substance from heaven, and to generate anew and in divine power the faded image of God that was contained therein." 1 (Grace, vii. 18.)
This, however, did not take place in her terrestrial body, but in her celestial essence, which on account of the sin had weakened.
"When God said, 'I will put enmity, and the seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent,' then the holy voice went from Jehovah into the weakened celestial substance of the woman for the purpose of introducing therein a new living and celestial state, and to conquer the kindled wrath of God by means of the most exalted divine love, whereby the monstrosity and its desire should
be entirely killed and exterminated." (Mysterium, xxiii. 29, 37.)
"The voice of God, speaking to Eve, entered into the seed of the woman; but the true woman was the eternal virgin, and this virgin became revealed by the power of the voice speaking into her in the name of Jesus, which (name) had evolved from Jehovah, and promised that in the fulness of time the holy, celestial love-essence would again be introduced into the weakened image." 1 (Grace, vii. 33.)
From Eve, out of whom the Saviour as an incarnation was to issue in the fulness of time, the blissful power radiated and expanded over the whole of humanity. 2
"God spoke into the image of Adam, that had become weakened relatively to its divine life, His holy word, 'The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent.' By the action of this voice the destitute soul regained a divine life, and this very voice (inner consciousness) was perpetuated from man to man as the covenant of mercy." (Grace, vii. 16.)
"Christ was perpetuated in all men as a glowing spark of divine light, according to the quality of the true image, and as a potentiality (or seed of immortal being), but, as a matter of course, not in the external flesh of the terrestrial world, but within the second principle." (Stiefel, ii. 318.)
"The word that had been incorporated in the seed of Eve became perpetuated from man to man in his celestial part as a sound (conscience) or spark of the divine and
holy fiery light, until the time when Mary was awakened, when the time for the fulfilment of the covenant had arrived and the doors of the closed chamber were opened." 1 (Mysterium, xxiii. 31.)
This event could not take place earlier on account of the great depth of human corruption, but in the minds of those that were willing to submit to divine mercy this power resisted Satan, and even awakened prophets among them. 2
"Christ remained in Adam and Eve as a divine mystery, and did not take human substance in them. He remained motionless until the time (for His manifestation) arrived; only then He moved within the seed of the woman." (Stiefel, 448.)
"The seed of the woman received its anointment by means of the motion of the name of Jesus only in Mary, but not in Adam, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Isaac, Jacob, and David. The ancient prophets did not know Christ in their seed, and that Ile had moved within their carnal seed, but only within their spirit and soul, within their
desire for faith (spiritual knowledge)." 1 (Stiefel, ii, 453.)
"The (astral) soul of Adam and Eve and of all human beings was still too rough, unmanageable, and impregnated by the first principle. Therefore the Word and the bruiser of the head of the serpent did not enter into form within their souls; but it stood within the mind to oppose the devils and the kingdom of hell with those that were willing to surrender themselves to it." (Three Principles, xviii. 26.)
"The saints of God being prophets, and prophesying in the spirit of Jesus, all spoke aiming at the covenant, i.e., out of the promised Word, which was again to move within the flesh; that is to say, that the Word was contained within the weakened interior image, and unfolded itself, and indicated to the external man what was to happen to him in the future, when it would manifest itself, and destroy therein death and the loathsomeness resulting from the battle taking place within the forms of life." 2 (Stiefel, 385.)
As our progenitors (in their terrestrial aspect) were
governed by external reasoning, Eve believed that in giving birth to Cain the bruiser of the head of the serpent had already come into the world. 1
"Hear and see what was Adam and Eve's desire before and after the fall. They desired the terrestrial kingdom, and Eve's mind was directed to terrestrial things. When she gave birth to Cain she said, 'I have the Man, the Lord.' She thought that he was the one whose heel was to bruise the head of the serpent, and that he was to drive the devil away. She did not think that it was for her to die to her own false, earthly, and fleshly will, and to be reborn in a divine will. Such a (selfish) will she carried within her seed, and Adam likewise, and from that resulted the will in the soul-essence. 2 The tree produced a branch of its own nature, for Cain's thoughts were bent upon becoming a lord of this earth. As Cain saw that Abel was higher in the love of God than he, his free animal will arose for the purpose of killing Abel, for he cared only for the possession of the external world, and to be lord therein, while Abel was seeking only for the love of God." (Mysterium, xxvi. 23.)
As an antithesis to Cain, there was born to Adam another son, namely, Abel, who was not so much an image of his earthly as rather of his celestial essentiality, that had been restored to a certain extent by divine mercy. 3
"After the fall Jehovah spoke the name of Jesus in Adam into an actual life; that is to say, he manifested it in the celestial being that had been weakened on account of the sin. In consequence of this in-speaking, there was awakened out of the spiritual death or state of dying, into
which Adam had sunk, a divine desire once more, and this awakened desire was the beginning of faith. This very desire separated itself from the quality of the false desire, and formed an image, and thus Abel came into existence; but Cain was the product of Adam's soul-quality, according to his earthly lust." (Grace, ix. 101.)
Thus Abel on the whole, and especially on account of his forcible death which he suffered, represented an anti-type of the Redeemer.
"Relatively to his external human state, Abel was also sinful; but in his interior the angelic world and image of Paradise began to bud. Then the interior man put his heel upon the monster-serpent of false desire, and on the other hand the monster-serpent stung the heel of his angelic will." (Mysterium, xxviii. 2.)
"The killing of Abel's external body by Cain symbolises that the external man must be mortified in the wrath of God. The wrath must kill and consume the external image that has grown in the wrath, but from its death springs forth the eternal life." (Mysterium, xxviii. 14.)
"Abel, representing an antitype of Christ, who was to suffer death for humanity, had to pass through death without having produced fruits or branches; for the fruit which Christ was to generate was the tree of humanity, that was to be reborn in the spirit, but not new branches of the old one. Thus Abel, as the anti-type of Christ, was to produce no new branch from his loins." (Mysterium, xxix. 22.)
In the place of Abel, Adam was to produce a third son, namely, Seth, in whom was to be perpetuated the line of generation from which the Saviour was to be born in the flesh. 1
"Adam, by means of his Eve, was to produce still another branch from the tree of life, a son, who would be in his image similar to Adam and like himself, namely, Seth; (a race) wherein a ray of the love-will is perceived within the fiery will; being, however, still imprisoned by the essence of the external world, the corrupted house of (matter which afterwards became) flesh." (Mysterium, xxix. 24.)
"In Seth the line of the covenant was perpetuated, wherein Christ was to manifest Himself relatively to the tree of humanity." (Mysterium, xxix. 26.)
To Cain also was shown the mercy of the Lord, who protected him against his hellish enemies, so that he might repent. 1
Cain was afraid that the spirits (elementals) that had influenced him to commit murder would kill him. To prevent this God decreed that whoever should take away Cain's life should be punished eternally through the seven qualities of the world of darkness." (Mysterium, xxix. 55, 58.)
"By the command, 'Upon him who kills Cain vengeance shall be sevenfold,' the terrible avenger, the abyss of hell, was driven away from Cain, so that he did not fall a victim to despair. Cain had departed from God, but nevertheless the kingdom of heaven was before him, so as to enable him to turn and enter into repentance. God did not want to reject Cain, but merely his wicked murder and his false belief." (Three Principles, xx. i.)
Cain and his descendants, however, preferred to give themselves up to mundane desires and occupations, while the generation of Seth entered into divine contemplation.
"Cain was made of flesh and blood, and understood not these words about eternal death; but being assured that no one would kill him, he became again glad, and began to turn to terrestrial arts; not only to agricultural pursuits, but also to working the metals." (Three Principles, xxi. 5.)
"From the descendants of Cain resulted the arts as a wonder of divine wisdom acting in and through nature, but in Seth the Word entered into spiritual contemplation." (Mysterium, xxx. 2.)
In the descendants of Noah—Sem, Ham, and Japhet—are represented the mental tendencies of the three principal races of mankind before the flood. 1
"After the first terrestrial world of human quality had been drowned in the flood, its form became reconstituted again in Noah and his three sons." (Mysterium, xxiv. 30.)
"Sem represents the world of light; Japhet the world of fire, wherein, however, the light is visible. Japhet also represents an image of the Father, and Sem that of the Son; but Ham is an image of the external world." 2 (Mysterium, xxxi. 10.)
From these fundamental directions result the different
fates of these races, such as they were already predicted by Noah.
"The configuration of Sem descended upon Abraham and Isaac, for there the Word of the covenant was manifested and contained within the sound; but Japhet's configuration went through the wisdom of nature in the realm of nature, and from that originated the heathen (intellectual but unspiritual people) who were giving (preeminently) attention to the light of nature (natural things). Thus Japhet—that is to say; the destitute, imprisoned soul, belonging to eternal nature—lived within the "huts" of Sem—i.e., within the covenant—for the light of nature lives in the light of grace, constituting a form or a conceived state of the unformed light of God. Ham's descending line overshadowed animal man, formed from the Limus of the earth, wherein is the curse, and from that resulted the sodomitic semi-animal race, that pays attention neither to the light of nature nor to that of grace in the covenant." (Mysterium, xxxiv. 14.)
"Noah said, 'Praised be the God of Sem, and Japhet shall live in the huts of Sem.' Here by the expression 'God of Sem,' is meant the holy Word in the covenant, and how it would manifest itself, that the Japhites or heathen—that is to say, those who lived only by the light of nature—would come to the light of grace that was manifested in Sem, and thus enter into the 'huts of Sem' and live therein. But Ham, the spirit of fleshly lust, was to become a servant of the children of light, according to his quality and selfhood, because the children of God were to force him to become submissive to
[paragraph continues] Him and take away his scoffing self-will." 1 (Mysterium, xxxiv. 31.)
The name of Abraham had not a terrestrial meaning, and in this, as in many other respects, he was an anti-type of Christ. 2
"The great name which God was to give to Abraham in his seed was not to be taken in an especially terrestrial sense; for Abraham was upon this earth like a stranger, owning no principality or kingdom. He was to be in the promised seed and blessing a stranger upon the earth, and therein resembled Christ, whose kingdom was likewise not of this world." 3 (Mysterium, xxxvii. 23.)
Nevertheless the sons of Abraham represent the same antithesis as those of Noah and Adam.
"Isaac was not made entirely of celestial essence, but of both—namely, of Abraham's Adamic essence and of the word conceived of faith, or the substance of Christ; but Ishmael was only of Adam's own nature according to the corrupted quality, and not from the conceived word of faith, which was acting with superior strength upon Isaac." 4 (Mysterium, xl. 13.)
The same may be said about the sons of Isaac, in whom there is plainly represented an image of the first and the second Adam, and of the final conquest of the first by the second. 1
"Esau and Jacob both, and also the races descending from them, have originated out of one seed. The former, coming solely out of the Adamic nature, was the greater one, and comparable to the first man whom God created in His own image, which image, however, became corrupted and died relatively to God. The other one (Jacob) came also from the same Adamic nature; but in that nature was the realm of grace in the essence of faith, constituting a conqueror. Even if the latter was inferior according to the Adamic nature, nevertheless God was (more) revealed in him, and therefore the greater one was to serve and be subject to the smaller one. It is not shown that Esau became subject to Jacob, but the story represents to us a spiritual symbol, showing how the kingdom of nature in man was to become subjected and to be made to submit in humility to the kingdom
of grace; how it should become entirely submerged in divine humility, and out of that humility become regenerated." (Mysterium, lii. 29.)
"Upon Esau followed Jacob as the image of Christ, conceived in the essence of faith and clinging to Esau's heel. The Adamic image created by God had to be born first of all and to live eternally, but not in its gross and animal state of existence. With the expression of 'Jacob holding on to Esau's heel' is symbolised that the other Adam, namely, Christ, should be born after the first Adam, and grasping him from behind, draw him back from the direction of his own self-will into the first matrix, wherein nature originated, so that he might be newly born." (Mysterium, lii. 37.)
"Esau was born of holy parents, and represented an image of corrupted nature only in regard to his state of separation. God separated also the image of Christ from the same seed of Esau's parents (as Jacob), and put it before him as a contrast to his brother (Esau). Moreover, Jacob by his gift and humility excited the greatest compassion in Esau, and therefore we should not condemn Esau." 1 (Grace, ix. 121.)
More important than these opposites are those of the descendants of Japhet, because they selected for themselves false gods from the powers of nature, and were now led by them by means of oracles.
"The idolatry of the heathen consisted in their departing from the one only God and turning to the magic generation of nature, selecting false gods from the powers of nature." 2 (Mysterium, xi. 6.)
"The heathen worshipped the planetary system and the four elements, because they knew that these ruled the external life of all things. Thus by means of their intellectually conceived word they entered into the likewise conceived and formed (manifested) word of nature. On the other hand, the spirit of the formed word of nature became a part of themselves, and thus one intellect moved the other. The human intellect moved the intelligence within the soul of the external world as far as the desire of the latter is concerned, and by means of this intelligence (residing within the astral light or the mind of the external world) the prophetic spirit out of the Spirit of God indicated to them how in future times the formed word of external nature would manifest itself in the up-building and in the destruction of kingdoms, &c. Out of this soul of the world the heathen received answers by means of their images and idols, because their faith which they very powerfully introduced into them moved them; and this has therefore not all been accomplished by the devil, as it is supposed by those who, knowing nothing about the mystery, make the devil responsible for everything, while they are ignorant of what either God or the devil is." (Mysterium, xxxvii. 10–13.)
Those heathen who led a pure and blameless life arrived at a knowledge of the symbols of celestial things by means of their ability to see within the mirror of external nature. 1
"The heathen remained within their own magic, but
those who went out from the desire of corruption and entered into the light of nature, because they did not know God, but who, nevertheless, lived in purity, these heathen were the children of the free will, and in them has the spirit of freedom unfolded great wonders, as may be seen in the works of wisdom which they left behind them." (Terrestrial and Celestial Mysterium, viii. 9.)
"In those heathen that were highly intellectual in the light of nature the interior holy realm was mirrored, and although the true divine intelligence was closed to them, and although they beheld merely an external reflection, nevertheless at the restoration of all beings, when the veil will be removed, they shall live in the huts of Sem." (Mysterium, xxv. 24.)
Not only in the "Israelites" (in spiritually awakened races), but also in the "heathen" (in those races that lived on a more material plane) was active the power of the Redeemer (the Word), that had been spoken into Eve, and thereby into all mankind.
"Adam issued from the one only God, and entered into a selfhood, into ignorance, and he led us all with him into that ignorance (or misunderstanding); but then came the grace out of the same one and only God, and is offering itself to all those that are ignorant, to the heathen as well as the Jews." (Mysterium, lxx. 78.)
"The heathen were not out of that seed of Abraham with which God made a covenant; but the first covenant, the word that had been in-spoken in mercy, was as a foundation in them. Therefore, says Paul (Rom. ix. 24), that God had not called and elected merely the Jews in their covenant, but also the Gentiles in the covenant of Christ, and that He called 'My people' and My 'beloved' those that did not know Him, and who, not knowing Him, were not His people in an external sense. The proposition of grace, which had incorporated itself by means of the in-speaking in Paradise after the fall, was
contained in them, and according to that God called them His beloved ones. Only the children of wrath must be excepted, because in them the incorporation of the name of Jesus does not take place, but only the incorporation of wrath. The latter, however, never extends over whole races, but merely over such individuals among them as are like thistles among the wheat." 1 (Grace, x. 24.)
Before the Redeemer appeared in the flesh His reconciling and blissful power was participated by man by means of sacrifices.
"Before the incarnation of Christ mankind became
redeemed by means of the incorporated word and name of Jesus. Those who directed their will in (and to) God have received the word of promise, because the soul was accepted therein. Thus the whole law in regard to sacrifice is nothing else but an antitype of the manhood of Christ. That which Christ did as man, when by means of His love He reconciled the divine wrath, the same was (symbolically) done by means of the blood of the animals. The word of promise was within the covenant, and in the meantime God conceived of a figure (symbol), and by the power of the covenant He caused Himself to be reconciled symbolically, for the name of Jesus was within the covenant, and by means of the imagination it reconciled the fury and wrath within the nature of the Father." (Menschwerdung, i. 7, 12.)
"The sacrifices were symbols of the object which God had proposed unto Himself. The divine imagination saw through the object of the covenant the animal blood wherein Israel performed the sacrifice. Man had become earthly, and therefore God put before Himself the object to a covenant of mercy, so that His imagination might not enter into the terrestrial consciousness of man, and that His wrath-fire might not be ignited with the earthliness and the sins of mankind." 1 (Tilk. i. 289.)
This reconciliation (or atonement) could surely not result from the merely external act of sacrificing animals, but by means of the faith that accompanied it. This faith required an external action or form wherein to become conceived.
"All sacrificing without faith and divine desire is an
abomination before God, and does not reach the gate of divine glory; but if man enters therein with the power of faith, he surrenders to it his free will, and desires by that means, and through its instrumentality, to enter into the eternal free will of God." (Mysterium, xxvii. 13.)
"Why did the two brothers (Cain and Abel) wish to sacrifice to God, while atonement is only to be found within the earnest desire for the mercy of God, in prayer and in man's persuading himself to depart from his own evil will, to change and to repent, and by bringing his faith and hope into the mercy of God? The free will of the soul is as thin as a nothing, and although within its (material) body it is surrounded by something (substantial), nevertheless its own conceived essence is in a state of false desire on account of the sin. If, then, this free will, with its (accompanying) desire, is to proceed towards God, it will have first to issue from its own illusive something, and whenever it issues from thence it is then naked and impotent, and again within the original nothing. If the will desires to go with or to enter into God, it must die to its own selfhood and leave that (illusive) self; and whenever the will leaves that self it is then like a nothing, and can therefore not act, strive for, or accomplish anything. If it wants to show its power, it must be within something wherein it may conceive and form itself, as is the case with Faith; for if there is to be an active faith, then that faith must conceive of something (have some object) wherein it may act. Even the free will of God conceived itself within (has for its object) the internal spiritual world, and acts through the latter. Thus the free will of the soul of man, having its origin from the abyss (the primordial, unfathomable will), must conceive itself into something, so as to become manifest and to move before God." (Mysterium, xxvii. 1, 4–6).
The earthly and impure substance of the victim was to
be destroyed by the fire, but this fire was not of a terrestrial but of a celestial kind. 1
"The spirit of man has issued from God, and has gone from God (the Eternal) into time, and within the temporal it has become impure. Now it will have to leave its impurity, and by means of the sacrifice enter again into God." (Mysterium, xxvii. 34.)
"Adam's body has been created out of the Limus of the earth, and also out of the Limus of the heaven of holiness; but the Limus of heaven, wherein the free will could conceive itself into a celestial form and move, act, think, and pray before God, was weakened in Adam, and therefore the two brothers ignited (sacrificed) the fruits of the earth. Cain brought of the fruits of the earth (matter), but Abel of the first-born of his flocks (of the spirit), and these they ignited by means of fire." (Mysterium, xxvii. 7.)
"An animal medium, namely, the flesh of animals, was to come within the holy (will-)fire of Moses, because man had become of an animal nature, so that the animal nature, by means of the wrath-fire of the Father, may become consumed, and that the love-fire might ignite the fire of the human soul by means of the desire introduced within the victim. Thus the desire of God in the Word perceived the desire of man through the fire; for in the (divine) fire was consumed the animal vanity in the will of man, by means of the wrath, and then the purified human will, with the incorporated paradisiacal grace, entered as a sweet odour into the love-fire of God." (Communion, i. 31.)
"Although wood and animals have been used at the sacrifices, nevertheless the fire used thereby was not produced by external means, but originated from the highest
tincture of the paradisiacal foundation. This holy fire consumed the victims by means of the imagination and ignition of God, and thus the human will, that had been introduced therein, and which was still clinging to the earthly condition, was (and still is) purified in the fire and redeemed from sin. The grossness of the elements was to be consumed, and out of the consummation by fire was to issue the true, pure, beautiful, and spiritual image that had been created in Adam, and which, while it was contained within the fire of divine wrath, could now be made to appear in its clearness by means of this holy fire." (Baptism, ii. 2, 16.)
Within this holy fire, wherein was represented the light of the Christ and also the reconstitution of man to his true state of being, man was to enter with his mind, and thereby become reunited with God.
"At the times of the Old Testament the at-one-ment by sacrifice took place by means of the holy fire, which was a symbol of the wrath of God that was to consume the sin together with the soul. The Father's quality in wrath was manifest in that fire, and the Son's quality in love and meekness introduced itself into the wrath. They sacrificed the flesh of animals, but they introduced their imagination and prayer to the grace of God." (Baptism, i. 2, 23.)
"There was an animal quality, the animal soul, that originated from the planets, attached to the mind of man, in consequence of which their prayer and will was not pure before God, and therefore the wrath-fire of God consumed this animal vanity of men by means of the sacrifice; but the conceived image of grace went with the prayer into the holy fire. Thus the children of Israel were reconciled with God and relieved of their sins in a spiritual manner, and with respect to a future fulfilment, because Christ was to come and to take up the human state, and to enter into God as a sacrifice to His wrath-fire,
and thus to change the wrath into love." 1 (Baptism, ii. 2 5.)
"The victim, the wood, the smoke, were all terrestrial, and likewise was man earthly, as far as his external body is concerned; but after the sacrificial object was ignited (by the magic fire) it became of a spiritual nature, for from the wood issued the fire, which accepted and consumed the object. From this consummation resulted the smoke of the fire, and was followed by the light, and this light was the symbol wherein entered the imagination of man and that of God, which produced a conjunction of both." (Mysterium, xxvii. 29, 30.)
"God desired to smell (during the sacrifice) nothing except the will of man, that is to say, the human life, which before the time of this world was within the word of God—not yet as a created being, but as a power—and which was breathed into the created image. This it was that was "smelled" by God by means of the sacrifice, and within the essence of Christ or the grace, that had been spoken into man, and it readjusted the will by means of grace in the fire, so that the will became again divine. At the same time it made one fire out of the combination of the human life-fire and the divine love-fire, and therewith was constituted a true sacrifice of sin and restitution, because the sin was sacrificed to the fire of divine wrath, to be consumed therein." (Communion, i. 32.)
"The sacrifices of the children of God, especially the first fathers after Adam, were nothing but symbols, wherein was represented how the (animal) soul was sacrificed within the wrath-fire of God and transformed therein into a love-fire; that is to say, that she was to enter into a state of death and dying in regard to self-will, and that thus her false willing would be consumed, and that she would issue into a clear light, through the fire
and by means of the in-spoken grace, and enter into a new birth; not dark, but clear and radiant. Furthermore was it to signify how the poison introduced within the soul by the serpent would have to be eliminated, like the separation of smoke from the fire, so that the latter appears as a clear shining splendour, and no longer imprisoned (latent), as is the case in wood (before it is ignited). Thus the children of God represented to themselves the process of regeneration by means of the sacrifice through fire, and imagined the bruiser of the serpent's head within the fire; how in the fire of the soul He would transform the wrath-fire of God into a fire of light and love, and how the enmity would become separated from the soul, and the soul be transformed into an angel by means of the death of Christ and the entering of the love of God into that fire." (Baptism, i. 2, 10.)
Thus the faithful "Israelites" (the children of light) received, within the blissful covenant and in the flesh of the sacrifice symbolically, the flesh and blood of the Christ.
"The soul, that is to say, the mouth of faith within the soul, took in the sweet divine grace at the time of the sacrifice, not as a substance, but in power (spiritually) and in the foreknowledge of future fulfilment, when those powers were to become manifest in the flesh. Thus the body ate of the blessed bread and flesh, wherein was the power of grace, i.e., the imagination of the covenant. Thus the 'Jews' ate of the flesh of Christ and drank His blood symbolically, for the power had then not yet become flesh and blood; but they enjoyed therein the word of grace that afterwards became human." (Communion, i. 34.)
"The animal flesh which was sacrificed to the Lord and afterwards eaten was sanctified for man, because the imagination of God entered therein, and therefore Moses called it a holy flesh, and there was also a holy bread." (Communion, i. 33.)
198:1 This does not mean to say that any extracosmic God worried or "studied" about finding a method by which he might save mankind; but the "Heart" of God moved, because its own love caused it to move.
"God is threefold in His personal aspect, and willed to move three times, according to each of these aspects, but not in eternity. At first there moved the centre of nature in the Father, for the purpose of creating the angels, and through them the world. The second time the quality of the Son moved, whereby the Heart of God became Man, and this will never take place again in eternity; but whenever it now takes place, it will occur merely through this only (universal) Man (Divinity in Humanity), who is God, manifesting Himself through and in many. For the third time, and at the end of the world, God will move in the name (quality) of the Holy Spirit, when the world will return into the Ether (Akasa), and then its dead will be resurrected." (Threefold Life, vii. 22.)
This may perhaps be expressed in other words by saying: At the first impulse the latent will became active, at the second move the latent wisdom or light, and at the third move or impulse the third principle will enter from the latent state into activity.
199:1 Whether such an event took place some 1900 years ago or at any other date may be left to the historian to find out. At all events, the Bible account is a description of the redemption of the world from spiritual ignorance by the entering of a ray of the light of God, and likewise of the spiritual regeneration of man. The external "Christian" Church, with its ritualism, is based upon a belief in a person of Jewish history, who died and left his powers in the hands of the clergy. The religion of the living Christ is based upon the recognition of an eternal process going on in the macrocosm of nature and in the microcosm of man. To the externally-reasoning "liberal" Christian, Jesus of Nazareth, whether He ever existed or not, represents the type of an ideal man, a teacher who, by example and words, taught men virtue. To the internal perception of the seer He is the type of the personification of the divine Logos in man.
199:2 The expression "God" is here not to be taken as the primordial absolute Will, but as God in His aspect as the Father.
199:3 God never went outside of universal man, neither did His light become extinguished in him. In its macrocosmic aspect the "re-entering" of that light may be compared to a ray of light in the centre of a body penetrating to the periphery. In its microcosmic aspect it is comparable to the life giving power of the sun, awakening the life in an individual organism.
200:1 The true Christ is, therefore, neither an "Adept" nor a "Mahatma," nor a Reformer, a mortal person, nor anything whatsoever that differs from God, but he is Divinity itself manifesting itself in Humanity, and thereby saving mankind as a whole, and each individual person separately considered, from ignorance and suffering, to the extent as mankind or such an individual person receives Him (the light) in him or her. The redemption from spiritual darkness depends on the presence of the redeeming power of the spiritual light within the darkness itself.
200:2 As the future regenerated Man, the second Adam was contained hidden within the first Adam; likewise the name of Jesus was hidden in the name of Jehovah, the latter being Himself Universal Man.
201:1 Christ (Atma-Buddhi) being Divinity in Humanity, there can be no other Redeemer than He, because man cannot be saved from mortality in any other way than by becoming immortal; nor can he become immortal unless he does become divine. ("That which is unclean cannot enter the kingdom of cleanliness.") The reason why the divine Logos, in its aspect as the "Christ" or Redeemer, is not spoken of as an "it," but as "He," is evidently because the Word, by becoming human in man, naturally assumed the qualities of man.
201:2 There was no occasion for the voice of conscience to speak in "Adam" as long as he had not acted against the Law.
202:1 From all eternity there was in man latent the power of becoming divine; but that power did not act as long as there was no cause to incite it to do so. This cause was created by the second moving of the fundamental will (of God).
202:2 "Jesus" means "Wisdom." Divine wisdom is love.
202:3 Woman, being on the whole more refined, more submissive and intuitional than man, is also more receptive for the germ of true spirituality.
203:1 Whether a person is of the male or the female gender, it is always in his or her female elements (in the intuitive faculties, and not in the fiery will), that the divine and redeeming power of the love-light becomes first manifest.
204:1 The "seed of woman" is the universal female principle, the celestial image which finds its reflection and representation in terrestrial woman, upon the earth. For this reason woman is more beautiful than man. Beauty in a male results from the presence of the female principle of beauty in him, combined with his strength. Strength (rigidity) without mildness (harmony) cannot be beautiful.
204:2 "Eve " means the celestial woman, the vehicle of the divine spirit, wherein the divine will moves, in a terrestrial aspect.
205:1 Jesus of Nazareth represents the incarnation, personification, and fruition of the divine Logos in man. Likewise Mary represents the personification of the celestial virgin-mother, the universal celestial kingdom which furnishes the conditions necessary for the unfoldment of divinity in humanity.
205:2 It is obvious that, as Universal Man became more and more differentiated in His external forms as individual powers or human beings, the original power contained in Him must also have remained in all His successors; but as there may be millions of seeds of a plant while only one of them finds the conditions necessary to grow into perfection, likewise the Atma was in all human beings, but not active in their material nature, while in Mary it is represented as having begun to stir and to become incorporated in visible form, manifesting itself outwardly and externally as an incarnation of divine power. If we apply the rules laid down in the Secret Doctrine, the appearance of the Christ—i.e., the incarnation of the divine Word, or the awakening of the Divinity in. Humanity—would have had to take place during the middle of the fourth race in the fourth "round."
206:1 "Adam" is the trunk of the tree representing humanity. He is the primordial man, or the collectivity of the first "anthropoid beings" (spirits;—not apes), which were of an ethereal kind.
"Abel" and "Cain" are the two branches of that tree.
"Cain" represents the external, sensual realm; "Abel" the supernatural—i.e., transcendental kingdom.
"Enoch" means the outbreathing of life and reconceiving of it within itself, such as constitutes contemplativeness.
"Noah," the end in the beginning; the "Word" that enters from the end into the beginning.
"Isaac" is the prototype of the kingdom of grace.
"Jacob," the uprising and consolidation of the spiritual will coming from the fiery will.
"David," the power of grace arising from the submission of one's personal will to one's divine will. (Compare Mysterium Magnum.)
206:2 The "Christ," the light, existed therein essentially, but not substantially. It was a state of feeling, but not of understanding. It may be compared to the heat in a body, which renders the body hot; but not luminous, until the ignition takes place.
207:1 "Eve," the soul of the world, had not yet become spiritually enlightened enough to produce a divine being.
207:2 "Eve imagined that in Cain she had produced Jehovah, the future King of the external world; and likewise the apostles supposed that Christ Was going to establish au external kingdom." (Three Principles, xx. 50.)
207:3 It should be remembered that these allegorical names do not refer to individual men, but to states of the universal mind.
208:1 "Seth" is a ray of love-light escaping from the fiery will. (Mysterium Magnum, xxix. 24.)
209:1 If "Cain"—i.e., the external " church,"—had been annihilated, there could have been no further progress therein. The destruction of the intellect would make an end to all prospects of its becoming spiritual.
210:1 "Sem," the outbreathing of divine power.
"Ham," a breath from the centre of nature, conceived within the "flesh."
"Japhet," the will penetrated by light.
210:2 In regard to the Bible allegories Boehme says:—
"The written Word is only an instrument wherewith the Spirit leads. The Spirit must be alive in the literal form. Without this there can be no divine teacher, but only teachers of letters; only reciters of stories." (Regeneration, viii. 6.)
"Christ alone is the Word of God, teaching by means of His children and members the way of truth. The literal Word is merely a guidance and symbol, a testimony to illustrate and represent objectively to man what Christ has done (and is doing) for us; so that we may draw and conceive our faith therein; but then we should enter with our desire into p. 211 the living Word, into Christ Himself, and become ourselves born to life therein." (Mysterium, xxviii. 53).
"Babel does not like to hear it if it is taught that Christ Himself has to be the teacher within the human spirit. They call upon the written Word, and say that if they teach that, then would the Spirit be poured out. Oh yes! All right! I claim the same thing. If the Word is taught in the spirit and power of Christ, then is this so." (Mysterium xxviii. 51).
212:1 Those are the favoured people of God in whom lives the light of Christ, and not those who exclaim, "Lord! Lord! " using the name of Christ in vain, while the devil is occupying their souls. Boehme says:—
"All beings are created out of the Father. The Father is in all and maintains everything. He gives to all life and substance, and the Son is in the Father and gives to all things power and light. He is our light, and without Him we cannot know God. How can we, then, say anything about Him? If we wish to speak of Him truthfully, we must speak out of His Spirit, because He testifies of God." (Threefold Life, xi. 90.)
212:2 "Abraham," a collection of people—i.e., of minds—in whom spirituality has become manifest. (See Mysterium Magnum, xli. 1.)
212:3 This again goes to show that Boehme's conception of these intracosmic powers and processes had nothing in common with the narrow views of orthodox "Christianity," which sees in those Biblical personifications nothing but terrestrial men and women.
212:4 These representations of intracosmic powers, personified in the Bible, p. 213 are all to be found in the theogonies of the "heathen," although under different names.
"The saints in their teachings and writings did not all use the same words, but what they taught and wrote was all out of one spirit." (Three Principles, xxvi. I9).
"The Spirit of Christ in His children is not bound to a certain form, so that He could say nothing but what is found in the writings of the apostles; but as the Spirit was free in the apostles, and as they did not all use the same expressions, but were all teaching in one spirit and foundation, each one as he was influenced by the Spirit to speak, likewise the Spirit of Christ still speaks out of His children, and needs no previously prepared formula of the literal Word, but itself reminds the spirit of man of that which is contained within the letter." (Mysterium, xxviii. 52).
"You need not be surprised that reason is manifesting itself in many different forms, in one in a way different from that of the other, and that the children of God do not all speak the same language and words. Each one speaks out of the wisdom of the mother, whose number is without beginning and without end. Their aim is the heart of God, wherein they all meet. This, then, is the test by which you must know whether the spirit speaks out of God or out of the devil." (Threefold Life, v. 73.)
213:1 "Esau," gross, sensual nature. (Mysterium Magnum, iv.)
214:1 Evidently all these Bible allegories represent cosmic processes which have actually taken place in the history of the world. They are, so to say, the genealogy of Humanity, in which at the fulness of the times the Divinity became manifest.
214:2 The "heathen," then, seem to be those prehistoric races that were cultivating magic arts.
215:1 "The mysteries of nature were not so deeply hidden to those (prehistorical) peoples as they are to us, because they were not so deeply hidden (immersed) in materiality and sin. Therefore they knew the relationship between the paradisiacal (ethereal) forms of nature and their corporeal visible embodiments. They knew the qualities and the true nature, not only of animals, but likewise of plants and minerals. Man himself was the heart of all beings, and he created them. He could therefore give to each its appropriate name, as if he were in these things himself, and (felt and) experienced their conditions himself." (Three Principles, xxi. 8.)
217:1 Thus it appears that a person's true Christianity does not depend on his or her being learned in regard to theology, nor in subscribing to a certain creed or belief, nor in going through certain ceremonies, but in their being penetrated by that principle of love and wisdom which constitutes the Christ.
"It is very deplorable to see the world revile and storm, blaspheme and denounce, whenever the gifts of God manifest themselves in mankind in different ways, and if they have not all the same quality of knowledge. What can a man take if it is not generated within him? This (the quality of his understanding) is not a matter of his choice, but as his heaven (his mental constitution) is, so will God become revealed to him." (Letters, i. 14.)
"We ought not to persecute each other on account of the difference of the gifts given to us, but rather rejoice in love towards each other, seeing that the wisdom of God is so inexhaustible, and we should think thereby of the future, and what would become of us if all knowledge were to become manifest only from one and within one single soul." (Grace, xiii. 21.)
"If there were even a thousand persons well taught by God and regenerated in the Spirit of Christ assembled together, and if each of them had his own particular gift and self-knowledge in God, nevertheless they would all be one in the root of Christ, and each of them would be desirous only for the love of God in Christ; for which one of the disciples would exalt himself above his own Master? If, then, we are one body in Christ, why should one member dispute with another about the food? If the mouth that desires eats, all the members receive strength, and each member has its own office to unfold the wonders of God. We do not all use one and the same expression, but we all have only one spirit in Christ. To each one is given that which he ought to unfold in God, so that the great mysteries of God may become manifest, and the wonders that are in His wisdom from eternity be revealed." (Threefold Life, xvi. 24.)
218:1 Surely an internal and spiritual God could want no other sacrifices than internal and spiritual ones. The animals in man, the snake of envy, the peacock of vanity, the ox of self-will, &c., had to be killed, so that God could manifest Himself in the purified soul. Any external sacrifice could at best be a symbol of the internal one.
220:1 Such animal sacrifices are still taking place, whenever man kills his sensual desires and sacrifices them upon the altar of his soul. Then the animal symbols in his astral light are destroyed by the magic fire of his spiritual will.
222:1 If the light of wisdom, the Son, enters the fiery will, the Father, then does the Son become one with the Father, and the wrath of the Father becomes reconciled and changed into that light which is love.