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The Signature of All Things, by Jacob Boehem, [1912], at

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1. Seeing then there are so many and divers forms, that the one always produces and affords out of its property a will different in one from another, we herein understand the contrariety and combat in the Being of all beings, how that one does oppose, poison, and kill another, that is, overcome its essence, and the spirit of the essence, and introduces it into another form, whence sickness and pains arise, when one essence destroys another.

2. And then we understand herein the cure, how the one heals another, and brings it to health; and if this were not, there were no nature, but an eternal stillness, and no will; for the contrary will makes the motion, and the original of the seeking, that the opposite sound seeks the rest, and yet in the seeking it only elevates and more enkindles itself.

3. And we are to understand how the cure of each thing consists in the assimulate; for in the assimulate arises the satisfaction of the will, viz. its highest joy; for each thing desires a will of its likeness, and by the contrary will it is discomfited; 1 but if it obtains a will of its likeness, it rejoices in the assimulate, and therein falls into rest, and the enmity is turned into joy.

4. For the eternal nature has produced nothing in its desire, except a likeness out of itself; and if there were not an everlasting mixing, there would be an eternal peace in nature, but so nature would not be revealed and made manifest, in the combat it becomes manifest; so that each thing elevates itself, and would get out of the combat into the still rest, and so it runs to and fro, and thereby only awakens and stirs up the combat.

5. And we find clearly in the light of nature, that there is no better help and remedy for this opposition, and that it has no,

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higher cure than the liberty, that is, the light of nature, which is the desire of the spirit.

6. And then we find, that the essence cannot be better remedied than with the assimulate; for the essence is a being, and its desire is after being: Now every taste desires only its like, and if it obtains it, then its hunger is satisfied, appeased and eased, and it ceases to hunger, and rejoices in itself, whereby the sickness falls into a rest in itself; for the hunger of the contrariety ceases to work.

7. Seeing now that man's life consists in three principles, viz. in a threefold essence, and has also a threefold spirit out of the property of each essence, viz. first, according to the eternal nature, according to the fire's property; and secondly, according to the property of the eternal light and divine essentiality; and thirdly, according to the property of the outward world: Thereupon we are to consider the property of this threefold spirit, and also of this threefold essence and will; how each spirit with its essence introduces itself into strife and sickness, and what its cure and remedy is.

8. We understand that without nature there is an eternal stillness and rest, viz. the Nothing; and then we understand that an eternal will arises in the nothing, to introduce the nothing into something, that the will might find, feel, and behold itself.

9. For in the nothing the will would not be manifest to itself, wherefore we know that the will seeks itself, and finds itself in itself, and its seeking is a desire, and its finding is the essence of the desire, wherein the will finds itself.

10. It finds nothing except only the property of the hunger, which is itself, which it draws into itself, that is, draws itself into itself, and finds itself in itself; and its attraction into itself makes an overshadowing or darkness in it, which is not in the liberty, viz. in the nothing; for the will of the liberty overshadows itself with the essence of the desire, for the desire makes essence and not the will.

11. Now that the will must be in darkness is its contrariety, and it conceives in itself another will to go out from the darkness again into the liberty, viz. into the nothing, and yet it cannot reach the liberty from without itself, for the desire goes outwards, and causes source and darkness; therefore the will (understand the reconceived will) must enter inwards, and yet there is no separation.

12. For in itself before the desire is the liberty, viz. the

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nothing, and the will may not be a nothing, for it desires to manifest in the nothing; and yet no manifestation can be effected, except only through the essence of the desire; and the more the reconceived will desires manifestation, the more strongly and eagerly the desire draws into itself, and makes in itself three forms, viz. the desire, which is astringent, and makes hardness, for it is an enclosing, when coldness arises, and the attraction causes compunction, 1 and stirring in the hardness, an enmity against the attracted hardness; the attraction is the second form, and a cause of motion and life, and stirs itself in the astringency and hardness, which the hardness, viz. the enclosing, 2 cannot endure, and therefore it attracts more eagerly to hold the compunction, and yet the compunction is thereby only the stronger.

13. Thus the compunction willeth upwards, and whirls crossways, and yet cannot effect it, for the hardness, viz. the desire stays and detains it, and therefore it stands like a triangle, and transverted orb, which (seeing it cannot remove from the place) becomes wheeling, whence arises the mixture in the desire, viz. the essence, or multiplicity of the desire; for the turning makes a continual confusion and contrition, whence the anguish, viz. the pain, the third form (or sting of sense) arises.

14. But seeing the desire, viz. the astringency becomes only the more strong thereby (for from the stirring arises the wrath and nature, viz. the motion), the first will to the desire is made wholly austere and a hunger, for it is in a hard compunctive dry essence, and also cannot get rid and quit of it, for itself makes the essence, and likewise possesses it, for thus it finds itself now out of nothing in the something, 3 and the something is yet its contrary will, for it is an unquietness, and the free-will is a stillness.

15. This is now the original of enmity, that nature opposes the free-will, and a thing is at enmity in itself; and here we understand the centre of nature with three forms, in the original, viz. in the first principle, it is Spirit; in the second it is Love, and in the third principle Essence; and these three forms are called in the third principle Sulphur, Mercury, and Sal.

16. Understand it thus: Sul is in the first principle the freewill, or the lubet in the nothing to something, it is in the liberty without nature; Phur is the desire of the free lubet, and makes in itself, in the Phur, viz. in the desire, an essence, and this

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essence is austere by reason of the attraction, and introduces itself into three forms (as is above mentioned) and so forward into the fourth form, viz. into the fire; in the Phur the original of the eternal and also external nature is understood, for the hardness is a mother of the sharpness of all essences, and a preserver of all essences; out of the Sul, viz. out of the lubet of the liberty, the dark anguish becomes a shining light; and in the third principle, viz. in the outward kingdom, Sul is the oil of nature, wherein the life burns, and everything grows.

17. But now the Phur, viz. the desire, is not divided from Sul; it is one word, one original also, and one essence, but it severs itself into two properties, viz. into joy and sorrow, light and darkness; for it makes two worlds, viz. a dark fire-world in the austereness, and a light fire-world in the lubet of the liberty; for the lubet of the liberty is the only cause that the fire shines, for the original fire is dark and black, for in the shining of the fire in the original the Deity is understood, and in the dark fire, viz. in the anguish-source, the original of nature is understood, and herein we do further understand the cure.

18. The source is the cure of the free lubet, viz. of the still eternity; for the stillness finds itself alive therein, it brings itself through the anguish-source into life, viz. into the kingdom of joy, namely that the nothing is become an eternal life, and has found itself, which cannot be in the stillness.

19. Secondly, we find that the Sul, viz. the lubet of the liberty, is the curer of the desire, viz. of the anxious nature: for the lustre of the liberty does again (from the enkindled fire out of nature) shine in the dark anguish, and fills or satiates the anguish with the liberty, whereby the wrath extinguishes, and the turning orb stands still, and instead of the turning a sound is caused in the essence.

20. This is now the form of the spiritual life, and of the essential life; Sul is the original of the joyful life, and Phur is the original of the essential life; the lubet is before and without nature, which is the true Sul; and the spirit is made manifest in nature, viz. through the source, and that in a twofold form, viz. according to the lubet of the liberty in a source of joy, and according to the anxious desire's lubet; according to the astringency, compunctive, bitter, and envious from the compunction, and according to the anguish of the wheel wholly murderous and hateful; and each property dwells in itself, and yet they are in one another; herein God's love and anger are understood, they dwell in each other; and the one apprehends

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not the other, and yet the one is the curer of the other; understand through imagination, for the eternal is magical.

21. The second form in nature, in eternity is the Orb with the compunctive bitter essences: for there arises the essence, understand with the perturbation; for the nothing is still without motion, but the perturbation makes the nothing active: but in the third principle, viz. in the dominion in the essence, and source of the outward world, the form is called Mercury, which is opposite, odious, and poisonful, and the cause of life and stirring, also the cause of the senses: Where one glance 1 may conceive itself in the infinity, and then also immerse itself into it, where out of one only the abyssal, unsearchable, and infinite multiplicity may arise.

22. This form is the unquietness, and yet the seeker of rest; and with its seeking it causes unquietness, it makes itself its own enemy; its cure is twofold, for its desire is also twofold, viz. according to the lubet of the liberty, according to the stillness and meekness; and then also in the hunger according to the rising of unquietness, and the finding of itself; the root desires only joy with the first will, and yet it cannot obtain it, except through the opposite source, for no joy can arise in the still nothing; it must arise only through motion and elevation that the nothing finds itself.

23. Now that which is found desires to enter again into the will of the still nothing, that it may have peace and rest therein; and the nothing is its cure; and the wrath and poison is the remedy of the seeker and finder, that is their life which they find, an example whereof we have in the poisonous gall, whence in the life arises joy and sorrow, wherein we also understand a twofold will, viz. one to the wrathful fire and anxious painful life to the original of nature, and one to the light-life, viz. to the joy of nature; this takes its original out of the eternal nothing.

24. The first will's cure is the lubet of the liberty, if it obtains that, then it makes triumphant joy in itself; and the wrath in the hungry desire is the curer and helper of the other will, viz. the will of nature; and herein God's love and anger are understood, and also how evil and good are in the centre of each life, and how no joy could arise without sorrow, and how one is the curer of the other.

25. And here we understand the third will (which takes its original out of both these, viz. out of such an essence, viz. out

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of the mother), viz. the spirit, which has both these properties in it, and is a son of the properties and also a lord of the same; for in him consists the power, he may awaken which he pleases; the properties lie in the essence, and are as a well-constituted life, or as an instrument with many strings, 1 which stand still; and the spirit, viz. the egress is the real life, he may play upon the instrument as he pleases, in evil or good, according to love or anger; and as he plays, and as the instrument sounds, so is it received of its contra-tenor, viz. of the assimulate.

26. If the tune of love be played, viz. the liberty's desire, then is the sound received of the same liberty and love-lubet; for it is its pleasing relish, and agreeable to its will's desire; one similar lubet takes another.

27. And thus likewise is it to be understood of the enmity and contrary will; if the instrument be struck according to the desire to nature, viz. in the wrath, anger, and bitter falsehood, then the same contrary sound and wrathful desire receives it; for it is of its property, and a satiating of its hunger, wherein we understand the desire of the light, and also of the dark world; a twofold source and property.

28. The desire of the liberty is meek, easy, and pleasant, and it is called good; 2 and the desire to nature makes itself in itself dark, dry, hungry, and wrathful, which is called God's anger, and the dark world, viz. the first principle; and the light world is the second principle.

29. And we are to understand, that it is no divided essence, but one holds the other hidden or closed up in it, and the one is the beginning and cause of the other, also its healing and cure; that which is awaked and stirred up, that gets dominion, and manifests itself externally with its character, and makes a form and signature according to its will in the external after itself. A similitude whereof we see in an enraged man or beast; though the outward man and beast are not in the inward world, yet the outward nature has even the same forms; for it 3 arises originally from the inward, 4 and stands upon the inward root.

30. The third form is the anxiousness which arises in nature from the first and second form, and is the upholder or preserver of the first and second; it is in itself the sharp fiat; and the second form has the Verbum, viz. the property to the word, and it consists in three properties, and makes out of herself with the three the fourth, viz. the fire; in the external birth, viz. in the third principle, it is called Sal, or salt, according to its matter;

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but in its spirit it has many forms; for it is the fire-root, the great anguish, it arises betwixt and out of the astringency and bitterness in the austere attraction; it is the essentiality of that which is attracted, viz. the corporality, or comprehensibility; from Sulphur it is of a brimstone nature, and from Mercury a blaze or flash; it is in itself painful, viz. a sharpness of dying, and that from the sharp attraction of the astringency: It has a twofold fire, one cold, another hot; the cold arises from the astringency, from the sharp attraction, and is a dark black fire; and the hot arises from the driving forth the compunction 1 in the anguish in the desire after the liberty, and the liberty is its enkindler, and the raging compunction is the cold's fire's awakener. 2

31. These three forms are in one another as one, and yet they are but one; but they sever themselves through the original into many forms, and yet they have but one mother, viz. the desiring will to manifestation, which is called the father of nature, and of the Being of all beings.

32. Now we are to consider the hunger of the anxiety, or the salt-spirit, and then also its satiating or fulfilling: The anguish has in it two wills, from the original of the first will out of the liberty to the manifestation of itself; viz. the first will is to nature, and the other reconceived will is the son of the first, which goes out of the manifestation again into itself into the liberty; for it is become an eternal life in nature, and yet possesses not nature essentially, but dwells in itself, and penetrates nature as a transparent shining, and the first will goes outwards, 3 for it is the desire of manifestation; it seeks itself out of itself, and yet amasses the desire in itself; it desires to educe the internal out of itself.

33. Thus it has two properties; with the seeking in itself it makes the centre of nature: For it is like a poison, a will of dreadful aspiring, like a lightning and thunder-clap; for this desire desires only anguish, and to be horrible, to find itself in itself, out of the nothing in the something; and the second form proceeds forth as a flagrat, or produces sound out of itself; for it is not the desire of the first will to continue in the horrible death, but only thus to educe itself out of the nothing, and to find itself.

34. And we understand by the centre in itself, with the aspiring wrathfulness, with the wrathful will to nature, the

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dark world, and with the egress out of itself to manifestation, the outward world; and with the second will out of the first, which enters again into the liberty, we understand the light world, or the kingdom of joy, or the true Deity.

35. The desire of the dark world is after the manifestation, viz. after the outward world, to attract and draw the same essentiality into it, and thereby to satisfy its wrathful hunger; and the desire of the outward world is after the essence or life, which arises from the pain and anguish.

36. Its desire in itself is the wonder of eternity, a mystery, or mirror, or what is comprehended of the first will to nature.

37. The outward world's desire is Sulphur, Mercury, and Sal; for such an essence it is in itself, viz. a hunger after itself, and is also its own satisfying; for Sul desires Phur, and Phur desires Mercury, and both these desire Sal; for Sal is their son, which they hatch in their desire, and afterwards becomes their habitation, and also food.

38. Each desire desires only the essentiality of salt according to its property; for salt is diverse; one part is sharpness of cold, and one part sharpness of heat; also one part brimstone; and one part salniter from Mercury.

39. These properties are in one another as one, but they sever themselves, each dwelling in itself; for they are of a different essence, and when one enters into another, then there is enmity, and a flagrat. A similitude whereof we may apprehend in thunder and lightning, which comes to pass when the great Anguish, viz. the mother of all salts, understand the third form of nature, impresses itself; which comes to pass from the aspect of the sun, which stirs up the hot fire's form, so that it is penetrative, as the property of the fire is; and when it reaches the salniter, then it enkindles itself; and the salniter is in itself the great flagrat in Mercury, viz. the flash, or compunction, which enters into the coldness, so also into the cold sharpness of the salt-spirit; this coldness is exceedingly dismayed at the flash of the fire, and in a trice wraps or folds up itself in itself, whence arises the thunder-clap (or the tempestuous flash, which gives a stroke in the flagrat) and the flagrat goes downwards, for it is heavy by reason of the coldness, and the sal-nitrous spirit is light by reason of the fire, which [spirit] carries the thunder or sound sideways, as is to be heard in tempests and thunder; presently thereupon comes the wind or spirit out of all the four forms one against another, for they are all four enkindled in the penetrating flagrat; whereupon follows hail and rain; the

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hail folds itself together in the coldness, in the property of the cold salt-spirit; for the wrath attracts to itself, and turns the water to ice, and the water arises from the meekness, viz. from the desire of the light, for it is the essentiality of the meekness; this the cold salt-spirit congeals into drops, and distils it upon the earth, for before the congelation it is only as a mist, or steam, or as a vapour, or damp.

40. Thus we see this ground very exactly and properly in thunder and lightning; for the flash, or lightning, or ethereal blaze, goes always before, for it is the enkindled salniter; thereupon follows the stroke in the flagrat of the coldness; as you see, as soon as the stroke is given the astringent chamber is opened, and a cool wind follows, and oftentimes whirling and wheeling; for the forms of nature are awakened, and are as a turning wheel, and so they carry their spirit the wind.


13:1 Made sick.

15:1 Or sting.

15:2 Contraction, or constringency.

15:3 Love and anger, father and son.

17:1 Thought or sparkle of the will.

18:1 Or voices.

18:2 Or God.

18:3 Nature.

18:4 World.

19:1 Or sting of instigation.

19:2 Raiser, enkindler, or inflamer.

19:3 Or out of itself.

Next: Chapter III