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OF GOD AND HIS MANIFESTATION: ADAM'S ORIGINAL STATE.
God has from all eternity manifested himself in being, and the cause of this manifestation lies first of all in the will of the Trinity and in the yearnings of the eternal wisdom.
"If, then, a mystery has existed from eternity, its manifestation must now be considered by us. Of eternity we can only speak as of a spirit, for it has been all mere spirit. But it has also elected itself from all eternity in the essence" (Menschwerd, 1, 2, 1).
"Whatever is calm and without essence in itself, has no obscurity in it, but is a still, clear light, joy or essence. That, then, is eternity without anything, and is called God before all else. As, however, God will not exist without essence, he includes in himself a will, and that will is desire" (Dreif. Leben. ii. 75—77).
"The whole divine essence is in constant and eternal birth, like the mind of man, but immutable. As in the human mind thoughts are always being born, and out of thoughts, will and desire, and out of the will and desire the word, in which the hands assist that it may increase in substance, so is the case with the eternal birth" (Drei Princ. ix. 32).
"The will is first thin as a nonentity; therefore it desires, and will become something, that it may be manifest in itself. Mere nothingness causes the will to have desires, and desire is an imagination. For when the will sees itself in the mirror of wisdom, it imagines out of groundlessness into itself, and makes itself in imagination a foundation for itself" (Menschw. xi. 2, 1.)
"The virgin of wisdom, God's companion in his honour and joy, becomes full of yearning after God's wonders, which lie in herself. But by means of this longing are produced in her the eternal essences; these attract the holy power, and thus it becomes with her a fixed being. Yet in this she takes nothing for herself; her appropriativeness only exists
in the holy spirit; she moves only before God, to reveal God's wonders" (Drei Princ. xiv. 87, 88.)
*Although a question here arises of a yearning of eternal wisdom, it is not therefore indicated as personal. In all outward nature there is also a yearning, as all phenomena in it show reciprocal attraction. Such yearning suits her, because in her innermost essence she is lively, spiritual. Thus we must consider the eternal wisdom as a spirit, but not a person.
Whereas Adam formerly belonged to the divine world and to eternity, he sank now, because the image of God began to fade in him, into terrestrial life, and thus into powerlessness and sleep.
"It is easily to be understood by a sensible man, that there could be no sleep in Adam, as long as he existed in God's image; for he was then such an image as we shall be in the resurrection. Then we shall not require the elements, neither the sun nor the stars, nor even sleep, but our eyes will remain open to contemplate eternally the glory of God" (Drei Princ. xii. 17).
"The image of God does not sleep; that which is eternal knows no time. But by sleep was time revealed to man; he slept away the angelic world, and awoke in the outer world" (Myst. xix. 14).
"When Adam was overcome, the essence wherein the beautiful virgin had dwelt became earthly, weary, powerless, and weak. The powerful mother of the essence, from which she drew her power without any sleep or rest, disappeared. in Adam" (Drei Princ. iii. 8).
"Thus Adam fell to magic, and his glory was gone, for sleep signifies death and a victory. The kingdom of the earth had conquered him, and wanted to govern him" (Menschw. i. 5, 8).
"When the desire of the spirit of this world had conquered, he sank again into sleep. Then his heavenly body became flesh and blood, and his great strength stiff bones. Then the virgin entered the life of shadows, into heavenly Ether, into the principle of strength" (Drei Princ. xiii. 2.)
* For the better explanation of our author's doctrine of Adam's sleep, we must compare the following clauses on ter
restrial sleep in general. "The living creatures," says Böhme, (Drei Princ., xii. 22, 23) "such as men, animals, and birds, have the essence in themselves, for they are an extract of the quality of the stars and elements, and this essence is always kindled by the sun and the stars, whereupon the essence kindles the body. Thus, when the sun sets, and his splendour is no longer visible, the essence becomes weak, as it needs kindling by the sun's power; and because the essence becomes feeble, the strength in the blood, which is itself the essence, becomes impotent, and sinks into soft repose, dead and overcome." What is here said of the kindling of the essence, that is, of the awakening of the power of life by the action of the sunapplies in a manner also to Adam. The divine spirit-life could only exist in him by the power of the divine sun of grace, and must necessarily disappear on his voluntary desertion of it.
As this powerlessness should serve for Adam's salvation, there was given him, in order to preserve him from sinking further still, in place of the retreated heavenly virgin, the terrestrial woman.
"As Adam went from God into personality, God allowed him to fall into impotence: else with his personality, he had become in the fire-night even a devil" (Stief. ii. 363).
"When the devil saw that desire was in Adam, he acted still more on the nitre in Adam and knit his frame together more firmly. It was then time that the Creator should make him a wife, who afterwards certainly originated sin, and ate of the false fruit. But if Adam had eaten of the fruit before the woman was made of him, it would have been worse still” (Aur. xvii. 21, 22.)
The woman was taken from all the strength of Adam, but, according to the essence, for ned from a rib which then had not been degraded to a stiff bone.
"Eve was not extracted (from Adam) as a mere spirit, but was complete in being. We must say, that Adam's side was opened, and the woman, Adam's spirit, appeared of flesh and bone" (Drei Princ. xiii. 14). "Reason says-If Eve be formed only out of a rib of Adam, she must be much smaller than Adam. It is not so, however, for the Fiat, as sharp attraction,
(or as the first form of nature) extracted from all essences and qualities, and from every power of Adam, and only no more members in the essence" (Drei Princ. xiii. 18). "Adam's body had not yet become hard bone. That only took place when Eve ate the apple, and gave Adam of it. Decay and temporal death already existed in it as distemper and mortal sickness, but the bones and ribs were still power and strength, and Eve was formed from the power and strength, from which, later, the stiff rib should first exist" (Ebend. xiii. 13).
* Böhme says here with reference to the body of Adam, that before the fall it was still free from earthly stiffness, because then death had no power over it. He thus removes beforehand the so often repeated rationalist assertion, that the creation of the woman out of a rib of Adam must be looked upon as a pure impossibility.
Eve was not miscreated, but lived still with Adam in Paradise; the pure divine likeness was no longer, however, to be found in either.
"Eve was not miscreated, but quite lovely; but the signs of destruction were already about her, and she could be no more than the wife of Adam. But both were still in Paradise; and had they not eaten of the tree, but turned their imaginations to God, they had remained in Paradise" (Drei Princ. xiii. 36).
"Adam and Eve had the torment of Paradise, but mixed with temporal disease. They were naked and were possessed of bodily organization, but they knew them not, and were not ashamed, for the spirit of the great world had yet no dominion over them till they ate of the earthly fruit" (Mensch. i. 6, 15).
"No one can say that Eve before the contact with Adam was a pure, chaste virgin; for as soon as Adam awoke from sleep he saw her standing by him, and soon imagined in her, and took her to him and said, 'This is flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone; she shall be called woman, because she is taken from the man. And in the same way also Eve imagined soon in her Adam, and one looked with love on the other." (Vierz. Frag. xxxvi. 6, 7.)
* We must no doubt distinguish, in Paradise, as in Heaven itself, higher and lower regions; so that although
Adam and Eve may have been in Paradise, they could only have had an inferior region of it for their dwelling.
OF THE CREATION OF THE WORLD.
Before the sun and stars were kindled, nature was still as if in the power of death, wanting the formations of the living, increasing strength which proceeded from herself.
"Until the third day of the kindling of the anger of God in this world, nature was in anxiety, and an obscure valley, and in death; but on the third day, when the light of the stars was kindled in the waters of life, life broke through death, and commenced the new birth (Aur. xxiv. 41.).
"In the earth above all, is the harsh quality; this contracts the saline particles, and fixes the Earth so that she is a corporeal being, and forms also in her all bodies, such as stones, ores, and all roots. Now when this is formed, it has still no life to enable it to grow and spread itself out. But wheu the heat of the sun acts on the globe, all kinds of forms flourish and grow in the earth" (Aur. viii. 41, 42).
* Böhme, it is true, declares the Aurora to be the least perfect among his works; notwithstanding which it is remarkable that here, in contradiction to the Bible, he assumes that the firmament was created as early as the third day. This assumption does not agree even with his own doctrine of the seven forms of nature, which reoccurs, according to his express declaration, in the history of creation, inasmuch as with the appearance of the firmament the real entrance of the light of God into natural life obtains; in the same way as even with divine life, wisdom only becomes visible in the fourth form of nature. Böhme has been misled here, as appears by his explanations, (Aur. xxiv. 42), by the erroneously accepted analogy of the resurrection of the Saviour, which certainly did take place on the third day.
But now God's eternal light has penetrated the darkness of this world, and kindled heat in the firmament, or in heaven; and thus from fire proceeded light, namely, the sun and the starry sky (firmament).
Herewith, however, the divine wisdom is not manifest in