Page images
PDF
EPUB

לל

she can take pleasure until he can again behold in her his noble image, and she again incline to him” (Ebend. svi. 10).

“If the mother of this world were destroyed, as she will be in due course, the soul would have been in everlasting death, in darkness. The beautiful creature would have been taken prisoner by the kingdom of hell, and triumphed over by it” (Dreif. Leben, viii. 38).

* The danger to man of sinking down completely into a diabolic manifestation is diminished by the materialisation of his body, by which his knowledge as well as his power of action is so much decreased. By his entrance into terrestrial life and its conditions he was preserved from the most abject degeneration. The perverseness of his inclinations can appear less here. The world to which he now belongs preserves him from the contemplations of a glory which in his uncleanness he could not bear, and which if he had been exposed to would rather have incited him to a decided struggle. In this world he will not at once attain the consciousness of his inward perversity, which he was only prevented from conquering because it would then appear actually unconquerable. In the same terrestrial sphere much is permitted to him, even given him as a duty, which in itself cannot remain in harmony with the highest task of his life and being, but whereby almost imperceptibly, and under particular influence of the grace of God, there arise higher aspirations in him, which qualify him by degrees for admission into a higher order of things. (Compare “ God and his Revelations," § 207, 213, and 225 ff.)

As the soul of man allowed itself to be taken captive by the spirit of this world, and to have its essence infused into her, terrestrial properties must develop themselves in her. 66 The poor

soul of Adam was taken prisoner by the spirit and principle of this world, and has taken the essence of this world into her” (Dreif. Leben, viii. 37).

“ Into whatever the imagination of the spirit enters, such it becomes through the impress of the spiritual desire. Therefore God forbade Adam, while still in Paradise, to eat in imagination of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, else he would fall into misfortunes and death, and die to the heavenly kingdom, as indeed happened" (Taufe, i. 1, 22).

“ The earthly property which was formerly swallowed up in Paradise, became revealed itself by means of the soul's desire, and thence heat and cold, and the poison of adversity, were dominant agents, so that the beautiful heaven- and Paradise-image disappeared" (Stiefel, xi. 83).

“ Everything, when brought among its kindred, be it bad or good, rejoices in its properties and begins to amalgamate. Let anyone, for instance, take a little poison, this poison will eagerly ally itself to the poison which already exists in the body, strengthen itself by it, and so possess the body.”

* All things, Böhme maintains in Myst. Mag. xi. 13, 14, contain a poison, namely, the power of the lower forms of nature. But in its proper state this poison is kept down, so that it must only serve life, and not be at eternity with it. Thus, for instance, the human being bears in a healthy state the power of all diseases,-nay, even the power of worms, which at last destroy his body. In the same manner was the power of the earthly life contained in the man of Paradise, but he existed not by means of the glory with which he was clothed by God. The possibility was not given him to excite the power in himself in a merely outward manner, but it might take place through the action of the human imagination, as was the case through the devil. Man abandoned himself to this influence, and thus the earthly being, by which he was only entertained, as it found conformity in him, became really active. “ Sin," says Böhme, “ in this sense (Vierz. frag. xv. 4) come from the imagination. The spirit enters a thing and is infected by it. Thus the Turba of the thing enters the spirit and destroys the image of God, and finds the wrathful fire in the soul, and mixes itself with it by means of the thing introduced into the spirit."

Hence the body of the first man, which was a spiritual, divine one, became by the enjoyment of the forbidden fruit an earthly, material one.

“God had given man a body, a pure, essential power, after the fashion of the soul, and which,

compared with the coarse, earthly essence, might be considered as a spiritual body" (Myst. xvi. 3, 4).

“The body of the first human pair was of divine fashion; but as soon as they ate of the earthly fruit in their bodies, the temperature was destroyed, and the earthly body revealed in all its properties” (Gnadenw. vii. 5).

Thus man lost eternal life, and consequently fell into death.

“We cannot say of man that in the beginning he was enclosed in time; he was rather enclosed in Paradise, in eternity: God created him in his own image. But when he fell the end of time seized him" (Gnadenw. vii. 51).

“As time has a beginning and end, and the will and desire have submitted themselves to the temporal leader, the body dies and passes away" (Sign. v. 9).

“ After the fall man lived only to time with his outward body; the precious gold of the divine corporealuess which should tinge (permeate and bless) the outer body, had disappeared” (Ebend. v. 8).

Thus the powers of animal life have so gained footing in man, that he became to himself an animal according to his outer being.

“Man was not like the animals created of good and evil (i. e. of the mere earthly essence). Had he only not eaten of bad and good, the fire of wrath had not been in him ; but now he is possessed of an animal body" (Aur. xviii. 109).

“Before sin, the divine image had penetrated and clothed the outer man with divine strength, and the animal was not revealed. But when the image separated from the divine essence, the poor soul, divested of the first principle, surrounded with the animal, stood out quite naked and uncovered” (Myst. xxi. 15).

“ When Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they were immediately ashamed that in their tender body so great an animal had been called forth, with its common flesh, hard bones, and animal propensities. The animal essence had swallowed up the divine in them; that essence, which they before did not know as existing in themselves, was now dominant in them” (Ebend. xxii. 1).

Even the senses of man became earthly and brutish, so that he could no longer perceive God and divine things.

“When man issued from Paradise into a second, inferior birth, into the spirit of this world, into the suns, stars, and elements-quality the paradisical vision was extinguished in him" (Drei Princ. xiv. 2).

“ After the fall man became an animal-being, so that Heaven and Paradise and the Godhead became a mystery to him" (Menschw. i. 2, 14).

“The serpent said to Eve, Thou shalt not die, but thy eyes shall be opened, and thou wilt be like God.' Her earthly eyes were opened, but the heavenly ones closed" (Stief. i. 44).

* Geographical considerations are not the cause of our no longer seeing the paradisical and divine world; the cause is that like can only be perceived by like, or similar by similar: thus the divine must now remain invisible to us, because we have lost the divine sense. “ If man's

eyes were only opened,” says Böhme, (Aur. ix. 48)," he would perceive everywhere God in his heaven, for heaven is in the innermost birth. Hence when Stephen saw heaven open and the Lord Jesus on the right hand of God, it was not necessary that his spirit should have soared into the upper heaven, but that it should be permeated by the inner birth, and then heaven is on all sides."

* No less was the human will and mind struck by the spirit of this world, and thus held fast by one or other element, as the power of temperament shows.

If sin had not entered, man, who as the image of God possessed creative power in himself, would have been able, without the present union of sexes, to have produced his equals out of himself.

“ All men are only the one man Adam. God created only him, and left procreation to man, in order that he should abandon his will entirely to God, and with God bear other men out of himself in equality" (Myst. lxxi. 31).

“ Adam was a full image of God, man and woman, and yet neither of the two, but (like) a chaste virgin. He had the desire of fire and light, the mother of love and of wrath in him, and the fire in him loved the light as its instigation and beneficence, and in the same way light loved fire as its life, as God the Father loves the Son, and the Son the Father in such nature” (Stief. xi. 351, 352). Adam was

man and woman, but not in the sense of an exact woman, but a pure, chaste virgin. That is, he had the essence of fire and the essence-spirit of water in him, and loved himself and God. He could only be so originally by his will, and out of his being, without pain and without sorrow" (Dreif. Leben, xi. 24).

“ Had man withstood the trial, his descendants would have been born one from another in the same way that Adam originally was,—man, and the image of God. For that which proceeds from the Eternal, has an eternal manner of birth” (Ebend. xviii. 7).

dana u Rollerson

« PreviousContinue »