The Mysterium Magnum by Jacob Boehme

(1575-1624)

Jacob Boehme

Chapter 4

The Fourth Chapter

Of the Two Principles, viz. God's Love, and Anger; of Darkness, and Light; very necessary for the Reader to consider of.

In this Flagrat, or Enkindling of the Fire, two Kingdoms sever themselves, and yet are only one; but they divide in the Essence, Source and Will, and are invisible to one another; the one comprehends not the other in its own Source, and yet they proceed from one Original, and are dependant on one another; and the one without the other were a Nothing, and yet both receive their Source from One Original. Understand it thus: When the Blaze or Flagrat arises, then it is in the Punctum, and makes immediately a Triangle, Triangle or a Cross: Cross

And this is the true Meaning of the Character Cross on top of crossed circle. First, it is the Keenness of all Things; and God manifested in Trinity: The Triangle betokens the hidden God; viz. the Word or Divine Understanding; which is threefold in its eternal unbeginning Birth, and yet only one in its Manifestation: In the Fire and Light World this Trinity manifests itself in the Birth; not as if there were any Place where such a Figure did stand; no; but the whole Birth is so; wherever the Divine Fire manifests itself in any Thing, it makes in its Inflammation a Triangle, triangle which the Children of men ought seriously to observe, and how likewise the Life enkindles itself in a Triangle, which betokens the Holy Trinity. And seeing the Light of Life was in the Word of the Deity, which [Word] was breathed into Man, (as John says in his first Chapter) and yet disappeared in Paradise, in relation to God, therefore it must be born again on the T.

The Explanation of the foregoing Characters

3. The upper Cross betokens the unformed Word in Trinity wholly without Nature, and the Character is thus set Circle at hub of triangle ; betokens the formed Word Cross on top of Circle viz. the Angelic World.

4. But that the Triangle with the three straight Cusps has changed itself into such a Cross in form of capital letter T on which Death was slain, points out and betokens unto us the great Love of God which has freely given itself again into our Humanity out of the Triangle, when we were departed from the Triangle in the Light of Life.

5. Therefore the great Angle waves downwards, betokening the great Humility, and also that we have lost the fiery Angle which ascends on High; in which we were the Image and Likeness of God: Therefore the Angle in the Regeneration in the Cross in form of capital letter T has turned itself downward, and ascends not upward any more with its Cusp, betokening now unto us the true Resignation under the Cross in form of capital letter T where we in the Spirit of Christ shall be born again through the great Humility of God in the Light.

6. Now the Will seperates itself in the Fire's Flagrat into two Kingdoms, where each dwells in itself, viz. the Flagrat in the Darkness is God's Anger, and the Flagrat in the Re-conception to the Free Lubet becomes the Highly Triumphant Divine Kingdom of Joy in the Free Lubet: for thus the free Lubet is elevated and brought into a wrestling Love-play, and so it becomes springing and working.

7. Not that we mean that God thus receives a Beginning; but it is the eternal Beginning of God manifested; viz. how the Divine Understanding manifests itself with Power in distinct Variety, and works itself forth into a Kingdom; which is an eternal Generation. We only speak here how the invisible unperceivable God introduces himself into Perception for his own Manifestation.

8. Now we are to understand by the Inflammation of the Fire a twofold Fire, a twofold Spirit, and a twofold Essence; viz. a Love-fire in the Free Lubet, which is made essential with impression or Desire; and in the Fire the Spirit and Essence severize, and yet are mutually in one another, as Soul and Body are one. And now as the Spirit is, so is the Essence; and as there is an holy sweet Essence, and an holy sweet Spirit, in the Impression of the Free Lubet, so likewise in the dark Impression there is an astringent harsh, raw and bitter Essence and Spirit; as the Essence is, so is also the Mind of the Understanding and Will in the Essence.

9. Although the Eternal [Essence] in reference to the Temporal is Spiritual, yet the true Spirit is much more subtile than that which it makes to a Substance in the Conception. For out of the Substance the true intellective Spirit primely proceeds, which before the Substance is only a Will, and not manifest to itself: for the Will introduces itself into Substance and Essence, that it might be manifest to itself.

10. Now we are to consider of the Severation in the Fire: When the Fire is enkindled, then is the Fire-blaze, or Flagrat Salnitral, where the Powers mutually unfold, and display themselves, and come into Division, where the Eternal only Power of God manifests itself, and in the Distinction does seperate itself into Properties, both spiritually and substantially; as is to be seen in this World; whence also the manifold Salts arise; which with the Creation came to be such Matter, which in the Eternity was only a Spiritual Essence, but in the Beginning of Time became gross and hard.

11. Also the manifold Spirits both good and evil originally spring from this Eternal Root; and likewise the manifold Stars, with the four Elements, and all whatsoever lives and moves. But the Seperation in itself is thus to be understood; when the Blaze arises, then out of the Fire proceeds the Seperation; the Fire-flagrat is consuming, it apprehends the conceived Essence, both in the Free Lubet, and in the Austere Impression, and consumes it in the Twinkling of an Eye, for here the Eternal Will, which is an Abyss becomes manifest in the Fire: No Essence can subsist before it; it devours all into its Nothing.

12. And here is the Original of the Eternal Death, or Devouring; and in this Devouring is the highest Arcanum or Secret: For the true essential lively Spirit and Understanding proceeds out of this Devouring, and makes another Beginning; for the first Beginning is God's, who introduces himself from the Abyss into Byss to his own Contemplation : But this Beginning, which proceeds again out of the Devouring, is a Spiritual Beginning, and makes three Worlds; namely, 1. The dark Fire-world in Heat, and Cold; a Rawness wholly austere, void of Essence. 2. The other World is the Spiritual Light, or Angelical World. 3. And the third began with the Beginning of Time; when God moved both the inward Worlds, he thence brought forth and created this outward visible World into a Form of Time.

13. Now the Separation in the Fire of Devouring is thus to be understood: The Powers, which the first Impression made essential, are in the Fire reduced into a Spirituality, viz. 1. From the Free Lubet proceeds forth a Spiritual Mysterium; which is, as to the Deity, (viz, the Eternal Understanding,) Spiritual; and it is the angelical Light and Life; and also the real humane [Life;] and so of all whatsoever is like unto them; for they are Powers of God : Therefore the Angels bear in them the great Name of God; and like-wise all true Men who have the divine Power.

14. From the Essence of the Free Lubet there proceeds forth in the Fire an oily Power, which is the Body or Essence of the Understanding; therein the Fire burns; and thence the shining Lustre or Glance arises. Thirdly, from the Understanding and Spiritual Oil there proceeds forth a moving Lubet like an Element; and it is also the Divine Element.

15. Fourthly, out of the Element there proceeds forth a watery Property; and yet it is only to be understood spiritually : This is the Water of which Christ said he would give us to drink : And whosoever should drink thereof it should spring up in him to a Fountain of Eternal Life: It is the Water above the Firmament of which Moses speaks, that God has seperated from the external Waters under the Firmament: This watery and elemental Property proceeds from the Essence of the Free Lubet, which is consumed in the Fire and the Word of the Understanding (which has now manifested itself in the Fire) does express these Powers from itself, as a living and moving Essence; and herein the Angelical World is understood.

16. In the Seperation which is from the dark Property, there proceeds forth, through the Speaking Word in the Seperation out of the Fire, viz. out of the astringent harsh Impression, 1.) An hellish thirsty wrathful Source, being as another Principle, or Beginning of another Property; which Source is wholly rough like the cold or hard Stones; a Mind which is horrible like to the Fire-blaze. 2.) There proceeds forth from this fiery Spirit, from the Darkness, an Oil which is of a poisonful Property: For it is the Evil Mercurius arising from the Compunction in the anxious Astringenc

17. 3.) The Anguish likewise makes a moving Mind like the Element; but altogether in an exceeding wrathful very piercing Property; in which the great Fire's Might and Will in the Anger of God, or the Wrath of God, arises, which Lucifer desired to be, and to rule therein and therefore he is a Devil, that is, one spewed out of the Love-fire into the Dark Fire. 4.) There proceeds forth also from the wrathful Property, through the Devouring in the Fire, viz. from the first dark Impression, a watery Property : But it is much rather a Poisonful Source, in which the Life of Darkness consists [the dark Life burns].

18. But my writing here of the Oil and Water is thus to be understood : In the Enkindling of the Fire in the Flagrat (both in the Flagrat of Joy in the Ens of the Free Lubet, and in the Flagrat of the Wrathfulness in the Impression of the dark Spiritual Ens) the Essence, which the first Desire has coagulated or amassed, is consumed in the Fire Flagrat; that is, it does as it were die to its self-good, and is taken into the Only Spirit; which here has manifested itself in the Fire of the Wrathfulness, and in the Light-fire of the Kingdom of Joy; which [Spirit] does now re-express it, or breathe it forth again out of itself as two spiritual Worlds.

19. Understand it right. These proceeds forth out of the fiery Property in the Spiration the vital Source, which according to the Free Lubet is holy and joyful, and according to the Darkness painful and wrathful. The Wrathfulness and painful Source is the Root of Joy, and the Joy is the Root of the Enmity of the dark Wrathfulness; so that there is a Contrarium, whereby the good is made manifest, and known that it is good.

20. And the mortified Essence in the Fire (which the first Desire in the Free Lubet has coagulated and made dark) proceeds forth through the Fire's Mortification as a spiritual Oil, which is the Property of the Fire and Light; and from the Mortification proceeds a Water, viz. a mortified senseless Essence, being a House of the Oil; wherein the Fire source or Spirit has its vital Region; which Oil is the Food of the Fire-source, which it draws again into itself and devours, and thereby allays the Fire-source, and introduces it into the greatest Meekness, in which the Life of the great Love arises, viz. the good Taste. So that the Fire source becomes an Humility or Meekness in the Oil through the Mortification in the Water source.

21. For no Fire-spirit can be meek without the Mortification of its own natural Propriety or peculiar Essence; But the Water, which before was an Essence, amassed out of the Free Lubet, and yet mortified in the Fire, that can change the Essence of the Fire into a meek Desire.

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