The Mysterium Magnum by Jacob Boehme

(1575-1624)

Jacob Boehme

Chapter 7

The Seventh Chapter

Of the Holy Trinity, and Divine Essence.

1. The Eternal and Temporal Nature are especially understood in the dark and Fire-World, viz. in the four first Forms; as, 1.) In the astringent Desire. 2.) In the bitter Compunction. 3.) In the Anguish, or Sensation. 4.) In the Fire; where the Severation proceeds forth in the enkindling [of the Fire] in the Flagrat. But the Powers both in the internal and external World are all understood in the Light, or Love-fire, viz. in the Love-desire.

2. For their first Ground is the Eternal Word, viz. the One, wherein all Things are couched. The second Ground is the Free Lubet of the Word, viz. the Wisdom, wherein all the Colours of the only Power are manifest in the Will of the Deity. The third Ground is the Love-desire, wherein the Free Lubet, with its Colours and Virtues of the Powers, has exacuated [sharpened] itself through Nature, and introduced itself through the Fire's Inflammation into a spiritual Dominion; which [Lubet] displays itself with the Powers in the Light in an Eternal Kingdom of Joy.

3. The fourth Ground is the oily Spirit; in that the Free Lubet amasses itself in the fiery Love-desire in the Meekness, as in its own peculiar Form, and with it amasses the Lustre and Essence of the Fire and Light, and introduces it into the first Essence; which Power of the Fire and Light in the Meekness of the Free Lubet, in the oily Property, is the true and holy Tincture.

4. The fifth Ground is the watery Spirit, arising from the Mortification in the Fire, where the first Spiritual Essence in the astringent, harsh, dark Desire was consumed in the Fire. Now out of the Devouring of the Fire proceeds forth a Spiritual Essence, which is the oily Ground, and a watery Essence from the Mortification, which deprives the Fire Spirit of its Wrath, so that it is not able to set its wrathful Properties on Fire in the oily Ground; so that the Fire must burn through Death, and be only a Light: Else the oily Ground would be enflamed. Thus the Fire in its Devouring must beget the Water, viz. its Death, and yet must again have it for its Life; else neither the Fire nor the Light could subsist. And thus there is an Eternal Generation, devouring, receiving, and again consuming; and yet also it is thus an Eternal Giving, and has no Beginning nor End.

5. Thus we now understand what God and his Essence is; We Christians say, that God is threefold, but only one in Essence: But that we generally say and hold that God is threefold in Person, the same is very wrongly apprehended and understood by the Ignorant, yea by a great Part of the Learned: for God is no Person but only in Christ; but he is the eternal begetting Power, and the Kingdom with all Beings; all Things receive their Original from him.

6. But that we say of God, he is Father, Son, and holy Spirit, that is very rightly said, only we must explain it, else the un-illuminated Mind apprehends it not. The Father is first the Will of the Abyss; he is without all Nature or Beginnings; the Will to something, which conceives itself into a Lubet to its own Manifestation.

7. And the Lubet is the conceived Power of the Will, or of the Father; and it is his Son, Heart, and Seat; the first Eternal Beginning in the Will: And he is therefore called a Son, because he receives an Eternal Beginning in the Will, with the Will's own Conception.

8. Now the Will speaks forth itself by the Conception out of itself, as a Spiration, or Manifestation; and this Egress from the Will in the Speaking or Spiration is the Spirit of the Deity, or the third Person, as the Ancients have called it.

9. And that which is spirated, or spoken forth, is the Wisdom, viz. the Power of the Colours, and the Virtue of the Will, which it eternally conceives to a Life's-center, or Heart for its Habitation, and does again eternally speak it forth out of the Conception, as from its own eternal form, and yet eternally conceives [or comprehends] it for his Heart's Center.

10. Thus the Conception of the Will, viz. of the Father, is from Eternity to Eternity, which conceives his Speaking Word from Eternity, and speaks it forth from Eternity to Eternity : The Speaking is the Mouth of the Will's Manifestation : And the Egress from the Speaking or Generation is the Spirit of the formed Word : And that which is spoken forth is the Power, Colours, and Virtue of the Deity, viz. the Wisdom.

11. Here we cannot say with any Ground, that God is three Persons; but he is threefold in his Eternal Generation; he begetteth himself in Trinity; and yet there is but only one Essence and Generation to be understood in this Eternal Generation, neither Father, Son, nor Spirit, but the only Eternal Life, or Good.

12. The Trinity is first rightly understood in his Eternal Manifestation; where he manifests himself through the Eternal Nature, through the Fire in the Light.

13. Where we understand three Properties in one only Essence, viz. the Father with the Fire-world; and the Son with the Love-desire in the Light, viz. with the Light-world, or with the great Meekness in the Fire; and the holy Spirit with the moving Life in the Tincture, in the oily and watery Life and Dominion; who is manifest in the Fire and Light, viz. according to the Property of the Free Lubet, that is, the Divine Property, he is manifest in a great fiery Flame of Light, and Love; and then, according to the Property of the dark Fire-world, in a wrathful, painful, sourcive Property. And yet he is the only one; in the Light he is the Love-fire Flame; and in the enkindled Fire in Nature he is a consuming Fire, according to which God is called a consuming Fire; and in the dark wrathful Source he is an angry zealous Avenger, in which Property the Spirits of the dark World consist.

14. The Father is only called an holy God in the Son, that is, in the Power of the Light, in the divine Kingdom of Joy, viz. in the great Meekness and Love; for that is his proper Manifestation, wherein he is called God. In the Fire he is called an angry God; but in the Light, or Love-fire, he is called the holy God; and in the dark Nature he is not called God.

15. We must make Distinction; each World has its Principle and Dominion. Indeed All is from one Eternal Original, but it severizes itself into a twofold Source; a Similitude whereof we have in the Fire, and Light; where the Fire is painful and consuming, and the Light meek and giving; and yet the one were a Nothing without the other.

16. The Fire receives its Original in Nature, but the Light has its Original from the Free Lubet, viz. from the Powers of the Deity. The Will of God does therefore introduce itself into a Fire, that he might manifest the Light and the Powers, and introduce them into Essence.

17. Although I have wrote here of the Forms of Nature (understand the Eternal Nature) yet it must not be understood as if the Deity were circumscribed, or limited. His Wisdom and Power in divine Property are without Limit or Measure, innumerable, infinite, and unspeakable. I write only of the Properties, how God has manifested himself through the internal and external Nature, which are the chiefest Forms of his Manifestation.

18. These seven Properties are to be found in all Things; and he is void of Understanding that denies it. These seven Properties make, in the internal World, the holy Element, viz. the holy natural Life and Motion. But this only Element seperates itself in this external World, into four manifest Properties, viz. into four Elements; and yet it is but one only, but divides itself into four Head-springs, viz. into Fire, Air, Water, and Earth.

19. From the Fire arises the Air; and from the Air the Water; and from the Water the Earth, or a Substance which is earthly. And they are only the Manifestation of the one eternal Element, and are, in respect [Or before] to the internal, as an enkindled Smoke, or vaporous Steam. So also the whole Astrum [Or Constellations] is nothing else but Powers breathed forth from the inward, fiery, dark, and light World, from the Great Mind of Divine Manifestation, and is only a formed Model or Platform, wherein the Great Mind of Divine Manifestation beholds itself in a Time, and plays with itself.

top of page