The Mysterium Magnum by Jacob Boehme

(1575-1624)

Jacob Boehme

Chapter 9

The Ninth Chapter

Of the Fall of Lucifer, with his Legions

1. Although Self-reason might here cavil at us, and say we were not by when this was done, yet we say that we in a magical Manner according to the Right of Eternity, were really there, and saw this; but not I, who am I, have seen it; for I was not as yet a Creature; but we have seen it in the Essence of the Soul which God breathed into Adam.

2. Now then, if God dwells in this same Essence, and has from all Eternity dwelt therein, and manifests himself in his own Mirror, and looks back through the Essence of the Soul into the Beginning of all Beings, what then has Reason to do, to taunt and cavil at me about that wherein itself is blind? I must warn Reason, that it would once behold itself in the Looking-glass [mirror] of the Understanding, and consider what itself is, and leave off from the Building of mad Babel; it will be time.

3. The Fall of Lucifer came not to pass from God's Purpose or Appointment; indeed it was known in the Wrath of God, according to the Property of the dark World, how it could or would come to pass; but in God's Holiness, viz. in the Light, there was no such Desire manifest in any such Property; otherwise the holy God must have a devilish or hellish wrathful Desire in his Love; which is nothing so, but in the Center of the Eternal Nature, viz. in the forms to Fire, there is verily such a Property in the dark Impression.

4. Every good Angel has the Center in him, and is manifest in a creaturely Property in one Degree or other in the Center; what Property is greatest [most predominant or manifest] in the Creature, according to that it has its Office and Dominion.

5. Yet the Angels, which were created out of the Degrees of the Center, were created for and to the Light; the Light was manifest in All; and they had Free Will from the manifested Will of God's Will.

6. Lucifer had still been an Angel, if his own Will had not introduced him into the Fire's Might, desiring to domineer in the strong Fiery-might, above and in all Things, as an absolute sole God in Darkness and Light; had he but continued in the Harmony wherein God had created him; [for what would have cast him out of the Light?]

7. Now Reason says, He could not. Then tell me, Who compelled him? Was be not the most glorious Prince in Heaven? Had he introduced his Will into the Divine Meekness, then he could [have been able to stand;] but if he [in his own Will,which was from the Eternal Will, was both the Possibility and Ability] would not, then he could not: For his own Desire went into the Center; he would himself be God; he entered with his Will into Self; and in Self is the Center of Nature, viz. those Properties wherein his Will would be Lord and Master in the House.

8. But God created him for his Harmony, to play with his Love-spirit in him, as upon the musical Instrument of his manifested and formed Word; and this the Self-will would not.

9. Now says Reason, How came it, that he would not ? Did not he know the Judgment of God and the Fall ? Yes, he knew it well enough; but he had no sensible Perception of the Fall, but only as a bare Knowledge [or notional Theory in the Mystery of his Mind]; the fiery Lubet which was potent in him urged him on; for it would fain be manifest in the Essence of the Wrath, viz. in the Root of Fire; the Darkness also eagerly desired to be creaturely, which drew Lucifer, its Craft's-master, in the great Potency of Fire; indeed it drew him not from without [outwardly], but in the Property and Will of his own fiery and dark Essence : The Original of the Fall was within the Creature, and not without the Creature; and so it was in Adam also : Self-will was the Beginning of Pride.

10. Thou asks, What was that which did Cause it in himself? Answer : His great Beauty and Glory; because the Will beheld what itself was in the fiery Mirror; this Lustrous Glance moved and affected him, so that he eagerly reached after the Properties of the Center, which immediately began effectually to work. For the astringent, austere Desire, viz. the first form or Property, impressed itself, and awakened the Compunction, and the anxious Desire : Thus this beautiful Star overshadowed its Light, and made its Essence wholly astringent, rigorous and harsh, and its Meekness and true angelical Property was turned into an Essence wholly austere, harsh, rigorous and dark; and then this bright Morning Star was undone; and as he did, so did his Legions: And this was his Fall.

11. He should have been wholly resigned in the holy Power of God, and have heard what the Lord would speak and play by his own Spirit in him; this Self-will would not do; and therefore he must now play in the Dark; yea his Will is yet opposite, although now after the Fall he cannot will [viz. to resign to the divine Will of the Light.] For his Meekness, whence the Love-will arises, is shut up and entered again into a Nothing; viz. it is retired into its own Original.

12. Now the Creature still remains, but wholly out of the Center, viz. out of the Eternal Nature; The Free Lubet of God's Wisdom is departed from him, that is, it has hid itself in itself, and lets the wrathful Fire-will stand; as happened to Adam also, when he imagined after Evil and Good, then the Free Lubet of the holy World's Essence disappeared in his Essence.

13. This was the very Death, of which God told him, that if he did eat of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, he should die the very same Day: Thus it was in Lucifer, he died to the holy divine World, and arose to the wrathful World of God's Anger.

14. Thou sayest, Why did not God uphold him, and draw him from the evil Inclination? I pray tell me wherewith. Should he have poured in more Love and Meekness into this Fire-source? Then had his stately Light been more manifest in him, and the Looking-glass of his own Knowledge had been the greater, and his own fiery Self-will the stronger; I pray, was not his high Light and his own Self-knowledge the Cause of his Fall?

15. Should he then have drawn him with Rebuke? Was it not his Purpose beforehand to rule the magical Ground as an Artist ? His Aim and Endeavour was for the Art, that he would play with the Center of the transmutation of the Properties, and would be and do all whatsoever he alone pleased had he not known this, he had still remained an Angel in Humility.

16. Therefore the Children of Darkness, and the Children of this World also, are wiser than the Children of the Light, as the Scripture says. Thou askest, why ? They have the magical Root of the Original of Essences manifest in them; and this was even the Desire of Adam. However, the Devil persuaded them that they should be wiser, their Eyes should be opened, and they should be as God himself.

17. This Folly caused King Lucifer to aspire, desiring to be an Artist, and absolute Lord, like the Creator. The Water of Meekness had been good for his Fire-will; but he would have none of that: Hence it is, that the Children of God must be the most plain, sincere, and simple; as Esaias prophesied of Christ, who is so simple as my Servant, the righteous one, who turneth many unto Righteousness? viz. Upon [or to] the Way of Humility. [Isaiah 53:11]

18. All Angels live in Humility, and are resigned to the Spirit of God, and are in the Eternal Speaking Word of God, as a well-tuned, pure-sounding Instrument, in the Harmony of the Kingdom of Heaven; of which the Holy Spirit is chief Master and Ruler.

19. But the Devil has forged to himself a strange Fool's-play, where he can act his Deceptions with his several Interludes, and Disguises, and demean himself like an apish Fool, and transform himself into monstrous, strange, and hideous Shapes and Figures, and mock at the Image of angelical Simplicity and Obedience. And this was his Aim and Intent, for which he departed from the Harmony of the angelical Choirs: For the Scripture says, that he was a Murtherer and Lyar from the Beginning; his juggling Feats and Fictions are mere strange Figures and Lies, which God never formed in him, but he brings them to Forms and Shapes in himself; and seeing that they are contrary to his Creation, they are Lies and Abominations.

20. He was an Angel, and has belied his angelical form, and Obedience, and is entered into the Abomination of Fictions, Lies, and Mockeries; he has awakened the envious, hateful forms, and Properties of the dark World in his Center, whence Wrath and Iniquity spring: He sate in heavenly Pomp and Glory, and introduced his hateful Desire, and malicious Will, into the Essence, viz. into the Water-source, and cast forth his Streams of Enmity and Malignity.

21. His Properties were as the venomous Stings of Serpents, which he put forth out of himself: When the Love of God was withdrawn from him, he figured his Image according to the Property of the wrathful Forms, (wherein there are also evil Beasts, and Worms in the serpentine Shape) and infected, or awakened the Salniter [saltpeter] of the Center of Nature in the expressed Essence, in the Generation of the Eternal Nature; whence the Combat arose, that the great Prince Michael fought with him, and would no longer endure him in Heaven among the Fellowship of the holy Angels.

22. For which Cause the Will of the Abyss, viz. of the Eternal Father, moved itself, and swallowed him down, as a treacherous perjured Wretch, into the Gulf and Sink of eternal Darkness, viz. into another Principle: The Heaven spewed him out of itself; he fell into the Darkness as Lightning, and he lost the Mansion of God in the Kingdom of Heaven, in the holy Power, and all his Servants with him: There he has the Mother for his enchanting Delusions; there he may play them juggling Feats, and antick Tricks.

23. Moreover, we are to know, that he had his royal Seat in the Place of this World: Therefore Christ calls him a Prince of this World, viz. in the Kingdom of Darkness, in the Wrath, in the Place of this World.

24. His kingly Throne is taken from him, and another has Possession of it in the heavenly World's Property, in the Place of this World: He shall not obtain it again.

25. Also (at the instant of the Creation of the Stars and four Elements) another King was established over him, in this Place in the Elements; which although we could mention, yet at Present it remains in Silence, by Reason of the false Magick; also by Reason of other Superstitions and Idolatries we will not speak any Thing of it here, and yet hint enough to our School-fellows.

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