The Mysterium Magnum by Jacob Boehme

(1575-1624)

Jacob Boehme

Chapter 14

The Fourteenth Chapter

Of the Creation of the Fifth Day

1. Now when God had opened the astrum and four elements as a moving life, wherein the superior astrum gave the distinction in the moving life, and actuated the four astrums in the four elements, then he educed out of the essence of all the astrums and elements, through the motion of his speaking Word in the Verbum Fiat, the impress or express, as the power of that same life, which was free from the pain, and amassed it through the Verbum Fiat, and spoke forth that same life, by the holy eternal-speaking Word through the Fiat, into forms and shapes, according to the properties of the astrums in the spiritual corpus, in which the Fiat or the desire attracted the elements according to the outward essence unto itself as a body.

2. And thence were creatures produced in all the four elements; in each astrum according to its property: as birds in the astrum of the air; fishes in the astrum of the water; cattle and four-footed beasts out of the astrum of the earth. and four elements; likewise spirits in the fire-astrum, which also is in the other elements. And we see very exactly in the difference of the creatures that the degrees of the astrum [or constellations] are so distinct and various. For the worms of the earth live in the third degree, viz. in the fire-flagrat, in the Sulphur, Mars, and Mercury, in the life devoid of understanding; and whereas they have an understanding [or instinct] by the enkindling of the superior astrum, in which third degree in the property also grass, herbs and trees do stand, and yet they receive assisting influence from the superior [astrum] in the enkindling, by which they are otherwise qualified.

3. And we see, that each kind has a spirit and body according to the degree of its astrum; for we understand, that out of one astrum many kinds of creatures do proceed: the cause whereof is that each astrum has again its degrees in itself. For there is in each astrum whatsoever all the astra have; but yet in sundry distinct degrees in the manifestation; and therefore the properties in each astrum are manifold: so also divers sorts of creatures are proceeded from each astrum. The spirit of each kind is from the astrum, but all kinds must use the four elements; for they arise out of that fountain whence all the astra do originally proceed.

4. On the fifth day Jupiter has the dominion of the first hour of the day among the planets; and that, because he has his original in the creation of the astrum out of the fifth degree of nature, viz. out of the power of the sulphureous and salnitral oil; and that on the fifth day this Jovial property was opened and educed, out of the fourth day's property, as a pleasant powerful life out of all the constellations; unto which life God created all creatures, except man, each out of the property of his constellation, out of his degree. So that they might all live in the soul of the outward nature, and be under the government of one officer; which is the outward constellation wherein the sun is chief regent.

5. Each constellation has its compaction of Sulphur and Mercury; the Sulphur gives essence, and Mercurius gives spirit into the essence; and from both these Sal is generated, viz. out of the sharp Fiat according to the property of Sulphur and Mercury. And out of these three properties, viz. out of Sulphur, Mercurius, and Sal, all creatures entered into a life and creatural being. And now such as the Sulphur was on each place in every punctum in the property, as was taken or conceived in the Fiat, in the motion of the fifth property, in all the elements, even such a creature was opened or brought forth. As the compaction was coagulated in each punctum, so each kind had its spirit and seed in itself to generate and bring forth again.

6. The two sexes, viz. the male and its female, arise from the separation of the watery and fiery tincture in Sulphur. For the separation was in the Verbum Fiat, where, out of one sulphur, in one only punctum, two sexes came forth out of one essence, viz. the fiery property in itself to a male, and the light's or water's property to a female, where then both tinctures severed.

7. And as we see that the fire cannot burn without the water, and the water were a nothing without the fire, and they mutually beget one another, and also do again vehemently desire each other; and their right life consists in their conjunction, in that they have produced each other, and afterwards do enter into and mutually embrace each other as one; where also they are again changed in the fire into one; and yet do again proceed forth from the fire in one essence, viz. in an oleous property, in which they stand in the bond of the highest love-desire; for their light shines in the oil. And as the fire-world desires the light-world, and the light-world the fire-world, as father and son, the like also is to be understood of the two sexes.

8. The female is from the male, as the tincture of the light and water is from the fire; and they jointly belong together in nature as one. Thus the one may not be without the other, and they have a very ardent longing after each other, for the tincture of the light, viz. Venus's tincture desires the fire's tincture, and the fire the light's, as its pleasing [1] delight.

[1. Meekning.]

9. For Venus gives essence, and the fire takes the essence to its life, and yields out of the received essence the light; and in the fiery light the oil, and out of the oil again the water and essence. And hence it is that all creatures do desire copulation, each with its own kind; and so they do generate a third, viz. an assimulate, according to two in one: every ens brings forth a similitude according to itself.

10. And we see very clearly that each kind is created out of a sundry ens, each out of a different degree; and how each kind lives in its mother, whence it has taken its original; and that it cannot live in another degree. As the beasts upon the earth, which are a limus of the earth and air: therein they live; and thence they take their food and nourishment; for the Fiat extracted them out of the earth's property and amassed them in the fifth manifestation of the essence, as a sulphur of the fifth ens, whereon the four depend.

11. The birds were created in the sulphur of the air, therefore they fly in their mother; also the fishes in the sulphur of the water; and the worms in the sulphur of the earth. Thus each thing lives in its mother whence it was taken in the beginning, and the contrary is its death.

12. And the essence and life of this time is nothing else but a contemplation of the inward spiritual world; what the possibility of eternity has in it, and what kind of spiritual play is in the ens of the inward spiritual world, accordingly it came forth into a creatural being, out of good and evil, into a time; and that, through the divine motion.

13. And hereby the kingdom and dominion of the prince of the place of this world was taken from him, for the ens has introduced itself into another Principle, wherein he cannot be; for he was not made a creature in this Principle, and he has no life therein, save only in the property of the awakened wrath in the vanity.

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