The Mysterium Magnum by Jacob Boehme

(1575-1624)

Jacob Boehme

Chapter 15

The Fifteenth Chapter

Of the Sixth Day's Work of the Creation

1. The sixth day in the creation is Friday, on which Venus rules the first hour of the day; which does rightly signify unto us the order of the degrees, how the eternal-speaking Word has manifested itself with nature, through the time; how the spirit has brought forth the six properties of nature into six degrees or days into a working life, and yet has introduced them all again into the seventh, viz. into the rest, or into the mansion wherein they should work; denoting that all whatsoever that they should work, manifest and produce out of the wonders of the eternal wisdom should re-enter into the one, viz. into the rest; which is the seventh property; viz. a house of the working life, wherein it should stand as a figure to the contemplation of the great glory of God.

2. Now, when God had educed the five days of nature through five properties or degrees, into five constellations, (all which are not indeed constellations, but a fountain of an astral property), viz. into a sundry peculiar heaven, as it might be given and expressed to the understanding, then he did, on the sixth day, educe out of the Jovial property, viz. out of the fifth constellation, the sixth, viz. he produced out of the Jovial power the fiery love-desire; wherewith he rules through all the constellations. Whence it is that each life does long after its likeness; that is, it again desires such a creature as each life has in it.

3. Each life desires, in this Venus-property, to generate again such a creature as it is in itself: Hence arises the strong ardent imagination and fiery desire, that the properties do again desire into one, viz. into the fountain whence they proceeded; for in the same they may generate the assimulate of themselves.

4. Now when God had educed this fiery love-desire out of the centre through all the properties, then nature was now desirous (in this love-property) of the likeness of God, viz. [of] a similitude according to and in the generation of the holy love-desire; that so this holy constellation of the love-desire might also be creaturised and figurised.

5. And seeing this love-desire was educed out of all the properties of nature and the heavens, viz. out of the Verbum Fiat, wherein all the creatures lay from eternity in a Mystery, and [was] introduced into a separation, viz. into a sundry distinct degree, therefore now the property longed to be an image of all degrees and properties, viz. a living, rational and understanding image, according to the manifestation of this manifested property.

6. Now said the speaking Word in the Verbum Fiat, Let us make man: that is, out of the mesh [1] of all essences, out of the property of all powers and constellations, the love-desire desired a limus out of all essences for a living image: An image that may be like and resemble Us: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air; over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every worm (or creeping thing) that creeps upon the earth.

[1. Mass or mixture.]

7. Understand this thus: The sixth property of nature (viz. the love-desire) was produced, expressed or breathed forth out of all the properties, and was the desirous life in the joy, viz. in the light of nature. This was not itself a limus, but it was the desire to the limus; for the speaking Word which God expressed moved therein, viz. the intellectual life. God was therein manifest.

8. This manifested word of God desired, in this love-desire, a limus out of the earth and all the created essences, out of all the constellations and degrees, for a body unto itself; therefore God said, an image that may rule over fish, fowl, beasts, worms, and over the earth, and all the essences of the constellations. Now, if it must have dominion therein, then it must be thereout; for each spirit rules in its mother whence it is arisen and proceeded; and eats of its mother.

9. But here we must rightly understand this love-desire in the expressed Word. The expressed Word had, in this Venus-desire, the desire of all heavens, that is, of all entities and properties in itself, viz. the properties of the inward spiritual holy heaven, which is the mansion of the power of God; and of the outward created heaven, with the heavens of all constellations and elements; yet not essentially [or in substance], but as a spiritual desire: and these properties desired, in the spiritual desire, to be essential.

10. Now the text in Moses speaks very clearly and fully, where it says, And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him. By the creating is understood the body, which is twofold, viz. a spiritual body and a corporeal; for the Venus-desire is a spiritual body; and that which it has attracted unto itself in the Fiat into the desire of the spiritual body, that is a fleshly body. The Verbum Fiat itself did figurise and form it into a spiritual man, out of all the three Principles, viz. according to the inward divine world, both according to the fiery-light-world and the outward world.

11. And the spiritual body is the image of God, which the Fiat clothed with the essence out of all the essences, viz. with the heavenly holy essence, the heavenly holy corporality of the inward holy love-desire. And from the outward love-desire [it was clothed] with the limus of the earth and the other elements, together with the visible constellation of the third Principle.

12. The inward holy man was in the heaven of God, and the outward man was in the outward heaven, a limus of the outward heaven, and the inward man a limus of the holy spiritual heaven. Therefore says Moses very rightly, God created man in his image, to the image of God: for in betokens that he was known by the spirit of God in this essence from eternity in the Mystery of wisdom as a constellation of magical power. Into this knowledge God introduced the essence, and created the essence to the image of the magical image of God.

13. Thus understand by the inward creating the true heavenly image, viz. a holy [spiritual] man out of all the properties of the angelical divine world. Understand the inward body for the one only element, whence the four were expressed; and understand the outward man for the outward world, with the stars and four elements, viz. fire, air, water and earth, and also for the outward tincture, which is linked with the inward in the holy expressed Word, and is only severed by a Principle; where also the inward puts forth an external life out of itself. The inward is holy, and the outward [life or Principle] in the tincture were likewise holy, if the curse were not come into it by reason of the awakened vanity; yet if the vanity be severed by [1] the tincture, then it is holy, and a paradise, which shall open itself at the end of this world.

[1. Or from.]

14. And Moses says further, God breathed into man the breath of life, and he became a living soul: this signifies the living, speaking, understanding spirit, out of all the three Principles, viz. out of the inward fire-world, which is manifest through the dark world; and out of the holy light-world, and out of the outward aerial-world: this is the soul.

15. The inward fire-breath is the true eternal creatural soul; and the light-breath is the true understanding spirit of the soul, wherein it is an angel; and the outward air-breath is the rational soul in the vegetative bestial life, wherewith man rules over all the creatures of this world. That is one only soul in three Principles, according to the image or likeness of God.

16. As the only understanding of the abyssal unsearchable Deity has manifested itself with three Principles, so likewise he has breathed into the created image the same spirit, viz. the true life out of all the three Principles. The body is a limus of all essences, and the soul is the expressed Word, viz. the power and understanding of all essences, viz. the manifestation of the divine understanding.

17. The spirit of God has inspired or given in itself from the properties of all the three Principles, into the created image, viz. the Father of all essences has breathed or spoken forth the spirit, through his eternal-speaking Word, out of all the three Principles, out of the whole essence of the powers; or, as I might set it down, he has inspoken it, viz. the egressed sound or expressed voice of the understanding which, through the motion of God, did educe and manifest itself through the eternal and temporal nature. The same [spirit] God did again in-speak or, as the text in Moses has it, breathed [itself] into this only image, for a ruler of the body and all other creatures.

18. And the soul, in its real life and understanding, consists in three kingdoms: the first is the eternal nature, viz. the potent might of eternity, the dark and fire-world, according to which God calls himself a strong zealous angry God, and a consuming fire, in which Lucifer has wholly diabolised himself.

19. The second is the holy light-world, where the eternal understanding has displayed itself through the fire's-sharpness, in the light of the great fiery love-desire, and turned the wrathful dark-and-fiery propery to a kingdom of joy; which is the true manifestation of the Deity; and it is called the holy heaven of the angelical delight and bliss.

20. The third kingdom or world is the outward astral and elemental kingdom, viz. the air, with its domineering constellations, wherein all the five outward constellations rule, viz. the superior, and the inferior of the four elements, out of which the five senses take their original, wherein the vegetable and reasonable life consists. This is the animal soul, which rules in all the creatures of this world, so also in all the outward heavens or constellations, and in all the earth or essences of the outward world.

21. Understand it thus: the fire-breath out of the first Principle rules in its original, viz. in its own mother, whence the spirit of God amassed (or moulded) it, viz. in the centre of the eternal nature, in the might of the dark-and-fire-world. And it is the cause of the light-life; and also of the air-life: if that were not, then none of the others would be.

22. And the light-breath rules in the second Principle, viz. in the holy kingdom of the manifested power of God, which is the mansion of the holy spirit of God, the temple of God, viz. in the heavenly holy essence; understand, in the holy spiritual body of the holy pure element, which, with its properties, stands in equal weight and measure, as a fit prepared instrument of the spirit; wherein he manifests God's wonders out of the eternal wisdom, and introduces them into the melody of joy, viz. into the holy harmony of the eternal-speaking Word of God, into the divine kingdom of joy, viz. into the manifestation of the divine powers; in which the holy spirit is the true musician.

23. And the air-spirit rules also in its mother, whence it originally stood, viz in the outward world, in the figure and similitude of the inward world, viz. in the outward mystery of time; and manifests its mother, which is brought forth out of eternity into a time, to the contemplation of the wonders of the wisdom of God.

24. And yet there are not three souls, but only one. But the soul stands in three Principles, viz. in the kingdom of God's anger, and in the kingdom of God's love, and in the kingdom of this world. And if this were not, then it could not be said, the soul went into heaven or hell, if they [1] were not in it. When the air, viz. the outward kingdom of time does leave the soul, then is the soul manifest either in the dark fire-kingdom of God, or in the holy kingdom of light, in the love-fire of the power of God; whereunto it has given up itself in this life-time, therein it stands when it foregoes the outward life.

[1. Heaven and hell.]

25. And we are in no wise to think that the soul is God himself; who is neither nature nor creature, also dwells in nothing, save only in himself; and yet dwells through all things, and is neither far off nor nigh unto any thing. But the soul is the expressed Word, the formed Word; it is the spirit and the life of the three Principles of divine manifestation. But if it were God, then it were immovable, and no judgement could pass upon it.

26. But a judgement may pass upon it, if it departs out of that order wherein God introduced it in the beginning; if it goes out of the divine harmony, out of the order of the manifested word of God's power, if it cloth manifest or produce another will in itself, viz. other properties out of the strong might of the eternal nature.

27. The whole man with body and soul is threefold; and yet but one only man. The body is out of a threefold essence; and the soul is out of a threefold property of the spirit. An example thereof you have in the fire, light and air: the fire has another property than the light and air have. The fiery body is the eternal constellation, viz. the magical constellation, the Great Mystery, out of which the outward constellation was produced, and brought into a creatural being or creation.

28. The fiery spirit, viz. the fiery soul, dwells in the fiery spiritual body; and in the light's body (which is from the holy element, viz. from the true heavenly image, which consists in a spiritual Sulphur, Mercurius and Sal) dwells the holy soul, viz. the true spirit of the soul, which is a temple of God; and in the outward body (which is a limus of the earth and the other elements), viz. in the outward constellation of the five senses, the outward soul, viz. the real spirit of the outward world does dwell.

29. Each property of the soul has a corporeal property in itself; which may be called a heaven, viz. a sundry special magical astrum; as the fiery property of the soul has a body from the inward constellation of the dark and fire-world, which is a spiritual body.

30. And the lucid [1] property of the soul has a spiritual, oleous and watery body, wherein the two properties of the highest tincture of the fire and light do open the lustre and beauty of the colours, wonders and virtue of the divine wisdom. This water is the water above the firmament, of which Moses speaks; and this oil is the holy oil of the divine powers; and this was a usual type in the Old Testament, in that the real oily body of the heavenly property did disappear in Adam in the awakened vanity; so God ordained the type of the new Regeneration with an unction of oil, wherein he powerfully wrought through the promised Covenant, as in a type.

[1. Or light.]

31. The third outward property of the soul has likewise every way such a body of many constellations in it, as always the inward properties; all which multiplicity of properties may be called heavens. For each property of the outward body has a magical constellation; as there is a body of the sulphurean constellation of the earth; also a body or constellation of the mercurial, poisonful life; also a body of the salt-powers of bodies; also a body of the soul of the outward world, viz. of the upper created constellation; all according as the outward powers of the outward soul are. Thus each power has a corporeal property in it: and thus also the inward powers of the spiritual property are to be understood with the inward body.

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