The Mysterium Magnum by Jacob Boehme


Jacob Boehme

Chapter 19

The Nineteenth Chapter

Of the building (framing) of the Woman; showing how Man was ordained to the outward Natural Life

1. AND Moses says, God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept: and he took one of the ribs of his side, and built a woman thereof, and closed up the place with flesh (Gen. ii. 21). Moses says, the woman was made of a rib out of Adam's side: who will understand this, without divine light? But here lies the veil before the brightness of Moses' face, by reason of the unworthiness of the bestial man.

2. For we find that the woman was taken and formed in the Fiat out of Adam's essence, both in body and soul. But the rib betokens Adam's dissolution or breaking, viz. that this body should, and would, be dissolved; for in the place of this rib Longinus's spear must afterwards, when Christ was crucified, enter into the same, and tincture and heal the breach in the wrath of God with heavenly blood.

3. Now when Adam's hunger was set after the earthliness, it did, by its magnetic power, impress into his fair image the vanity of evil and good; whereupon the heavenly image of the angelical world's essence did disappear; as if a man should insinuate some strange matter into a burning and light-shining candle, whereby it should become dark, and at last wholly extinguish. So it went also with Adam, for he brought his will and desire from God into selfhood and vanity, and broke himself off from God, viz. from the divine harmony.

4. Even then he forthwith sank down into a swoon, into sleep, viz. into an unability, which signifies the death: for the image of God, which is immutable, does not sleep. Whatsoever is eternal has no time in it; but by the sleep the time was manifest in man, for he slept in the angelical world, and awaked to the outward world.

5. His sleep is [signifies] the rest of Christ in the grave, where the new regenerate life in Christ's humanity must enter into Adam's sleep, and awaken it again to the eternal life, and bring it out of time into the eternal being.

6. But the breaking [or dividing] of Adam's essence, when the woman was taken out of him, is the breaking or bruising of Christ's body on the cross, from the sixth hour unto the ninth; for so long was the Fiat in Adam's sleep in the separating of the man and woman; for in such a space of time the woman was completely finished [or brought forth] out of Adam into a female [person or] image.

7. And when Christ on the cross had again accomplished this redemption of our virgin-like image from the divided sex of male and female, and tinctured it with his heavenly blood in the divine love, he said, It is finished: for before, he stood in Adam's thirst. As Adam did thirst after the vanity, so Christ did now fill or satiate this thirst of vanity with the holy divine love-thirst, and turned about the will of the soul, that it might again introduce its thirst into God. And when this was brought to pass, he said, now, it is finished and converted. Christ turned back Adam in his sleep from the vanity, and from the man and woman, again into the angelical image. Great and wonderful are these Mysteries, which the world cannot apprehend; for it is as blind in them, as a man that is horn blind, is, to behold this world; but he that regards and finds them has great joy therein.

8. Eve is the right magical child, for she is the matrix in which the love-desire stood in Adam, viz. the magical impregnation and birth; she was Adam's paradisical rose-garden in peculiar love, wherein he loved himself; for the amassing [or conceiving] of the magical impregnation, or incarnation, or divine formation of propagation, was [or did stand] in the conjunction of both tinctures.

9. And, after the eating of the apple, God said unto them, The woman's seed shall bruise the Serpent's head. [Genesis 3:15] The ground and corner-stone lies here in this matrix; for the woman's matrix wherein the divine formation stood, was, as to the right life, heavenly, being out of the heavenly essentiality, wherein consisted the right paradise.

10. But Adam with his imagination brought earthliness and vanity thereinto, viz. self-will; and then the holy part, viz. Venus's desire, which was the divine centre in the humanity, viz. the manifested love-word in the image of God, did disappear in this matrix; therefore Eve, from this strange will introduced into the matrix, brought forth at first a self-willed proud murderer; for Adam, with his false imagination, had introduced this vanity, so also the devil's desire [thereinto].

11. But the divine love-will would not forsake this disappeared angelical matrix; and gave himself by promise thereinto with the dear and precious name of Jesus, who should again awaken it in the holiness's property; and bruise the head of the devil's insinuated desire and false rebellious will; that is, destroy, and take away the might of its life, and introduce it again, through divine love, into the first life. And even in this holy matrix, which the word and power of God did again awaken in the sweet name [of] Jesus in the seed of Mary in the bound of the Covenant, the Serpent's poison in the soul and flesh was destroyed.

12. And this is the seed of the woman: dear brethren, observe it, it is highly known. The aim of the Covenant of Promise was pight [or set] into this matrix: but Eve was not the same child; for the part of the heavenly matrix stood disappeared in her; but [yet it was] in the Covenant of God, as the dry rod of Aaron (which budded forth afresh) did typify unto us.

13. She was indeed the whole matrix of Adam, but the holy part was shut up in her; and [there] lived only the outward part of the outward world with evil and good, viz. the matrix of the third Principle, which had indeed a halfsoul-like property, but [captivated] in the prison of God's anger. The holy Covenant of love rested in the disappeared part, in the midst of the awakened anger; from which Covenant the prophetical spirit in the Old Testament spoke, and prophesied of the future opening (or manifestation) in the Covenant.

14. The greatest Mystery is to be understood in the formation of Eve; for a man must very entirely and intimately understand and apprehend the birth of nature, and the original of man, if he will see the ground; for she is the half Adam; not taken only and wholly out of Adam's flesh, but out of his essence, out of the female part: she is Adam's matrix.

15. The woman received no more from Adam's flesh and bones, save the rib in his side, and the half cross in the head, which was the life's birth-cross, whereon Christ destroyed death. The matrix of the heavenly part was in Adam, magical, that is, moving in the essence; but the outward part of the outward world was made fleshy; and both were mutually bound [or espoused] to one another; as the time with the eternity. The holy part was in heaven, and [was] the heaven itself; and the outward fleshy part was in the outward world in Matrice Mundi [matrix of the third principle].

16. Thus the female property was, in the Fiat, extracted out of Adam's essence, as his dearest rose-garden, and he kept the limbus,[note] heavenly and earthly [celestial and terrestrial], according to the eternal Father's manifested property, viz. the fire-soul's matrix's property; and the woman [kept] the part of the spirit's soul's property; the woman had the centre of the angelical world in her disappeared part of the soul-like property, viz. the manifested love-word, viz. the fifth property of the eternal nature; and the man had in his limbus the divine fire-world, viz. the centre of the light-world, the centre of all essences.

"Limbus" according to Paracelsus via Hartmann: "In the Limbus or Ideos of primordial matter, invested with the original power of life, without form, and without any conceivable qualities -- in this, the only matrix of all created things, the substance of all things is contained."

17. The man's limbus, which he kept when the woman was made out of him, was the Father's property, according to all essences; and the woman out of [or proceed from] the man was the Son's property, according to all essences, understand, the heavenly part [both of the limbus and matrix]. Therefore Christ became man in the woman's part, and brought the man's part again into the holy matrix, so that the limbus and the female matrix were again one image [or person], viz. a manly virgin, above and in all the three Principles, as a creatural-formed God, in whom the eternal unformed God dwelt, with universal fullness, both in the formed, and outside the formed [divine creature or God-man]. For thus was Adam also, before his Eve, and so must we also be in Christ, if we would be the image and temple of God.

18. Now when the pregnant matrix was taken from Adam, the woman was every way formed with such members for propagation as she is at this day; and so Adam also. For before, when Adam was male and female, he needed no such members; for his birth was magical, his conception moving in the matrix [was to be] done through imagination; for the Fiat was manifest in him.

19. And the bestial worm's carcass of the bowels, with the formation of other inward principal members pertaining to the earthly life, was hung upon Adam instead of the female matrix, and the like worm's carcass was also hung upon the woman, instead of the heavenly limbus, that they might stuff in a deal of vanity, and live like the beasts, seeing they did so eagerly lust after evil and good.

20. Reason will object against me, and say: God created Adam in the beginning such a man, and even with all members, as he now is. Which, notwithstanding, it cannot make out or demonstrate, seeing the soul is ashamed of this bestial property. Also I would fain know of this self-full reason, whether or no such an Adam (if he were created so miserable, destitute, naked and bare, unto this bestial life) were created to eternal life, without defect, and also without need, distress, and death? And whether this sink [or fill your carcass of earthly flesh and blood] were the Paradise and temple of God; and how could he have been able to defend himself from hurt and ruin? For such a beast-like man may be drowned in the water, and burnt in the fire, and also crushed to pieces with rocks and stones.

21. But says thou, God did well know that it would be so with Adam, therefore he created him so at the very first? Against this the Scripture declares, saying, God created man in his image, yea, to the image of God created he him; not to the bestial image. What sin would God have imputed or charged upon man, if he had created him in a bestial image? what then would the new birth avail him [to what end then should he be born again]? The new birth contains in real sum, this: That the angelical image must be born again, which God created in Adam. God formed Adam in the image of God, and though he knew that he would not stand, yet he appointed him the Saviour, who would bring him again into the first image, and therein establish him for ever.

22. Now it plainly appears that Adam stood in the divine image, and not in the bestial, for he knew the property of all creatures, and gave names to all creatures, from their essence, form and property. He understood the Language of Nature, viz. the manifested and formed Word in everyone's essence, for thence the name of every creature is arisen.

23. Now, seeing he knew how the word of power was formed in every creature, thereupon we cannot esteem him bestial; he was without doubt angelical; for none other man shall arise, but such a one as Adam was before his Eve. God created him perfect, but he stood not in the proba; whereupon it must now follow, that God suffered him to fall into the outward magic; and ordained him to the image of this world; and set him into the natural life, viz. into the corruption and the new birth [degeneration and regeneration]. For in heaven there is neither male nor female, but all one kind, in peculiar love, without further propagation, in an eternal confirmation.

24. This therefore does set forth unto us that Adam died in Paradise, as God said unto him, if you eatest of the Tree, thou diest: He died to the holy [heavenly] image, and lived to the awakened bestial image. For now, when Adam did awake from sleep, he was indeed still in Paradise, for the vanity in the flesh and soul did not yet actually and effectually work, and was yet dumb, still, and senseless, until they did eat of the forbidden fruit; and then the earthly dominion began to rise; then the vanity awakened, viz. all the forms of the life, each in its selfhood, and forsook severally their mutual harmony, and forthwith heat and cold fell upon them [Adam and Eve]; for the outward [image or being] did assimulate [or ensource] with the inward, and the heavenly image at last quite disappeared; which in Adam's sleep, and also in this awakening, did yet live both in Adam and Eve, but in a very obscure and impotent manner.

25. Adam, in his perfection, while he was man and wife, and had the magical conception in him, did amuse himself on (or imagine after) the beasts, and introduced himself into bestial lust, to eat and generate according as the beasts do: And so, likewise, the Fiat took in the same lust, and formed him in his sleep even as the lust was; and every member was formed in its place to the conjunction of the beast-like copulation; for each desire has obtained its mouth to manifestation. Thus the image of God formed itself in the Verbum Fiat into such a beast as we are still to this day; and this same (was done) in itself; viz. man's own Fiat (viz. the first form of nature, which is the desire of God's manifestation), did effect it, and none other maker from without him.

26. We are not to conceive, that there was anything else upon Adam, which made his Eve out of him, or that formed them both to the outward natural life, save only the Verbum Fiat in them, their own very propriate, and not any alienate (or anything strange) from without them. As the first creation of Adam and all kinds of creatures was so brought to pass, the Verbum Fiat coagulated each ens, and the manifested word severed itself in the ens according to its property, and formed the creature according to its astrum and kind; where also, in every ens, the matrix was separated from the limbus, and formed into a male and female [into a he and she].

27. The picturing of God as a man in making Adam, and afterwards standing over Adam as he sleeps, and making a woman out of him, is more idolatrous than real; and God has earnestly forbidden, in Moses, to make the likeness of any God. For he is no image, save only in the creatures, according to the expressed formed Word, both according to the creatures of eternity, and of time: he is no [such] maker, but a former of the properties, a creator, and not [such a] maker.

28. The creating is the Fiat which amasses [or forms], and the Word in the power of the amassed [or conceived being] gives the distinction according to the ens. As the ens is, in the generation of the spirit, so a thing is formed; for the body or substance of all things is nothing else but a signature or mansion according to the spirit. As the birth is in the ens, where the spirit forms itself; so is likewise the body of all kinds of creatures, both in animals and vegetables. As we plainly see, that the first Creator, who has moved himself and brought himself into a creatural manifestation, has left in all creatures a power to their self-multiplication or increasing, propagation, and procreation; and incorporated the Fiat in them as a maker, for their own propriety [or most innate instinct].

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