The Mysterium Magnum by Jacob Boehme

(1575-1624)

Jacob Boehme

Glossary

by Wayne Kraus

Glossary of Boehme's Terminology

Also see comments by compiler at the top of chapter-03.htm

And archive.org: Clavis_or_Key_to_Jacob_Boehme_writings

Extracted from:
jacobboehmeonline.com (8 page pdf, part 3 only)

Abyss, An infinity in which exists only the Three Principles. The undifferentiated All, the Everynothing. The Ungrund (Unground).

Anguish, is the third Form of the seven Properties of Eternal Nature, made of the first two Forms, and making a Sulphurous Spirit.

Centrum or Center, is the inward Ground. Laws of nature before energy or "matter."

Christ, the inward new Man in the Spirit of Christ.

Divine Unity, is Deity before manifestation; like a candle that produces Fire (Father), Light (Son) and Air (Spirit).

Element, called the one or holy Element, is of or according to the second Principle generated eternally out of the eternal Nature or great Mystery, which are according to the First, but wherever they generated the holy Element there is paradise.

Ens, the proper or peculiar Being or Essence of a thing, particularly in terms of moral character, benevolence or malignancy.

Eternal Nature, is of the first Principle and that in which standeth two Kingdoms; one the pure Virgin Wisdom of God, the one holy Element, the cause of the four Elements and the Stars: The other, the severe fierce wrath: According to which God calleth himself a consuming Fire. It is therefore the great Mystery.

Expressed word, all Creatures visible and invisible.

Fiat, the Eternal speaking Word or Creating Power proceeding from the Freewill of the Abyss. Also the desire of the Soul taking the Power of the holy Love Tincture, and makes it essential. "Let there be."

Flagrat, or sudden fright, shriek, terror, flash, the severing of the two Principles of Light and Darkness; resembling that in Thunder and Lightning, Gunpowder, etc. The pregnant Echo of the sound of Eternity, speaking (by the Magical Fire-breath) Love, or Anger; Life, in the Light; Death, in the Darkness. The Third Principle. The Fourth Property.

Limbus, the male counterpart of the female Matrix. Seed or concretion of Nature. Substantiality.

Lubet, a Longing Delight or Beneplacitum; In God, it is the free pregnant Will to Manifestation in Nature and Creature; without which all had been an Eternal stillness. The Lubet in Man, is the moving Will to Good or Evil.

Magia, there are two Magia's, one of the Unity, the other of the Multiplicity, or Astral Powers. And two Magi in Man, the Spirit of God, and Reason, into the latter the Devil easily insinuates.

Majesty, the Light of the Glorious Son of God, the second Principle, according to which only God is called God, for according to the First, viz., the Father's Property, he is not called God, but a consuming Fire.

Matrix, the fruitful bearing womb of Eternity.

Mysterium Magnum, the Chaos out of which the Unity of God flows outward into Manifestation thru the Divine Wisdom. It is of the first Principle.

Nature, arises in the outflown word of the divine perception and knowledge; and it is a continual framing and forming of sciences and perception: whatsoever the word works by the wisdom, that nature frames and forms into properties: Nature is like a carpenter, who builds a house, which the mind figured and contrived before in itself; so it is here also to be understood.

Out-birth, the visible, palpable, mortal part of this World called the Anger-fire.

Property, is a Divine Idea manifest in Nature. Nature, in its first Ground, consists in Seven Properties, and these Seven interact and divide into Infinity. Each entity in Creation is a unique balance or Temperature of the original seven Properties.

Propriety, egoity, I-ness, I-hood, ownness, a something,

Salitter, (called) Divine Saiitten represented by the Earth, but like the pure Heaven; in it are moving, springing Powers, producing all manner of Divine Trees, Plants, etc., with heavenly Colours, Smells, Tastes; whereof this World's Trees, Gold, Silver, Precious Stones, etc., are hard, dark, dead Shadows. But this Salitter and Mercurius, (i.e.) Divine Mercurius, is the food of Angels and Holy Souls.

Salniter, is that which in the Sulphur is awakened, by the heat arising into a Flagrat out of the Brimstony, Watery, and Earthy Properties, whereby the Properties are explicated.

Sathan, is the Spirit of Error, and not always a Creaturely Devil, but the Property of such an Erroneous Spirit.

Signature, is the container of spirit, a vessel, spiritual body, inner self, true nature. It is like a lute that is silent until the Spirit plays a tune upon it. Human nature is a vessel of spirit and has no inherent moral nature; its benevolence or malignancy is determined by what spirit indwells and plays it: the Spirit of Christ or the Spirit of Error.

Sophia, the true noble precious Image of Christ, viz., the Wisdom of God, the Tincture of the Light.

Source, the original quality or essential property to Love and Anger, Light and Darkness, both according to time and Eternity.

Sulphur, Mercury and Sal, do not refer to brimstone, quicksilver and salt, but the Essences of these Properties, in which the created world consists and which correspond to the three first Properties. Sal is gravity, magnetism, inertia, the will to unity, wholeness. Mercury is the motion and separation of Nature, wherein each thing is figured according to its own Signature. Sulphur is sensate, perceiving, willing and growing life. Sulphur signifies the Third Principle.

Ternarius, or number three in the language of Nature, the Divine birth in the six Forms of Nature, which are the six Seals of God.

Ternary, (called) Ternarium Sanctum, holy Flesh or holy Substance, or Corporizing of Angels and holy Souls.

Tincture, is in Angels and Glorified Saints the Virgin Love-fire. In Man that which Adam's fall caused almost wholly to disappear. In Vegetables, Animals and Minerals, their Virtue, Vitality, or Life, Spirit and Power.

Turba, is taken for a fierce wrath-fire which destroyeth the corruptible body, Sometimes for Horrid Tempests or Hellish Blasts, general Contagions, awakened by common Sins, called Turba Magna.

N.B. - JB was a highly visual person, rather than a wordsmith, and used words as symbols. Like Ezekiel and John, he strains verbiage to describe what he has seen, and resorts constantly to word-symbols. Symbols speak to us on a deep visceral level and cannot be fully explained or defined. JB's aim is to introduce us to truths that may take root in our innermost being and yet remain beyond the grasp of reason. "The heart hath reasons that reason knows not." Jacob, as a believer in the universal Language of Nature, makes no distinction between word-symbols and the realities they signify. In Boehme, words are not mere signifiers but Glyphs, Sigils and Runes of Power.

Symbols are subject to manifold interpretations and limitless applications. Do not be bothered if your understanding of JB's words and ideas are at variance with the definitions and interpretations of Law, Freher, Hartmann or Grubb. Take the old Quakers' advice and follow your Inner Light. (John 1:9)

Each of us is a singular facet of the Divine Image, and has a unique perspective on Total Truth. Only the Truth that resonates with your innermost being is Truth for you.

"Therefore man, who is so noble an image, having his ground in time and eternity, should well consider himself, and not run headlong in such blindness, seeking his native country afar off from himself, when it is within himself." CLAVIS 178

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