He was considered an original thinker by many of his contemporaries [3] within the Lutheran tradition, and his first book, commonly known as Aurora , caused a great scandal. His father, George Wissen, was Lutheran, reasonably wealthy, but a peasant nonetheless. He was, however, deemed to be not strong enough for husbandry. When he was 14 years old, he was sent to Seidenberg , as an apprentice to become a shoemaker. He regularly prayed and read the Bible as well as works by visionaries such as Paracelsus , Weigel and Schwenckfeld , although he received no formal education.

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Repent and believe in the gospel of truth. Jacob Boehme was born in the year , at Alt Seidenburg, a place about two miles distant from Goerlitz in Germany. He was the son of poor country people, and in his youth he herded the cattle of his parents.

He was then sent to school, where he learned to read and to write, and afterwards he entered as an apprentice a shoemaker's shop. It seems that even in early youth he was able to enter into an abnormal state of consciousness, and to behold images in the astral light; for once, while herding the cattle and standing on the top of a hill, he suddenly saw an arched opening of a vault, built of large red stones, and surrounded by bushes. He went through that opening into the vault, and in its depths he beheld a vessel filled with money.

He, however, experienced no desire to possess himself of that treasure; but supposing that it was a product of the spirits of darkness made to lead him into temptation, he fled. On a later occasion, while left alone in the shoemaker's shop, an unknown stranger entered, asking to buy a pair of shoes.

Boehme, supposing himself not entitled to make such a bargain in the absence of his master, asked an extraordinary high price, hoping thus. Nevertheless, the stranger bought the shoes and left the shop.

After leaving, he stopped in front of the shop, and, with a loud and solemn voice called to Boehme: "Jacob, come outside. Boehme was very much astonished to see that the stranger knew his name.

He went out in the street to meet him, and there the stranger, grasping him by the hand, and, with deeply penetrating eyes looking into his eyes, spoke the following words: "Jacob, you are now little; but you will become a great man, and the world will wonder about you. Be pious, live in the fear of God, and honour His word. Especially do I admonish you to read the Bible; herein you will find comfort and consolation; for you will have to suffer a great deal of trouble, poverty, and persecution.

Nevertheless, do not fear, but remain firm; for God loves you, and is gracious to you. This remarkable event made a great impression on the mind of Jacob Boehme. He earnestly went through the exercises necessary in the study of practical occultism; that is to say, he practised patience, piety, simplicity of thought and purpose, modesty, resignation of his self-will to divine law, and he kept in mind the promise given in the Bible, that those who earnestly ask the Father in heaven for the communication of the Holy Ghost will have the spirit of sanctity awakened within themselves, and be illuminated with His wisdom.

Such an illumination, indeed, took place within his mind, and for seven days in succession Jacob Boehme was in an ecstatic state, during which he was surrounded by the light of the Spirit, and his consciousness immersed in contemplation and happiness.

It is not stated what he saw during those visions, nor would such a statement have the result of gratifying the curiosity. Such a state does not necessarily exclude the exercise of the external faculties; for while Plato says about Socrates, that the latter once stood immovable for a day and a half upon one spot in a state of such ecstasy, in the case of Jacob Boehme we find that during a similar condition he continued the external occupations of his profession.

Afterwards, in the year , he became master-shoemaker, and married a woman, with whom he lived for thirty years, and there were four sons born to him, who followed a profession like himself. In the year , in the twenty-fifth year of his age, another divine illumination took place in his mind, and this time he learned to know the innermost foundation of nature, and acquired the capacity to see henceforth with the eyes of the soul into the heart of all things, a faculty which remained with him even in his normal condition.

Ten years afterward, anno , his third illumination took place, and that which in former visions had appeared to him chaotic and multifarious was now recognised by him as a unity, like a harp of many strings, of which each string is a separate instrument, while the whole is only one harp. He now recognised the divine order of nature, and how from the trunk of the tree of life spring different branches, bearing manifold leaves and flowers and fruits, and he became impressed with the necessity of writing down what he saw and preserving the record.

Thus, beginning with the year , and up to his end in the year , he wrote many books about the things which he saw in the light of his own spirit, comprising thirty books full of the deepest mysteries regarding. He taught a conception of God which was far too grand to be grasped by the narrow-minded clergy, who saw their authority weakened by a poor shoemaker, and who therefore became his unrelenting enemies; for the God of whom they conceived was a limited Being, a Person who at the time of His death had given His divine powers into the hands of the clergy, while the God of Jacob Boehme was still living and filling the universe with His glory.

He says:—. I acknowledge this power to be a Trinity in One , each of the Three being of equal power, being called the Father , the Son , and the Holy Ghost. I acknowledge that this triune principle fills at one and the same time all things; that it has been, and still continues to be, the cause, foundation, and beginning of all things.

I believe and acknowledge that the eternal power of this principle caused the existence of the universe; that its power, in a manner comparable to a breath or speech the Word, the Son or Christ , radiated from its centre, and produced the germs out of which grow visible forms, and that in this exhaled Breath or Word the Logos is contained the inner heaven and the visible world with all things existing within them.

Moreover, he taught that to be a true Christian it was not sufficient to subscribe to a certain set of beliefs;. This Word has been revealed in our human nature, which is blind to the presence of God, and he who absorbs this Word with his hungry soul and thereby returns to the original spiritual state in which humanity took its origin, his soul will become a temple of divine love, wherein the Father receives His beloved Son.

In him will reside the Holy Ghost. He will be an heir of Christ—not on account of some merit gained by some one else, nor by some favour conferred upon him by some external power, but by inward grace. Such a speculative Christian every wicked devil may be, for everyone would like to obtain, without any efforts of his own, something good which he does not deserve. But that which is born from the flesh cannot enter the kingdom of the God.

To enter that kingdom one must be reborn in the Spirit. A true Christian desires nothing else but that which the Christ within his soul desires. We ought to repudiate all our personal desires, disputes, science, and will, if we want to restore the harmony with the mother which gave us birth at the.

These animals must die before the Christ principle can begin to live therein. Man must return to his natural state his original purity , before he can become divine. No one is saved by God as a mark of his gratitude for having attended church and having had the patience to listen to a sermon; but his attendance to external ceremonies can only benefit him if he hears Christ speak within his own heart. God's mysteries can be only known by God, and to know them we must first seek God in our own centre.

Our reason and will must return to the inner source from which they originated; then will we arrive at a true science of God and His attributes.

Man has surrounded himself by a world of will and imagination of his own. He has therefore lost sight of God, and can only regain his former state and become wise if he brings the activity of his soul and mind again in harmony with the divine Spirit. He must feel the divine fire of love burn in his heart.

This fire is the Spirit of Christ, who continually crushes the head of the serpent, meaning the desires of the flesh. The flesh is governed by the will of the world; but the spiritual fire in man is kindled by the Spirit. He who wants to become a Christian must not boast and say: 'I am a Christian! Such a Christian will perhaps be hated and persecuted by the nominal Christians of his time; but he must bear his cross, and thereby he will become strong.

Each one imagines that he has the truth in his keeping, and wants to be admired by the world as a keeper of the truth. Therefore they denounce and slander and backbite each other, and thus they act against the first principle taught by Christ, and which is brotherly love. Thus the Church of Christ has become a bazaar where vanities are exhibited, and as the Israelites dance around the golden calf, so the modern Christians dance around their self-constructed fetiches, whom they call God, and on account of this fetich-worship they will not be able to enter the promised land.

Secondly, it shows what we were before we became disunited. Thirdly, it explains the cause of the continuance of our present disunion. Fourthly, it instructs us as to the final destiny of the mortal and immortal elements within our constitution.

All the doctrines which have been hung around this fundamental doctrine, and which do not conform with the latter, are merely the products of worldly foolishness, thinking itself wise; they are merely useless ornaments which will. He may have been legally appointed to his clerical office, and yet he is not a true shepherd. Christ says: 'He who does not enter the stable of the sheep by the door, but enters by the window, is a thief and a murderer, and the sheep will not follow him, for they do not know his voice.

But Christ said: 'All plants which have not been planted by my heavenly Father shall be torn out and destroyed. To become a true spiritual teacher, one must teach in the Spirit of God and not in the spirit of selfishness.

But Faith is the result of the direct perception of the truth, heard and understood by the inner sense, taught by the Holy Ghost, and productive of theosophists and servants of the divine Spirit.

As to the question whether or not sins can be forgiven by a priest, his opinion is not doubtful: "No sin can be taken away by priestly absolution. If Christ is resurrected within the heart, the old Adam will be dead and with him the sins which he has committed.

If the sun rises, the night will be swallowed by the day and exist no. Dissemble, shout, weep, sing, preach, and teach as much as you please, it will serve to no purpose as long as evil exists in your heart. If I go to confession for years, and get the priest to absolve me every day, and in addition to that receive the sacrament every four weeks, it will serve me nothing if Christ is not in me.

An animal going to church will come out an animal, no matter to what ceremonies it may have been made to submit. This church is with him and in him wherever he goes, and he is always in his church.

His church is the temple of Christ, wherein the Holy Ghost preaches to all beings, and in everything he beholds he hears a sermon of God. He may participate in the ceremonial service of every sect, and still belong to none. He has only one science, which is Christ within him; he has only one desire, namely, to do good. Look at the flowers of the field.

Each one has its own particular attributes, nevertheless they do not wrangle and fight with each other. They do not quarrel about the possession of sunshine and rain, or dispute about their colours, odour, and taste. Each one grows according to its nature. Thus it is with the children of God.

Each one has his own gifts and attributes, but they all spring from one Spirit. They enjoy their gifts, and praise the wisdom of Him from whom they originated. Why should they dispute about the qualities of Him whose attributes are manifest in themselves?

Whatever God sows and makes manifest in us, we give it back to Him as His own fruit. The kingdom of heaven is not based upon our opinions and authorised beliefs, but roots in its own divine power.

Our main object ought to be to have the divine power within ourselves. If we possess that, all scientific pursuit will be a mere play of the intellectual faculties with which to amuse ourselves; for the true science is the revelation of the wisdom of God within our own mind.

God manifests His wisdom through His children as the earth manifests her powers through the production of various flowers and fruits. Therefore let each one be glad of his own gifts and enjoy those of the others. Why should all be alike? Who condemns the birds of the forest because they do not all sing the same tune; but each praises its Creator in its own way? Nevertheless, the power which enables them to sing originates in all from only one source. His first work, entitled "Aurora" the beginning of the new day , was not quite finished, when, by the indiscretion of a friend, copies of the manuscript carne into the hands of the clergy.

The head parson of Goerlitz, whose name was Gregorius Richter, a person entirely incapable of conceiving of the depths of that religion which he professed to teach, in ignorance of the divine mysteries of true Christianity, of which he knew nothing but its superficial aspect and form, too vain to bear with toleration that a poor shoemaker should be in possession of any spiritual knowledge which he, the well-fed priest, did not possess, became Jacob Boehme's bitterest enemy, denouncing and cursing the author of that book, and his hate was raised to the utmost degree by the meekness and modesty with which Boehme received the insults and denunciations directed toward him.

Soon the bigoted priest publicly in the pulpit accused Boehme of being a disturber of the peace and an heretic,. In vain Jacob Boehme attempted to reason personally with the infuriated Doctor of Divinity. New curses and insults were the result of his interview with him, and the parson threatened to have Jacob Boehme arrested and put into prison. The City Council was afraid of the priest, and, although he could not substantiate any charge against Boehme, nevertheless they ordered him to leave the town for fear of the consequences that might result if they did not comply with the Rev.

Richter's request. Patiently Boehme submitted to the unjust decree.


Jacob Boehme's Aurora - electronic text-edition

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Repent and believe in the gospel of truth. Jacob Boehme was born in the year , at Alt Seidenburg, a place about two miles distant from Goerlitz in Germany. He was the son of poor country people, and in his youth he herded the cattle of his parents. He was then sent to school, where he learned to read and to write, and afterwards he entered as an apprentice a shoemaker's shop.

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