Jacob Boehme’s ‘ Mysterium Magnum’, Chapter 11 : Of the Mystery of the Creation

 Transcribed from our 1656 english edition of the ‘ Mysterium Magnum’, translated by John Ellistone for John Sparrow. This is the heart of Theosophy,  the journey back to Unity. All on board !

‘Mysterium Mangnum’, 1730 German Edition

1.   The Reason of the outward Man says; whence is it, that God has not revealed the Creation of the World unto man; that Moses, and the children of God have written so little there-of, seeing it is the Greatest and most principal work, whereon the main depends.

2.   Yes ! Dear Reason smell into your own bosom; of what does it savor: Contemplate your own mind; after what does it long; likely after the cunning delusions of the Devil: Had he not known this ground, very like he had been yet an angel; had he not seen the magical birth in his high light, the he had not desired to be a selfish Lord and maker in the Essence.

3.   Wherefore does God hide his children, which now receive the Spirit of knowledge with the Cross; and cast them into tribulation, and mire of vanity? For certain, therefore, that they might play the tune of Miserere; and continue in Humility; and not sport in this life with the light of nature; else if they should espie, and apprehend what the Divine Magick is: Then they might also desire to imitate the Devil, as Lucifer did, for which cause it is hid from them: And neither Moses, or any other, dare write clearer thereof, until the beginning of the Creation beholds the End of the World in it self : And then it must stand open.

4.   And therefore let none blame us: For the time is come about: That Moses puts his veil away from his eyes, which he hung before his face when he spoke with Israel: After the Lord had spoken with him: Moses desired to see it: In that he said, Lord if I have found grace in thy sight: Let me see thy face: But the Lord would not; and said: Thou shall see my back part: For none can see my face.

5.   Now the Eye of God was in Moses, and in the Saints. They have seen and spoken in the Spirit of God, and yet had not the through vision of the spiritual birth in them, save at times only: When God would work wonders, as by Moses, when he did the wonders in Egypt: then the Divine Magick was open to him: in manner and wise as in the Creation.

6.   And this was even the fall of Lucifer; that he would be God of Nature; and live in the transmutation: And this was even the Idolatry of the heatens, in that they understood the Magical birth they fell from the only God unto the magical birth of nature and chose unto them selves idols out of the powers of nature.

7.    For which cause the creation has remained so obscure; and God has covered his children in whom the true light shines, with tribulation; that they have not been manifest unto themselves, seeing Adam also according to the same lust, did imagine to know and prove the Magick, and would be as God; so that God permitted him, that he defiled his heavenly Image with the vanity of nature; and made it wholly dark, and Earthly, as Lucifer also did with the Center of Nature; When he of an angel became a Devil.

8.   Therefore I will seriously warn the reader, that he use the Magick aright: viz. in true faith and humility towards God: And not meddle with Turba Magna in a Magical manner: Unless it conduces to the honor of God, and Salvation of Mankind.

9.   For we can say with truth: That the Verbum Fiat is yet Creating: Albeit it doth not create Stones and Earth, yet it coagulates, forms and works still in the same property: All things are possible to nature, as it was possible for it in the beginning, to generate Stones and Earth, also the Stars, and four Elements, and did produce them, or work them forth out of one only ground; so it is, still unto this day: By the strong desire (which is the Magical ground) all things may be effected, if man uses nature aright, in its order to the work.

10.  All Essences consist in the Seven Properties: Now he that knows the Essence, he is able  by the same Spirit of that Essence, whence it is come to be an Essence, to change it into another form, and like wise to introduce it into another Essence; and so make of a Good thing an Evil, and of an Evil thing a Good.

11. The Transmutation of all things must be effected by Simility: viz. by its own native Property: For the Alienate is its Enemy: Like as man must be regenerated again by the divine Essentiality in the Simility; by the simility in his holiness of the divine Essentiality, which he lost.

12.   And as the false Magician wounds man through Enchantments with the Assimulate, and through the desire introduces Evil into his Evil, viz. into the Assimulate, and as the upright holy faith or divine desire also enters into the Assimulate, and forfended (protect) man, so that the false desire takes no place.

13. Thus all things consist in the Assimulate; every thing may be introduced, and if it comes into the Assimulate, it rejoices in its property be in good or Evil, and begins effectually to work: As is to be seen both in Good and Evil.

14. As for example: Let a man take down a little poison: It will presently receive with great desire the poison into the body, which before rested; and therein strengthen it self, and begin to work powerfully; and corrupt and destroy the Contrary, viz. The Good: And that now which the Evil is able to do in its property; that likewise the Good can do in its property: When it is freed from the Wrath, it may also introduce its Assimulate into the real true joy.

15. The Essence of this world consists in Evil and Good: And the one cannot be without the other: But this is the greatest iniquity of this world: That the Evil overpowers the Good; that the anger is stronger therein then the Love; and this by reason of the Sin of the Devil and Men; who have disturbed nature by the false desire, that it mightily and effectually works in the wrath as a poison in the body.

16. Otherwise if nature in its forms did stand in the Property in equal weight, and in equal Concord and Harmony, then one property were not manifest above the other: Heat and cold would be equally poised in the operation, and qualification: And then Paradise would be still upon the Earth: And though it were not without man; yet it would be in man: If his properties were in equal weight (number and measure, if they did yet stand in the Temperature) then he were incorruptible and immortal.

17.  This is the Death, and misery of man and all creatures that the Properties are divided, and each aspiring in it self, and powerfully working, and acting in its own will: Whence sickness and pain arises: And all this hence arises; when the one element did manifest and put forth it self into four properties: Then each properties desired the Assimulate, viz. An Essence out of and according to itself; which the Astrigent Fiat did impress and coagulate; So that Earth and Stones were produced in the properties.

18. But now we are to consider of the greatest Mystery of the outward world between the Elements and the Astrum: The Elemental Spirit is severed from the Astral Spirit, and yet not parted asunder, they dwell in each other as body and soul: But the one is not the other: The Astral Spirit makes its bodies as well as the Elemental, and that in all creatures, in animals, and vegetables.

19. All things in this world have a two-fold body, viz. an Elemental from the fire, air, water and Earth, and a Spiritual body from the Astrum: And likewise a two-fold Spirit: viz. one Astral, one Elemental.

Dutch edition of the ‘Mysterium Magnum’

20.  Man only (amongst all the Earthly Creatures) has a tree-fold body, and spirit: For he has also the internal spiritual world in him; which is likewise two-fold: viz. light and darkness; and also corporally and Spiritually: This Spirit is the Soul; but this body is from the water of the holy Element, which dyed in Adam, that is, disappeared as to his life, when the divine Power departed from him, and would not dwell in the awaked vanity.

21. Which holy body must be regenerated, if his Spirit will see God; otherwise he cannot see him; except be again born anew of the water of the holy Element in the Spirit of God  ( Who has manifested himself in Christ with the same water-source): That his disappeared body may be made alive in the holy water and Spirit: Else he has no sense, nor sight in the holy life of God.

22.  This two-fold outward body is now punctually to be pondered, and considered of, if we would understand nature: And without this understanding let none call himself a master (or Learned) for in these (bodies) the dominion of all external creatures, and Essences is couched: They oftentimes are contrary one unto another; whence Sickness, Corruption, and death arises in the body that one severs from the other.

23.   The Sydereal body is the highest excepting the divine in man: The Elemental body is only its servant or dwelling-house, as the four Elements are only a body or habitation of the dominion of the Stars.

24. The Elemental Spirit, and body, is inanimate and void of understanding: It has only Lust and      desire in it: Vegetation is its right life: For the air has no understanding without the Astrum; the Astrum gives the distinct understanding of the knowledge of all Essences in the Elements.

25. But the inwards light, and power of light, gives in man the right divine understanding; but there is no right divine apprehension in the Sydereal Spirit: For the Astrum has another Principle: The Sydereal body dwells in the Elemental; as the light-world in the darkness: It is the true rational life of all Creatures.

26. The whole Astrum is nothing else but the external expressed Word in the Sound: It is the instrument whereby the holy External Speaking Word Speaks and forms externally: It is a Great Harmony of unsearchable manifold Voices and Tunes, of all manner of instruments: Which play, and melodize before the holy God.

27. For they are mere Powers which enter into and mutually embrace each other, whence  arises the Sound in the Essence; and the desire, viz. the Fiat receives this Sound, and makes it Substancial: This Substance is a Spirit of the Star: Which the Elements receive into them: And Coagulate it in them, and hatch it, as a hen her eggs: Whence the true rational life is in the Elements: And thus also the Sydereal Spirit is hatched, and coagulated in all Creatures.

28. For the Male and Female, do mutually cast a seed into one another; which is only a Sulphur of the Astrum and four Elements, afterwards it is hatched in the Matrix, and Coagulated to a living Spirit.

29. And when the fire is enkindled in the Seed which is sown in the Matrix: The  Spirit severs it self again from the body, as a Propriate; as the light from the fire according to the right of the Eternal nature: And two become manifest in one, viz. a Spiritual body from the Astrum, and a fleshy body from the four Elements.

30. And this Sydereal Spirit is the Soul of the great world, which depends on Punctum Solis; and receives its light and life from it: As all the Stars do take light, and power from the Sun; so likewise their Spirit.

31. The Sun is the center of the Astrum: And the Earth the Center of the four Elements: Theu are one to one another wise, where it hatches its Essence, viz. the Moon, which is the wise of all the Stars; but especially of the Sun; I mean in the Essence of operation.

32. Not that we mean that the Astrum is wholly arisen from the Punctum of Sol, in that I call it the Center of the Stars; it is the Center of the of the Powers: The cause that the Powers of the Stars do act in the Essences: It opens their Powers, and gives its Power into them; as a heart of the Powers, and they mutually rejoice in its Essences, that they are moved to act or desire in its Essence.

33. And even there lies the great Mystery of the Creation, viz. that the internal (viz. God) has thus manifested himself with his Eternal Speaking Word (Which he is himself): The external is a type of the internal: God is not alienate: In him things live and move, each in its principles, and degree.

Jacob Boehme-Theosophia Revelata-Gichtel ed-1715

34. The outward Properties dwell in themselves in the external, viz. in the expressed Word, and are wholly external: They cannot in their own strength reach the Powers of the holy world: Only the holy word penetrates them: It dwells also in it self: But in the Punctum of Sol the Eighth number is open: viz. the Eternal Nature: The Eternal Magical fire: And in the fire of the Eternal Tincture: Which is the ninth number : And in the Tincture the Cross, where the Deity manifests it self: Which is the tenth Number: And beyond this manifestation is the Eternal Understanding: viz. the ONE (that is God JEHOVA) viz. the ABYSS.

35. Not that God is divided (or as far of) only we speak of his manifestation: From what ability and Power the Sun has its shining Lustre: that the same immutable, so long as time endures; namely from the Lustre of the Fiery Tincture of the Eternal Spiritual Magical fire.

36. For its Lustre or shining light, has a degree of a more deep Original then the external world has manifest in its self, this the wise Heathen have observed, and adored it for God, seeing the True God, who dwells without all Nature in himself, was not known unto them.

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