The Life and Doctrines of Jacob Boehme

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The Life and Doctrines of Jacob Boehme

By Franz Hartmann

Incarnation—The Celestial Virgin

The doctrine of the incarnation of Christ, or, to express it in other words, of the awakening of the germ of divine self-knowledge in man, is so grand, that it is impossible to form a conception of it as long as we occupy a narrow-minded, personal, or sectarian point of view. If we desire to feel the power of the universal Redeemer within our heart, we must allow our mind to expand and embrace in our love all that is divine, noble, and ideal in humanity.
In considering the contents of the following chapter it will be especially recommendable to keep in mind the great occult maxim, that it is below as it is above, and that everything above has its corresponding part below; so that the great processes taking place in the macrocosm produce corresponding processes on the microcosmic plane, and that which exists eternally in heaven (the spiritual plane) seeks to be embodied and represented in terrestrial forms upon the earth. It is also well to remember that completion is attained only by the reappearance of the third principle in the seventh; that is to say, by the spiritualisation of matter and the acquisition of form. A being or power belonging to an entirely ideal plane cannot produce any direct reaction in the grossly material state of existence, no more than a tree can grow out of the idea of a tree existing within the mind, but it needs a material seed or kernel to serve as a material focus for the attraction and distribution of material principles. For similar reasons it was necessary that the Logos 1 should actually become flesh and enter the human state so as to produce a fundamental and radical change in the will of humanity by starting a new activity of light and love in its very centre or heart.

This process is beautifully and allegorically described in the New Testament.

In the configuration of the person of our Redeemer there are to be distinguished three factors: the eternal generation of the Son of God, His birth as a celestial Man, and, finally, His being incarnated as a terrestrial person. 1

"Christ is greater than any angel in heaven, because He has a celestial human body; He also has the eternal celestial bride, the virgin of divine wisdom, and, finally, the Holy Trinity in His possession. We can truly say of Him that He is an individuality in the Holy Trinity in heaven, a true man in heaven, and an eternal king in this world, a lord of heaven and of the earth." (Three Principles, xxii. 8 6.)

"The Word, or the second person in the Godhead, has been from eternity in the Father, and by becoming incarnated in humanity it did not change its nature and become something else, but remained in. the Father, in its centre and seat, as it had been from eternity. The other (second) formation took place in a natural manner at the time of the annunciation by the angel Gabriel, 1 when the virgin said to the angel, 'Let it be done as you say.' The fulfilling of this Word was effected in the celestial element, as was the creation of the first Adam before the fall. The third formation took place simultaneously with the second, and at once, as when a terrestrial seed is sown whereof a child grows." (Three Principles, xviii. 45.)

"The holy Spirit of God formed the celestial, angelic substantiality within the one element by means of the virgin; but the planets and elements of this world formed the external man, providing him with a natural body and soul exactly like that of other human beings, and both in one person. Thereby each form had its own particular state of perception and sensation, and the divine state did not mingle in such a manner (with the terrestrial form) as to cause the former to be diminished, but remained what it was (before the incarnation took place), and that which it was not it became (by means of the incarnation), but without any separation, differentiation, or division of the divine being. Thus the Word remains in the Father, the created being of the holy element remained before the Father, and the natural human state was attained in this world in the womb of the virgin Mary." 2 (Three Principles, xx. 86).

Those who regard Christ as being not a person, and who claim that Mary was an eternal virgin and not born from terrestrial parents, are in error. 1

"Those err who say that Christ is not a created being. As far as His divinity is concerned, He is certainly not a created being; but relatively to His celestial state, regarding which He says that He had come from heaven and was still in heaven, He is there both a creature in human nature, and without humanity an untreated being." (Letters, ii. 54.)

"There are some who have said that the virgin Mary was not a terrestrial being, and not the daughter of Joachim and Anna, because Christ is called the seed of the woman, and would therefore have to be born from an entirely celestial virgin. If this were so, it would serve very little to us poor children of Eve, as we have become earthly and are carrying our souls in earthly tabernacles." 2 (Menschwerdung, i. 8. 1.)

"It has been said that Mary was an eternal virgin of the Holy Trinity, and that from her Christ had been born; because, according to His own testimony, He did not come front human flesh and blood, but from heaven. It is true that our Lord said that He had come from God and was to return to God, and that no one would go to heaven except the Son of Man, coming from heaven and being in heaven; but in thus saying He spoke evidently of His human aspect, and not merely of His divinity; for the eternal God could not have been the Son of Man, neither could a son of man come out of the Trinity; but if it had been possible to redeem man by means of a foreign soul brought down from heaven, where would then have been the necessity for God to enter into our (human) shape and to be crucified therein." 1 (Three Principles, xxii. 61.)

If Christ had brought a foreign soul with Him from heaven, and not taken a human soul from His mother Mary, He would have been foreign to us, and could not have become our Redeemer.

"It is not true, as some say, that Christ has taken a soul unto Himself from the Word in the eternal virgin Mary, so that Christ was coming from God and the soul in His human nature had a beginning." (Mysterium, lvi. 19).

"Christ is not only a seed that came from heaven, so as to have no other quality received from man except a human covering (body). If He had not a human nature He would not be the Son of Man, neither would He be my brother." (Tilk. i. 245.)

"The soul of Christ is a creature like our own soul, and He has received it from humanity and in the body of Mary. Therefore we rejoice eternally that the soul of Christ is our brother and the body of Christ is our body in regenerated man." (Three Principles, xxiii. 30.)

"What would it benefit me if Christ had brought with Him a strange soul? Nothing! But I rejoice that He has introduced my soul into the holy Ternary. Now can I truly say, 'The soul of Christ is my brother, and the body of Christ is the nutriment of my soul.'" (Three Principles, xxii. 78.)

But if Christ had come only from a terrestrial virgin He would not have come from above, and would not have been pure.

"Christ said to the Jews, 'I am from above, but you are from below; I am not of this world, but you are of this world.' If He had become human in an earthly tabernacle, and not in a pure, celestial, and chaste virgin, such as Mary had become in consequence of her having been blessed, He would have been of this world." (Menschwerdung, i. 9, 20.)

"All that is born from the flesh and blood of this world is impure, and a pure virgin cannot be born in this corrupted flesh and blood; but Christ has been received and born without sin from a pure virgin." 1 (Three Principles, xxii. 36.)

According to the external flesh, Mary descended from Joachim and Anna; but she was also the daughter of the covenant, and as such she was blessed (penetrated) by the virgin of wisdom. 2

"Mary was generated from the seed of Joachim and Anna in the same manner as other human beings are generated; but she was blessed among women, so that in her the eternal virgin became revealed." (Threefold Life, vi. 72.)

"Mary, in whom Christ became man, was truly the daughter of Joachim and Anna, according to the external flesh, and generated out of their seed; but in regard to the will she was the daughter of the covenant of promise, the object of the covenant, wherein the same became accomplished." (Menschwerdung, i. 8. 2.)

"The pure and immaculate virgin in whom God was born is before God, and an eternal virgin. She was pure and without blemish even before heaven and earth were created; and this pure virgin became incorporated in Mary, so that it rendered her a new being within the holy element of God. Therefore she was blessed among women, and the Lord was with her, as was said by the angel." (Three Principles, xxii. 38.)

The celestial virgin did not become terrestrial in Mary (or enter into her mechanically from the outside); but the omnipresent celestial virgin became revealed (unfolded) within Mary's innermost being. 1

"We cannot say that the celestial virgin, when she entered into Mary, became terrestrial by the order of God, but we say that the soul of Mary took hold of the celestial virgin, and the latter adorned the soul of Mary with the pure garment of the holy element, a pure, regenerated human being, and therein has Mary received the Saviour of the world, and given birth to Him in this world." (Three Principles, xxii. 44.)

"No other woman, ever since the time of Adam, became clothed with the celestial virgin except Mary; but this took place in the soul-principle, and not in the terrestrial flesh." (Forty Questions, xxxvi. 12.)

"Mary received the celestial token which was unknown to nature, .and which was also unknown to her in her external womanhood, namely, the celestial virgin, and in that virgin she received the Word of the Eternal Father." (Three Principles, xxii. 43.)

By means of this unfolding or state of bliss the Word was enabled to take up the human state in Mary, and thus the celestial virgin that had become weakened in Adam became again strong and substantial in her.

"The Word of promise, which was before the Jews as an antitype, or as an image in a mirror, wherein the wrathful Father imagined and wherewith He extinguished His wrath, began to move essentially, as it had not moved from eternity; for when the angel Gabriel brought to Mary the message saying that she should become pregnant, and when she expressed her willingness, saying, "Let it be done to me as you said," then the centre of the Holy Trinity moved itself; that is to say, the eternal virginity which was lost by Adam, became opened in her in the Word of life. The fire of divine love in Mary's being, in the virginal essence that had been corrupted in Adam, was again restored." (Menschwerdung, i. 8, 3. 4.)

"The Word, that stood in the virgin of wisdom and surrounded by eternal wonders, entered again, out of great love to our image, which had been destroyed in Adam, and it became human in Mary in consequence of the benediction." (Forty Questions, xxxvi. 10.)

"The eternal virgin, being without substance, entered also into the incarnation, and thus the tine soul was received out of the essences of Mary. In this way the eternal virgin came into substantiality, for she received the human soul within herself." (Threefold Life, vi. 75.) 

Mary could not by her own power put herself in possession of that celestial blessing, but it came to her by divine grace and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

"The true being of humanity, that had died and disappeared (become latent) in Adam, awoke again to life in Mary, and thus she became highly exalted and like man before the fall. This, however, did not take place by her own power, but by the power of God. If the centre of God had not moved within her, she would not have been different from all other daughters of Eve." (Menschwerdung, i. 8. 5.)

"Mary is called a holy and pure virgin merely with reference to the celestial virgin that had taken possession of her, and clothed her with the pure element of Paradise. Mary did not obtain possession of this state by her own power, as is shown by the angel saying to her, 'The Spirit of God will come over you, and you will be overshadowed by the power of the Supreme; therefore the Holy One that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.'" (Three Principles, xx. 41.)

"The words of the angel, 'The Spirit of God will come over you, and you will be overshadowed by the power of the Supreme,' means: The Holy Spirit shall open the closed centre within, in the moribund seed, and the Word of God will enter with living and celestial substantiality within that which had been closed in death, and become one flesh with it." 1 (Three Principles, xxii. 4l.)

It is certain that the soul of the Redeemer could issue from Mary only on account of her being of a character full of humility and in accordance with the will of God; and it is furthermore certain that she spiritually enjoys a high state of glorification for having had the qualifications necessary for becoming the mother of the Redeemer.

"The first thing that a child (in the womb) receives is the tincture of its mother. Thus it was in the case of Christ. When the angel announced to Mary the coming incarnation of Christ, it was the mother's will, and the tincture which received the Limbus of God and impregnated her, belonged to her. If, then, the soul of the child is in the Holy Trinity, do you then not think that its glorious light beautifully illuminates the mother, and does not that mother rightfully put her feet upon the Moon, 1 as being exalted above all that is of an earthly nature? She gave birth to the Redeemer of the world without any carnal commingling, and from her issued the body which attracts all members, namely, the children of God in Christ, i.e., the children of Light." (Three Principles, xviii. 93–98.)

Mary, however, was not deified. In spite of all her greatness she could only through her Son become perfect and inherit heaven. 2

"The Word which was promised by God in the garden of Eden came to bloom in the life-light of the virgin; and when the angel Gabriel, by order of the Father, came to give to it an impulse by means of the message, it then entered into the one element of the chaste virgin, but not so entirely within her soul and body so as to deify her person." (Three Principles, xviii. 89.)

"The virgin Mary entered into great perfection, like the star of the morning, which is more glorious than the rest of the stars. She attained perfection and beatitude through her Son, Jesus Christ." (Three Principles, xviii. 88.)

"The virgin Mary did not become deified. Christ Himself says, 'No one goes to heaven except the Son of Man, who came from heaven and is in heaven.' All others have to attain heaven through Him. Christ is their heaven, and the Father is the heaven of Christ." (Three Principles, xviii. 89.)

The external kingdom of this world did not become separated from the virgin; but it lost its power over her. The quality of her inner life communicated itself to her physical body.

"When God moved in Mary as His object, then was she highly blessed, and in that benediction of the Redeemer she became impregnated. Now, it is known that the seed of man communicates its qualities to the body. When the divine life entered into the essence of the seed (power) of Mary, her whole body, which was then surrounding the body of the (divine) image, became highly blessed, and quickened by this wonderful moving of God. The external kingdom of this world was then not separated from Mary, she was still imprisoned therein; but the tincture of her blood became kindled with the divine tincture; i.e., with the tincture of the seed; communicating its qualities to the corporeal form." (Tilk. i. 331.)

"The soul of Mary became surrounded by the divine living substantiality, not relatively to her terrestrial but to her celestial nature, so that the terrestrial state was merely supplementing her being. Her soul, with the Word of life that became human in her, was to pass with it through the death and wrath of the Father into the celestial consciousness, and thus her external human nature had to (he in regard to earthly life, so that she could live in God. But because she has been blessed, and has carried in her womb the object of the covenant, that which was celestial in her consumed her terrestrial part." (Menschwerdung, i. 9, 18.) 1

The Saviour had to receive earthly essences from Mary, and He became in her, in the normal way, a terrestrial man. 2

"The virgin comprised Christ as a mother her child. She gave to him natural essences, such as she had inherited from her parents, and these essences from her flesh and blood he received to the element, and became therein a living soul." (Three Principles, xviii. 90.)

"The living Word that dwelt within the eternal virgin attracted to itself the flesh of Mary—that is to say, the essences from the corporeal body of Mary—and thus there grew in nine months a complete human being with soul, spirit, and flesh." (Threefold Life, vi. 79.)

"The life of Christ did not begin to stir immediately at the time of conception, or in any supernatural manner, but this took place at the proper natural time, as is the case with all the children of Adam. Thus in nine months he grew to be a complete human being, and was born like all other children of Adam. He might have caused himself to be born magically, but if this had been done he would not have been in this world in a natural manner." (Menschwerdung, i. 10.)

In Christ, as the son of Mary, there were united all the three principles, but without commingling with each other, so that, in spite of His terrestrial body, He remained nevertheless free from sin.

"Christ in Mary accepted all the three principles, but in divine order, and not intermingled, such as they became in Adam, who, by means of his imagination, introduced the external realm into the internal realm, into the soul-fire, in consequence of which the light became extinguished. He (Christ) had on Himself the soul-essence, or the first principle, the substance of the image of the second principle, and finally the external form, i.e., the third principle." (Tilk. i. 336.)

"Christ took from Mary the interior seed that had been weakened in Adam, and to this was attached the external seed of the flesh, but so that they did not mix with each other, neither were they separated; but they were relatively to each other like God, who dwells in the world, while the world nevertheless is not God." (Stiefel, ii. 204.)

"Christ did not by means of His external body produce sin and dishonour. No, this cannot be; but He has taken upon Himself as a burden the sin which we have inherited from Adam, and which He was to carry as if He were Adam, while He still was not Adam." (Stiefel, ii. 499.)

"Christ did not take upon Himself the awakened and conceived vanity (selfishness) which the devil introduced into the flesh by means of his imagination, and which caused the flesh to sin; but He took the awakened forms of life (principles) which from a state of harmony had issued, each one in its own desire. Therein He took upon Himself our sin and disease, and death and hell; but only for the purpose of tincturing them by His love, by means of. His celestial blood which He had poured into our external human nature, and this was to change hell into heaven, and to introduce the human qualities again into divine harmony." (Regeneration, iii. 11.)

Still less has the innermost essence of the Lord, the eternal Word, ever mingled with His terrestrial body; it did not even mingle with His human soul. 1

"God has become revealed within the external seed (principle) of Mary, for Christ did not differ while upon the earth from other human beings in form, substance, or external appearance. In that external seed He did not take up divinity; His external form was mortal, and He annihilated death therein." (Stiefel, ii. 203.)

"Christ truly attracted to Himself our human essences while in the body of the virgin Mary, and He has become our brother (thereby). But the human essences cannot apprehend His eternal divinity; only the new man, born in God, conceives of it as the body apprehends of the soul." (Three Principles, xxii. 48.)

"The soul and the Word are not one or one being. The soul is born from the centre of nature, from the essences, and belongs to the body, for she issues from the essences of the body, and attracts to herself the body; but the Word is from the centre of the majesty, and draws the majesty unto itself." (Threefold Life, vi. 83.)

The Word and the soul are not standing separately side by side, but the latter is penetrated and illumined by the former.

"The soul and the Word are not standing side by side like two persons, but the Word penetrates the soul, and out of the Word shines the life-light; whereby, however, the soul remains free to herself. A red-hot iron is in itself dark and black, but the fire penetrates it, so that it becomes luminous. There has no change happened to the iron itself; it remains iron and the heat remains heat; one is as free as the other, and neither one is the other. Thus has the soul been put into the fire of divinity, so that divinity may penetrate and illuminate the soul, and dwell therein and conceive of her, although the soul cannot conceive of divinity; nevertheless she does not become transformed. Divinity conceives the soul and endows her with the power of majesty." (Threefold Life, vi. 83.)

Christ did not become human merely within the virgin Mary, but also in an unlimited celestial manner.

"While Christ lived upon the earth His external form was limited like our own bodies, but the internal man was immeasurable." (Three Principles, xxiv. 88.)

"The Word has become humanity everywhere; that is to say, everywhere became unfolded the divine substantiality wherein our eternal humanity exists. We ought to exist in the same corporeal substantiality in eternity, wherein exists the virgin of God, and we must clothe ourselves with the virgin, for Christ has clothed Himself with her." (Menschwerdung, i. 8, 12.)

"The whole angelic world is the substantiality of Christ according to His celestial essentiality, 'created' in regard to the personality of humanity, but outside of it is untreated and eternal." (Letters, xii. 56.)

The celestial and unlimited corporeity of our Redeemer is incomprehensible to the reasoning intellect; but it is nevertheless logical to accept it, because in Christ the infinite God became man. 1

"Reason says: 'The body of Christ is in one place; how then can it be everywhere? It is a creature, and one creature cannot be in every place at once.' But listen, dear Reason. 'When the Word of God became a human being in the body of Mary, was it then not also (at the same time) high above the stars? While it was at Nazareth was it then not also at Jerusalem and everywhere? Or do you think that God, while He became a man, had been confined to His human form?' This is an impossibility, and thus, while God became man, His humanity was everywhere where His divinity existed." 2 (Three Principles, xxiii. 8.)

"Christ has not become man solely in the body of the (terrestrial) virgin Mary (in that sense), as if His divinity or divine essentiality had been captured, imprisoned, or seated therein. As little as God, who is the fulness of all things, resides in one place alone, so little has God moved in only one small portion (of the Word); for He is not differentiated, but everywhere one and a whole, and wherever He becomes manifest there He is manifest as a whole. Neither is God measurable, and there has no place of residence been discovered in Him, unless He should establish for Himself such a dwelling in one of His creatures; but even then He remains a whole apart from and beyond such a created being." (Menschwerdung, i. 8.)

In this respect Christ may be likened to the sun, who is also immeasurable in his aspect as a power, but which is nevertheless existing as a separate body in space.

"We may compare the sun to Christ in His aspect as a created being, and the whole depth of space may be compared to the Father. If we then see that the sun shines within the whole depth of space, and sends his heat and power everywhere, we cannot then say that within the depth the power and light of the sun is nowhere outside of the body of the sun; for if the light and substance of the sun were not everywhere, space could not receive the power and light of the sun. It requires two powers or principles of a similar nature to be receptive of each other. The depth (of space) contains its light, but hidden (latent). If it were the will of God, the whole depth would all be sun." (Menschwerdung, i. 8.)

"As the sun shines through all the external world, causing everything to become more powerful and fertile, and as nevertheless the world and the sun are (in their corporeal centres) to be distinguished from each other, so Christ, as a manifested Sun, shines out of (the depth of) Jehovah or Jesus, in the created humanity of Christ. Jehovah is the eternal divine Sun, and within that Sun has been hidden to all creatures the great Love-Sun of Christ, as a heart in the centre of the Holy Trinity; but by the moving of the Godhead He has become revealed as a holy Sun of divine love." (Stiefel, ii. 422.)

"The sun illumines the world; but this would not be possible if there were not within the depth a similar state of being as that which constitutes the sun. Likewise the corporeity of Christ is all the fulness of the heavens, as a created being in the person and without the person; but (both) exist in one spirit and one power as one, and not in a state of duality or as two things separated from each other." (Tilk. ii. 251,) 1

This unlimited, celestial (state of) being of the Redeemer is nevertheless lower than the Godhead.

"When the Word enters into the one pure element,

the virginal matrix, it does not become separated from the Father, but remains eternally, and is everywhere present in the heaven of the element wherein it entered, and wherein it has become a new creature, called a 'god.' This very new creature is naturally not born from the flesh and blood of the (physical) virgin, but of God, out of His element (the celestial virgin), and in the power of the Holy Trinity, which remains therein eternally in its fulness. But the corporeity of the element of that created being is lower than the Godhead, for the Godhead is spirit, and the holy element is born out of the Word from eternity. Thus the Lord has entered into the servant, whereof all the angels in heaven are filled with surprise. It is the greatest miracle that has occurred from all eternity, because it is against (human) nature, and could only have been accomplished by divine love." (Three Principles, xviii. 42.) 1

224:1 The Logos is everywhere, and did not enter from any external locality. Likewise the body of the sun is everywhere, although it manifests its light only in one locality in the sky.

225:1 All disputes about the nature of Christ only prove that the disputants are not Christians, because if they were true followers of the Christ they would have the living Christ within themselves, and know His true nature. The misunderstandings of the "Christians" regarding the Christ arise from the fact that they regard Him as something external and incompatible with human nature; neither will any merely theoretical research regarding this mystery lead to any satisfactory result. The only way in which this matter can be settled for once and for ever is that those who have doubts about the divinity of Christ succeed in raising Him from His tomb within their own souls, when He will become revealed to them.

"Each one desires to be a child of God in his knowledge, and nevertheless disobedience and unfaithfulness are as great in one people as they are in another. A belief that Christ has once been born and died for me and arisen from death does not make me a child of God. The devil knows that also; but it is of no use to him. I must clothe myself in Christ by means of the desire of faith; I must enter myself into His obedience, His incarnation, His suffering and death; I must myself arise in Him and adopt the obedience of Christ. Only in this way can I be a Christian, and not in any other way." (Mysterium, li. 43).

226:1 "'Gabriel,' an angel or god of sound, an internal, sourcive spirit." (Aurora, xii. 86.)

226:2 There is no doubt that, as some will have it, the legend of the descent of the Redeemer is the description of an astrological process; but this theory, far from disproving the incarnation of divine wisdom into a human form, confirms it; because that which takes place in the macrocosm produces corresponding effects in the microcosm. In man is the sun, the moon, the stars, and the whole of the zodiac. In the microcosm is represented every part of the macrocosm in its material and spiritual aspect. p. 227 When man sees the external sun rise in the outer world, the sun in him arises and gives joy to his heart. Any individual person, or also humanity as a whole, may become either a god or a devil incarnate.

227:1 Christ, or the Universal Logos, is not a personality in the usual acceptation of that term, but becomes personal if personified in man. Likewise the celestial virgin is personified in woman, in the same sense as the light of the sun becomes individualised in a flower, a diamond, or precious stone.

227:2 " Outside of a body the spirit cannot remain in its perfection, for as soon as it is separated from the form it loses its rule. The body is the mother of the spirit. In the body the spirit is born, and receives therein its power and strength. If it is separated from the body it still remains a spirit, but loses its ruling power." (Aurora, xxvi. 50.)

228:1 And the divinity in man continues to be crucified in him until the self-will is dead and the Christ arisen in His own light.

229:1 The Christ can never be born or revealed in any impure soul. A soul wherein regeneration is to take place must be an immaculate virgin, having no intercourse with any external god; but executing the will of God dwelling within herself.

229:2 "Ana" is the Chaldean name for the astral light (see Secret Doctrine). "In the language of nature the name 'Mary' means 'salvation from this valley of sorrow.'" (Principles, xviii. 37.)

No man can be saved without the grace of Mary, i.e., without the presence of that which is noble, exalted, saving, and sanctifying in him.

"Human reason can understand nothing about the kingdom of Christ, nor about His person or office, because the testament of Christ is celestial, and human reasoning is terrestrial; the latter seeks Christ in time, while He can only be found in eternity."

"All misunderstanding is caused by the circumstance that the heaven wherein Christ is seated to the right of God is not understood, and because it is not known that this heaven is in this world, and this world rooted in heaven. They are both one in the other, like day and night." (Baptism, i.)

230:1 The spiritual soul does not become an animal soul in man; neither is the former a separate entity to be put into the latter; but as the vibrations of light awaken corresponding vibrations within the ether that is in darkness, so the divine harmony existing in the spiritual soul of the universe awakens corresponding harmonies in the soul of man.

232:1 Perhaps the same idea might be approached by saying: The divine harmony underlying the original order of nature, which was thrown into confusion by the action of an evil will within the seven qualities of eternal nature, created a centre of harmony within the soul of Mary, which, expanding from within outwardly, rendered her whole nature harmonious and spiritual.

233:1 The sunlight of wisdom (self- knowledge and self-perception) is superior to all that is merely imaginary, fanciful, and illusive. Wisdom sees the illusion, but is not captivated by it.

233:2 No soul can become divine or deified by merely contemplating God as if He were something foreign to herself. God must become substantial and corporified in her. The mere idealist is satisfied with enjoying in his imagination the beauty of the ideal, but does not embody it within himself. The so-called "realist" is satisfied with what he believes to be real, and acquires nothing better than what he already has. The true Christian, i.e., the "ideo-realist," seeks to realise the ideal, so that it becomes a part of himself.

235:1 The Manas became absorbed in the Buddhi.

235:2 "God lives also in man." (Threefold Life, xi. 106.) Each human being (if he is not godless) carries God and the Christ, the Holy Spirit, the virgin Mary, together with the angel Gabriel and all the rest of the angels and spirits within himself. It is, therefore, of little use to seek for all that in history. We can find it nowhere except within ourselves.

237:1 The divine spirit, i.e., the spiritual consciousness of each or any individual person upon this earth, never was, is, or will be imprisoned, incarnated or reincarnated, or absorbed in any material mind or person. It for ever remains in heaven, i.e., in its own celestial state. The mind and the body are merely reflections of the light of the spirit as it shines into "matter." The true Man is in heaven; his shadow walks upon the earth.

237:2 Whenever I speak of the man Christ, and of what a triune God and man He is, I make a distinction between the human creature, that came from us human beings, and the triune Divinity, the revealed word of the power and omnipotence. Not that they are separated from each other, but the Spirit of God is higher than the being to which that Spirit gives birth in its outbreathed word. I do not say that the sweet and beloved Christ is the man, but it is the holy sunshine in the flame of love in the p. 238 man; for whenever I see a holy Christian man stand or walk I do not say, "Here stands or walks Christ;" but I say, "Here stands and walks a Christian man in whom shines the sun of Christ." (Stief. 421.)

239:1 It is universal and nevertheless individual, like that of a god.

239:2 This would be like imagining that the trunk of a tree was dwelling within the leaves.

240:1 The universal life and the individual life are only one principle.

241:1 "You must not seek for any historical knowledge in our writings. It is not possible to see God with earthly eyes, and therefore it is impossible for an unillumined mind to comprehend heavenly thoughts and perceptions in its terrestrial vehicle. Like can be grasped only by like." (Princ. Appendix, 30.)



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