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The Signature of All Things

By Jacob Boehme

Signatura Rerum- Chapter IX


1. The whole outward visible world with all its being is a signature, or figure of the inward spiritual world; whatever is internally, and however its operation is, so likewise it has its character externally; like as the spirit of each creature sets forth and manifests the internal form of its birth by its body, so does the Eternal Being also.

2. The Being of all beings is a wrestling power; for the kingdom of God consists in power, and also the outward world, and it stands especially in seven properties or forms, where the one causes and makes the other, and none of them is the first or last, but it is the eternal band; therefore God has appointed six days for man to work, and the seventh day is the perfection wherein the six do rest; it is the centre to which the desire of the six days tend; therefore God calls it the Sabbath or resting-day, for therein the six forms of the working power rest: It is the divine sound 1 in the power, or the kingdom of joy, wherein all the other forms are manifest; for it is the formed world, or divine corporality, by which all things are generated and come forth to a being. 2

3. This formed world has manifested itself with the motion of all forms with this visible world, as with a visible likeness, so that the spiritual being might be manifest in a corporeal comprehensive essence; as the desire of the inward forms has made itself external, and the internal being is in the external; the internal holds the external before it as a glass, wherein it beholds itself in the property of the generation of all forms; the external is its signature.

4. Thus everything which is generated out of the internal has its signature; the superior form, which is chief in the spirit of the working in the power, does most especially sign the body, and the other forms hang to it; as it is to be seen in all living creatures, in the shape and form of the body, and in the behaviour and deportment, also in the sound, voice, and speech; and likewise in trees and herbs, in stones and metals; all according as the wrestling is in the power of the spirit, so is the figure of the body represented, and so likewise is its will, so long as it so boils in the life-spirit.

5. But if the artist takes it in hand with the true Mercury, then he may turn the weakest form to be uppermost, and the strongest undermost, and then the spirit obtains another will, according to the most superior form; that which before must be servant becomes now lord and master in the seven forms; as Christ said to the sick, "Arise, thy faith hath made thee whole," and they arose: And thus likewise it is here, each form hungers after the centre, and the centre is the voice of life, viz. the Mercury, the same is the faber or former of the power; if this voice gives itself into the hunger of the meanest form in the strong combat 1 then it lifts up its property (understand the property of that form), and thus its desire or faith has saved it; for in the desire Mercury lifts up [or sublimes] itself; and thus it was in Christ's patients.

6. Sickness had taken possession of them, and the poison of death had gotten the upper hand in Mercury; but now the form of life in the centre did set its hunger as a famished and mean property after the liberty to be freed from the abomination; but seeing the Mercury was revived in Christ the divine property, therefore the weak hunger entered into Christ's strong hunger after the salvation of man, and so the weak hunger received the strong in the power; and then the divine voice in Christ said, "Arise, lift up thyself, thy faith" (that is, thy desire which thou hast introduced into me) "hath saved thee."

7. Thus the life prevails over the death, the good over evil; and on the contrary, the evil over the good, as came to pass in Lucifer and Adam, and still daily comes to pass: And thus everything is signed; that form which is chief receives the taste, and also the sound in Mercury, and figures 2 the body after its property; the other forms hang to it as co-helpers, and also give their signature thereto, but very weakly.

8. There are especially seven forms in nature, both in the eternal and external nature; for the external proceed from the eternal: The ancient philosophers have given names to the seven planets according to the seven forms of nature; but they have understood thereby another thing, not only the seven stars, but the sevenfold properties in the generation of all essences: There is not anything in the Being of all beings, but it has the seven properties in it; for they are the wheel of the centre, the cause of Sulphur, in which Mercury makes the boiling in the anguish-source.

9. The seven forms are these; viz. the desire of the impression is called Saturn, into which the free lubet of eternity gives itself; this in the impression is called Jupiter, by reason of its pleasant commendable virtue; for the saturnine power encloses and makes hard, cold, and dark, and causes the Sulphur, viz. the vital spirit, understand the moving vital spirit, viz. the natural; and the free lubet makes the impression to long to be freed from the dark astringent hardness, and it is very rightly called Jupiter, being a desire of the understanding 1 which opens the darkness, and manifests another will therein.

10. In these two properties is pourtrayed and exactly deciphered God's kingdom, viz. the original, and also the kingdom of God's anger, viz. the dark abyss, which is a cause of the motion in Saturn, viz. in the impression; the impression, viz. Saturn, makes the nothing, viz. the free lubet movable and sensible, and also opposite, for it causes it to be essence; and Jupiter is the sensible power proceeding from the free lubet to manifestation out of the nothing into something, in the impression of Saturn; and they are two properties in the manifestation of God according to love and anger, viz. a model of the eternal form, and are as a wrestling combat, viz. an opposite desire against each other; one makes good, the other evil, and yet it is all good; only if we will speak of the anguish-source, and then also of the joyful source, then we must distinguish, that the cause of each source may be understood.

11. The third form is called Mars, which is the fiery property in the impression of Saturn, where the impression introduces itself into great anguish, viz. into a great hunger; it is the painfulness, or the cause of feeling, also the cause of the fire and consuming, also of enmity and malignity; but in Jupiter, viz. in the free lubet, in the nothing, it causes the fiery love-desire, that the liberty, viz. the nothing, is desirous, and introduces itself into sensibility, viz. into the kingdom of joy: In the darkness it is a devil, viz. God's wrath, and in the light it is an angel of joy, understand such a property; for when this source became dark in Lucifer, he was called a devil, but while he was in the light he was an angel; and thus also it is to be understood in man.

12. The fourth property or form is called Sol, viz. the light of nature, which has its original in the liberty, viz. in the nothing, but without splendour, and gives itself in with the lubet into the desire of the impression of Saturn, even to the wrathful or fiery property of Mars; and there the free lubet, which has sharpened itself in the impression, in the property of Mars, in the consuming anguish, and in the hardness of Saturn, displays, or powerfully puts itself forth in Jupiter, as a sharpness of the liberty, and an original of the nothing, and also of the sense; 1 and the effluence 2 from the heat and anguish of Mars, and from Saturn's hardness is the shining of the light in nature, which gives the understanding in Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars, viz. a spirit, which knows what itself is in its properties, which hinders or prevails against the wrath, and brings it out of the anguish, out of the property of Mars, into Jupiter's, viz. out of the anguish into a love-desire.

13. In these four forms the spirit's birth consists, viz. the true spirit both in the inward and outward being, viz. the spirit of power in the essence; and the essence or corporality of this spirit is Sulphur.

14. Ye rabbies and masters! that you could but understand, how faithfully that is given and revealed to you, which your predecessors have intended and aimed at, wherein you have been a long time blind, the cause of which is your pride: This God, the most high understanding, sets before you by mean, and heretofore ungrounded instruments, which he himself has grounded, if you would yet once see, and escape the tormenting source.

15. The fifth form is Venus, the beginning of all corporality, viz. of the water, which arises in the desire of Jupiter and Mars, viz. in the love-desire, out of the liberty, and out of nature, viz. out of the impression's desire in Saturn, in Mars, in the great anguish, to be freed from the anguish: And it carries two forms in the desire of its property, viz. a fiery from Mars, and a watery [property] from Jupiter, understand an heavenly and earthly desire; the heavenly arises from the heavenly impression of the union [or free effluence] of the Deity in nature to its own manifestation; and the earthly arises from the impression of the darkness in Mars, viz. in the wrathful fire's property; therefore the essence of this desire consists in two things, viz. in the water, from the original of the liberty, and in Sulphur from the original of nature according to the impression.

16. The outward similitude of the heavenly [Being] is water and oil; understand, according to the sun it is water, and according to Jupiter it is oil, and according to the hard impression of Saturn after the heavenly Being according to Mars, it is copper, and according to Sol gold, and according to the earthly impression, according to the property of the darkness, it is in Sulphur grit, gravel and sand; according to the property of Mars a cause of all stones; for all stones are Sulphur from the powerful predominance of Saturn and Mars in the property of Venus according to the dark impression, understand according to the earthly part.

17. O ye dear wise men! if you did but know what lies in Venus, you would not so sumptuously adorn your roofs: The potentate often loses his life for the servant's sake, and he puts the master upon his roof, therefore he is blind; this his false Venus-desire causes in him, that he forms it in Saturn and Mars, and brings it forth in Sol; if he formed his Venus-desire in Jupiter, then he might rule over the fiery Mars which lies in Venus, and has put his coat upon Venus in Sulphur.

18. Thus Mars clothes all his servants which love him and Saturn with his garment, that they only find the copper of Venus, and not its gold in the copper; the spirit of the seeker enters into Sol, viz. into pride, and supposes that he has Venus, but he has Saturn, viz. covetousness; if he went forth in the water, viz. in the resigned humility of Venus, the stone of the wise men would be revealed to him.

19. The sixth form is Mercury, viz. the life and separation, or the form in the love, and in the anguish: In Saturn and Mars, on the one part he is earthly according to the hard impression, where his motion and hunger is a pricking, adverse, and (according to the fire) a bitter pain and woe; and according to the water in the earthly Sulphur, viz. in the mortification, a poison-source.

20. And according to the other part, according to the lubet of the liberty, he is the pleasant property of joy in Jupiter and Venus, also of springing and growing; and according to the impression of the heavenly Saturn, and according to Mars in the love-desire, he is the sound in the spirit, understand, the separator of the sound, viz. of the tone; also of all pronunciations of speeches, and all the several cries and notes; all whatever sounds is distinguished by his might; Venus and Saturn carry his lute, and he is the lutanist, he strikes 1 upon Venus and Saturn, and Mars gives him the sound from the fire; and thus Jupiter rejoices in Sol.

21. Here lies the pearl, dear brethren: Mercury makes the understanding in Jupiter, for he separates the thoughts, 1 and makes them act and move; he takes the infinity of the thoughts into his desire, and makes them essential; this he does in Sulphur, and his essence is the manifold power of the smell and taste, and Saturn gives his sharpness thereinto, so that it is salt.

22. But I understand here the virtual salt in the vegetable life: Saturn makes the common salt in the water: He 2 is an heavenly and an earthly labourer, and labours in each form according to the property of the form; as it is written, "With the holy thou art holy, and with the perverse thou art perverse." In the holy angels the heavenly Mercury is holy and divine, and in the devils he is the poison and wrath of the eternal nature according to the dark impression's property, and so on through all things, as the property of each thing is, so is its Mercury, viz. its life; in the angels he is the hymn of God's praise, and in the devils he is the cursing and awakening of the opposite will of the bitter poisonful enmity.

23. Thus likewise it is to be understood in men and all creatures, in all whatever lives and moves; for the outward Mercury is the outward word in the outward world: He 3 is the outward verbum, and Saturn with the impression is his fiat, which makes his word corporeal; and in the inward kingdom of the divine power he is the eternal word of the Father, whereby he has made all things in the outward [principle], understand, with the instrument of the outward Mercury.

24. The outward Mercury is the temporal word, the expressed word; and the inward [Mercury] is the eternal word, the speaking word; the inward word dwells in the outward, and makes through the outward all outward things; and with the inward, inward things: The inward Mercury is the life of the Deity, and all divine creatures; and the outward Mercury is the life of the outward world, and all external corporality in men and beasts, in vegetables and animals, and makes a peculiar principle, viz. a likeness of the divine world; and this is the manifestation of the divine wisdom.

25. The seventh form is called Luna, the amassed essence: What Mercury has comprised in Sulphur, that is a corporeal or substantial hunger of all forms; the property of all the six forms lies therein, and it is as a corporeal being of all the rest; this property is as a wife of all the other forms; for the other forms do all cast their desire through Sol into Luna; for in Sol they are spiritual, and in Luna corporeal: Therefore the moon assumes to it the sunshine, and shines from the sun; whatever the sun is, and makes in the spirit-life in itself, the same Luna is, and makes corporeal in itself.

26. It is heavenly and earthly, and rules the vegetative life; it has the menstruum, viz. the matrix of Venus in it; all whatever is corporeal does congeal 1 in its property; Saturn is its fiat, and Mercury is its husband, which impregnates it, and Mars is its vegetable soul, and the sun is its centre in the hunger, and yet not wholly in the property; for it receives only the white colour from the sun, not the yellow, or the red, viz. the majestic; therefore in its property lies silver in metals, and in the property of Sol gold; but seeing Sol is a spirit without essence, thereupon Saturn holds the sun's corporeal essence in himself to lodge in; for he is the fiat of the sun; he keeps it shut up in his dark cabinet, and does only preserve and keep it; for it is not his own essence, till the sun sends him his faber Mercury, to whom he gives it, and to none else.

27. Observe this, ye wise men! It is no fiction or fallacy; let the artist but understand us right; he must bring the jewel shut up in Saturn into the mother of generation, viz. into Sulphur, and take the faber, and divide all forms, and separate the variety of hungers, which the faber himself does, when the artist brings the work into the first mother, viz. into Sulphur: But he must first baptize the froward child with the philosophical baptism, lest he makes a bastard of Sol; and then let him lead him into the desert, and try whether Mercury will eat manna in the desert after the baptism; or whether he will make bread of stones; or whether he will aspire aloft as an haughty spirit, and precipitate himself from the Temple; or whether he will worship Saturn, in whom the devil sits hidden: This the artist must observe; whether Mercury, the wicked poisonful child, receives the baptism; whether he can feed of God's bread or no.

28. If he now does eat, and stands out in the temptation, then will the angels appear to him after forty days, and then let him go out of the desert, and eat his own food; and so the artist is ready and fit for his work; if not, then let him by all means leave it, and as yet account himself unworthy of it.

29. He must have the understanding of the generation of nature; else all his labour and pains are to no purpose, except the grace of the Most High has bestowed upon him some particular, that so he is able to tincture Venus and Mars, which is the shortest [and most ready way], if God chews him such an herb wherein the tincture lies.

30. The lunar body of metals lies in the seething of the earth, in Sulphur and Mercury, covered internally with the coat of Venus, and clothed externally with the cloak of Saturn, as we see plainly, and is a degree more external than the solar body: Next after Luna, Jupiter's body is also a degree more external; but Venus is a sly bird, she has also the inward solar body; she takes the coat of Mars upon her, and hides herself in Saturn's cabinet; but she is manifest, and not hidden.

31. Next Venus Mars is likewise a degree more external, and nearer to earthliness; and next Mars Mercury's body is a particula of all the rest; on one part most nigh to the earthly corporality, and on the other part nearest the heavenly; and next Mercury Luna is on the earthly part wholly earthly, and on the heavenly part wholly heavenly; it carries an earthly and heavenly face towards all things; 1 to the evil it is evil, and to the good it is good; to a pleasant creature it gives its best in the taste, and to a bad creature it gives the curse of the corrupted earth.

32. Now in all this, as the property of each thing is internally, so it has externally its signature, both in animals and vegetables; and this you shall see in an herb, so likewise in trees and beasts, and in men also.

33. If the saturnine property be predominant, and chief in a thing, then it is of a black, greyish colour, hard and spare, sharp, sour, or salt in taste; it gets a long lean body, 2 grey in the eyes, 3 of a dark blue, of a very slender body, but of a hard touch, though the property of Saturn is very seldom alone master in a thing; for he soon awakens Mars with his hard impression, who makes his property bending and crooked, full of knots, and hinders the body from growing high, but is full of branches and rugged, as is to be seen in oak-shrubs, and the like trees.

34. But if Venus be next to Saturn 4 in any place in the sude or seething of the earth, then the sude in the Sulphur of Saturn causes a tall strong body; for it gives its sweetness into Saturn's impression, whereby Saturn becomes strong and lusty, and if Venus be not hindered by Mars, it grows a great, tall, slender tree, herb, beast, or man, or whatever it be.

35. But if Jupiter be next to him in the property of Venus, so that Jupiter is stronger in Saturn than Venus, and Mars under Venus, then it falls out to be a very excellent fair body, full of virtue and power, also of a good taste; its eyes are blue, and somewhat whitish, of a meek property, but very potent: If it falls out that Mercury is between Venus and Jupiter, and Mars undermost, then is this property in Saturn graduated in the highest degree with all power and virtue, in words and works, with great understanding.

36. If it be in herbs, then they are long, of a middle-sized stature or stalk, of a very curious form, fair blossoms, white, or blue; but if the sun also casts the influence of his property into it, then does its colour by reason of the sun incline to yellow; and if Mars hinders not, then is the universal very sovereign in the thing, be it either a man, or other creature, or an herb of the earth: This let the magus well observe, it withstands all malignity, and false influences and assaults from the spirits, whatever they be, so far as a man himself is not false and wicked, and inclines not his desire to the devil, as Adam did, in whom also the universal was wholly complete.

37. With these herbs a man may cure, and heal without any art of the artist; but they are rarely and seldom found, yea not one among many sees them, for they are nigh to paradise: The curse of God hides the eyesight of the wicked, that it does not see, although they should stand before his eyes: Yet in such a conjunction of the planets they are manifest, and may not be hidden; therefore there lies a great secret in many an herb and beast, if the artist knew it, and had the true skill to use it; the whole magia lies therein: But I am bidden to be silent by reason of the wicked, who is not worthy of it, and is justly plagued with the plague with which he plagues other honest people, and tumbles himself in the mire.

38. But if Mars in his property be next Saturn, and Mercury casts an opposite aspect, and the power of Venus be under Mars, and Jupiter under the property of Venus, then out of this property all is corrupted and poisoned; a poisonful herb, tree, beast, or whatever it be; if it falls into the corrupt human property, then it is fitted and prone to evil, but if the moon brings its powerful influence thereinto, then is the false magia ready in the lunar menstruum, and witchcraft is manifest, of which I must here also be silent, and will only shew the signature.

39. In an herb, if the blossom be somewhat reddish, and wreathed, or streaked, and inclined to white by the red, then is the power of Venus there, which makes resistance therein; but if it be only reddish, and of dark wriths or streaks, with a rough peel or skin on the stalk, branch, and leaf, then does the basilisk lodge there.

40. For Mars makes it rugged, and Mercury is poisonful therein, which gives a streaked colour, and Mars the red, and Saturn the dark, which is a pestilence in the lunar menstruum; but to the artist it is an herb against the pestilence, if he takes the poison from Mercury, and gives him Venus and Jupiter for food, then Mars brings forth the vegetable soul in Sol, and turns his wrathful fire into a love-fire, which the artist must know, if he will be called a doctor.

41. This property likewise signs the living creatures both in their voice and visage; it gives a gross, dull sound, somewhat inclining to a shrill voice by reason of Mars, soothing, flattering, and very false, lying, commonly red pimples [or streams] in the eyes, or blinking, and rolling unsteady eyes: In herbs this property likewise yields a taste very loathsome, from whence in man's life, viz. in Mercury, if it takes it down, a stirring boiling poison arises, which darkens and obscures the life.

42. The physician must have a care of the herbs of this property; they are not to be taken into the body, but they are poisonful, of what name soever they be; for there often happens such a conjunction of the planets, which sometimes so prepares an herb, which is good if it be subject to Saturn and Mars: So likewise it falls out sometimes, that an evil herb, by reason of a good conjunction, if in its beginning it stands in the menstruum, may be freed from the malignity, which is to be known by the signature; therefore the physician, who understands the signature, may best of all gather the herbs himself.

43. But if Mars be next Saturn, and Mercury very weak, and Jupiter also under Mars in the property, and Venus casts an opposite aspect or dissent with its desire, then it is good; for Jupiter and Venus change the wrath of Mars into joy, which produces hot wholesome sovereign herbs, which are to be used in all hot diseases and hurts; the herb is rough, and somewhat prickly the leaves on the branches; so likewise the stalk is fine and thin, according to the nature of Venus, but the virtue and power is of Mars and Jupiter, well mixed and tempered, commonly with brownish blossoms forcing forth in the property, and that because Mars is strong therein with his wrath; but seeing his wrath is changed by Jupiter and Venus into a pleasant property, the wrath becomes a desire of joy.

44. The physician must not give Saturn without Mars in hot diseases, not cold without heat, else he enkindles Mars in the wrath, and stirs 1 up Mercury in the hard impression in the property of death; Mars belongs to the cure of every Mars-like sickness, which is of heat, and pricking pangs: But let the physician know, that he must first correct and qualify Mars, which he intends to administer, with Jupiter and Venus, that the wrath of Mars may be changed into joy, and then he will also change the sickness in the body into joy; cold is quite contrary to it.

45. If the physician administers Saturn only and by itself to a martial disease or hurt, then Mars is dismayed with death, and falls down with his force and strength into death's property; and now seeing he is the fire in the body, the life's fire becomes thereupon deadly in the elemental property; for he soon awakens Mercury in the property of cold: But yet the physician must have a care that he administers not in an hot disease the raw undigested hot Mars, in which Mercury is wholly inflamed and burning; for he enkindles the fire more vehemently in the body; he must first mollify Mars and Mercury, and put them into joy, 2 and then it is right and good.

46. The hotter an herb is, the better it is hereunto; yet its wrathful fire must be changed into love, and then he can also change the wrath in the body into joy; all according as the property of the disease is, that the disease be able to bear it; for to a weak fire in the body, which is tired and languished by reason of the heat, and rather inclines to cold, viz. to the poison of Mercury, where the life is in danger, there belongs a cure with a fine subtle heat, wherein Venus is strong, and Mars very tender and mild by reason of the power of Venus; Jupiter need not be strong there, lest he make Mars and Mercury too strong, so that the weak life, before it is quickened and refreshed, is overwhelmed, and brought into the mercurial poison.

47. An herb in this aforesaid property grows not high, it is somewhat rough in the touch; the rougher it is, the stronger is Mars therein; it is better to be used outwardly to wounds and sores, than inwardly: The fine and subtle part is to be taken into the body, and is expulsive; the more subtle it is, the nigher it is to the life in the body, which the physician may very well know by its salt; for no rough wild property is to be taken into the body, unless the body be inflamed with a sudden poison, where the life also is fresh and strong, then a vehement resistance must be used; yet Mercury and Mars must not be administered in the wrath, but in their strongest power, Mars in the greatest heat, but before changed into joy; and then he also changes Mercury according to himself: Jupiter belongs to the transmutation of wrathful Mars, but he must be first introduced into Sol's property, and then he is rightly fit for it.

48. Every living creature, according to its kind in the foregoing property, is friendly and pleasant, if you deal friendly and gently with it; but if it be dealt roughly with, then Mercury is stirred up in the poison-property, for Mars soon boils up, and gets aloft in the bitter property, and then the anger springs forth; for the ground of all malignity lies therein; but if it be not stirred up, then it is not manifest; as a great sickness which lies in the body, but while the same is hid, and not enkindled, it is not manifest and apparent.

49. But if Mercury be next Saturn in the property, and next him the moon, and Venus and Jupiter beneath, and also weak, then let Mars stand where he will, yet all is earthly; for Mercury is held in the austere impression in the cold property, viz. in death's form, and his Sulphur is earthly; if Mars comes near to it, then it is poisonful also, but if Venus makes an opposition therein, then the poison is resisted, yet it is but earthly; it gives a greenish colour from the power of Venus.

50. But if Venus be next Saturn in the property, and the moon not opposed by Mars, and Jupiter likewise goes in his own power, then all is pleasant [and lovely under that property or constellation]; the herbs are slender, single, and soft in touch, of white blossoms, unless Mercury brings in a mixt colour from the power of the sun, viz. from Mars half red, and from Jupiter bluish, and it is weak in the property, and of little use in physic, yet not hurtful: In the creature it gives a pleasant, courteous, humble life, with no deep reason [reach or capacity], but if Mars comes thereunto, the creature is small, or thin, of a white, weak, and effeminate nature.

5i. There are three special salts which may be used to cure, which belong to the vegetable life, viz. Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury; these are the working life, in which the sun is the right spirit which makes these salts operative. 1

52. The salt or power of Jupiter is of a pleasant good smell and taste from the inward original [of the property] of the liberty of the divine essence, and from the external [principle or original] of the property of the sun and Venus, but yet it is not alone of itself of sufficient power in nature; for the outward nature consists in fire and anguish, viz. in poison, and Jupiter's power 1 is opposed to the fiery poison life, which makes a temperature in the poisonful nature, viz. a desire of meekness out of the enmity.

53. `the salt of Mars is fiery, bitter, and austere, and the mercurial salt is anxious and raging, like a poison, inclined both to heat and cold; for it is the life in Sulphur, and unites [or assimilates] itself, according to each thing's property; for if it comes into Jupiter's salt, it causes joy and great power; but if it comes into Mars's salt, it makes bitter pangs, stitches, achings, and woe; but if it comes into Saturn's earthly salt, it makes swellings, anguish, and death, if it be not hindered by Jupiter and Venus: Venus and Jupiter are opposite to Mars and Mercury, that so they might temper them both; and without the power of Mars and Mercury there would be no life in Jupiter, Venus, and Sol, but only a stillness; "therefore the worst is as profitable as the best," and the one is the cause of the other.

54. But the physician is to heed and mind what he takes in hand, lest he inflame the mercurial poison more and more in his patient, or introduce it into another adverse source: He ought indeed to use the martial and mercurial salt for his cure, but he must first reconcile Mars and Mercury with Venus and Jupiter, that so both these angry adversaries may resign their will into Jupiter's will, so that Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury may all three obtain one will in the power, and then the cure is right, and the sun of life will again enkindle itself in this union and agreement, and also temper the nauseate of the disease in the contrariety in the salt of the disease, and turn Mercury's poison, and the bitter fire of Mars into a pleasant Jupiter.

55. This is now to be understood only concerning the vegetable soul, viz. concerning the outward man, which lives in the four elements, and concerning the sensible and feeling property.

56. Reason likewise is to be cured with its likeness; for as reason may be brought by words into a sensible sickness and disease, so that reason may vex, fret, and torment itself, and at last fall into an heavy sad sickness and death; so also it may be cured with the application of the same thing [with its own assimilate].

57. As for example: An honest man falls into great debts, care, trouble and distress, which does even afflict him nigh to death; but if a good friend comes and pays his debt for him, then is the cure soon effected with its likeness: Even thus it is in all things; from whence the disease is risen, even such a like cure is requisite for the restoring its health; and thus it is likewise in the mental soul.

58. The soul of the poor sinner is poisoned in the anger of God, and the Mercury (understand the eternal Mercury in the eternal nature) is inflamed in the soul's property in the fiery Mars of God's anger, which does now burn in the eternal Saturn, viz. in the horrible impression of darkness, and feels the sting of the poisonful angry Mars; his Venus is imprisoned in the house of misery, his water is dried up, his Jupiter of understanding is brought into the greatest folly, his sun is quenched, and his moon turned to dark night.

59. Now he cannot be cured and remedied any other way, but with the likeness; he must again appease the mental Mercury; he must take Venus, understand the love of God, and introduce it into his poisonful Mercury and Mars, and tincture the Mercury in the soul again with love, and then his sun will again shine in the soul, and his Jupiter will rejoice.

60. Now if thou sayest that thou canst not, and that thou art too strongly captivated; I say also, that I cannot; for it lies not in my willing, running, and toiling, but it lies in the compassion of God; for I cannot by my own strength and ability overcome the wrathful anger of God which is enkindled in me; but seeing his dear heart has freely given itself again out of love, and in love, into the humanity, viz. into the poisonful enkindled Mercury in the soul, and tinctured the soul, viz. the poison-source of the eternal nature in the eternal Father's nature's property; therefore I will cast my will into his tincture, and I will go with my will out of the enkindled poison-source, out of the evil Mercury in God's anger into his death, and with my corrupted will I will die with him in his death, and become a nothing in him, and then he must be my life.

61. For if my will is a nothing, then he is in me what he pleases, and then I know not myself any more, but him; and if he will that I shall be something, then let him effect it; but if he wills it not, then I am dead in him, and he lives in me as he pleases, and so then if I be a nothing, then I am at the end, in the essence out of which my father Adam was created; for out of nothing God has created all things.

62. The nothing is the highest good, for there is no turba therein, and so nothing can touch [or annoy] my soul; for I am a nothing to myself, but I am God's, who knows what I am; I know it not, neither shall [or ought] I to know it.

63. And thus is the cure of my soul's sickness; he that will adventure it with me shall find by experience what God will make of him: As for example; I here write, and I also do not do it; for I, as I, know nothing, and have also not learned or studied it; so then I do it not, but God does it in me as he pleases.

64. I am not known to myself, but I know to him what and how he pleases: Thus I live not to myself, but to him; and thus we are in Christ only one, as a tree in many boughs and branches, and he begets and brings forth the fruit in every branch as he pleases, and thus I have brought his life into mine, so that I am atoned with him in his love; for his will in Christ is entered into the humanity in me, and now my will in me enters into his humanity; and thus his living Mercury, that is, his word, viz. the speaking Mercury, tinctures my wrathful evil Mercury, and transforms it into his. And thus my Mars is become a love-fire of God, and his Mercury speaks through mine, as through his instrument, what he pleases; and thus my Jupiter lives in the divine joy, and I know it not; the true sun shines to me, and I see it not; for I live not to myself, I see not to myself, and I know not to myself: I am a thing, and I know not what; for God knows what I am; and so now I tend and run to and fro as a thing, in which the spirit drives [or actuates] me as he pleases; and thus I live according to my inward will, which yet is not mine.

65. But yet I find in me another life, which I am, not according to the resignation [or self-denial], but according to the creature of this world, viz. according to the similitude of eternity; this life does yet stand in poison and strife, and shall yet be turned to nothing, and then I am wholly perfect: Now in this same life, wherein yet I find my selfhood, is sin and death, and these likewise shall be brought to nothing: In that life, which God is in me, I hate 1 sin and death; and according to that life which yet is in my selfhood, I hate the nothing, viz. the Deity: Thus one life fights against the other, and there is a continual contest in me; but seeing Christ is born again in me, and lives in my nothingness, therefore Christ will, according to his promise made in paradise, bruise the head of the serpent, viz. of my selfhood, and mortify the evil man in myself, so that he himself may truly live [in me].

66. But what shall Christ do with the evil man? Shall he cast him away? No. For he is in heaven, and does thereby accomplish and effect his wonders in this world, which stands in the curse: Now each labours in its own [vineyard]; the outward man labours in the cursed world, which is evil and good in the wonders of God, viz. in the mirror of glory, which yet shall be revealed in him; and the inward man is not its own, but God's instrument, with whom God makes what he pleases, till the outward with its wonders in the mirror shall also be manifest in God; and even then is God all in all, and he alone in his wisdom and deeds of wonder and nothing else besides; and this is the beginning and the end, eternity and time.

67. Now understand it right; to the outward man there belongs a cure from the outward, viz. from the outward will of God, who has made himself external with this visible world; and for the inward man there is a cure from the inward world, in which God is all in all; only one, not many, one in all, and all in one: But if the inward penetrates the outward, and illustrates it with its sunshine, and the outward receives the sunshine of the inward, then it is tinctured, cured, and healed by the inward, and the inward illustrates it, as the sun shines through the water, or as the fire sets the iron quite through of a light glee; here now needs no other cure.

68. But seeing the devil in the wrath of the eternal nature opposes the soul, as an enemy of the soul, and continually casts his poisonful imagination at the soul to tempt and try it, and the anger or wrath of the eternal nature is manifest in the outward man, which Adam awakened and stirred up; thereupon this wrath is oftentimes stirred up by the devil and his servants, that it effectually works and burns in the outward body, and even then the inward love-fire goes out in the outward man, as a red-hot iron is quenched in the water; yet not so soon in the internal, but in the external [man], unless the outward man continues lying in the mire 1 of sin; so that the soul, which had given itself into the nothing, viz. into the liberty, into the life of God, does enter again with its desire into the outward sinful man, then it loses the inward sun; for it goes again out of the nothing into the something, viz. into the source.

69. Thus the outward body must then have an outward cure; and though the inward man yet lives in God, yet whereas the soul has imagined into the outward wrath, so that the divine tincturation is no longer in the outward man, the outward Mercury, viz. the expressed 2 word, must have a tincturation from the outward expressed love and light, unless the will-spirit of the soul does wholly re-enter into the inward hidden man, and be again transmuted; 1 and then the cure may be again introduced into the outward man, being the thorough-shining love of God in the light, 2 which is exceeding precious.

70. But now this herb is rarely to be found upon the earth; for men eat only of the forbidden tree; therefore the poison of the serpent does so spring up in them in the wrath of the eternal and external nature, so that they must also have an external cure for their serpent's poison in the outward Mercury.

71. It is indeed possible for a man to live without sickness, but he must bring the divine tincturation from the inward man through the outward, which is very difficult [to do] in the world; for the outward man lives among the thorns of God's wrath, which gall and sting him on every side, and blow up the wrath of God, so that it burns in the outward man, and then the tincturation of God's love may not continue there: It is indeed inhere, but not in the outward enkindled abominations, but it dwells in itself, like as the light dwells in the darkness, and the darkness comprehends it not, also knows nothing of it; but when the light is manifest in the darkness, then is the night changed into day.

72. Thus it is likewise with man; of what light man lives, of that also comes his cure; if he lives in the outward world, then the outward goodness and love, viz. the outward Jupiter and Venus with the sun must be his cure, or he remains in the angry Mars, and in the poisonful Mercury, in the earthly moon captivated in the impression of Saturn, viz. in the earthly Sulphur; which however is made manifest, and awakened in the outward man by Adam, for whose sake the outward man must die, putrify, and so enter again into the nothing, viz. into the end, or as I might better say and signify it, into the beginning of the creation, into the essence, out of which it went and departed with Adam.

91:1 Voice, or harmony.

91:2 Or essence.

92:1 Text, wrestling power.

92:2 Or shapes.

93:1 Or original.

94:1 Perception, or sensation.

94:2 Or breathing forth.

95:1 Or plays.

96:1 Or distinguishes the senses.

96:2 Viz. the Mercury.

96:3 Viz. Mercury.

97:1 Thicken, or curdle.

98:1 It gives a cursing or a blessing aspect.

98:2 Stalk, or blossom.

98:3 Or of whitish buds in vegetables.

98:4 In conjunction with Saturn.

101:1 Text, that he stirs.

101:2 Sublime them.

102:1 Working, powerful, or virtual.

103:1 The jovial virtue.

105:1 Or I am an enemy to.

106:1 Or water.

106:2 Outspoken.

107:1 Transformed.

107:2 The transforming light of God in the dark soul, such as shined in Enoch, Elijah, Paul, etc.



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