The Signature of All Things

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The Signature of All Things

By Jacob Boehme

Signatura Rerum- Chapter XII


1. We are not to think that when Christ died the natural death in the human property, that he died as to his creaturely soul, 1 much less as to the Deity; also he did not disappear or die in the heavenly essentiality and in the heavenly tincture: This cannot be; only the will and dominion of self, viz. of the outward world, which domineered in man unto the own will and own powers of the selfish creature (wherein man was disobedient to God), he gave that wholly into the Father's hands, viz. into the end of nature, into the Father's great mystery; not that it should be dead, but that God's Spirit might alone be the life thereof, that the divine dominion might be in Christ's person, that the Eternal Father might rule and reign with his Eternal Spirit in his image; and therefore God has determined to keep the last judgment by this Jesus.

2. Now the creature of Christ does it not alone, but God in his image through the creature in the dominion of his Eternal Spirit of all the three principles, which is the life and dominion of every being, in each thing according to its property.

3. And understand us right, when Christ died on the cross, the name Jesus did not also die, which destroyed death, and tinctured the expressed word, viz. the form of the Deity (or the formed word), viz. the soul with love: No, it cannot be, the eternity does not die, only the spoken word, which stands again in the desire of the speaking, viz. in the fiat, which changes itself in its own speaking, viz. in the self-desire, and brings its own sound into another form and source than the speaking word had spoken it, and set it forth with the verbum fiat into a form, signature, and will; as Lucifer with his royal throne, and Adam also did, when they both departed out of resignation into selfhood; the instrument would be master.

4. The outward working sensitive life wherein the anger of God was set on fire did wholly die away, not that it should be a nothing, but it fell into the nothing, viz. into God's will, into God's working and feeling, quite from the will of the outward world, which is evil and good, so that it might no longer live to the world, viz. to the astrum in the walm, the boiling or seething power of the four elements; but to the Eternal Father's nature in the walm of the pure divine element the life of the outward world died.

5. Thus the true human life fell immediately again into that place from whence Adam had brought it, viz. into paradise, upon which Christ said to the thief, "To-day thou shalt be with me in paradise;" it fell into Adam's death, whereby he died to paradise, and sprang up in Adam's death as a new creature out of the old, like as the branch springs from the corn: And this it did from the might and power of the speaking word, which of grace was entered with living essentiality into the disappeared heavenly essentiality of man, and had freely given itself into the centre of the soul-like nature, and also into the wrath of the anger and death in the flesh, and changed the anger into love, and tinctured the corrupt blood in the anger with the love.

6. The divine tincture tinctured the human; the divine sun entered into the human; the divine sun entered into Adam's night, viz. into Adam's sleep; God's sun with the name Jesus entered with Adam's soul and humanity in Christ's person into death, understand into Adam's sleep.

7. When Christ died, then Adam died also to his self-hood in Christ's death; the name Jesus was in Christ the serpent-destroyer in Adam's humanity; Christ entered into the image of the first Adam, so that the first Adam in the humanity of Christ became the same Christ, and serpent-destroyer, indeed not in the same creature, but in the same soul's and body's property.

8. The first Adam fell into sleep, viz. into the impotence of the divine world, and died in the death of death; the second Adam entered into the death of death; and took the death of death captive in himself, viz. in the humanity of Adam: He was a death to death, and brought forth the life out of death into the eternal liberty: He arose in the divine omnipotence in the essence of the first Adam: God's Spirit in the speaking eternal word brought forth Adam out of death in Christ's humanity. Adam arose in Christ's humanity, and all the children of Adam, which are partakers of Christ's kingdom, arise in Christ; all in Christ's flesh and blood, soul and spirit, but every one in his creature which he has had here, and mortified in Christ's death.

9. Every one is a particular twig; but there is only one tree, which is Christ in Adam, and Adam in Christ, only one, not two; only one Christ in all Christians; so that I may say, "If I be dead in Christ to the world, I am the same Christ, viz. a branch on the same tree."

10. But seeing that I in the outward man do yet live in my self-hood, therefore I must also die with the outward man in Christ's death, and arise and live in him. Now therefore I live with the will of faith in the mind in Christ, and am a Christian in the will of the mind in the desire of faith, and receive Christ with his humanity into my will, and cast my will into his death; and thus my inward man is also dead in Christ's death, and lives no longer to self-hood; but I am resigned in him, and lie buried in his death: But seeing he is risen in God's will, I also live in his resurrection in him; but my earthliness in its selfish property lives to the earthly world, until it also dies quite to self-hood, and enters into the resignation and putrefaction, and then Christ will awaken it through my inward man, which now lives in him.

11. Like as he is risen from the dead, even so shall I, who shall die to the earthliness in him, viz. in my first father Adam, in the name Jesus as a Christian in Christ; my twig, withered in sin on the tree, shall obtain strength and sap in the name Jesus to life. I shall and must spring forth afresh with my humanity in him as in my stem who is become a heart and power in my father Adam, and bring forth fruit to the praise of God.

12. My will-spirit, which now is in Christ's humanity, and lives in Christ's Spirit, that shall in Christ's power give sap to the dry tree, that it shall again arise at the last day in the sound of the trumpet of the divine breath in Christ's voice, which also is my voice in his breath, and spring afresh in the tree Christ, viz. in paradise: The paradise shall be in me; all whatever God has and is shall appear in me as a form and image of the divine world's being; all colours, powers, and virtues of his eternal wisdom shall be manifest in me, and on me, as on his likeness: I shall be the manifestation of the spiritual divine world, and an instrument of God's Spirit, wherein he makes melody with himself, with this voice, which I myself am, as with his signature: I shall be his instrument, and organ of his expressed word and voice; and not only I, but all my fellow-members in the glorious tuned instrument of God: We are all strings in his joyful consort; the spirit of his mouth strikes the tune and note on our strings.

13. And therefore God became man, that he might again repair his glorious instrument which he had made for his praise, which perished as to him, and would not sound according to the desire of his joy and love, and introduce again the true love-sound into the strings: He has introduced the voice which sounds in his presence again into us, viz. into his instrument, he is become that which I am, and has made me that which he is, so that I may say, that I am in my resignation in him his trumpet, and the sound of his instrument and divine voice, 1 at which now I rejoice in all my fellow-strings and voices, which with me are tuned and set as an eternal work, to the praise and glory of God.

14. Thus know ye now my fellow-voices in the praise of God, that I sound with my string played upon in the spirit upon and in your note, and thus sing I to you; that whatever Jesus has done through the Christ, viz. through his and my humanity, the same he does yet to-day in me and in all my fellow-members. He died to my self-hood in his death, and I also die to my self-hood in his death: He is given up to his resignation in God his Father, and God his Father has raised him up with the spirit of his mouth in him, and set him forth for the royal image according to the Holy Trinity, through and with whom God will judge all things in the place of this world.

15. Thus God also has awakened in him my spirit and soul through his spirit in the great name Jesus in Christ, so that I in my resignation in him need not to die, for he died in me and for me; his death, in that he is risen from death, is become my eternal life, so that now I live in his death, as one dying; and yet there is no more any death in him, but thus I die to myself and sin in him, seeing that my desire and will presses forth from my self-hood into it, so that I die daily to myself, till once I shall obtain the limit of my self-hood, and my self-hood with the earthly will and desire does wholly die to its selfishness; then shall my self-hood, and all whatever is in me which seeks and loves itself, fall into the death of Christ, viz. into the first mother, from whence God created me, and my self-hood shall become a nothing; and even then my self-hood lies in Christ's death in the resignation as an instrument of God, who then will make it his instrument as he pleases.

16. But seeing now my soul and spirit lives in his resurrection, and his voice [air or breath] is in me, according to the resignation in him, as St. Paul says, "Our conversation is in heaven, from whence we wait for the Saviour Jesus Christ;" therefore also his voice, which is in me in that I am [or live] no longer to my self-hood, but he alone [is and lives in me], shall raise up my dead body, which I resign to him, and bring it into his first image, to which he created it.

17. Thus now I live in God, and my self-hood does not know it, for it lives not in God, but in itself (God is indeed in it, but it does not apprehend him), and hides the pearl which I am in Christ; not I, but he in his humanity in my creature in himself: And thus I speak and write of the great mystery of all beings, not that I have apprehended it in my self-hood, but he strikes my signature in my desire, which presses into him, as he pleases.

18. I am known to myself, but not in my self-hood, but in his mirror which of grace he has put into me, thereby to allure my self-hood to him, viz. into the resignation; and so likewise, dear brethren, it shall again be represented to you out of his glass, 1 which he has set forth through my capacity in him, as his instrument.

19. Thus it goes also in the philosophic work; Sulphur, Mercury, and Sal are entered by the curse of God into their self-hood, viz. into a self-working and living; all does now work in the curse and anger of God according to the property of the first principle; if God had not placed the sun as a nature-god of the outward visible world therein, which tinctures every working life, even everything which grows and moves, all would be in the dark death's impression, viz. in the abyss of hell.

20. Now if anything shall be freed from this self-hood, viz. from the wrathful death, and be again brought into the universal, viz. into the highest perfection, then it must die wholly to its self-hood, and enter into the stillness, viz. into the death of the resignation at nature's end: Mars must wholly lose the might of the fire and wrath, and Mercury also his poison-life; Saturn must be a death to himself, insomuch that the artist sees nothing but the great darkness, and even then the light appears in the resignation; for St. John says, "The light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness apprehended it not;" that is, in its self-hood, viz. in its own will and working it cannot apprehend it; but in the resignation the nothing, viz. the liberty of God shines in it.

21. For the nothing manifests itself in its lubet out of the liberty in the darkness of death; for the nothing will not be a nothing, and also cannot be a nothing, and likewise it cannot otherwise manifest itself, but according to the property of the free lubet, which is now fixed [or steadfast], and in it also as a nothing, for there is no turba therein; the self-will and hunger is dead, and in the nothing, and the lubet of the eternal liberty is its life: Now seeing that the highest being has once moved itself, and come into a visible comprehensible essence, it does again figure [or form] that same essence, which departs from its self-hood, and enters into the nothing, into such a being [or essence] as it was before the times of the world: But seeing the verbum fiat stands yet to this day creating of the corporal essence, it does again make a fixed perfect essence; as the like is brought to pass in the philosophic work, where a new life arises out of death, as God does raise us up in himself in Christ, if we die to self-hood, and wholly resign up ourselves to him.

22. And thus when the expressed Mercury in the Sulphur of Saturn resigns its self-hood into Venus, then the verbum fiat changes it again into such an essence according to the lubet of the liberty; the death arises in a new body out of the darkness of death, in a white fair colour, but as an hidden lustre, wherein the colour is not rightly and distinctly known, till it dissolves itself, and the materia becomes desiring; then the sun arises in the centre, and Saturn in the property of Jupiter and Venus in all the seven forms (that is in the verbum fiat) as a new creation, and the desire of all the seven forms tend to Sol's lustre, viz. to the white and red colour from the fire and light, which is the majestical [colour, lustre, or glory].

23. Christ after his resurrection walked 1 forty days in the mystery of all the three principles at once, in the property of the first Adam after his creation before his sleep, and before his Eve was formed, and appeared to his disciples in his property which he had here from the outward world, and did eat with them, and shewed them his assumed humanity, and that he had in no wise wholly put it off.

24. Even so let the artist understand us, that in the philosophic work the first matter does not wholly pass away or vanish, but it enters into the death of the life of its wrathful property, and dies in the curse of God, but rises again in its former being, which it had before the curse of God: The curse only is destroyed therein, and the first life does again rise up therein, and therefore it is fixed, and subsists in the fire, for it is dead to the dominion of the four elements, and lives in the fifth essence; not that it has that same life, but it stands still therein; yet the spirit of the new-born essence is a vegetative life with its growing therein; its lustre stands therein, it shews the first Adam in innocence, who stood likewise in such perfection.

25. And as Christ tinctured our corrupt humanity, in which Mercury was turned to poison, with the heavenly blood of the eternal divine virginity and essentiality, whereby the human self-hood died in the poison, and the resigned life did again arise; so the poisonful mercurial, martial, and saturnine will and desire die in the blood of Venus in the philosophic work, and both enter together into death, and arise both together in one love, in one will.

26. Therefore let the artist observe the tincture; it is more noble and precious for man's use in this valley of misery than the body which arises in the tincture; for the spirit is the life; the body is only a figure of the life, and the blood is a mansion of the spirit.

27. The artist must well observe this; in the blood of the young man, when his pearl 1 gives itself to the three murtherers, that it also sheds its blood in and with the young man's, then the champion stands in hell, and disclaims the human self-hood: Then the white lion appears upon his crimson-coloured beast; even there lies the cure of sickness, and the death of death.

28. The body is dissolved in the blood of love in the death out of the earthly into an heavenly [property]. The tincture gives itself into the new body; and afterwards, when the body rises in Sol's splendour, it also forsakes its will; it resigns itself wholly into the body's essence, and becomes its beauty, splendour, and colour, which the artist can never separate; for they are together in the fifth essence, viz. in the mystery of the verbum fiat, and belong to God's motion of the final day of separation; in this time to his own manifestation unto his honour, and deeds of wonder; but after this time to the crystalline world in the glassy sea before the ancient in the Apocalypse.

A Brief Summary of the Philosophic Work

29. Our meaning might seem very difficult to the reader, in that we go so far about and shew Christ all along therein; at which let no man wonder, we do not seek gold, or any temporal goods thereby, and drive man into vain curiosities; we speak only with the children whom God has chosen thereunto; for the time is born, where that which is lost shall be again found; yea not only the universal for the body of this world, but also for the soul.

30. The process is very short in both, and it is only of one property which is thus: The tree, understand the life, is divided into seven forms; now the curse of God is come into the seven forms, so that they are in strife and enmity, and one form annoys the other, and can never agree unless they all seven enter into death, and die to the self-will. Now this cannot be, unless a death comes into them, which breaks all their will, and be a death to them; as the deity in Christ was a death to the human self-hood, and the seven forms in the human life; thus it is here also: The human will was changed in Christ into the eternal sun, viz. into the resignation in God; so must all the forms in the philosophic work be changed into one, viz. into Sol: Seven must become one, and yet remain in seven, but in one desire, where each form desires the other in love, and then there is no more any strife and contest.

31. Therefore let the artist but consider how he may give death to the death with the pure life, and how he may awaken the dead and disappeared life, which is heavenly, and lies hidden and captivated in the curse, so that it may again receive the fire-soul; and if he does but bring it so far, it works of itself. 1

32. When the virgin again receives her bridegroom, who has been faithless, then he is prepared and fitted to the work; otherwise he is no way at all fitted; but all is in vain and to no purpose [which he attempts]. There is not any possibility for the heavenly image according to God's likeness in man to be otherwise helped and restored after that the fire-soul had entered into its self-hood, unless the Spirit of God introduced itself into the disappeared image, viz. into the heavenly essentiality, and gave itself in with the image awakened in it into the soul's fire, viz. into the wrath of death, and be a death to death, viz. to the wrathful anger of God, that it might be drowned in the love, in the blood of the heavenly essentiality; and though there could be no parting nor dying, yet there was a dying of the wrath, so that the wrath was changed into a joy and love.

33. Thus the artist's work is exactly and throughout no otherwise: For man was created out of all beings, out of the heaven and earth; but when he became wholly earthly, and the curse seized on him, the curse also came over the earthly being, from whence man was made: Thus the heaven was shut up from man, and the heaven also was shut up in the earth, as metals, trees, and herbs, in the food of man, and whatever belonged to his ornament and delight.

34. The soul of the earth, viz. the property of the fire of the first principle is entered into its self-hood, viz. into God's anger; now the heaven is hidden in it; therefore the artist must in his work reduce the soul in the curse and the heaven again into one: He must introduce the soul again into heaven, or else there is no possibility: Now he cannot bring the soul in its iniquity into heaven, for it will not, and therefore he must bring the heaven into the soul, and wholly give in the heaven to the soul, that the soul may eat of heaven, whether she will or no; the heaven must be as death 1 in the soul, so that the soul cannot get rid of it, how angry soever she be, and vehemently rages against it, till she be overcome in her wrath, and enters with the desire into heaven, viz. into the disappeared essence, and wills to murther it, as the Jews did Christ; and if she so enters into the heavenly essence, then the image of the heavenly essence falls into the jaws of the murtherer.

35. Thus when the heavenly essence gives its desire to the murtherer, the murtherer is dismayed at the dear love-life, and arises in the flagrat in the heavenly essentiality; thus the disappeared essence does again receive the fire flagrat into itself, and wholly unites itself with the fire-life; and so the fire must burn in love and meekness, and forego 2 its right in the centre, as the light which shines from the fire; thus and no otherwise the heavenly essence obtains its life; and as a fire does thoroughly heat an iron that it appears as if it were mere fire, and it is so, but the iron does still retain its substance; so the disappeared essence, viz. the heaven is manifest in the poisonful mercurial and martial fire-soul, and makes of seven wills only one, and yet seven remain, but the enmity ceases.

36. This is an universal, which also changes the enmity 3 or malignity of all diseases in the human body into one will [into unity]; so that the raging and raving, viz. the seven forms of life in their enmity become unanimous; and then the hunger of the disease ceases, and the process to the universal is as has been already mentioned. It is not my intention to mention a clear declaration thereof; it is clear enough; he that will not seek thereby a new man born in God, and apply himself diligently thereto, let him not meddle with my writings.

37. I have not written anything for such a seeker, and also he shall not be able to apprehend our meaning fundamentally, though he strives never so much about it, unless he enters into the resignation in Christ; there he may apprehend the spirit of the universal, otherwise all is to no purpose; and we faithfully warn the curious critic not to amuse himself, for he will not effect anything in this way, unless he himself enters thereinto, and then it will be shewn him without much seeking; for the way is child-like [plain and easy].

152:1 Soulish creature.

155:1 Breath, air, tune.

156:1 Mirror.

157:1 Or conversed.

158:1 Or virgin.

159:1 It makes itself, or it has its own faber in itself.

160:1 Or as dead.

160:2 Or leave.

160:3 Contrariety.



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