Thursday, March 22, 2012

More on Bohme


This material is taken largely from Wikipedia:
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakob_B%C3%B6hme)

"Böhme had a number of mystical experiences throughout his youth, culminating in a vision in 1600 as one day he focused his attention onto the exquisite beauty of a beam of sunlight reflected in a pewter dish. He believed this vision revealed to him the spiritual structure of the world, as well as the relationship between God and man, and good and evil. At the time he chose not to speak of this experience openly, preferring instead to continue his work and raise a family.

"Twelve years after the vision in 1600, Böhme began to write his first book, Die Morgenroete im Aufgang. The book was given the name Aurora by a friend; however, Böhme originally wrote the book for himself and it was never completed.[6] A manuscript copy was loaned to Karl von Ender, a nobleman, who had copies made and began to circulate the manuscript. A copy fell into the hands of Gregorius Richter, the chief pastor of Görlitz, who considered it heretical and threatened Böhme with exile if he did not stop writing. As a result, Böhme did not write anything for several years; however, at the insistence of friends who had read Aurora, he started writing again in 1618.

Boehme's first book was given the name Aurora.

In the six years before his death in 1624 he wrote an enormous number of books.  The two most significant perhaps were: De Signatura Rerum and Mysterium Magnum. He also developed a following throughout Europe, where his followers were known as Behmenists.

His total corpus is (presumably) listed here:
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakob_B%C3%B6hme#Aurora_and_writings)

Works

  • Aurora: Die Morgenröte im Aufgang (unfinished) (1612)
  • The Three Principles of the Divine Essence (1618-1919)
  • The Threefold Life of Man (1620)
  • Answers to Forty Questions Concerning the Soul (1620)
  • The Treatise of the Incarnations: (1620)
    • I. Of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ
    • II. Of the Suffering, Dying, Death and Resurrection of Christ
    • III. Of the Tree of Faith
  • The Great Six Points (1620)
  • Of the Earthly and of the Heavenly Mystery (1620)
  • Of the Last Times (1620)
  • De Signatura Rerum (1621)
  • The Four Complexions (1621)
  • Of True Repentance (1622)
  • Of True Resignation (1622)
  • Of Regeneration (1622)
  • Of Predestination (1623)
  • A Short Compendium of Repentance (1623)
  • The Mysterium Magnum (1623)
  • A Table of the Divine Manifestation, or an Exposition of the Threefold World (1623)
  • The Supersensual Life (1624)
  • Of Divine Contemplation or Vision (unfinished) (1624)
  • Of Christ's Testaments (1624)
    • I. Baptism
    • II. The Supper
  • Of Illumination (1624)
  • 177 Theosophic Questions, with Answers to Thirteen of Them (unfinished) (1624)
  • An Epitome of the Mysterium Magnum (1624)
  • The Holy Week or a Prayer Book (unfinished) (1624)
  • A Table of the Three Principles (1624)
  • Of the Last Judgement (lost) (1624)
  • The Clavis (1624)
  • Sixty-two Theosophic Epistles (1618–1624)
  Said by Wikipedia to be in print:
  • The Way to Christ (inc. True Repentance, True Resignation, Regeneration or the New Birth, The Supersensual Life, Of Heaven & Hell, The Way from Darkness to True Illumination) edited by William Law, Diggory Press ISBN 978-1-84685-791-1
  • Of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, translated from the German by John Rolleston Earle, London, Constable and Company LTD, 1934.

 

Notes:

Aurora, like the Four Zoas, was an unfinished manuscript, but for his ideas in that work we're directed to "Three Principles of the Divine Presence and Threefold Life of Man" The three principles are the Eternal Dark Light and Temporary World.  In Blake's system it might be Ulro, Eternity, and Nature (or Generation), or how Adam was: before the Fall, during the Fall and after the Fall.

In Wikipedia's basic approach to 'Bohme' this was said:
Böhme's departure from accepted theology (though this was open to question due to his somewhat obscure, oracular style) was in his description of the Fall as a necessary stage in the evolution of the Universe. A difficulty with his theology is the fact that he had a mystical vision, which he reinterpreted and reformulated. According to F. von Ingen, to Böhme, in order to reach God, man has to go through hell first. God exists without time or space and regenerates himself through Eternity;  Böhme,  restates the Trinity as truly existing but with a novel interpretation: God, the Father is fire, which gives birth to his son, whom Böhme calls light. The Holy Spirit is the living principle, or the Divine Life.

In another section of wikipedia we read:

Cosmology

In one interpretation of Böhme's cosmology, it was necessary for humanity to depart from God, and for all original unities to undergo differentiation, desire and conflict -—as in the rebellion of Satan, the separation of Eve from Adam and their acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil — in order for creation to evolve to a new state of redeemed harmony that would be more perfect than the original state of innocence, allowing God to achieve a new self-awareness by interacting with a creation that was both part of, and distinct from, Himself. Free will becomes the most important gift God gives to humanity, allowing us to seek divine grace as a deliberate choice while still allowing us to remain individuals.
Böhme saw the incarnation of Christ not as a sacrificial offering to cancel out human sins, but as an offering of love for humanity, showing God's willingness to bear the suffering that had been a necessary aspect of creation. He also believed the incarnation of Christ conveyed the message that a new state of harmony is possible.

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