Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Illumination of Jacob Boehme

Am back in town now from the Thanksgiving Holidays.  Read some more from Jacob Boehme last night and it was slow going.  Will have to do some more homework to understand and appreciate him.  Not something that can be done in one sitting or even a few months.  So I hit the internet for some help.  Here is one of several things.  The complete essay by Mark Jaqua is at this link.

Boehme believed that this world is but a shadow play and representation of what occurs in higher dimensions. Everything in this world is the "signature" or symbol of something which exists more concretely in the spiritual world. Since the spiritual world is contained within oneself, the external world and the body could be viewed as a projection from these interior contents. Boehme's insight on this was that:

The whole outward, visible world with all its being is a signature or figure of the inward spiritual world; whatever is internal, and however its operation is, so likewise it has its outward character...for whatever the natural light is spiritually, that the earth is in its coarseness.

*Jacob Boehme: His Life and Thought, John Joseph Stoudt, Seabury Press, New York, New York, 1968, p. 243,248.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Protestant Mystic Jacob Boehme

These days I'll read 10 % of a book I've downloaded to Kindle then will download another or two then after a few days download some more.  Am reading about a dozen right now.  Half my time on Kindle is spent searching for books and reading reviews about them.  Sometimes will find something old that is free or $0.99 and will embrace the joy that comes with pressing the button and getting a zillion pages for free.  Jacob Boehme is one of those mysterious names I've run across a number of times and some time ago downloaded The Signature of All Things.  My understanding is that he is unique in that he is a Protestant Mystic.  Made it through the Introduction last night and that was fascinating itself where its author Clifford Bax says:

The purpose of the mystic is the mightiest and most solemn that can ever be, for the central aim of all mysticism is to soar out of separate personality up to the very Consciousness of God.

Jacob Boehme, the last of the great European mystics, having imagined the Spirit which pervades the universe, knew well how little was the stature of his human personality; but he had realised that God was verily within him, and he spoke with the uprightness of a divine being.  Unflaggingly he counsels men (as in the Supersensual Life) to turn away from the worthless and separated self which hungers for honour or for bodily comfort, in order that they should rediscover within themselves "what was before nature and creature." And he means by this phrase "that light which lighteth every man who cometh in the world."  It is here, he says, now and always: we have but to extricate our consciousness from all that is the effect of our time and place.  We have but to quiet our own thoughts and desires, and we shall hear at once the harmonies of heaven.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Was in Los Angeles last week on business.  Still getting caught up in more ways than one.

Haven't been reading Len Hjalmarson over at his blog Next Reformation lately but he is always good to come back to.  Need to do it more often.  See this recent post titled "Storied".  He meditates on something interesting by Paul Fromont.  It is a reflection on narrative theology, something that has given me great comfort in recent years.  Should take time to investigate this spiritual thread again soon.  Here is the first portion of the post.

A narrative approach to theology has promise. In part, that promise comes because modern approaches to theology tended toward reductionism: lists of propositions abstracted from the living story. But to abstract truth is to do violence to the texture of truth. Truth abstracted from context is a simulacra – it only appears to be real. It is processed food, lacking that which gives life. In his reflections on The Insatiable Moon Paul Fromont writes,

“If the root of art is storytelling, then the taproots are longings. Longings for such things as truth, beauty, romance, adventure. We long to find the true north that will guide us through this life and into the next…”

There is more but I need to get to work.  After being gone for 4 business days there will be much catching up to do.

And see this at the Fromont's Prodigal Kiwi's site.

Friday, November 04, 2011

growing up Church of Christ by mike s. allen

This book is a winsome, lighthearted account of what it was like growing up in the Church of Christ.   Mike occupies an interesting place and time since he is the son of a well known minister.  The book grew from scrapbook entries and reminiscences.  It consists of numerous short vignettes of Mike's experiences.  Also included are brief comments by others coming from this same heritage.  It is a great format.  Easy to read and covers a lot of territory in time and subject.

I liked the good-natured and humorous aspect of the book.  Kinda reminds me of Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz. 

Like Mike, I am the son of a CofC minister and our dad's are close friends. 

The Church of Christ is a branch of what is known as the Restoration Movement.  This began in the early 1800's and some have said it was the first indigenous American movement.  The DOC, Christian Church, CofC and Int. CofC are branches of the endeavor.  The CofC has given the world Pat Boone, Max Lucado, Ken Star, Weird Al Yankovic, Michael Shermer and Pepperdine University.

The only other book I have on growing up in this fellowship is Hearing God's Voice:  My Life with Scripture in the Churches of Christ  by Thomas Olbricht.   Tom is 20 years older than me and Mike is 16 years younger.  Geographically we are similar too.  Mike and I from Arkansas and Tom just across the border into Missouri.  Being in the middle between them I see a lot of commonality and yet some changes too.  When Tom and I were growing up there really was no evangelical counter culture and when Mike came along that was just beginning. 

Mike closes the introductory Author's note with "By the time you make it to 'The End', I hope you'll have found a connection to some thought or story, and in that connection, I hope you will have been helped a little in your own journey."  Many of us will be able to say yes we were helped. I was.  Thanks Mike!

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