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.


Jason said...

Interesting. I hope you'll add some additional posts as you make your way through the book--your Kindle reading habits notwithstanding.

"We have but to quiet our own thoughts and desires, and we shall hear at once the harmonies of heaven."

I'm quite sure I've never experienced the "harmonies of heaven" as Boehme did, but I know I've certainly been more at peace on the few occasions I've managed to rid myself of distraction. The difficulty is "living deliberately" in Thoreau's words for any extended period of time.

Steve said...

Thank you for your comment Jason. Can't say that I've experienced the harmonies of heaven either. The socialization I derived from my Church of Christ heritage is an impediment to such, I think. Whereas what Boehme and other mystics feel is foreign to me, it is a mystery worth investigating.

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