Conversation Between an Enlightened and an Unenlightened Soul by Jakob Böhme 1624

Translated by Ruud Muschter

Conversation between an enlightened and an unenlightened soul, how the one enlightened soul ought to seek the other one, comfort and in her knowledge take her along on the pilgrims-road of Christ, and accurately depict to her the thorny way of this world, that goes into the abyss, and on which the digressed soul walks. In an open letter to a hungry and thirsty soul to the little well of the sweet love of Jesus. Written by a loving soul of the children of Jesus Christ, under the cross of our lord Jesus Christ, in the year 1624.

One assumes, that the author has sent this conversation in the form of an open letter to Mr. Hans Sigmund von Schweinitz.


Jacob Boehme 1575-1624

 

A poor soul had walked out of paradise, and had arrived in the realm of this world.

The devil encountered her and spoke to her: “Where will you go, you half-blind soul?”

The soul spoke: “I want to observe the creatures of the world, who have been made by the Creator.”

The devil spoke: “How will you observe them, as you cannot distinguish from what essence and qualities they are made? You see them only as a painted image and cannot recognize them.”

The soul spoke: “How then can I recognize them as to essence and being?”

The devil spoke: “When you eat from that of which the creatures good and evil have been made, your eyes will open, you will be as God himself and understand what the Creator is.”

The soul spoke: “I am noble and holy, and can die from it, such as the Creator has spoken.”

The devil spoke: “You will die of nothing, but your eyes will open. You will be like God and distinguish between evil and good. Thereupon you will be powerful, grand and great, like I am. All wisdom of the creatures will be revealed to you.”

The soul spoke: “If I had knowledge of nature and the creatures, I would want to govern the world.”

The devil spoke: “The basis for this knowledge lies in you. Just apply your will from God into nature and in the creatures. Then in you an appetite for this taste comes into being, and you will be able to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. With that you will know everything.”

The soul spoke: “I want to eat from the knowledge of good and evil, in order that I arbitrarily govern all things, and be my own lord on earth. Thus I do what I want, like God himself.”

The devil spoke: “I am a ruler of the world. If you want to rule on earth you must apply your longing towards my image, in order that you obtain the intellect of my image.” And before the soul he depicted Mercury in Vulcan, as the fiery wheel of the essence, in the shape of a serpent.

When the soul saw this, she spoke: “That is the power of all things. How can I become likewise?”

The devil spoke: “You too are such a fiery Mercury. When you separate your will from God and enter your longing in this art, then your hidden foundation will become apparent in you, and then you will be able to work in the same manner. But you must eat from a fruit in which each of the four elements rules in itself over the other one. In this they are in combat, as the heat against the cold, and the cold against the heat, since all qualities of nature work in sensitivity. Then you will soon be like the fiery wheel, and subdue all things and possess them in proprietorship.”


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Now, when the soul broke off her will from God and entered her desire in the Vulcan of the Mercury (in the fiery wheel, in the power of the mind that was akin to her), in her at once the desire to eat from the knowledge of evil and good came about, and she grabbed the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, and ate from it.

When this took place Vulcan ignited the fiery wheel of the essence. This immediately awoke all the qualities of nature in the soul, which entered in their own lust and desire. Thus firstly a longing for vainglory came about; to be gross, powerful and mighty; to subjugate everything and control it by force; to be her own master; to be incomparable to anything; to despise humility and equality; to consider only herself to be reasonable and important; and to consider everything as stupid that did not equal this acuity.

On the other hand the urge to want to obtain attractive power came into being, as such from the mind, that wanted to possess everything and pull it towards it. For when the estranged longing for vainglory estranged her will from God, life no longer wanted to trust God, but wanted to nurse itself. It carried its desires and attractive power to the creatures, also to earth, the metals and trees.

The ignited, fiery Mercury was just as hungry and eager as the fiery life, after it had separated itself from God’s unity, love and forbearance. It attracted the four elements and their essence and behaved in animalistic fashion, through which life became dark, rough and grim, and the heavenly power and colors extinguished.

Thirdly in the fiery life a stinging, hostile desire awoke. This was the envy, as the hellish poison, a disease of all devils. It made life an enemy of God and all creatures. It raged and raved of greed, like a poison in the flesh. That which this greed could not attract, envy tried to murder. Through that the noble love of the soul perished completely.

Fourthly in this fiery life an ailment awoke that resembled the fire. This was the wrath that wanted to murder and kill everything that did not want to be subjected to this vainglory.

Thus the foundation of hell, which foundation enraged God, was completely obvious in this soul. Through this she lost God, paradise and the heavenly realm, and became a worm like the fiery serpent, whom the devil had presented to her as his image. She began to rule on earth in an animalistic fashion, did everything according to the will of the devil, lived in vainglory, greed, envy and wrath, and no longer had true love towards God. Instead a wrong, animalistic love for licentiousness and vanity had come into being, and purity was no longer in the heart, for she had left paradise and possessed the earth. Her head was only occupied with art, cleverness, highness and the manifold of natural things. Justice nor divine virtue remained in her. Whatever she did wrong, she cunningly covered it up under violence, and called it just.

As this happened the devil approached her and led her from one vice to another. For he had captured her in her essence (for she had captured herself in his essence), and in it presented joy and concupiscence to her. He addressed her: “See, you are now grand, mighty, high and noble. See to it, that you become even higher, richer and more marvelous. Use your art and intelligence, in order that everybody is fearful. Then you have esteem and a great name in the world.”


The soul did what the devil advised. She had not yet conceived that he was the devil, but meant that it was her cunning and intelligence, and that she acted well and justly.


Now, she having such a course of life, at some point our beloved Lord Jesus Christ with God’s love and wrath encountered her. He had come into this world to annul the works of the devil and to pass judgment on all godless works. As with a tremendous power, with His suffering, perishing and death He exerted his influence on her, and demolished the work of the devil in her. He opened the way to his mercy for her, and looked at her with His mercifulness. He called her back again, that she should turn back and do penance. Then He would free her from that mask again and return her to paradise once again.

As it went that the sparkle of divine light became apparent in her, she considered herself with all her works and willing. She noticed that she abided in hell in God’s wrath. She acknowledged that she wore a mask and that she was a monster before God and the heavenly realm. This shocked her in such a manner that the greatest fear arose in her, for the judgment of God was revealed in her.


When this came to pass, the Lord Jesus Christ spoke in her with his merciful voice: “Do penance, and abandon vanity, then you will get to my mercy.”


The soul trod before God in her mask with the tainted robe of vanity, and prayed for mercy, that God should forgive her the sin. She strongly adhered to the image of the gratification and conciliation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But the evil qualities of the imagined serpent astral spirit did not wait to […] before God, but there they entered their own longing and desire, for they did not want to die by their own longing and not leave the world, for they were from the world. They feared the mockery of the world, if they would leave their worldly honor and splendor. But the poor soul turned her countenance to God and coveted grace from God, and that God wanted to give her His love.


When the devil saw this, that the soul prayed to God and wanted to do penance, he went to the soul and introduced the inclinations of the earthly qualities in the prayer. He obfuscated the good intentions – which penetrate to God, in order that they would not come to God, and pulled her back to earthly affairs. The will of the soul longed for God, but the outgoing intentions, which should penetrate to God, were shattered and could not reach the power of God.

This startled the soul even more, that she was not allowed to bring her longing to God, and she began to pray more vehemently. But the devil grabbed with his longing in the mercurially ignited fiery wheel of life, and awoke the bad inclinations, in order that the wrong inclinations rose and went inside in the same as wherein they formerly had delighted.

The poor soul wanted with her will to God and was very frightened. But the thoughts all fled away from God to earthly things and did not want to go to God. The soul longed for and pleaded for God, but it seemed to her as if she had been completely cut off from God’s countenance. She could not obtain one glance of mercy and abided in sheer fear, and with that in great apprehension and awe. She invariably meant that God’s wrath and severe judgment would be unveiled in her and that the devil would grasp her. Thus she fell into great sadness and misery, so that all joy and concupiscence of temporary, formerly conventional things were superfluous and tiring to her.


The earthly, natural will did covet those things, but the soul would like to leave them. She wanted to abandon all temporary lust and joy, and only longed for her first native land, from which she had originally sprouted. However she found herself at a great distance from that, and therefore found herself in great desolation and wretchedness. She did not know what to do. She intended to contemplate, awaken herself even more and to pray more vehemently. Thus the devil withstood her and blocked her, lest she should enter a bigger inducement for penance.


The devil stimulated the earthly lust in the heart, in order that the inclinations maintained their false natural right and defended themselves against the will and desire of the soul. For these did not want to die from their own will and to the lust, but keep their temporary concupiscence. They kept the poor soul prisoner in their false desire, so that she should not awake, despite of her fierceful longing and sighing for God’s mercy.

When the soul prayed to God and insisted, the carnal lust captured away the outgoing rays of the soul and led her into digressing thoughts. He abducted her from God, in order that the soul would not receive divine power. Then the soul considered herself as being abandoned by God and did not know that in this manner she attracted God and that therefore He was very near to her.

Also, the devil approached her in the fiery Mercury or the fiery wheel of life, and mixed his desire in the lust of the earthly flesh. He mocked the poor soul and spoke in the earthly thoughts to her: “Why do you pray? Do you think that God hears you and wants to deal with you? Just look at yourself, the thoughts that you have towards Him! You merely have evil thoughts and do not believe in God. How then could God hear you? He does not hear you, leave it be. It is not good now, or you will lose your senses.”

“What do you think would become of you if you would become so melancholic and obstinate. You would be everybody’s jester and live in mere sadness. Neither God nor nature will be pleased by that. Just look at the beautiful world in which God has created you and made you lord of all creatures, to rule them. Collect beforehand temporary things, in order that you will no longer need the world. When then your old age and ending come, go do penance. Nonetheless God will make you blessed and take you up into heaven. There they can do without the torments, the awakening and the acrimony that you bring about now.”


In such and similar thoughts the soul had been locked up by the devil in the carnal lust and earthly will, as tied up with big chains, and did not know what she ought to do. Possibly she recalled the world and its concupiscence, and yet in herself she also found a great craving for divine mercy, and continually would like to do penance and come to venerate God. For God’s hand had touched and broken her. Therefore she could nowhere find peace, but always yearned in herself for repentance over sins committed. She would like to detach herself from it and yet would not get to a real, true repentance, and even less to admitting the sins. Yet she had such a great hunger and longing for repentance and penance.

Now when she was so sad and nowhere could find counsel and peace, she reflected that she wanted to find a place where she could do real penance. There she wanted to be free from the hindrances of the world and its worries. Through these means she wanted to obtain grace from God. So she intended to go to a deserted place and deflect all kinds of affairs. She also considered that with philanthropy towards to poor she wanted to pay her debt, so that God would be merciful towards her. She sought all kinds of methods to find peace and to come to mercifulness and grace.

But all this did not manage to adhere, and to support her. Because in the carnal lust all her earthly worries followed her. Once again she had been captured in the net of the devil and could not find peace. And when for an hour she delighted in earthly things, then in the other hour sadness and misery came back, for in her she felt the voice of God that had been raised, and did not know what was going on or what had befallen her. Often a great fear and temptation overcame her, because she could not recuperate by even one consolation, and she was sick from fear.

The beam of awe therefore touched her as a first attack by grace, and she did not know that Christ in her hell stood in God’s wrath and austere justice, and fought in soul and body with the Satan and apparition that was found in the body. She did not understand that such a hunger and desire for penance and conversion came from Christ himself, and that it meant that she was pulled. Neither did she know what she lacked to be able to come to divine susceptibility. She did not know that she was monstrous and that a serpentine image attached to her, in which image the devil exercised such a power and access to her, and in which he had confused all her good intentions and had carried her away from God. Christ says about this, that the devil takes away the Word from their hearts, in order that they should not believe and become blessed. Luke 8: 12


At a given moment by divine decree this poor, sad soul met a soul who was enlightened and reborn by God, the latter soul speaking to her: “What is the matter with you, you stricken soul, that you are so restless and abide in such a concern?”


The sad soul spoke: “The Creator has hidden His countenance for me, in order that I cannot find my rest with Him. This is why I suffer so much and do not know what to do to please Him. For mountains and great abysses lie before His favor, so that I cannot reach Him, regardless of my longing for Him. I am withheld, so that I cannot reach His power, and it makes no difference whether I am fearful through that and look out for Him with passionate longing.”

The enlightened soul spoke to her: “You carry the mask of the devil with you that resembles the serpent, and you are surrounded by it. In it the devil has access to you, as to your quality, and blocks your will in it, lest it should go through to God. For if it should occur that your will gets through to God, it would be anointed with the highest power of God in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then this anointing would make the monster inside you explode and inside you your initial paradisiacal appearance would become apparent again. Then the devil would lose his power over you, and you would once again become an angel. And because he does not adjudge this to you, he keeps you in your carnal lust, because of his desire. Should you not be able to untie yourself from that, you will be separated from God and will never ever come in our company.”


The poor, sad soul was so startled by this address, that she could no longer utter a word, now that she heard that she wore the image of the serpent inside her, who separated her from God. And also, that the devil was so close to her in this and entangled her will in wrongful thoughts; and that he had such a power over her; and she therefore was so close to damnation, and stood in the abyss of hell; imprisoned in God’s wrath; and she let go any hopes of the mercy of God.

But the power of her collapse she kept, so that she did not waver, and inside she struggled with hope and doubt. What hope built up, doubt tore down again. She constantly was in such an unrest that at last the world with all its beauty infused a pure aversion in her, and she no longer could draw any joy from it. And still she did not come to peace.


At some moment in time the enlightened soul came to her again and found her quite distressed. She spoke to her: “Now what are you doing? Do you want to burst from fear? Why do you torment yourself as to power and will, whereas you are a worm and your ailment just becomes bigger through that? Yes, even if you would sink into the utter depth of the sea, or be able to fly to the dawn and would like to swarm beyond the stars, you would still not get rid of it. For the more you are frightened, the bigger and more painful your nature becomes, and thus you will not come to rest. Your ability is completely lost. Just like a decayed cabbage cannot flourish again from its own ability and gets sap so that he can cheer again with the trees, neither can you from your own ability reach God’s abode and again change into the angelic shape you once possessed. Because as far as God is concerned you have decayed and died, just as the cabbage as regards its power and sap. You are but a fearful, barren hunger. Your qualities are just like the heat and the cold, who are in a fight and never become one.”

The poor soul spoke: “Whatever should I do to blossom again and regain the life that I formerly had, in which I was in peace, before I was an image?”

The enlightened soul spoke: “You must do nothing but deprive your own will from your own attractive power. Then all your evil qualities will become weak and will die. Then once again with your will you will sink in the One from whom in the onset you have originated. For at the moment you are captured in the creatures. When your will leaves them, then in you, with their evil inclinations, the creatures will die that now keep you with the intention that you will not come to God.”

“And if you do so, God will send to you His highest love, which through Jesus Christ He has revealed in mankind. This will give you power and life again, so that you will flourish again and once again rejoice in the living God. Also once again you will get the image of God and get rid of this serpent image. You will then arrive at our crowd of the angels and become my brother.”

The poor soul spoke: “How can 1 abandon my own will in order that the creatures inside it will die, whilst I live in the world and must have the world?”

The enlightened soul spoke: “Now you consider temporary honor and assets plus the concupiscence of the flesh as your property, and deem it easy what you do inside it, or how you attract it. And when you equal him who suffers miserable squalor, who – mind you – is your brother, then you still will not save him. On the contrary, you pull him at your leash and torment him, by pulling his work and effort towards you and delight in it. Thereupon in this you are inexorable and haughty, and raise yourself above him, and make no account of him towards you.”

“There the miserable one stands and sighs towards God, in order that his burden be lifted from him, because beside you he must live in misery. Thus with his sighing he evokes the wrath of God in you, which enlarges your flame and unrest with you.”

“Those are your creatures, whom you love. For their sake you have broken yourself off from God and launched your love into them. So they live in your love and you feed them with your desire and constant attractive power. For they live in your attractive power through your entering your vigor into them. They are only unclean, bad animals, who with your attractive power, in your lust, have shaped themselves together with you.”

This same image is an animal with four evil inclinations. The first is vainglory, the other one greed, the third envy, the fourth wrath. On these four qualities hell is founded. This is imprinted in you and on you, and you are completely won over by it. As a matter of fact these qualities live in your own life. This is why you are separated from God and cannot come to God. Then leave these evil creatures, in order that they may die in you.”

“Getting back to what you have said, I will tell you how you must abandon your own, creature-like, bad will, so that such creatures may die and nonetheless you may live in the world with them. I tell you, that this involves only one road, which is cramped and narrow. Walking it will make you very frightened in the onset, but consequently you will walk it with joy.”

“You must consider well, now that with such a worldly behavior you walk in God’s wrath and in the foundation of hell, that that is not your real native land, and that a Christian must and should live and walk in Christ, and imitate Christ well. He cannot be a Christian unless Christ’s spirit and power lives in him, and that he is totally dedicated to this.”

“Now, Christ’s realm is not of this world, but in heaven. Therefore you must be in a constant ascension, then you will imitate Christ. Even if as to body you must remain with the creatures and have to look after them.”

“The small road to such a constant ascension and imitation of Christ is as follows. You must denounce all of your own ability and power, for of your own accord you will not reach the gates of God. You must also strongly intend to yield to the mercifulness of God, and to strongly impress upon your mind the suffering and the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. You must with all your intelligence and senses subside in it, constantly persevere in it, and long for your creatures to perish within it.”

“Moreover you must very firmly imagine that you divert your urge and mind from all wrongful attractive power, and that you do not cling to temporary honor and possessions. Also you must get rid of that which is unjust and can hinder you with this. Your will must be very unquestionable, and directed to such a solemn intention that never more you will enter your wrong creatures, but in the same instance leave them and separate your mind from them, and that in the same hour you enter the unquestioned road of truth and righteousness and follow the doctrine of Christ.”

“And just as you now think to leave the enemies of your own character, you yourself must also forgive all your outer enemies, and consider, that you send them your love, in order that there is not one creature that can nestle itself in your will, and in order that this will remains unchallenged by any creature.”

“Also you should like to leave your temporary assets, if this may be the case, because of Christ. And not one single thing being earthly you must wish to cherish, only considering yourself in your condition and temporary assets as a servant of God and your fellow Christians, as a housekeeper of God in your post.”

“In addition to this you must imagine that you become the promised mercy in the merit of Jesus Christ, as His love that certainly has been gained and has emanated, that will free you from these creatures and will enlighten your will and ignite it with the flame of love. Through that you will conquer the devil.”

“Not that you could do or want anything. However, you must imagine the suffering and resurrection of Christ, and make yourself familiar with it. With that you can force your way into the realm of the devil and assault it, and kill your creatures. Also you must determine to enter there in this hour still, and for all eternity no longer leave that place, but devote your will to God in everything that you commence and do, in order that He may work with you, and does what He wants.”

“When your will and intention are now prepared, he has broken through your creatures and stands unchallenged before God, surrounded with the merit of Jesus Christ. Now with the lost son he can come to the Father, and fell down before His countenance, to pour out his confession before Him and activate all his powers here to confess his sins and in obedience, together with his averting from God. Not with idle words, but with full force, which is only an intention to that effect, because the soul in itself is not capable of anything.”

“If you are prepared that the eternal Father sees your arrival, and that you again approach Him with such a penance and humility, He will exert his influence on you and speak: ‘See, that is my son, whom I had lost. He was dead and has become living again.’ He will approach you with the mercy and love of Jesus Christ, encompass you with the ray of love and kiss you with his mental power. Then you will get power, say your confession before Him and pray powerfully.”

“Here is the right spot. If you are persevering in this and do not deviate from it, you will see and experience great miracles. For in you, you will experience how Christ will assault the hell in you and will conquer your animals. This will cause an uproar and lamentation in you. Firstly the sin that you did not acknowledge will rise in you, in an attempt to separate and hold you back from God. You will truly experience how death and life are in combat with one another, and will experience what heaven and hell is.”

“You should not be disturbed by that, but stand firmly and not deviate. Thus finally all your evil animals will become tame and weak and hurl themselves into death. Then your will becomes more powerful and be capable of suppressing the evil inclinations. Also your will and mind will ascend to heaven daily, and your creatures will die daily. You will obtain a completely new mind and begin to become a new creature. You will again be changed into the image of God, and get rid of the mask of an animalistic character. Thus you will get peace again and will be delivered from this fear.”

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Now, when the poor soul commenced this process and was serious about it, she meant that she would be victorious at once. But the gate of heaven and mercy was closed for her, despite her power and ability, as if she had been repudiated by God. She obtained no chance for mercy. Then she thought by herself: You are not devoted to God emphatically. You should not ask or desire anything from God, but should surrender to His judgment, in order that he may kill your evil attractive power. You may only sink into the center in Him, outside all nature and creatures, and surrender yourself to Him. He may do with you what He wants, for you are not worth addressing Him. And thus she contemplated to sink in that manner and completely abandon her own will.


As she did that, she felt the greatest remorse about the sins she had committed, and bitterly mourned her ugly appearance, as well that creatures were living in her. For remorse she did not dear to speak a word before God without considering, in such a remorse, the bitter suffering and perishing of our Lord Jesus Christ, as well as the great fear and torture that He had suffered for her sake. Could only He deliver her from this fear and need and again change her in the image of God. She completely sank into this and kept complaining about her foolishness and the negligence that she had not thanked Him for it and never had seen such a grand love, and that she had spend her time so evilly. Further, that she had not perceived how she could have shared in such a grace, but contrariwise had devoted herself to the vain lust of this world in earthly things, from which she had received such an animalistic inclination. Now she was trapped in misery. Out of shame she dared not lift her eyes up to God, who had hidden His powerful countenance for her and did not to look at her.


And when she found herself in such a pain and weeping, she was torn into the abyss of horror, just as if she stood before the gates of hell and now was about to encounter her destruction. It seemed to her as if she ran out of her mind and was completely abandoned now. With that she forgot all her acting and essence, as if she ought to totally yield herself to death and would no longer be a creature. It looked as if she yielded to death, whereas she did not want anything but because of the death of her redeemer Jesus Christ, who had suffered such great tortures for her and had died for her – to die as well and to decay. With this decaying however she raised a very cordial moaning and pleading for the mercifulness of God, and had herself sink into the most unreserved mercifulness of God.

As this was happening the friendly countenance of the dear God appeared to her, which penetrated her as a great light. It made her shiver and she was full of joy and immediately started to pray and to thank the Almighty for such a grace and to rejoice on the inside, because she had been delivered from death and the fear from hell.

There she tasted God’s sweetness and the truth that was promised by Him, and soon all evil spirits that up to then had been a nuisance for her and had kept her away from God’s mercy had to cede. The marriage of the Lamb took place and the noble Sophia married the soul. The signet ring of the victory of Christ was pressed in her true being and once again she was accepted as the child and heir of God.


When this occurred the soul was full of joy and began to work in that power and to praise the marvels of God. Now she was of the opinion that she constantly walked in this power and joy. But from the outside mockery and slander accrued to her, and from the inside a great temptation. This is why she began to doubt whether her center came from God, and whether she certainly had obtained the grace of God.


For the slanderer approached her and wanted to destroy her road and bring doubt to her mind. He exerted his influence on her: “It is not from God; it was only your imagination.”


Also the divine light did recede from her, and it only glowed in the internal ground, as a pilot light. This made the intellect look very silly and barren. It did not know what was happening to it: whether it was really true that it had tasted the divine merciful light and yet could not waive it.

For the ardently burning love of God had been sowed into her, which made come about in her a great hunger and thirst for divine sweetness. Now she really started to pray, to humble herself before God, and in her mind to investigate and reject her evil impetus.


When the earthly intellect found itself thus abandoned, and the poor soul saw that on the outside she was thus mocked by the scorn of the world that she no longer
wanted to walk the godless path, and also was attacked by a slanderer from the inside who mocked her and showed her more earthly wealth, beauty and splendor, and with that judged herself as a fool, she thought: O, eternal God, whatever must I do to come to peace!


With such a contemplation the enlightened soul met her again and spoke to her: “What is the matter with you, my Brother, that you are so gloomy?”

The soul spoke: “I have followed your advice, and through that obtained the view of the divine sweetness. However it has abandoned me subsequently. Now I stand lost and under great temptations, from outside, before the world. For all my good friends leave me and mock me. They also tempt me with fear and doubt, and I do not know what I should do next.”

The enlightened soul spoke: “Now you please me very much, for presently our dear Lord Jesus Christ with and in you walks His pilgrim’s road on earth, as He did on this world, although He was constantly contradicted and did not have anything personal here. Now you bear His mark. Do not be surprised by this, because it has to be this way, in order that you be tested and purified.”

“Because in such a sorrow you will find reason to pray often and to hunger for redemption. And in such a hunger and thirst you create in you mercy from the inside and from the outside.”

“Because from bottom to top you must again grow in the image of God, just as when a young tree is moved by the wind and must stand in heat and cold, and in that movement attracts power to itself from bottom to top. It must endure many a gale and finds itself in great danger before it becomes a tree, in order to bear fruit. In such a movement the sun power in it will begin to move, through which the wild qualities of the tree are permeated and submerged by the sun power, and grow.”

“You must now first of all try your gentlemanly battle in the spirit of Christ and cooperate yourself, for now the eternal Father receives his Son through his fire power in you, who changes his fire in the flame of love, in order that from fire and light one single being arises that is a true temple of God.”

“Now you must flourish in the vineyard of Christ, at the grapevine of Christ, and bear fruit with tuition and life. You must prove your love in a fruitful manner, just like a good tree. And thus the paradise in yourself must again burgeon by God’s wrath, and change the hell in you in a heaven.”

“Therefore do not let the temptation by the devil lead you astray, for he battles for the realm that he had in you. When he loses he will libel himself and will have to cede from you completely. Therefore he enshrouds himself on the outside by ridiculing the world, in order that his shame may not be recognized and that you will be hidden for the world.”

“For with your new birth you stand in heaven, in divine harmony. Therefore be patient and wait for the Lord! Whatever may happen to you then, just realize that it occurs through the Lord, for the sake of your recovery!” And thus the enlightened soul departed from her.


Thus this tormented soul began her course under the patience of Christ, and hoped for divine trust. Day by day she became more powerful and forceful. In her, her evil inclinations atrophied more and more, until they were situated in a great merciful realm, the gates of divine revelation were opened to her, and the heavenly realm was revealed in her.

Thus she came to the right peace and once again was a child of God. God help us all in this! Amen


Conversation Between an Enlightened and an Unenlightened Soul by Jakob Böhme 1624

Translated by Ruud Muschter2013

Many Dutch poems and sonnets, with their translation into the English language. Author/translator Ruud Muschter, the Netherlands.

Ruud Muschter, born in Emmen on January 1, 1949, lives almost all his life in Groningen.


 

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