The Third Book of Regeneration, or The New Birth – By Jakob Boehme

Chapter 2

How Man Is Created

Here we are to consider the Creation of Man. Moses saith, `God created Man in His Image, in the Image of Godcreated He him.’ This we understand to be both out of the eternal andtemporal Birth; out of the inward and spiritual World which hebreathed into him, into the created Image; and then out ofthe Substance of the inward spiritual World, which isHoly.

31. For as there is a Nature and Substancein the outward World; so also in the inward spiritual Worldthere is a Nature and Substance which is Spiritual; from whichthe outward World is breathed forth, and produced out of Lightand Darkness, and created to have a Beginning andTime.

32. And out of the Substanceof the inward and outward World Man was created; outof and in the Likeness of the Birth of all Substances. The body isa Limbus (as Extract or a kind of Seed, which containeth all thatwhich the Thing from whence it is taken hath) of the earth, and alsoa Limbus of the Heavenly Substance; for the Earth is breathedforth outspoken, or created out of the dark and light World. Inthe Fiat (or creating word) viz., in the eternal DesireMan was taken out of the Earth, and so created an Imageout of Time and Eternity.

33. This Image was in the inwardand spiritual Element, from whence the four Elements proceed andare produced. In that one element was Paradise; for theProperties of Nature from the Fire-dark-and-light-World wereall in Harmony and Agreement in Number, Weight, and Measure. One of themwas not manifested more eminently than another, therefore was thereno Frailty therein. For no one Property was predominant over another,neither was there any Strife or Contrariety among the Powers andProperties.

34. Into this created Image Godbreathed the Spirit and Breath of Understanding out ofthe three Worlds, as one only Soul which, as to its OriginalPrinciple or Essence, is, or consisteth in, the inward darkFire-World of the eternal spiritual Nature; according to whichGod calleth himself a strong jealous God, and a ConsumingFire.

35. And this now is the eternal Creaturelygreat Soul, a Magical Breath of Fire, in which Fire consisteththe Original of Life, from the great Power of variation.God’s Anger, or the eternal Darkness, is in thisProperty, so far as Fire reacheth without giving Light.

36. The second Property of the Breathof God is the Spirit of the Source of Light, proceeding from thegreat fiery Desire of Love, from the great Meekness; accordingto which God calleth himself a loving, merciful God; in which consisteththe true Spirit of Understanding, and of Life inPower.

37. For as Light shineth fromPower, and as the Power of Understanding is discernedin the Light, so the Breath of the Light was joined to the Breathof the Fire of God, and breathed into the Image ofMan.

38. The third Property of the Breathof God was the outward Air with its Constellation or Astrum, whereinthe Life and Constellation of the outward Substance and Bodydid consist. This he breathed into his Nostrils; and as Time and Eternityhang together, and as Time is produced out of Eternity, so the inwardBreath of God hung to the outward.

39. This three-fold Soul wasat once breathed into Man; and each Substance of the Body receivedthe Spirit according to its Property. The outward fleshreceived the outward Air and its Constellations, for a rational andvegetative Life, to the Manifestation of the Wonders of God; and theLight Body or Heavenly Substance received the Breath of the Lightof the great Divine Powers and Virtues; which Breath is called theHoly Ghost.

40. Thus the Light pierced throughthe Darkness, viz., through the dark Breath of Fire, and alsothrough the Breath of the outward Air and its Constellation or Astrum,and so deprived all the Properties of their Power, that neither theAnguish of the Breath of Fire in the inward Propertyof the Soul, nor Heat nor Cold, nor any of all the Properties of theoutward Constellation, might or could be manifested.

41. The Properties of all the threeWorlds in Soul and Body were in equal Agreement, Temperature, and Weight.That which was inward and Holy ruled through and over theoutward, that is, the outward Parts of the outward Life, of the outwardStars and Constellations and the Four Elements; and that original and universalPower of the inward over the outward constituted theHoly Paradise.

42. And thus Man was both in Heavenand also in the outward World, and was Lord over all theCreatures of this world. Nothing could destroy him.

43. For such was the Earth also, untilthe Curse of God broke forth. The Holy Property of theSpiritual World sprung up through the Earth, and brought forthHoly Paradisaical Fruits, which Man could then eat in a MagicalParadisaical Manner.

44. And had neither need of Teeth, norEntrails in his Body. For as the Light swalloweth up Darkness, andas the Fire devoureth Water, and yet is not filled therewith, justsuch a Centre Man also had for his Mouth to eat withal, accordingto the Manner of Eternity.

45. And he could also generate hislike out of himself, without any dividing or opening of hisBody and Spirit, in such a Manner as God generated the outward World;Who did not divide himself; but did in his Desire, viz., inthe Word Fiat, manifest himself, and brought that same Desireinto a Figure according to the eternal Spiritual Birth. Soalso Man was created an Image and Likeness of God in that respect,according to Time and Eternity, out of both Time andEternity, yet in and for an immortal Life which was withoutEnmity or Contrariety.

46. But the Devil having himself beena Prince and Hierarch in the Place of this World, and castout for his Pride into the dark, anguishing, painful and hostileProperty and Source, into the Warth of God, envied Man the Gloryof being created in and for the Spiritual World, the Place which hehimself once possessed; and therefore brought his Imagination or Desire intothe Image of Man, and made it so lusting, that the darkWorld, and also the outward World arose in Man, and departed fromthe equal Agreement and Temperature wherein they stood, and so one predominatedover the other.

47. And then the Properties were eachof them separately made manifest in itself, and each of themlusted after that which was like itself. That which was out of the Birthof the dark World, and also that which was out of the Birth of thelight World, would each of them eat of the Limbus of theEarth, according to its Hunger; and so Evil and Good becamemanifest in Adam.

48. And when the Hunger of theProperties went into the Earth, from whence the Propertiesof the Body were extracted, then the Fiat drew such a Branch out ofthe Earth, as the Properties could eat of in their awakenedVanity; for this was possible.

49. For the Spirit of the strong andgreat Magical Power of Time and Eternity was in Adam,from which the Earth with its Properties was breathed forth;and so the Fiat, viz., was strong Desire of the eternalNature, attracted the Essence of the Earth. And thus God let the Treeof Knowledge of Good and Evil grow for Adam, according to his awakenedProperties; for the great Power of the Soul and of the Body caused it.

50. And then Man must be tried, whether hewould stand and subsist in his own Powers, before the Tempter theDevil, and before the Wrath of the eternal Nature; andwhether the Soul would continue in the equal Agreement of theProperties in true Resignation under God’s Spirit, asan Instrument of God’s Harmony, a tuned Instrument of DivineJoyfulness for the Spirit of God to strike upon. This wastried by that Tree, and this severe Commandment was added, `Thou shaltnot eat thereof, for on that Day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surelydie.’

51. But it being known to God thatMan would not stand, and that he had already imagined and lusted afterGood and Evil, God said, `It is not good for Man to be alone,we will make him an Help-meet for him.’

52. For God saw that Adam could notthen generate Magically, having entered with his Lust intoVanity. Now therefore Moses saith, `God caused a deep sleepto fall upon him, and he slept;’ that is, seeing Man would not continue inthe Obedience of the Divine Harmony in the Properties, submittinghimself to stand still as an Instrument of the Spirit of God;therefore God suffered him to fall from the Divine Harmony into anHarmony of his own, viz., into the awakened Properties of Eviland Good; the Spirit of his Soul went into these.

53. And there in this Sleep he diedfrom the Angelical World, and fell under the Power of the outwardFiat, and thus bade farewell to the eternal Image which was ofGod’s begetting. Here his Angelical Form and Power fell intoa Swoon and lay on the Ground.

54. And then by the Fiat God made theWoman out of him, out of the Matrix of Venus, viz., out ofthat Property wherein Adam had the Begettress in himself; andso out of one Body he made two, and divided the Properties of theTinctures, viz., the watery and fiery Constellations in theElement; yet not wholly in Substance but in the Spirit, viz., theProperties of the Watery and Fiery Soul.

55. And yet it is but one Thing still, onlythe Property of the Tincture was divided; the Desire ofSelf-Love was taken out of Adam, and formed into a Woman accordingto his Likeness. And thence it is that Man now so eagerly desireth theMatrix of the Woman, and the Woman desireth the Limusof the Man, viz., the Fire-Element, the Original of the trueSoul, by which is meant the Tincture of Fire; for these two were onein Adam, and therein consisted the Magical Begetting.

56. And as soon as Eve was madeout of Adam in his Sleep, both Adam and Eve were at that Instantset and constituted in the outward natural Life, having the Membersgiven them for Propagation, after the manner of the Brute Animals, and alsothe Fleshly Carcase, into which they might put their gross Earthliness, andlive like Beasts.

57. Of which the poor Soul that is captivatedin Vanity is at this Day ashamed; and sorry that its Body hathgotten such a Beastial monstrous Shape. Nothing can be clearer than this.For it is because Mankind are ashamed of their Members and Nakedness,that they borrow their Clothing from the earthly Creatures. For this theywould not have done, had they not lost the Angelical Form, and assumedthat of a Beast.

58. This borrowed Clothing, togetherwith the awakened Earthliness, and Subjection to the Powers of Heatand Cold, is a plain and full Proof to Man, that he is not truly at Homein this World. For all Earthly Appetites, Cares, and Fears, togetherwith this false Clothing, must perish and be severed from the Soulagain.

59. Now when Adam awoke from Sleep,he beheld his Wife, and knew that she came out of him; for he had not yeteaten of Vanity with his outward Mouth, but with the Imagination, Desire, and Lust only.

60. And it was the first Desire of Eve,that she might eat of the Tree of Vanity, of Evil and Good, to whichthe Devil in the Form of a Serpent persuaded her, saying, `That herEyes should be opened, and she should be as God himself;’ which was botha Lie and a Truth.

61. But He told her not, that she shouldlose the Divine Light and Power thereby; He only said, `her Eyes shouldbe opened, that she might taste, prove, and know Evil and Good, as He haddone.’ Neither did He tell her that the Property of the outwardConstellations would have great Power over the Flesh and overthe Mind.

62. His only Aim was that the AngelicalImage, viz., the Substance which came from the inward SpiritualWorld, might disappear in them. For then they would be constrainedto live in Subjection to the gross Earthliness, and theConstellations or Stars; and then he knew well enough that whenthe outward World perished, the Soul would be with him inDarkness. For he saw that the Body must die, when he perceived bythat which God had intimated; and so he expected still to be Lord to allEternity in the Place of this World, in his false Shape which he hadgotten; and therefore he seduced Man.

63. For when Adam and Eve wereeating the Fruit, Evil, and Good, into the Body, then theImagination of the Body received Vanity in theFruit, and then Vanity awaked in the Flesh, and thedark World got the Upper hand and Domination in the Vanityof the Earthliness; upon which the fair Image of Heaven, thatproceeded out of the Heavenly Divine World, instantlydisappeared.

64. Here Adam and Eve died to theKingdom of Heaven, and awaked to the outward World, and thenthe fair Soul as it stood in the Love of God, disappeared asto the holy Power, Virtue, and Property; and instead thereof, thewrathful Anger, viz., the dark Fire World, awoke in it, and sothe Soul became in one Park, viz., in the inward Nature, a half Devil,and in the outward Part as related to the outward World, aBeast.

65. Here are the Bounds of Death andthe Gates of Hell, for which Cause God became Man, that hemight destroy Death, defeat the Devil’s Purpose, and changeHell into great Love again.

66. Let this be told you, Ye Children of Men;it is told you in the Sound of a Trumpet, that you should instantlygo forth from the abominable Vanity, for the Fire thereofburneth.