Jakob Bohme - Epistolae Theosophicae Oder Theosophische Send Briefe (1730,in German) (58.0 MB)
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Jacob Boehme the German mystic philosopher, one of the most prominent Theosophists of the mediaeval ages. He was born about 1575 at Old Seidenburg, some two miles from Gorlitz (Silesia), and died in 1624, at nearly fifty years of age. In his boyhood he was a common shepherd, and, after learning to read and write in a village school, became an apprentice to a poor shoemaker at Gorlitz. He was a natural clairvoyant of most wonderful powers.
Jacob Boehme thought drew on interests including Paracelsus, the Kabbala, alchemy and the Hermetic tradition. His first written work, Aurora, went unfinished, but drew to him a small circle of followers.
With no education or acquaintance with science he wrote works which are now proved to be full of scientific truths; but then, as he says himself, what he wrote upon, he "saw it as in a great Deep in the Eternal". He had "a thorough view of the universe, as in a chaos", which yet "opened itself in him, from time to time, as in a young plant". He was a thorough born Mystic, and evidently of a constitution which is most rare; one of those fine natures whose material envelope impedes in no way the direct, even if only occasional, intercommunion between the intellectual and the spiritual Ego. It is this Ego which Jacob Boehme, like so many other untrained mystics, mistook for God; "Man must acknowledge," he writes, "that his knowledge is not his own, but from God, who manifests the Ideas of Wisdom to the Soul of Man, in what measure he pleases." Had this great Theosophist mastered Eastern Occultism he might have expressed it otherwise. He would have known then that the "god" who spoke through his poor uncultured and untrained brain, was his own divine Ego, the omniscient Deity within himself, and that what that Deity gave out was not in "what measure he pleased," but in the measure of the capacities of the mortal and temporary dwelling IT informed.
Like Eckhart and others, Boehme's thought drew fire from the church authorities, who silenced Boehme for five years before he continued writing in secrecy. He again raised the cockles of church authorities, and he was banished from his home. He died soon thereafter, in 1624, after returning home from Dresden. His last words spoken, as he was surrounded by his family, were reported to be, "Now I go hence into Paradise." His thought has since influenced major figures in philosophy, especially German Romantics such as Hegel, Baader, and Schelling. Indirectly, his influence can be traced to the work of Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Hartmann, Bergson, and Heidegger. Further, Paul Tillich and Martin Buber drew heavily from his work -- as did the psychologist, Carl Jung, who made numerous references to Boehme in his writings.