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Franz Hartmann - The Life and Doctrines of Jacob Boehme (21.8 MB)

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This is an anthology of writings by the German Christian mystic, Jacob Boehme, edited by the occult writer, Franz Hartmann. Hartmann was a noted Theosophist, who also wrote With the Adepts and In the Pronaos of the Temple of Wisdom. Other than organizing the quotes from diverse books of Boehme into a set of themes ('Angels,' 'The Christ,' 'Redemption'), Hartmann mostly lets Boehme speak for himself. Boehme, typical of mystics who have experienced ecstatic visions, can go into puzzling detail about the structure of the univer... More >>>
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Author:      Franz Hartmann
Format:      eBook
This is an anthology of writings by the German Christian mystic, Jacob Boehme, edited by the occult writer, Franz Hartmann. Hartmann was a noted Theosophist, who also wrote With the Adepts and In the Pronaos of the Temple of Wisdom. Other than organizing the quotes from diverse books of Boehme into a set of themes ('Angels,' 'The Christ,' 'Redemption'), Hartmann mostly lets Boehme speak for himself. Boehme, typical of mystics who have experienced ecstatic visions, can go into puzzling detail about the structure of the universe, and the metaphysical reality that pervades it. This is a great reference work on the thought of this profound mystic for students of the occult.

The following is an attempt to present an epitome of the principal doctrines of Jacob Boehme in a certain systematic order, so as to afford a general view of them and to serve as an introduction to the study of Boehme's works. I have herein followed the plan laid down in Dr. J. Hamberger's excellent but now very rare book. The headings of the paragraphs are for the purpose of summarising the quotations that follow. These quotations have in many instances been condensed, and in some cases I have attempted to render them in a more modern and comprehensible phraseology than that of the original text, the latter being very often obscure and untranslatable.

This I did because it seemed to me of far more importance that the public, for whom this book is written, should obtain a comprehensive view of the doctrines of Boehme than that merely the learned philologist should find his curiosity gratified by getting the exact form in which Boehme clothed his thoughts. In adding some remarks of my own, my object was not such a presumptuous one as to amend, comment upon, explain, or make clearer the writings of Boehme for it is self-evident that in order to be able to criticise, amend, or explain the contents of a divinely inspired book, the critic or explainer would have to be divinely inspired himself. I have no such arrogant claims to advance but I wanted to call the attention of the reader to certain points that may aid in their understanding.

I have carefully compared the doctrines of Boehme with those of the Eastern sages, as laid down in the "Secret Doctrine" and in the religious literature of the East, and I find the most remarkable harmony between them in their esoteric meaning in fact, the religion of Buddha, Krishna, and that of the Christ seem to me to be one and identical. The greatest obstacle to the understanding of the mysteries of the religion of the living Christ is the very narrow view which we have become accustomed to take of them, according to the merely external and superficial interpretation of the Old and New Testaments, such as is given by the modern churches and by fashionable clericalism, which regards these doctrines from a merely historical or emotional point of view.

A study of Boehme's writings, by means of entering into the spirit in which they were written, is sure to expand the mind and to elevate the heart of the reader, giving him a greater and more sublime conception of God, Nature, and Man, than any other book of which I know.

I am under many obligations to Mrs. E. B. Penny, of Cullompton, for her assistance in this difficult work, and also to Mr. G. W. Medway for valuable suggestions.

The extracts are taken from the 1682 Amsterdam (German) edition of Boehme's Complete Works.

F. H., Vienna, September 1890.

About Author:

Franz Hartmann (1838-1912) - was a German physician, theosophist, occultist, geomancer, astrologer, author of esoteric and occultism works. Franz Hartmann wrote esoteric studies and a biography of Jakob Bohme and of Paracelsus. He translated the Bhagavad Gita into German and was the editor of the journal Lotusbluten. He was at one time a co-worker of Helena Blavatsky at Adyar. In 1896 he founded a German Theosophical Society. He also supported the Guido-von-List-Society (Guido-von-List-Gesellschaft). He cofounded the Ordo Templi Orientis with Carl Kellner and Theodor Reuss.

Hartmann was born November 22, 1838, in Bavaria, Germany, though he claimed descent on his mother's side from the old Irish kings of Ulster. He became a physician and immigrated to the United States in 1865, traveling as a doctor to various cities and also visiting Indian tribes and studying their religious beliefs. He became interested in Spiritualism and later corresponded with leading Theosophists after the founding of the Theosophical Society in 1875.

Hartmann was invited to the society's headquarters at Adyar, India, where he lived during the furor over Helena Petrovna Blavatsky 's alleged miracle working. He published his own Report of Observations During a Nine Months' Stay at the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society at Adyar (Madras), India (1884).

When Richard Hodgson of the Society for Psychical Research, London, published his devastating exposure of claimed trickery and fraudulent phenomena by Blavatsky in 1885, Hartmann accompanied her to Europe and then returned to his hometown in Bavaria. There he claimed to have encountered a sect of secret Rosicrucians from whom he acquired many mystical insights. He was president of the Theosophical Society in Germany for a brief period, but eventually resigned to found independent societies. During his later years he spent much time in the Untersberg Mountains near Salzburg, Austria, where he believed he encountered gnomes, water nymphs, and other nature spirits and also wrote his more memorable books. He died at Kempten, Bavaria, August 7, 1912.

Partial bibliography

* Magick: White and Black
* The Life of Jehoshua, the prophet of Nazareth
* The Principles of Astrological Geomancy
* Correlation of Spiritual Forces
* With the Adepts: An Adventure Among the Rosicrucians
* Life and the Doctrines of Philippus Theophrastus Bombast of Hohenheim Known as Paracelsus
* In The Pronaos Of The Temple Of Wisdom Containing The History Of The True And The False Rosicrucians
* Alchemy And Astrology
* Metafisica Medicina y Sanacion
* Philosophy and Theosophy
* The Four Pillars of Occult Medicine
* An Adventure Among the Rosicrucians: A Student of Occultism
* Among the Adepts: The Brotherhood of the Golden and Rosy Cross and Their Occult and Mysterious Powers
* To Will, to Dare and to Be Silent in Magic