The mysticism of Jacob Boehme?
#1
I've been reading The Submerged Reality: Sophiology and the turn to a Poetic Metaphysics by Michael Martin, which I'm enjoying far more than I expected, and in it he spends the second chapter discussing a Lutheran mystic by the name of Jacob Boehme. Given the analysis of Boehme's perspective on Sophia, or Wisdom, he comes remarkably close to ascribing to a Catholic view of Mary within the Divine order. He speaks of her in terms not unlike that of the great Catholic mystics, as the highest creature, the elevation of mankind by accepting the Incarnation, and even appears to revere her in a way not unlike that of our conception of hyperdulia.

In light of this, I decided to read the first few pages of his work Aurora which reminds me a lot of the mystical writings of Meister Eckhart or to some degree pseudo-Dionysius. This conception of God and Divinity that speaks from an experiential angle rather than one of pure reason. I don't know what to make of the guy. He's no theologian, but his writing takes on a poetic transcendence that really speaks to my soul. Yet I feel some resistance to Jacob Boehme's works simply because he was a Lutheran heretic (albeit more Catholic than most at the time).

Has anyone here read any of Boehme's work? What do you think of him?
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

'Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes: vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.' - Ecclesiastes 1:2

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#2
I've been reading the book christian gnosis by Wolfgang Smith, and a whole chapter is dedicated to Jacob Boehme. 
  The theosophy of Jacob Boehme is extremely interesting, in that it goes above just being a cosmological teaching or anthropological teaching, towards being a theogony, in that it describes the procces of the eternal incarnation of Christ in God, as the fulfillment of God's desire to know itself.
  God begins as pure darkness in the ungrund, the abyss, given that God as it is itself can't be no particular being or thing, like we are a being or a rock is a being, and he is thereby Nothing, which is what underlies the term Ein Sof from Kabbalah or the Godhead in Eckhart, which describe the same reality. This Will of the Ungrund to know itself, is then reflect in the Mirror, which is the eternal virgin, and which is the primordial duality between the Masculine-Feminine. It's from this Wisdom which speaks the Word to the Virgin, that is then Manifest trough the seven part cycle.
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#3
(07-12-2019, 04:00 PM)Fallen Adam Wrote: I've been reading the book christian gnosis by Wolfgang Smith, and a whole chapter is dedicated to Jacob Boehme. 
  The theosophy of Jacob Boehme is extremely interesting, in that it goes above just being a cosmological teaching or anthropological teaching, towards being a theogony, in that it describes the procces of the eternal incarnation of Christ in God, as the fulfillment of God's desire to know itself.
  God begins as pure darkness in the ungrund, the abyss, given that God as it is itself can't be no particular being or thing, like we are a being or a rock is a being, and he is thereby Nothing, which is what underlies the term Ein Sof from Kabbalah or the Godhead in Eckhart, which describe the same reality. This Will of the Ungrund to know itself, is then reflect in the Mirror, which is the eternal virgin, and which is the primordial duality between the Masculine-Feminine. It's from this Wisdom which speaks the Word to the Virgin, that is then Manifest trough the seven part cycle.

Yikes. If that’s an accurate summary of Böhme’s thought it’s pretty heretical. 

Augustinian, do you have a different view of Böhme?
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#4
(07-12-2019, 04:24 PM)Filiolus Wrote:
(07-12-2019, 04:00 PM)Fallen Adam Wrote: I've been reading the book christian gnosis by Wolfgang Smith, and a whole chapter is dedicated to Jacob Boehme. 
  The theosophy of Jacob Boehme is extremely interesting, in that it goes above just being a cosmological teaching or anthropological teaching, towards being a theogony, in that it describes the procces of the eternal incarnation of Christ in God, as the fulfillment of God's desire to know itself.
  God begins as pure darkness in the ungrund, the abyss, given that God as it is itself can't be no particular being or thing, like we are a being or a rock is a being, and he is thereby Nothing, which is what underlies the term Ein Sof from Kabbalah or the Godhead in Eckhart, which describe the same reality. This Will of the Ungrund to know itself, is then reflect in the Mirror, which is the eternal virgin, and which is the primordial duality between the Masculine-Feminine. It's from this Wisdom which speaks the Word to the Virgin, that is then Manifest trough the seven part cycle.

Yikes. If that’s an accurate summary of Böhme’s thought it’s pretty heretical. 

Augustinian, do you have a different view of Böhme?
Not much of one yet, only from what I've read of him. The book I mentioned in my original post that I'm reading attempts to frame Boehme in a less gnostic light. The big thing with his writings is that he uses a lot of language that needs to be interpreted poetically rather than through the rationalistic means of scholasticism. The author mentions that much of what Boehme wrote, when analyzed in a poetical context, harkens back to the views of St. Athanasius and theosis, following in the vein of the Rhineland mystics rather than the Lutheran theology of his time.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

'Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes: vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.' - Ecclesiastes 1:2

My blog: https://slavetothesacredhe.art.blog/
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#5
Why is heretical? Eckhart holds a very similar doctrine when he establish that God as Intellect and Intelligence comes first then Being, thereby establishing the primacy of God's knowing over Being. God being Nothing, is something that can be understood from the fact that God is no thing like what we see around here, we can say in the same manner that God is Being, and that creatures must thereby be nothing as they exist only trough limitations. The seven part cycle might seem removed from the Trinity, but it's a conception that fits in with Kabbalah. You can read this for a better summary. 

https://www.gornahoor.net/?p=8750
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#6
(07-12-2019, 06:36 PM)Fallen Adam Wrote: Why is heretical? Eckhart holds a very similar doctrine when he establish that God as Intellect and Intelligence comes first then Being, thereby establishing the primacy of God's knowing over Being. God being Nothing, is something that can be understood from the fact that God is no thing like what we see around here, we can say in the same manner that God is Being, and that creatures must thereby be nothing as they exist only trough limitations. The seven part cycle might seem removed from the Trinity, but it's a conception that fits in with Kabbalah. You can read this for a better summary. 

https://www.gornahoor.net/?p=8750

I'm kind of skeptical of the content of that site. What you shared was certainly interesting, albeit very esoteric. A lot of what that guy writes about, from a cursory glance at his other posts, is in line with the sort of esoterism and perennialism that I followed a few months before my conversion to Catholicism. So I have my reservations with the claims made in the article, in particular his Biblical analysis drawn from not only Christian but Hindu and Kabbalistic sources puts up a red flag for me.

Not to say that undermines Boehme's writings, but it makes me cautious.

Edit: And now I'm seeing that the Holy Ghost is guiding me in this direction... Lately I've had a fascination with Malachi Martin. On that very website which you've shared I found excerpts from a book compiling letters between Malachi Martin and Wolfgang Smith, "In the Quest for Catholicity." And of course, the very first section discusses Jacob Boehme. I looked up the book on Kindle, and lo and behold! It's available on Kindle Unlimited which I just so happen to have a trial to right now... This is kind of freaking me out.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

'Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes: vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.' - Ecclesiastes 1:2

My blog: https://slavetothesacredhe.art.blog/
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#7
I agree that that site is bad news, but not having read Böhme I obviously can't speak to whether his ideas can be understood in an orthodox way. I do understand that he writes poetically and not scholastically, but no matter what sense one writes in it is an error to say that God is nothing. I know that God transcending being has history with the neo-Platonists, and that the scholastic doctrine of analogy might be another way to speak of the same truth; however, the word nothing does not and cannot mean "not within the genus of substance" (in the Thomistic sense), which is what you were getting at above, Fallen Adam. Nothing means nothing. The use of the word "nothing" to describe God, particularly by Christian mystics, will quickly lead some into Eastern errors. So even if this is a semantic objection, it's not an unimportant one.

Secondly, it seems from my quick reading that Böhme would deny that God created freely, and that his creative act was somehow necessary for him to fulfill some kind of innate need or desire. This is another idea common among neo-Platonists, although it's not usually described as the fulfillment of a need, but rather as an necessary overflowing of being. If that is indeed what Böhme meant, it's obviously problematic. It's de fide that God created freely.

Fallen Adam, your insistence that Böhme's ideas are consistent with Kabbalah hardly make them more amenable to me.

Lastly, the whole approach to God as presented in Fallen Adam's posts and in the linked article do not seem like genuine Christian mysticism. Genuine Christian mysticism is indeed about coming to know and love God better, but this is not about some kind of gnostic experience. We know that we are progressing in the spiritual life only insofar as we grow in virtue. This is the only meter. Even were we to experience daily apparitions of Our Lady, this would not reflect our own level of holiness, since the Saints tell us that the devil can deceive us with apparitions. Any so-called mysticism that neglects to talk about virtue and thinks that metaphysics is about poetically describing the inner life of the Godhead in such a way that the Christian idea of God is compatible with pagan and other non-Christian mystical experiences is highly dangerous.

Again, I'm not trying to condemn Böhme's writings since I haven't read them. I'm interested in reading them because of Augustinian's original post here. But I will insist that insofar as the website to which Fallen Adam linked uses non-Christian spiritual sources (tarot, for example), it cannot help a Catholic to advance in the spiritual life, and that it can only do harm. Why can't Catholics just read Catholic mystics? There are plenty.
Filioli mei, non diligamus verbo neque lingua, sed opere et veritate.

Vos omnes amatores pulcherrimae linguae ecclesiae nostrae, videte filum quo de rebus sanctis profanisque colloqui possumus.
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#8
One biographer wrote that, at the age of twenty-five, Boehme was “surrounded by the divine light, and replenished with the heavenly knowledge, insomuch as going abroad into the fields to a green, at Gorlitz [a town in Saxony, Germany], he there sat down and viewing the herbs and grass of the field, in his inward light he saw into their essences, use, and properties, which was discovered to him by their lineaments, figures, and signatures.”  Of this experience, Boehme wrote, “In this light my spirit saw through all things and into all creatures, and I recognized God in grass and plants.” shareit https://get-vidmateapk.com
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