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Man In "The Image of the Heavenly"

By Jacob Boehme


      "O great and holy God, I pray thee, set open my inwardness to me; that I may rightly know what I am; and open in me what was shut up in Adam." . . .

      "God stirred himself to produce creation . . . He was desirous of having children of his own kind . . . Creation was an act of the free will of God; God unfolded his eternal nature, and through his active love, or desire, he caused that which heretofore had been in him merely as spirit (as an image contained in a piece of wood before the artist has cut it out), to become substantial, corporeal.

      "God longed after the visible substance of his similitude and image, and so created man . . . Man was created the child of Omnipotency; a pure virgin, after the form of the Eternal . . . with a pure mind and holy faculties, in which dwelt no lust . . . His will was in God. He was to be a perfect symbol of God; to attain the great fountain of meekness and love welling up from the heart of God. He was a virgin without a feminine form, after the form of the Eternal; full of chastity, modesty and purity, in the image of God . . .

      "He had both fire and light in him, and therefore, love . . . No knowledge of any evil was in him; no lust, no covetousness, no pride, no envy, no anger, nothing but love . . . the Celestial image clothed him with divine power. He could have removed mountains with a word; he could rule over the sun, moon and stars; all was in his power, the fire, the air, the water and the earth. Every living creature feared him. His life fluid was heavenly. His will was in God, and God was in him. He was in paradise, clothed with the heavenly glory . . . the light of the majesty of God . . . He lived on paradisiacal fruit and the Word of God . . . He knew no woe, no sickness, no death; he lived in joy and delight, without toil or care.

      "Man was created free and responsible, with a will to move in whatever direction he chose; to be nothing in himself, to be one with God; and in freedom to pass into that state of the Son, to give all and to receive all from the Father, for the glory and power of God; or -- to enter and remain in the world of darkness. For he was the son of God, and could have gone on into the manifestation of God, and God's deeds of wonder!

      "Understand, O man, what thou wast before the fall; created to live eternally in love! . . . Know how sin arose, that thou mayst lay hold of the remedy for it!

      "God created his image and likeness in a single man. Adam was a man and also a woman; . . . for God did not, in the beginning make man and woman, he did not create them at the same time, because the life in which the two properties of masculine and feminine are united in one, constitutes man in the image of God, . . . after the manner of the Father's and the Son's property, which together are one God, not divided; for perfect love is not found in one property, but in the two, one entering into the other.

      "The fire, and light (which is the meekness and love of God) was in Adam. The fire of God is the root of all things, and the origin of life, the cause of all strength and power. Lucifer took offense at the light, the humility of God, and entered into the fierce might of the fire, for he would domineer . . . He turned away from the will of the Eternal, for the fierce power of the fire delighted him more that the meekness in the still habitation of God, and he became the prince of this world . . . He ever moveth in a fire which consumeth all else to himself . . . The devil's fire desires a body to devour and turn to nothing, to darkness.

      "God's fire is coupled with love; his fire causes light; and light, love; light desireth substance, a body to fill, and does not consume; it takes away nothing, but it quickens; . . . love giveth itself freely to all . . . The natural comprehendeth not light . . . Light changeth the false imagination into the truth . . . Fire alone makes a hard set self-hood . . . God moveth in the light of meekness, and hath a substance, water, 'the water of life', which holds fire captive . . . 'The water of life' alone can make immortal bodies.

      "Adam could have generated a heavenly kingdom out of himself . . . Eve was within Adam as a pure, chaste, virginal power. He could then generate in a virginal state, and procreate by means of his will, and out of his own substance, without pain or laceration: . . . for one being could have been born of another, in the same way as Adam in his virginal state, was projected into being, in the image of God; because that which is of the Eternal, can also procreate, multiply itself, according to the law of Eternity. In time there was to have been born the King of all men, who was to take possession of God's kingdom, as Ruler of all created beings, in place of cast-out Lucifer, now prince of this world.

      "Adam saw within himself two forms of being, belonging to the paradisiacal world; and then he saw one also without, belonging to this world; and his soul imagined after the outward . . . Then came the command to him, 'Eat not of the mixed fruit of good and evil, lest ye die'! But Adam continued to imagine after the earthly dominion: . . . he imagined after the beasts and introduced himself into bestial lust, to eat and to generate as beasts do . . . He desired to live in himself and be lord . . . He thought he would eat both the paradisiacal and the forbidden fruit and so live forever; . . . but he had brought the earthly quality into the pure, celestial substance, and his light was being extinguished; the divine image was disappearing, the earthly appearing.

      "He could no longer live in obedience to the will of the Father; . . . his lust for the earthly fruit overcame him, and he sank into a deep sleep; and God saw that is was not possible for him to live in obedience, and let him sleep; sleep signifieth death.

      "So Adam cast himself out from the majesty of God, with his own will; he could not continue to walk in his innocency, that he might have his confirmation in the divine way of production; for he had turned from 'the speaking of the word' into self-will, lust and 'speaking good and evil'; and God's good will perished in him.

      "God had forbidden Adam his false desire, lust after earthly fruit and power and virtue; and Adam had no necessity for these things; he had the paradisiacal fruit, the Word of God, and no want or death . . . His eyes, which might have continued to see always and eternally, the glory of God, closed in sleep . . . God permitted Adam to sleep; otherwise, in the power of fire, in his selfishness, he would have become a devil."

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