Now therefore we say (as the Scripture informs us) that God dwells in Heaven, and it is the Truth. Now mark, Moses writes, that God created the Heaven out of the Midst of the Waters, and the Scripture says, God dwells in Heaven; therefore we may now observe, that the water has its Original from the Longing of the eternal Nature after the eternal Light of God; but the eternal Nature is made manifest by the Longing after the Light of God, as is mentioned before; and the Light of God is present every where, and yet remains hidden to Nature; for Nature receives only the Virtue of the Light, and the Virtue is the Heaven wherein the Light of God dwells and is hid, and so shines in the Darkness.
The Water is the Materia, or Matter that is generated from the Heaven, and therein stands the third, which again generates a Life, and comprehensible Essence, or Substance, out of itself, viz. the Elements and other Creatures.
Therefore, O noble Man, let not Antichrist and the Devil befool you, who tell you that the Deity is far off from you, and direct you to a Heaven that is situated far above you; whereas there is nothing nearer to you than the Heaven is.
You only stand before the Door of Heaven, and you are gone forth with Adam out of the paradisaical Heaven into the third Principle; yet you stand in the Gate, do but as the eternal Mother does, which by great desiring and longing after the Kingdom of God, attains the Kingdom of Heaven, wherein God dwells, wherein Paradise springs up; do you but so, set all your Desire upon the Heart of God, and so you will pass in by Force, as the eternal Mother does; and then it shall be with thee as Christ said, The Kingdom of Heaven Suffereth Violence, and the Violent take it by Force; So you shall make to yourself Friends in Heaven with your unrighteous Mammon, and so you come to be the true Similitude and Image of God, and his proper own; for all the three Principles, with the Eternity, are in you, and the holy Paradise is again generated in you, wherein God dwells. Then where will you seek for God? Seek him in your Soul only that is proceeded out of the eternal Nature, wherein the divine Birth stands.
O that I had but the Pen of Man, and were able therewith to write down the Spirit of Knowledge, I can but stammer of the great Mysteries like a Child that is beginning to speak; so very little can the earthly Tongue express what the Spirit comprehends and understands; yet I will venture to try, whether I may procure some to go about to seek the Pearl, whereby also I might labor in the Works of God in my paradisaical Garden of Roses; for the Longing of the eternal Matrix drives me on to write and exercise myself in this my Knowledge.
Now if we will lift up our minds, and seek after the Heaven wherein God dwells, we cannot say that God dwells only above the Stars, and has inclosed himself with the Firmament which is made out of the Waters; in which none can enter except it be opened ( like a Window) for him; with which Thoughts Men are altogether befooled. Neither can we say (as some suppose) that God the Father and the Son are only with Angels in the uppermost inclosed Heaven, and rule only here in this World by the Holy Ghost, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. All these Thoughts are void of the very Knowledge of God. For then God should be divided and circumscriptive, like the Sun that moves aloft above us, and sends its Light and Virtue to us, whereby the whole Deep becomes light and active all over.
Reason is much befooled with these Thoughts; and the Kingdom of Antichrist is begotten in these Thoughts, and Antichrist has by these Opinions set himself in the Place of God, and means to be God upon Earth, and ascribes divine Power to himself, and stops the Mouth of the Spirit of God, and will not hear him speak; and so strong Delusions come upon them, that they believe the Spirit of Lies, which in Hypocrisy speaks strong Delusions, and seduces the Children of Hope, as St. Paul witnesses.
The true Heaven wherein God dwells, is all over, in all Places, even in the Midst of the Earth. He comprehends the Hell where the Devils dwell, and there is nothing without God. For wheresoever he was before Creation of the World, there he is still, viz. in himself; and is himself the Essence of all Essences: All is generated from him, and is originally from him. And he is therefore called God, because he alone is the Good, the Heart, or best; understand, he is the Light and Virtue, from whence Nature has its Original.
If you will meditate on God, take before you the eternal Darkness, which is without God; for God dwells in himself, and the Darkness cannot in its own Power comprehend him; which Darkness has a great longing after the Light, caused by the Light's beholding itself in the Darkness, and shining in it. And in this Longing or Desiring, you find the Source, and the Source takes hold of the Power or Virtue of the Light, and the Longing makes the Virtue material, and the material Virtue is the Inclosure to God, or the Heaven; for in the Virtue stands the Paradise, wherein the Spirit which proceeds from the Father and the Son works. All this is incomprehensible to the Creation, but not impossible to be found in the Mind; for Paradise stands open in the Mind of a holy Soul.
Thus you see how God created all Things out of Nothing, but only our of Himself; and yet the Out-Birth is not from his Essence, but it has its Original from the Darkness. The Source of the Darkness is the first Principle, and the Virtue of the Light is the second Principle, and the Out-Birth, generated out of the Darkness by the Virtue of the Light, is the third Principle; and that is not called God: God is only the Light, and the Virtue of the Light, and that which goes forth out of the Light is the Holy Ghost.
Excerpted from The Three Principles of Divine Essence, by Jacob Boehme