Quotes and Excerpts
Georg Hegel, Jacob Bohme & Theosophy
Böhme’s mystical writings are so esoteric they defy rational understanding. But here are some quotes and explanations from "Dictionary of the Occult" that illustrate the problem -- and warn us that much occult literature uses Biblical terms while it twists the Biblical meanings into seductive heresies:
was strongly influenced by this thinker....
"The theosophist Jakob Böhme fits into the line of mystics born between the Rhine and the Danube in the 16th and 17th centuries. He remains an intriguing enigma — how was this uneducated cobbler able to familiarize himself so thoroughly withGnosticism and the works of Philo of Alexandria, Joachim de Flore and many others? ... As a thinker of genius, he influenced, among others, Swedenborg, Leihniz, Hegel and Berdyaev.
"...there exists a divine uniqueness, whose modes are of three orders (the Trinity). This does not, however, stop him from making the point clearly that ‘talk of the birth of God is, quite literally, to use the language of the Devil. For it means that the eternal light sprang out of darkness and that God had a beginning...
"Böhme was also adialectician of genius. His arguments — his manipulation of opposites to make Being spring into life — relate to pre-Aristotelian thought, but are contained within a clearly Christian framework in which value is ascribed to the individual. He wrote, ‘God is a mystery, by which I mean He is nothing.’ For us, God is the absolute void and at the very heart of this void, our longing for God is ‘the cause of the darkness’. Any image of God, and any longing man feels for God, is the work of the flesh....
"He saw sin as the loss of an original hermaphroditism; the individual has
lost the ‘Eternal Virgin’ (Sophia),
who has taken refuge in Heaven. The feminine dimension, separated from man,
has become alien to him and the object of all sins.
"Böhme... is invaluable especially for building bridges between profane psychology and esoterism. He speaks, for example, of Anguish, Compulsion, Bitterness, Sweetness, Light and so on. In his work these elements are ‘affects’ and, at the same time, alchemical or Cabalistic concepts. Böhme makes occult mythology operational.
"In a way, Böhme inaugurated ‘negative theology’. For him, just as forJung and others, care must be taken to distinguish between God and images of God. God is inaccessible, and all the pictures we have of Him are but falsehood; we can only approach transcendence by burning them."
Andre Nataf, The Wordsworth Dictionary of the Occult" (UK: Wordsworth Editions Ltd., 1988), pages 112-113.
"After the opinions of the Gnostics had become known in the 16th century... Gnostic ideas had a considerable influence upon such idealists as Goethe, Novalis andHegel. The theosophical movement of the 20th century with which Gnosticism has much in common, rightly claims the Gnostics as its spiritual ancestor. Jungian psychology [Jung, too, channeled spirit guides], which owes not a little to this movement, can be of some help in interpreting Gnostic mythology and may help to show that behind it there is a religious experience of a certain type." Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 10, (Chicago: William Benton, 1968), 506.