Jacob Boehme - The Josephine Porter Institute

Jacob Boehme

Steiner offers a fascinating suggestion about Boehme and the alchemist Paracelsus: “One needs only to know Paracelsus and Jacob Boehme to know theosophy. Everything that they wrote is given from a deep spring, with immense deepness and magic power.” (Berlin, 3rd May 1906) By this, Steiner does not mean the later "theosophy" of Blavatsky, but the mystical tradition within orthodox Christianity centering around the devotional love of God and the wisdom growing out of such love.

Here is the wellspring of existence, the divine power undergirding creation but always in service of life and wisdom. Jacob Boehme's lack of formal education made his writing difficult to understand, because he had to formulate his own terms to explain his spiritual experiences. But this did not make them less valid. They are certainly more difficult to grapple with, because you can't rely on regurgitated ideas from dusty philosophy books. You have to struggle with his ideas until a birth, an epiphany, occurs within your own soul. 

Virgil wrote his book about farming (literally, "earth works") called Georgics. In traditional schools of thought, the miracles wrought by the apostles was the purest form of divine magic, or theurgy, not as some form of ceremony but as pure and radical submission to the authority of God and an inner rebirth. In Biodynamics, we humbly seek to submit to the laws of Creation, and thereby, to the laws of the living creator of Life itself. In Biodynamics we find an intersection between Theorgics (the work of God) and Georgics (the work of Earth) because we remember that the earth is always dependent on the Sun and the greater cosmos for its sustained existence. Every farm depends on things that we can never repay.

We can look at the world and see that it is gratuitous. It is more than is necessary. If it were not so, everything would be mere determinism. But because the would is graciously more than anyone deserves, the proper response to the world is graciousness and gratitude. When we tend soil in such a way that we give back perhaps a bit more than we take from the soil, we are being gracious stewards.

Jacob Boehme wrote his Aurora in the middle of a climate of nearly absolute religious intolerance in Europe. People were killing each other merely for belonging to a slightly different vocabulary of thought, yet all schools affirmed the centrality of "Love thy neighbor as thyself" and "turn the other cheek." Boehme, as a Lutheran, risked his life meeting with broadminded tolerant Christians of various sects, including those most violently fighting each other. We can find the kindled heart of the Christian message radiating through Boehme's work. May Boehme's magnanimous and tolerant work illuminate our daily lives and our relationship with the Earth as well.

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