40 Questions Of The Soul by Jacob Böhme


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Jacob Böhme 40 Questions Of The Soul 1682. Text in German. 287 pages.  6 X 4.5 inch. Book is in excellent condition for age, cover as the original leather binding shows wear naturally,  the folding plate has a slight rip. Corners are worn, some internal stain to paper, writing from a previous owner on the front end paper. Spine tight and binding good. An excellent copy of a very rare title. 

 Although actually written by Jakob Boehme, was inspired by 40 questions proposed to the philosopher by Walther himself concerning the nature of the human soul. It seems clear that Walther's interests influenced the content of Bohme's responses. The first edition of these Forty Questions on the Soul, was provided by Johann Angelius Werdenhagen, a friend of Walther, shortly after the physician's death in Paris.

'Jacob Böhme (1575-1624), German visionary and founder of the Behmenist sects, was a master shoemaker and amateur chemist who claimed to have received visions from the Holy Spirit on at least three striking occasions. At first and at the insistence of the clergy, he refrained from recording his revelations, but eventually he succumbed to his experiences and poured out a wealth of books, many of them in the last five years of his life. His works were immensely popular in England, and it has been noted that much of Quaker doctrine borrows from Böhme's works and ideas. He is acclaimed as an alchemist & Rosicrucian figure. A self-taught mystic theologian and philosopher, Boehme believed that both good and evil were from God, they kept the cosmos in balance, the good toward God and the interruption of evil attributed to Lucifer and the fallen angels. His interest in astrology and cosmology often played key parts in writings and he believed divine essence lies within oneself, that people mirror the universe and are a reflection of God.

Böhme had a profound influence on later philosophical movements such as German idealism and German Romanticism.
Poets such as John Milton, Ludwig Tieck, Novalis, William Blake and W. B. Yeats found inspiration in Böhme's writings. Coleridge, in his Biographia Literaria, speaks of Böhme with admiration. Böhme was highly thought of by the German philosophers Baader, Schelling and Schopenhauer. Hegel went as far as to say that Böhme was "the first German philosopher".

"This outward world is to the outward man, the best looking-glass to see whatever hath been, is, or shall be in eternity. Our minds, and the cogitations therein, are our best inward looking-glass, to see eternity exactly in: In God are all things, therefore everything hath been in all eternity in God, both unmanifested, and manifested only to himself in himself: but in the world, and in our minds, they are unmanifested and hidden, and also manifest, or capable of being manifested, in their real truth and existence; both as they are uncreaturely in God, and creaturely in all things. Accordingly, one text says, Rom. i. 20, The invisible things of him, that is, his eternal power and Godhead or Deity, are seen by the creation of the world, being considered in his works. And another, Rom. i. 19, says, Whatsoever is possible to be known of God, he hath manifested in man. And (John xvii. 3) it is life eternal to know thee the only true God, and him whom thou has sent, says the Son of God himself, Christ Jesus. The eternal infinite powers, both of light and darkness, in their own immensities in God, have always been the same, and have eternally wrought the same effects, and produced the same substances spiritually, and invisibly to anything but God himself, which they are manifested to do in the invisible inward world of God, spirits, and the minds of men, and in this visible outward world; so that we may truly learn to know him who is all things, in our inward and outward world. All things that are manifested come out from him, and, when they cease to be manifested, they enter into him again, as into their centre, unmanifested. So he is the Cause of all causes, and when we know how he causes anything to be, as it is manifested to be in itself, then we understand the thing, and him that is the cause of it. His works, in all things whatsoever, are good, and cannot cease to be so; but when a creature, to whom he has given the power of the world to come, doth use it otherwise than its true property requires, that only becomes evil in and to the creature, not in God. But God being everywhere present in his total fulness, as himself says, Am not I he that filleth all things? therefore the highest cause of every thing must needs be in the thing itself. The inward heavenly and hellish looking-glass is in all our minds, and outwardly we want not a corporeal looking-glass of whatsoever is eternal to instruct our minds withal. So that if we consider all the works of God in the world, both inwardly and outwardly, we cannot but find and know him, and so know all things in ourselves and in him, and him in ourselves, and in all things else. “This I thought convenient to hint in brief, as an Introduction of the mind into the centre of all Mysteries."

Category Theology