Christ As Us
spacer
Home Daily Thoughts history community infiniteSupply testimonies books links
 
Articles And Letters  



The Supersensual Life -- Part Two
by Jacob Boehme

Master:

When thou leavest that which loveth thee, and lovest that which hateth thee; then thou mayest abide continually in Repentance.

Disciple:

What is it that I must thus leave?

Master:

All Things that love and entertain thee, because thy Will loves and entertains them; all Things that please and feed thee, because thy Will feeds and cherishes them; all Creatures in Flesh and Blood; in a Word, all Visibles and Sensibles, by which either the Imagination or sensitive Appetite in Men are delighted and refreshed. These the Will of thy Mind, or thy supreme Part must leave and forsake; and must even account them all its Enemies. This is the Leaving of what loves thee. And the Loving of what hates thee, is the Embracing of the Reproach of the World. Thou must learn then to love the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, and for His Sake to be pleased with the Reproach of the World which hates and derides thee; and let this be thy daily Exercise of Penitence - to be crucified to the World, and the World to thee. And so thou shalt have continual Cause to hate thySELF in the Creature, and to seek the Eternal Rest which is in Christ. To which Rest thou having thus attained, thy Will may therein safely rest and repose itself, according as thy Lord Christ hath said: "In Me ye may have Rest, but in the World ye shall have Anxiety; In Me ye may have Peace, but in the World ye shall have Tribulation."

Disciple:

How shall I now be able to subsist in this Anxiety and Tribulation arising from the World, so as not to lose the Eternal Peace, or not enter into this Rest? And how may I recover myself in such a Temptation as this is, by not sinking under the World, but rising above it by a Life that is truly Heavenly or Supersensual?

Master:

If thou dost once every Hour throw thyself by Faith beyond all Creatures, beyond and above all sensual Perception and Apprehension, yea, above Discourse and Reasoning into the abyssal Mercy of God, into the Sufferings of our Lord, and into the Fellowship of His Interceding, and yieldeth thySELF fully and absolutely thereinto; then thou shalt receive Power from above to rule over Death and the Devil, and so subdue Hell and the World under thee: And then thou mayest subsist in all Temptations, and be the brighter for them.

Disciple:

Blessed is the Man that arriveth to such a State as this. But alas! Poor Man that I am, how is this possible as to me? And what, O my Master, would become of me, if I should ever attain with my Mind to that, where no Creature is? Must I not cry out, I am undone!

Master:

Son why art thou so dispirited? Be of good Heart still; for thou mayest certainly yet attain to it. Do but believe, and all Things are made possible to thee. If it were that thy Will, O thou of little Courage, could break off itself for one Hour, or even but for one half Hour, from all Creatures, and plunge itself into That where no Creature is, or can be; presently it would be penetrated and clothed upon with the supreme Splendor of the Divine Glory, would taste in itself the most sweet Love of Jesus, the Sweetness whereof no Tongue can express, and would find in itself the unspeakable Words of our Lord concerning His great Mercy. Thy Spirit would then feel in itself the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ to be very pleasing to it; and would thereupon love the Cross more than the Honors and Goods of the World.

Disciple:

This for the Soul would be exceeding well indeed: But what would then become of the Body seeing that it must of Necessity live in the Creature?

Master:

The Body would by this Means be put into the Imitation of our Lord Christ, and of His Body: It would stand in the Communion of that most blessed Body, which was the true Temple of the Deity; and in the Participation of all its gracious Effects, Virtues and Influences. It would live in the Creature not of Choice, but only as it is made subject unto Vanity, and in the World, as it is placed therein by the Ordination of the Creator, for its Cultivation and the higher Advancement; and as groaning to be delivered out of it in God's Time and Manner, for its Perfection and Resuscitation in Eternal Liberty and Glory, like unto the Glorified Body of our Lord and His risen Saints.

Disciple:

But the Body being in its present Constitution, so made subject to Vanity, and living in a vain Image and creaturely Shadow, according to the Life of the undergraduated Creatures or Brutes, whose Breath goeth downwards to the Earth; I am still very much afraid thereof, lest it should continue to depress the Mind which is lifted up to God, by hanging as dead Weight thereto; and go on to amuse and perplex the Same, as formerly, with Dreams and Trifles, by letting in the Objects from without, in order to draw me down into the World and the Hurry thereof; where I would fain maintain my Conversation in Heaven, even while I am living in the World. What therefore must I do with this Body, that I may be able to keep up so desirable a Conversation; and not to be under any Subjection to it any longer?

Master:

There is no other Way for thee that I know, but to present the Body whereof thou complainest (which is the Beast to be sacrificed) "a living Sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God": And this shall be thy "rational Service", whereby this thy Body will be put, as thou desirest, into the Imitation of Jesus Christ, who said, His Kingdom was not of this World. Be not thou then "conformed to it, but be transformed by the Renewing of thy Mind"; which renewed Mind is to have Dominion over the Body, that so thou mayest prove, both in Body and Mind, what is the perfect Will of God, and accordingly perform the same with and by his Grace operating IN THEE. Whereupon the Body, or the Animal Life would, being thus offered up, begin to die, both from without and from within. From without, that is, from the Vanity and evil Customs and Fashions of the World. It would be an utter Enemy to all the Pomp thereof, and to all the Gaudery, Pageantry, Pride, Ambition, and Haughtiness therein. From within, it would die as to all the Lusts and Appetites of the Flesh, and would get a Mind and Will wholly new, for its Government and Management; being now made subject to the Spirit, which would continually be directed to God, as would all that is subject to thy Body. And thus thy very Body is become the Temple of God and of His Spirit, in Imitation of thy Lord's Body.

Disciple:

But the World would hate it, and despise it for so doing; seeing it must hereby contradict the World, and must live and act quite otherwise than the World doth. This is most certain. And how can this then be taken?

Master:

It would not take that as any Harm done to it, but would rather rejoice that it is become worthy to be like unto the Image of our Lord Jesus Christ, being transformed from that of the World: And it would be most willing to bear that Cross after our Lord; merely that our Lord might bestow upon it the Influence of His sweet and precious Love.

Disciple:

I do not doubt but in some this may be even so. Nevertheless for my own Part, I am in a Straight betwixt two, not feeling yet enough of that blessed Influence upon me. O how willingly should my Body bear that, could this be safely depended upon by me, according to what is urged! Wherefore pardon me, loving Sir, in this one Thing, if my Impatience doth still further demand what would become of it, if the Anger of God from within, and the wicked World also from without, should at once assault it, as the same really happened to our Lord Christ?

Master:

Be that unto it, even as unto our Lord Christ, when He was reproached, reviled and crucified by the World; and when the Anger of God so fiercely assaulted Him for our Sake. Now what did He do under this most terrible Assault both from without and from within? Why, He commended his Soul into the Hands of his Father,and so departed from the Anguish of this World into the Eternal Joy. Do thou likewise; and His Death shall become thy Life.

Disciple:

Be it unto me as unto the Lord Christ; and unto my Body as unto His; which into His Hands I have commended, and for the Sake of His Name do offer up, according to His revealed Will. Nevertheless I am desirous to know what would become of my Body in its pressing forth from the Anguish of this miserable World into the Power of the Heavenly Kingdom?

Master:

It would get forth from the Reproach and Contradiction of the World, by a Conformity to the Passion of Jesus Christ; and from the Sorrows and Pains in the Flesh, which are only the Effects of some sensible Impression of Things without, by a quiet Introversion of the Spirit, and secret Communion with the Deity manifesting Itself for that End. It would penetrate into itself; it would sink into the great Love of God; it would be sustained and refreshed by the most sweet name JESUS; and it would see and find within itself a new World springing forth as through the Anger of God, into the Love and Joy Eternal. And then should a Man wrap his Soul in this, even in the great Love of God, and clothe himself Therewith as with a Garment; and should account thence all Things alike; because in the Creature he finds NoThing that can give him, without God, the least Satisfaction; and because also Nothing of Harm can touch him more, while he remains in this Love, which indeed is stronger that all Things, and makes a Man hence invulnerable both from within and without, by taking out the Sting and Poison of the Creatures, and destroying the Power of Death. And whether the Body be in Hell or on Earth, all is alike to him; for whether it be there or here, his Mind is still in the greatest Love of God; which is no less than to say, that he is in Heaven.

Disciple:

But how would a Man's Body be maintained in the World; or how would he be able to maintain those that are his, if he should by such a Conversation incur the Displeasure of all the World?

Master:

Such a Man gets greater Favors than the World is able to bestow upon him. He hath God for his Friend; he hath all His Angels for his Friends: In all Dangers and Necessities these protect and relieve him; so that he need fear no Manner of Evil; no Creature can hurt him. God is his Helper; and that is sufficient. Also God is his Blessing in every Thing; and though sometimes it may seem as if God would not bless him, yet is this but for a Trial to him, and for the Attraction of the Divine Love; to the End he may more fervently pray to God, and commit all his Ways unto Him.