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The Supersensual Life -- Part Three
by Jacob Boehme

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.

Disciple:

He loses however by this all his good Friends; and there will be none to help him in his Necessity.

Master:

Nay, but he gets the Hearts of all his true Friends into his Possession, and loses none but his Enemies, who before loved his Vanity and Wickedness.

Disciple:

How it is that he can get his true Friends into his Possession?

Master:

He gets the very Hearts and Souls of all those that belong to our Lord Jesus to be his Brethren, and the Members of his own very Life. For all the Children of God are but One in Christ, which One is Christ in All; and therefore he gets them all to be his Fellow Members in the Body of Christ, whence they have all the same Heavenly Goods in common; and all live in one and the same Love of God, as the Branches of a Tree in one and the same Root, and spring all from one and the same Source of Life in them. So that he can have no Want of spiritual Friends and Relations, who are all rooted with him together in the Love which is from above; who are all of the same Blood and Kindred in Christ Jesus; and who are all nourished by the same quickening Sap and Spirit diffusing Itself through them universally from the one True Vine, which is the Tree of Life and Love. These are Friends worth having; and though Here they may be unknown to him, will abide his Friends beyond Death, to all Eternity. But neither can he want even outward natural Friends, as our Lord Christ when on Earth did not want such also.

For though indeed the High-Priests and Potentates of the World could not have a Love for Him because they belonged not to Him, neither stood in any Kind of Relation to Him, since He was not of this World; yet those loved Him who were capable of His Love, and receptive of His Words. So in like Manner, those who love Truth and Righteousness will love that Man, and will associate themselves unto him, yea, though they may perhaps be outwardly at some Distance or seeming Disagreement, from the Situation of their worldly Affairs, or out of some certain Respects; yet in their Hearts they cannot but cleave to him. For though they be not yet actually incorporated into one Body with him, yet they cannot resist being of one Mind with him, and being united in Affection, for the great Regard they bear to the Truth, which shines forth in his Words and in his Life. By which they are made either his declared or his secret Friends; and he doth so get their Hearts, as they will be delighted above all Things in his Company, for the Sake thereof, and will court his Friendship, and will come unto him by Stealth, if openly they dare not, for the Benefit of his Conversation and Advice; even as Nicodemus did unto Christ, who came to Him by Night, and in his Heart loved Jesus for the Truth's Sake, though outwardly he feared the World. And thus thou shalt have many Friends that are not known to thee; and some known to thee, who may not appear so before the World.

Disciple:

Nevertheless it is very grievous to be generally despised of the World, and to be trampled upon by Men as the very Offscouring thereof.

Master:

That which now seems so hard and heavy to thee, thou wilt yet hereafter be most of all in Love with.

Disciple:

How can it be that I should ever love that which hates me?

Master:

Though thou lovest the earthly Wisdom now, yet when thou shalt be clothed upon with the Heavenly Wisdom, then thou wilt see that all the Wisdom of the World is Folly; and wilt see also that the World hates not so much thee, as it does thine Enemy, which is the Mortal Life. And when thou thyself shalt come to hate the Will thereof, by Means of a habitual Separation of thy Mind from the World, then thou also wilt begin to love that despising of the Mortal Life, and the Reproach of the World for Christ's Sake . And so shalt thou be able to stand under every Temptation, and to hold out to the End by the Means hereof in the Course of Life above the World, and above Sense. In this Course thou wilt hate thyself; and thou wilt also love thyself; I say love thyself, and that even more than ever thou didst yet.

Disciple:

But how can these two subsist together, that a Person should both love and hate himself?

Master:

In loving thyself, thou lovest not thySELF as thine OWN; but as given thee from the Love of God thou lovest the Divine Ground in thee; by which and in which thou lovest the Divine Wisdom, the Divine Goodness, the Divine Beauty; thou lovest also by it God's Works of Wonders; and in this Ground thou lovest likewise thy Brethren. But in hating thySELF, thou hatest only that which is thine OWN, and wherein the Evil sticks close to thee.

And this thou dost, that so thou mayest wholly destroy that which thou callest thine; as when thou sayest I or MYSELF do this, or do that. All which is wrong, and a downright Mistake in thee; for nothing canst thou properly call thine but the Evil SELF, neither canst thou do any Thing of thyself that is to be accounted of. This SELF therefore thou must labor wholly to destroy IN THEE, that so thou mayest become a Ground wholly Divine. There is, there can be no SELFishness in Love; they are opposite to each other. Love, that is, Divine Love (of which only we are now discoursing) hates all Egoity, hates all that which we call I, or IHOOD; hates all such Restrictions and Confinements, yea even all that springs from a contracted Spirit, or this evil SELF-hood, because it is a hateful and deadly Thing. And it is impossible that these two should stand together, or subsist in one Person; the one driving out the other by a Necessity of Nature. For Love possesses Heaven, and dwells in Itself, which is dwelling in Heaven; but that which is called I, this vile SELF-hood possesses the World and worldly Things; and dwells also in itself, which is dwelling in Hell, because this is the very Root of Hell itself. And therefore as Heaven rules above the World and as Eternity rules above Time, even so ought Love to rule above the natural temporal Life; for no other Method is there, neither can there be of attaining to that Life which is Supernatural and Eternal, and which thou so much desirest to be led into.

Disciple:

Loving Master, I am well content that this Love should rule in me over the natural Life, so that I may attain to that which is Supernatural and Supersensual; but pray tell me now, why must Love and Hatred, Friend and Foe thus be together? Would not Love alone be better? Wherefore, I say, are Love and Trouble thus joined?

Master:

If Love dwelt not in Trouble, It could have Nothing to love; but when Its Substance which It loves, namely, the poor Soul, is in Trouble and Pain, Love hath thence Cause to love this, Its own Substance, and to deliver it from its Pain; that so the Soul,itself, may by the indwelling Love be again Beloved. Neither could any one know what Love is, if there were no Hatred; or what Friendship is, if there were no Foe to contend with. Or in one Word, for Love to be known It must have Something which It might Love, and where Its Virtue and Power may be manifested, by working out Deliverance to the Beloved from all Pain and Trouble.

Disciple:

Pray what is the Virtue, Power, the Height and the Greatness of Love?

Master:

The Virtue of Love is NOTHING and ALL, or that Nothing visible out of which All Things proceed; Its Power is through All Things; Its Height is as high as God; Its Greatness is as great as God. Its Virtue is the Principle of all Principles; Its Power supports the Heavens and upholds the Earth; Its Height is higher than the highest Heavens; and Its Greatness is even greater than the very Manifestation of the Godhead in the glorious Light of the Divine Essence, as being infinitely capable of greater and greater Manifestations in all Eternity. What can I say more? Love is higher than the Highest. Love is greater than the Greatest. Yea, It is in a certain Sense greater than God; while yet in the highest Sense of all, God is Love, and Love is God. Love being the highest Principle, is the Virtue of all Virtues; from whence they all flow forth. Love being the greatest Majesty, is the Power of all Powers, from whence they severally operate; and It is the Holy Magical Root, or Ghostly Power from whence all the Wonders of God have been wrought by the Hands of his elect Servants, in all their Generations successively. Whosoever finds It, finds Nothing and All Things.

Disciple:

Dear Master, pray tell me how to understand this.

Master:

First then, in that I said, Its Virtue is Nothing, or that NOTHING which is the BEGINNING of All Things, thou must understand It thus; when thou art gone forth wholly from the Creature, and from that which is visible, and art become Nothing to all that is Nature and Creature, then thou art in that Eternal One, which is God Himself. And then thou shalt perceive and feel in thy Interior, the highest Virtue of Love. But in that I said, Its Power is through All Things, this is that which thou perceivest and findest in thy own Soul and Body experimentally, whenever this great Love is enkindled within thee; seeing that It will burn more than the Fire can do, as It did in the Prophets of old, and afterwards in the Apostles, when God conversed with them bodily, and when His Spirit descended upon them in the Oratory of Zion. Thou shalt then see also in all the Works of God, how Love hath poured Itself into all Things, and penetrateth all Things, and is the most inward and most outward Ground in all Things - inwardly in the Virtue and Power of every Thing, and outwardly in the Figure and Form thereof.

And in that I said, Its Height is as high as God; thou mayest understand this in thyself; forasmuch as It brings thee to be as high as God Himself is, by being united to God - as may be seen by our beloved Lord Christ in our Humanity. Which Humanity Love hath brought up into the highest Throne, above all Angelical Principalities and Powers, into the very Power of the Deity itself.

But in that I also said, Its Greatness is as great as God, thou art hereby to understand, that there is a certain Greatness and Latitude of Heart in Love, which is inexpressible; for It enlarges the Soul as wide as the whole Creation of God. And this shall be truly experienced by thee, beyond all Words, when the Throne of Love shall be set up in thy Heart.