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The Proper Use Of Reason
by Jacob Boehme

"Self-will cannot comprehend anything of God. It is not in God, but external to him. If we live in Christ, the Spirit of Christ will see through us, and in us. We will see and know what Christ desires.

"Christ dwelling in the soul, causes his light to become a holy substance, a spiritual body, a true temple, in which the Holy Spirit dwells. . . . Self-hood hath not true substance, in which light can be steadfast. It desireth not Godís meekness.

But while SELF, viz. Reason, is captivated and fast bound in a close and strong Prison, that is to say, in the Anger of God, and in Earthliness, it is very dangerous for a Man to make Use of the Light of Knowledge in SELF, as if it were in the Possession of SELF.

I do not say that a Man should search and learn nothing in natural Arts and Sciences. No; such Knowledge is useful to him; but a Man must not begin with his OWN Reason. Man ought not only to govern his Life by the Light of outward Reason, which is good in itself; but should sink with that Light into the deepest Humility before God, and set the Spirit and Will of God foremost in all his searching, so that the Light of Reason may see and know Things through the Light of God. And though Reason may be very wise in its own Sphere, and help a Man to much Knowledge, yet it must not arrogate such Wisdom and Knowledge to itSELF, as if they were in its OWN Possession, but give the Glory thereof to God, to Whom alone all Wisdom and Knowledge belongeth.

When the Light of God first manifesteth itself in the Soul, it shineth forth as Light from a Candle, and kindleth the outward Light of Reason immediately; yet it yieldeth not itself wholly up to Reason, so as to be under the Dominion of the outward Man. No, the outward Man beholdeth himself in this through-shining Lustre, as he doth his Likeness in a Looking-Glass, whereby he presently learneth to know himself, which is good and profitable to him.