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The Confessions of Jacob Boehme, by Jacob Boehme, ed. W. Scott Palmer [1920], at

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THE disciple said to his Master: Sir, how may I come to the supersensual life, so that I may see God, and hear God speak?

The Master answered and said: Son, when thou canst throw thyself into That, where no creature dwelleth, though it be but for a moment; then thou hearest what God speaketh.

When thou standest still from the thinking of self and the willing of self; when both thy intellect and thy will are quiet, and passive to the impress of the eternal Word and Spirit; and when thy soul is winged up above that which is temporal, the outward senses and the imagination being locked up in holy abstraction,

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then the eternal hearing, seeing, and speaking will be revealed in thee. So God heareth and seeth through thee who art now the organ of his Spirit; so God speaketh in thee and whispereth to thy spirit, and thy spirit heareth his voice.

Three things are requisite in order to this. The first is, Thou must resign thy will to God, and must sink thyself down to the dust in his mercy. The second is, Thou must hate thy own will and forbear from doing that to which thy own will doth drive thee. The third is, Thou must bow thy soul under the Cross, heartily submitting thyself to it, that thou mayest be able to bear the temptations of nature and the creature. And if thou doest this, then thou shalt hear, my Son, what the Lord speaketh in thee.

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

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is folly. So shalt thou be able to stand under every temptation and to hold out to the end in a 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.

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 God's works of wonder, and in this same ground thou lovest thy brethren. In hating thyself thou hatest only that wherein the evil sticks close to thee. There is, there can be, no selfishness in love; they are opposed one to another. Love, that is, divine love (of which alone we are now discoursing) hates all evil selfhood. It is impossible that these two should subsist in one person; by a necessity of nature the one drives out the other.

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The height of love is as high as God; it brings thee to be as high as God himself is, by uniting thee with God. Its greatness is as great as God: there is a latitude of heart in love which cannot be expressed; it enlarges the soul as wide as the whole creation of God. This shall be experienced by thee, beyond the compass of all words, when the throne of love shall be set up in thy heart. Its power supports the heavens and upholds the earth; its virtue is the principle of all principles, the virtue of all virtues. It is the worker of all things and a vital energy through all powers natural and supernatural. It is the power of all powers, nothing being able to let or hinder the omnipotence of love, or resist its penetrating might. If thou findest it thou comest into that fountain from whence all things are proceeded, into that ground wherein they subsist; and thou art a King over all the works of God.

Be silent therefore and watch unto

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prayer, that thy mind may be disposed for finding that jewel, which to the world appears as nothing, but which to the children of Wisdom is all things. The way to the love of God is folly to the world, but wisdom to the children of God, for whom that which is despised of the world is the most precious treasure; yea, so great a treasure it is, that no life can express, nor tongue so much as name, what this inflaming, all-conquering love of God is. It is brighter than the sun; it is sweeter than any thing that is called sweet; it is stronger than all strength; it is more nourishment than any food, more cheering to the heart than wine, more pleasant than all the pleasantness of this world. Whosoever obtaineth it is richer than any monarch on earth, and he who winneth it is nobler than an emperor and more potent and absolute than all earthly powers and authorities.