The Life and Doctrines of Jacob Boehme, by Franz Hartmann, , at sacred-texts.com
God evolves the centre of light from eternity to eternity within Himself, and likewise there is in the soul of man a desire to penetrate into the second principle and to live in the light of God. 1
"The soul in its substance is a magical gush of fire from the nature of God the Father. She is an ardent desire for the light. Thus, God the Father very strongly, and from all eternity, desires his heart, the centre of the light, and He generates it in His desiring will out of the quality of the fire." (Four Complexions, ii.)
"God makes also the second principle in His love, wherefrom He generates from eternity to eternity His eternal word and heart, and the spirit ignites the bond of nature, and renders it luminous in the love and the life of His heart by the power of the light. Likewise the soul of man desires to penetrate into the second principle, and to still its hunger with the power of God." (Threefold Life, i. 11–13.)
But if the soul, as has been the case with Adam, does
not surrender her will to God, then will the divine idea not become annihilated, but is rendered inactive in man.
"The soul has the seven qualities of the inner spiritual world (modified) according to nature; but the spirit is without any qualities; it is outside of nature and in the unity of God. By means of its fiery nature the spirit becomes manifest in the soul, because it is the true likeness of God, an idea wherein God Himself acts and resides, provided that the soul enters with her desire into God and surrenders her will to Him. If this does not take place, then will that idea, namely, the spirit, be mute and inactive, like a picture in a mirror that has faded and is without substance, as was the case with Adam in his fall." (Tabulæ Principæ, 66.)
"It should not be supposed that the celestial Ego of man had become a nothing. It has remained in him, but in his (personal) life it was then like a nothing. It was then hidden in God and inconceivable to man, and without (manifested) life." (Mysterium, xx. 28.)
"The essence of the soul, that issued from the unfathomable will, has not died. Nothing can destroy it. It remains for ever a free will. But it lost the divine state, wherein was burning the light of God and the fire of His love. Not that the latter has become a nothing, although within the created soul it became like nothing (unmanifested), and unconscious; but the holy power, that is to say, the spirit of God, which was the active life therein, became hidden." (Grace, vi. 2.)
If the soul thus permits her true light and life to be extinguished, then it naturally follows that her opposite power, the principle of wrath, becomes perceptible (conscious) in her. 1
"As the word or heart of God takes its origin in the light of the majesty, in the eternal fire-tincture of the
[paragraph continues] Father, likewise is this the case with the image of the soul. The true image of God resides in the light of the soul-fire, and the fiery soul must draw that light from the love-fountain in God, in His majesty, by means of her imagination in God, and surrender of her self-will to God. If the soul does not do this, but imagines within herself, in her own fierce forms or states conducive to the fire-torture (passion), and not in the fountain of love, then will her self-torture arise from her harshness, acridity, and bitterness, and the image of God will be swallowed up in the wrath (the dark fire)." (Eye, xiii. 15.)
"The soul is per se a fire-torture, and contains within herself the first principle, the harsh acridity, which has for its object the fire. If from this birth (evolution) of the soul is withdrawn the mildness and love of God, or if she becomes infected with very strong matter (gross material desire), she will then remain a severe harshness, consuming itself, and nevertheless continually generating new hunger within her own will." (Menschwerdung, i. 2.)
Thus has man, by his withdrawal from God, attracted unto himself the wrath of God and opened for himself the kingdom of hell, and he now forms in himself hellish figures. 1
"After Adam had lost the pure and beautiful image, his soul stood then only in the quality of the Father; that is to say, in eternal nature, which, apart from the light of God, is a wrath and a consuming fire." (Tilk. i. 285.)
"By means of the fall there was in man a door opened in the wrath of God, namely, hell. The jaws of the devil were opened, and thereby was inaugurated the realm of illusion." (Grace, vii. 7.)
"If we investigate the substance of the soul and its essences, we find that it is the most harsh thing in man; it is fiery, acrid, and bitter. If it entirely loses the virgin of divine power who accompanies it, and from which the light of God (in the soul) is born, it then becomes and is a devil." (Three Principles, xiii. 30.)
"After man had entered the realm of his selfish enjoyment and turned his will away from God, he then began to produce hellish figures, such as cursing, blaspheming, and lying." (Prayer, 53.)
"We, the poor children of Eve, have to feel within ourselves, in great suffering, sorrow, and misery, how the wrath moves, guides, and torments us, so that we now no longer walk together in the love of God, but, full of poison, envy, murder, and animosity, we persecute each other, we denounce, dishonour, and vilify, wishing to one another death and all kinds of evil, and enjoying each other's misery." (Tilk. i. 4.)
"That which malicious persons of this world do in their malignity and falsehood is also done by the devils in the world of darkness." (Six Theosophical Points, ix. 18.)
"Each person causes suffering to another, and is therefore the other's devil." (Threefold Life, xvii. 10.)
God has, however, given to man protection, so that he may not so easily become a devil, and He did this by causing him to enter into external terrestrial life. 1
"God caused the soul to enter into flesh and blood, so that she may not so very easily become capable to receive the wrath. Thus (during her terrestrial existence) she
enjoys herself in the mirror of the sun, and is glad in her sidereal essence." (Six Theosophical Points, vii. 19.)
"Not without cause has God breathed into the nostrils of Adam the external spirit, the external life. Adam might have become a devil, like Lucifer, but the external mirror prevented it." (Forty Questions, xvi. 2.)
"Many a soul in her malignity would become a devil within one hour if the external life did not prevent it, so that her complete ignition cannot take place." (Forty Questions, xvi. 12.)
"In examining our own selves we find that, on the whole, the external spirit (our human nature) is very useful to us. Many souls would become corrupted if the animal spirit did not hold captive the fire and present to the fire-spirit terrestrial, animal occupation and joy, wherein it may amuse itself until it obtains again a glimpse of its nobler image, and begins to seek for it again." (Forty Questions, xvi. 10.)
"If the matter of this world (the imagery of external nature) were broken, as it will be broken one day in the future, the soul would have stood in eternal death, in the darkness. The beautiful creature (the living image) would then have been captured by the realm of hell, and the devil would have been triumphing over it." (Threefold Life, viii. 38.)
As the soul of man became captured by the spirit of this world, and as she allowed its tincture to enter within herself, the terrestrial qualities necessarily arose (became pre-eminently active) in him. 1
"The poor soul of Adam was made captive by the spirit and principle of this world, and allowed the tincture of this world to enter within her." (Threefold Life, viii. 63.)
"That in which the imagination of the spirit enters becomes expressed in the corporeal form by means of the impression of the spiritual desire. Therefore God commanded Adam, when he still was in Paradise, not to eat with his imagination from the tree of self-knowledge of good and evil, so that he should not sink into suffering and death and die to the kingdom of heaven, as has actually occurred." 1 (Baptism, i. 22.)
"The terrestrial quality, which formerly was in Paradise in an unmanifested condition, manifested itself by means of the desire of the soul. From this resulted heat and cold, the poison-life of all adversities, and the supremacy of the body, so that the beautiful image of Heaven and Paradise faded out of sight." (Stiefel, ii. 83.)
The bodies of the first human beings were of a spiritual, celestial nature; but, in consequence of eating of the forbidden fruit, they became terrestrial and material.
"God had given to man a body constituted of pure, essential power, after the nature of the soul, and which, if compared with the grossly terrestrial substance, may be looked upon as being a spiritual body." (Mysterium, xvi. 3.)
"The body of the first human beings was of a celestial kind; but when they ate of the terrestrial fruit and absorbed it into the bodies the temperature separated, and the terrestrial body became manifest according to all its qualities." (Grace, vii. 5.)
"When Eve reached out for the tree and broke the fruit, she did it through the earthly limus and through the will of the soul, which desired knowledge from the centre of nature. In eating actually of the fruit, her body's essence,
i.e., the human essence, took in the essence in the tree." 1 (Mysterium, xx. 29.)
Man hereby lost the life in eternity, and became subject to death. 2
"We cannot say of man that in the beginning he was enclosed in time. In Paradise he was embraced in eternity. God created him in His image; but when he fell he became subject to the limitation of time." (Grace, vii. 51.)
"Time has a beginning and an end, and as the will with its desire has surrendered itself to the temporal guide, the body dies and perishes therefore likewise." (Signature, v. 9.)
"After the fall man with his interior body lived only in time; the precious gold of heavenly corporeity, which should tincture, penetrate and bless the external body, had lost its colour." 3 (Signature, v. 8.)
Moreover, the powers of animal life have gained so much room in man, and become preponderating in him to such an extent, that in his external essence he has become an animal himself. 4
"Man was not, like the animals, created from evil and good (out of the merely terrestrial substance). If he had not eaten of evil and good there would not be in him the fire of the wrath; but now he has also an animal body." (Aurora, xviii. 109.)
"Before the sin the celestial image penetrated wholly the external man, clothing him with divine power. The animal element was then not manifested in him; but when that image, formed of the celestial essence, paled and disappeared, then the poor soul, formed out of the first principle, found herself surrounded by the animal body, naked and bare." (Mysterium, xxi. 15.)
"After Adam and Eve had eaten from the tree of self-knowledge of good and evil, they soon became ashamed, because in their ethereal form there had grown up such a gross animal, made of common flesh and hard bones and animal bowels. The animal being had swallowed up the celestial state, and arisen in them as a creature foreign to their true nature, such as they had not known heretofore." (Mysterium, xxiii. 1.)
"Let no one imagine that man before the fall had animal organs of reproduction, neither did he have bowels such as he has now. Such uncleanliness does not exist within the Holy Trinity, nor within Paradise; it belongs to the earth. Originally man was created an immortal being and holy, like the angels." (Three Principles, x. 7.)
"By means of the fall man, in regard to his external body, became the animal of all animals; that is to say, he became the animal image of God, wherein the word of God became manifested in an earthly manner. Thus he became a master and king of all animals; but nevertheless
only an animal; endowed, however, with a higher intellect than the merely animal forms." (Grace, vii. 6.)
The senses of man also became of an earthly and animal nature, so that he is no longer able to perceive God and that which is divine. 1
"When man left the Paradise and entered into another generation, namely, into the spirit of this world, into the quality of the sun, the planets and elements, then his paradisiacal perception became extinct." (Three Principles, xiv. 2.)
"After the fall man became degraded to an animal state of being, so that Heaven, Paradise, and divinity became a mystery to him." (Menschwerdung, i. 2, 14.)
"The serpent (of desire) said to Eve, 'You will not die; but your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God.' It is true that her earthly eyes became opened, but her celestial eyes became closed." 2 (Stiefel, i. 44.)
Man's will and mind were captured by the spirit of this world, and are now held by one or another element, as is shown by the power of the temperaments.
"The soul entered with Adam into a strange habitation, namely, within the spirit of this world. There are actually four dwellings in which that precious jewel is imprisoned. Of these four there is always one especially manifest in a person, and not all four, according to the four elements which are within each man, and of which always one predominates in the life of a person. These
four states, forms, or temperaments are called the choleric, the sanguine, phlegmatic, and melancholy temperament. In the choleric one is the nature and quality of the fire manifested, in the sanguine that of the air, in the phlegmatic the nature of water, and in the melancholic the quality of the element of the earth." (Four Complexions, i. 6.)
Man's enjoyment and desire is now turned away from the divine, and directed towards that which is earthly and animal.
"The angelic image in man became entirely destroyed both as to mind and senses, as we may plainly see at present, both thoughts and senses are shaped by an animal will, and it is very difficult for them to arrive at a state in which they love God and justice." (Grace, vii. 36.) 1
"After the fall the creatures (elementals) obtained -power in man and arose in him. There are persons who live in the quality of a snake, and are full of cunning and poisonous malice; others live in the quality of a toad or a dog, a bear or a wolf; or one may have in him the quality of some good and tame animal. All men are outwardly formed in the human image, but within the quality is seated an animal." 2 (Grace, vii. 3, 4.)
Man's present animal method of reproducing himself originated in his fall, as is proved by Eve having been projected from Adam at a later period of time, and also by the inherited sense of shame in regard to the organs of generation.
"If God had created man for this earthly, corruptible, poverty-stricken, sickly, and animal life, He would not have put him into Paradise. If He had originally intended that mankind should procreate themselves like the brutes, He would have made them into men and women already at the start." (Mysterium, xviii. 5.)
"The poor degraded soul is ashamed of the possession of animal organs of generation, and of the way in which impregnation takes place. Does not every one feel this? If we had been created beastlike in Adam, why should we be ashamed of our beastliness? Why is it that the soul is ashamed of the monstrosity of her outward body, and of its animal method of procreation?" (Tilk. i. 608.)
If there had occurred no sin, man, being the living image of God, and therefore possessing the power to create, could have produced his equals out of his own self without the existence of severed sexes.
"The sum of all mankind constitutes the one original Adam. God created him alone, and left it to him to produce other beings. He should have surrendered his self-will entirely to God, and with God generated other men out of himself, and in conformity with himself." (Mysterium, lxxi. 31.)
"Adam was a complete image of God, male and female, and nevertheless neither of them separately, but pure like a chaste virgin. He had in himself the desire (power) of the fire and the light, the mother of love and wrath, and the fire in him loved the light, receiving from it calmness and beneficence; while the light in him loved the fire as being its life, in the same sense as God, in His
quality as Father, loves the Son and the Son loves the Father." (Stiefel, ii. 351.)
"Adam was man and wife in one individuality. However, he must not be considered as having been a woman in the usual sense of this word, but as a pure, chaste, virginal power. That is to say, he had within himself the tincture or spirit of fire, and also that of water, and he loved himself and God. He could generate in a virginal state, and procreate by means of his will and out of his own substance, without any pain or laceration." (Threefold Life, ii. 24.)
"If man had withstood the temptation one human being would have been born from another, in the same way as Adam in his virginal state was projected into objectivity as a human being and image of God, because that which is of the Eternal can also procreate (multiply) itself according to the law of eternity." (Threefold Life, xviii. 7.)
These descendants of man would have issued one from the other, and one would have surpassed the other in his qualities and dignity before God. 1
"It is unnecessary to know whether, if man had remained in his original state, all (future) individuals would have been the products of one individual, or whether they would have been produced one from another; but in seeking within the depth, in the centre, I find that one would have come from the other. In the course of time they would have differed in their qualities; some would have grown to be superior to others, as is the case at present where not all men are equals, but some have more genius and intelligence than others." (Menschwerdung, 1. 5, 4.)
But now, after the generative powers, which were formerly
united in man, appear in a state of separation in males and females, each sex seeks within the other the child that is to be generated, and strongly desires to unite with the other. 1
"In the beginning of creation all was born from one being, and a separation of sex took place later on. Therefore each sex strongly desires the other, as is seen in the process of procreation." (Three Principles, viii. 40.)
"There is now a strong sexual desire in all creatures. The male spirit seeks for the beloved child in the female, and the female seeks for it in the male." (Three Principles, viii. 44.)
"The water-mother strongly desires for the fire-mother, and seeks for the child of love. Likewise the fire-mother seeks for it in the water-mother, and therefore both sexes have a strong desire to mingle with each other." (Three Principles, viii. 42.)
This desire, wherein the two sexes are burning in regard to each other, is an abomination before God; but if it is governed by faithfulness and orderly conjugal love, it is patiently tolerated by the Lord. 2
"Conjugal sexual cohabitation is not sinful, because it is in accordance with man's human nature. It is incited by the power of nature, and tolerated in divine patience by the spiritual soul." (Stiefel, ii. 409.)
"Lust, however, without being ennobled by faithful conjugal love, is merely an animal and sinful desire; and if you seek in marriage only the gratification of sexual lust, you are then not superior to an animal." (Three Principles, xx. 64.)
"Beware, O man, as to how you use the sexual animal desire! It is an abomination before the Lord (the divine Being in man), whether it be within or outside of legalised wedlock; but true lawful love and faithfulness hides the desire before the sight of God." (Three Principles, xx. 65.)
"If a couple generate children, their imagination or desire (during the sexual act) is not holy, but the noble part of the soul is ashamed of it. There are even animals that are ashamed of that act. Even in its best aspect the performance is disgusting before the sanctity of that which is divine, it having been caused by sin in consequence of primordial man's degradation, but being patiently submitted to by that which is divine in man, because it is a necessity of his present animal state." 1 (Stiefel, ii. 396.)
It is an error to suppose that one person is a descendant from others merely as far as his corporeal form is concerned. The human soul is likewise generated in that manner. If the heart were absent even the body could not come into existence. 2
"The soul is not every time created anew and breathed into the body, but she is reproduced according to human natural law, like a branch growing out of the trunk of a tree, or as a kernel or seed that is sown. Thus the soul is sown that it may grow to be a spirit and body." 3 (Forty Questions, x. 4.)
"The souls of men, all taken together, are as only one soul, for they have all been generated out of one soul."
"The soul is a cause of the existence of all the members necessary for the life of man, for without the soul no organ would come into existence to live in the life of man." (Three Principles, xiv. 14.)
"The heart is the true origin of the soul, and in the interior blood of the heart (the will) is the soul, the fire, while in the tincture the soul is its spirit (its light); the spirit floats above the heart, and communicates itself to the body and to all of its organs." (Forty Questions, xi. 3.)
In so far as by the connubial act a soul is generated, there is in it even something of a paradisiacal nature. 1
"While Adam remained in the love of God, and the woman (the female principle) in him was a chaste virgin, the tincture of the fire (in him) could have experienced much joy in the embrace of the tincture of the light contained (in him); but the present external body is not worthy of enjoying such an intercourse with the kingdom of delight, wherein the life of the soul is sown. Only the inner essences, which originate (directly) from the Eternal, are capable of participating in such happiness; external animal man merely gratifies an animal desire, and knows nothing of the delight of the (spiritual) essences. If, however, the (external and internal) tinctures intermingle, then there is therein something (a sensation) belonging
to Paradise; but the earthly essence (lust) soon becomes mixed therewith." (Menschwerdung, i. 7, 6.)
"The desire for conjunction in men and women results from the separation of the fire and light-tincture in Adam. These principles in their own essence are still much more noble and pure than the flesh. It is true that they are now separated, and do not contain the true life; but they are full of desire for that true life, and when they again meet with each other in the unity of all being, they then awaken the true life to which their desire is directed. They want to be again that which they were in the image of God when Adam was man and woman." 1 (Stiefel, ii. 388.)
"When the two tinctures are brought together into one, then the quality of the eternal kingdom of joy, the highest desire and its fulfilment, becomes manifested. If this could be done in purity, and without the admixture of that which causes disgust, then would it all be holy; but even the sulphur (the terrestrial element) of the seed is a cause of disgust in the sight of true holiness." (Stiefel, ii. 402.)
During the connubial act a divine interaction takes place; but there are also influences coming from the terrestrial and the satanic worlds. More especially is the nature of the child dependent on the quality of its parents. 2
"The will called into action during the connubial act is threefold. Firstly, there arises between the parents of the child the animal desire to commingle, and during the commingling the centre of love becomes opened, even if they were otherwise dissatisfied with each other. That love then participates in the qualities of the one element, and this element with paradise; but the paradise is before God." (Three Principles, xv. 30.)
"On the other hand, the external seed has also its own essences, and they participate in the qualities of the external elements. These external elements participate in the qualities of the external planets, and they are connected with external wrath and malice; while the latter are connected with the abyss of hell, and that abyss belongs to the devils." (Three Principles, xv. 31.)
"If a branch grows out of a tree, its form approximates that of the tree. Thus, if a mother produces a child, the child is formed in her own image." (Forty Questions, v. 1.)
"An evil tree cannot produce good fruits. If both parents are bad and in the power of the devil, a soul inclined to evil will be sown. It would be well for parents to remember this fact. You are saving up money for your children, but if you would furnish them with a good soul, that would be more useful to them." 1 (Forty Questions, x. 7–9.)
"To the extent in which the parents have the essentiality of God connected with their own souls will the seed not be introduced into the Turba; for Christ says, 'A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit.'" (Forty Questions, x. 5.)
Each soul, however, is an individual being, and therefore a child born from bad parents can again turn to God, or the reverse of this may take place. 1
"Although the soul is a branch from the tree, she is, nevertheless, an individual being. Therefore a child, after being born, has a life of its own, and the centre of nature is within its own power." (Forty Questions, vi. 2.)
"Even if a child has good parents, it may afterwards enter into the Turba. Likewise a child born of evil parents may become converted by means of its imagination, and enter into the Word of the Lord. This rarely takes place, but it is nevertheless possible. God throws no soul away, unless the soul throws herself away. Each soul judges herself." 2 (Forty Questions, x. 6–8.)
180:1 It is the principle of light in man that causes him to seek for the light, and to desire that it should become manifest. If man were something entirely different from God, and had consequently nothing divine in him, he would be an atheist, incapable of conceiving of justice or truth, and have neither any desire nor understanding for that which is divine.
181:1 In proportion as the will of man is not controlled by reason, that will becomes unreasonable and follows its lower impulses.
182:1 To express this in other words, we may say that the will of man ceased to act within his own higher nature, i.e., the celestial virgin of divine wisdom, wherein his power was united to sweetness, and became active within the lower and animal elements of his constitution, so that brute passion took the place of divine self-conscious will. This animal will produces corresponding animal images in his soul.
183:1 If man's imagination were not excited by the pictorial representations which the objects of the surrounding world call forth in his mind by means of his external senses, but if his mental activity were restricted to forming images by its own power, his fiery will, from which the recognition of his divine bride has departed, would cause him to become self-conscious in evil. For this reason asceticism without divine wisdom leads to the acquisition of the powers of black magic.
184:1 Man became an organism wherein the powers of nature are acting, and in identifying himself with nature he began to enjoy and to suffer with her.
185:1 Man's constitution resembles a garden, wherein all kinds of seeds, good and evil, are sown. Those which he cultivates or permits to glow will become predominant in him.
186:1 If "Eve" had not plucked the fruit from the tree of knowledge for "Adam," that is to say, if he had not desired it merely in his imagination, but plucked the fruit himself by entering therein with his own fiery will, the consequences would have been still more disastrous to him. The universal man (Adam) would then have become a devil, instead of a semi-animal human being.
186:2 This does not mean to say that the true divine and immortal man did lose his immortality; but man in his aspect as a human being became unconscious of his immortality, and is now seeking for external proof for the purpose of becoming convinced that there may be something immortal in him.
186:3 The more of man identifies itself with the body and its lower principles, the more of him will die. That part of man which identifies itself with the immortal part within becomes immortal with the latter. Man should, therefore, not identify himself in thought and will with the lower elements in his constitution, but employ the powers of the latter for the unfoldment of his spirituality.
186:4 As the whole of the animal kingdom exists in macrocosmic man, likewise p. 187 the representative forms or germs of all animals exist in the animal soul of microcosmic man, and they grow and become predominant in him according to his predominant animal tendencies or desires. They are the elementals which take possession of godless man and render him subservient to their will.
188:1 If man were truly to realise his own divine state, there is no power that would retain him against his will in his semi-animal body. He would then be the god which in the course of ages he aspires to become.
188:2 In the same sense, the more we cling to merely external pursuits, the more are we liable to lose the power of the true recognition of internal truth, and for this reason we usually find the least amount of spirituality and intuition among those that are very learned. The more we close our eyes and speculate, the less shall we become capable to see.
189:1 If the senses of man were educated to love that which is true and divine, then would the inner realm become opened to their perception, and man would know "supersensual things."
189:2 Every character, when it is to be expressed, finds its expression in a certain form. All the animals in this world are incarnations of certain characters, and likewise the qualities of animal man are expressed in his animal soul (on the astral plane) in corresponding animal forms. The above assertion of Jacob Boehme is, therefore, not a mere figure of speech; but the animal soul of every human being resembles a menagerie composed of different animals, which may be seen by those that are sifted with the astral perception, and according to the quality of the will of man, whereon these animals live, some become sick and die, while others are born and grow. The conditions of these animal elementals in the constitution of man are some of those causes of his bodily ills of which modern medical science is entirely ignorant.
191:1 This is the way in which the "personalities" mentioned in the Book Genesis were "begotten."
192:1 Since the "woman" has issued from man, his manner of reproduction has necessarily become an external and animal one, and will continue to be so until the true divine marriage has taken place, by which the Will of man becomes again one with the goddess of wisdom.
192:2 Each sex seeks within the other that of which it is itself deficient, and therefore, seen from the spiritual point of view, all sexual "love" may be regarded as a manifestation of selfishness.
193:1 "Sin" is that which constitutes a disobedience against the will of God, which is also the law of nature. He who resists the law of nature without being able to rise above his own animal nature commits a crime against nature, and therefore against God. But if we rise above our animal plane into the higher regions of feeling and thought, then shall we be no longer affected by the laws that govern that animal nature, and no resistance will be needed, as the desires of the flesh do not affect the spirit that is not identified with the flesh.
193:2 Here Jacob Boehme evidently refers to the human soul, the Manas, and not to the Buddhi, or spiritual soul, which overshadows each new incarnation.
193:3 The spiritual soul in man has its origin in God, and its individual qualities are gathered from the efflorescence of its experiences in previous p. 194incarnations; but the human and animal soul are the products of the mental and astral influences acting through the bodies of the parents; while the visible material form is made of the elements of the earth.
194:1 The highest sensual pleasure which human beings can possibly enjoy is experienced by them during the connubial act; but as this act constitutes the exercise of the highest power which is still within man's dominion, namely, the power to create a being like unto himself, therefore this power should not be prostituted for baser motives, such as the gratification of sensual desire.
195:1 In the male is represented especially the fiery essence (the will or obstinacy), in the female the essence of light (spirituality or gentleness). The sexual distinctions, however, do not belong to the external body exclusively, but to the inner man, of whom the outer man is not always a correct image, because there are other factors besides the true soul entering in his formation. Therefore it sometimes happens that the sex of the external body does not seem to correspond to that of the inner man. We meet with male persons apparently inhabited by a female soul with female tastes and tendencies, and vice versa; and in such persons there are sometimes manifest apparently inexplicable sexual perversities.
195:2 It should always be remembered that man's constitution is not the p. 196 result of the action of only one principle, but of three, manifesting themselves in the seven qualities of eternal nature, in seven different forms, and that, therefore, his external body is not the expression of only one principle, but of three. His spirit is from the innermost fountain, his soul from the internal world, his body from external nature.
196:1 The absence of words in modern languages for expressing internal facts in a comprehensible manner leads to a continual confusion of terms. Thus the term "soul" refers here not to the divine soul that originates directly from God, nor to that part of man which becomes reincarnated (the Karana Sarira), but to the "inner man" (the Manas and lower lsencippri). Unless this distinction of the various aspects of man is kept in mind, we are always exposed to mistaking the leaves of the tree of life for the branches, and the branches for the trunk, and the trunk for the roots.
197:1 Each soul constitutes an individual, but for all that not an independent, part of the tree of life. The trunk (Christ) remains, but the leaves (the personalities of men and women) drop off. The branches (the individual human spirits) grow from year to year, and by the power of the sap which the branches receive through the trunk they produce new leaves (personalities) every spring. Thus it is not the Christ, i.e., the divine, man, who becomes reincarnated; neither do the same identical leaves reappear upon the same tree, but the spirit of man (his higher Manas) through the power of Christ (the Atma-Buddhi) produces new personalities in whom is expressed the power which the spirit receives from God.
197:2 Each soul is receptive of good and evil influences, but especially to such as are predominant in her own nature. Whether or not a soul will inherit the desire or power to overcome the evil in her own constitution, or whether she will be more inclined to evil, will depend on the Karma acquired by her in previous incarnations.