“Though thou lovest the Earthly Wisdom now, yet when thou shalt be clothed upon with the Heavenly Wisdom, then wilt thou see that all the wisdom of the world is folly; and wilt see also that the world hates not so much thee, as thine enemy, which is 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 began 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, …” ~Jakob Boehme
It is understandable that when the material world is all one knows, he finds many things to love in that world. You can hardly expect people to be anything but materialist when all they are taught in the schools is the material world (not that I am suggesting we teach spirituality in state-run public schools, but they should at least acknowledge that there is more that the low level of matter to the complete universe.)
Boehme says that we will lose that love of matter and materialism once we have been, “clothed with heavenly Wisdom,” or, as we prefer to call it, Divine Wisdom or Gnosis. He is correct in saying that, but the statement can be misleading. It might cause the spiritual student to think he can pursue a life of total materialism and at the same time develop his spiritual self. That is not possible. Jesus said we cannot serve two masters, and this is what He meant: we can’t serve both Heaven and Hell, God and Satan, Matter and Spirit. That doesn’t mean we need to quit the material world, but that we need to avoid getting enamored of it, attached to it and to objects in it. For most of us, getting to this balance means moving away from the material and toward the spiritual. But we shouldn’t wait until we have become spiritually enlightened to start moving in that direction, we should start now.
When Boehme says that the wisdom of the world is folly, he doesn’t mean that t is false knowledge—although to some degree it is—he means that it is irrelevant, like the kid with a collection of thousands of baseball cards or the old woman with 500 elephant statues in her house.
The later half of the quote can seem confusing because of Boeme’s way of expressing it and the Old English he uses. When he says, “thou shalt come to hate the will thereof,” he doesn’t mean hate in the strong way we use the word today, but only that we will recognize the foolishness of allowing ourselves to be trapped in the rat race of materialism. By “habitual separation of thy mind from the world,” he means that when our thoughts turn to the spiritual, our understanding will turn us away from the worldly. Then he says, “thou also wilt began to love that despising of the mortal life,” which is another statement that seems to strong for the way we speak today. I don’t know of any advance spiritual person, nor have I heard of any, who actually despised the material world and the body of matter. What they did is learn to place the value of their immortal spirit and soul on a much higher level than that of the physical body. Materialists will, of course, say that such an attitude is folly, but it is really quite logical: the immortal is more valuable than the mortal. No matter how many pills you take, how many guns you own, how many blankets you hide under, your physical body will die. It is that simple. You can’t stop the death of the physical body, no matter how hard you try. So, assuming you accept that the spiritual is real, and I strongly suggest you seriously study the subject before blindly rejecting it, it is very logical that you place far greater value on your spirit and soul just as you would value a chest full of gold coins more than one full of gummy bears. A small child will be foolish enough to take the gummy bears, an adult should not.
In Cosolargy, we avoid the confusion between two different kinds of “wisdom” by using different words. We call the study of the physical world and the brain/mind knowledge of it “Intellect” and use “Wisdom” only to refer to the absolute truth of that spiritual knowledge and wisdom called Gnosis.