“Beloved reader, this is no jesting matter; he that accounteth it so, hath not tried it, neither hath he yet passed the Judgment; but his conscience is still asleep; and though it should be deferred to his latter days, which is very dangerous, yet he must pass through the Judgment or fiery trial. Happy is he that passeth through it in the time of his youth, before the Devil buildeth his fort of prey strong; he may afterwards prove a laborer in the heavenly vineyard. … This judgment continues a long while upon many a poor soul; several years, if he doth not earnestly and early put on the Armor of Christ, but stayeth til the judgment of tribulation.” ~Jacob Boehme
Boehme says that in many of us the “conscience” is still sleeping. It is more accurate to say the spirit and soul are still sleeping. Many don’t realize that when we are born on the material plane, our body and mind awakens, but the spirit and soul do not. Our spiritual faculties do not like it here. It isn’t their realm, their land. So an effort must be made to awaken them.
Awaken That Sleeping Soul Now
Boehme further says that deferring your spiritual awakening until you are old and dying is “very dangerous”. It is dangerous because you can die at any age. Deciding to wait until you are old to awaken hose spiritual faculties often means you will never get it done. A second reason to not put it off is that awakening is just the first step on a long path. Your body and mind have to continue to grow and develop after you are born. Your awakened spirit has to continue to grow and develop also.
Mr. Boehme gives the third reason for getting it done. The more time you spend with your spiritual facilities dormant, the more the devil and the dark forces can control you. Boehme uses an excellent allegory when he calls it the Devil’s Fort. This “fort” is the false beliefs and false “knowledge” that you have been filled with by the dark ones and their materialistic agents. These mental filters are well-known to modern psychology. Everything, we see, hear, read, etc. is passed through these filters. Only that which is acceptable to them gets past those fort gates. Clearly, if you can break down the fort before it is tall and strong, the more likely you are to succeed.
Judgment Continues for the Sleeping Soul
When Boehme says that the sleeping soul will continue to face “judgment,” I think what he means is that with the spirit and soul sleeping, the person will continue to suffer because of being trapped in a hole of ignorance. We live in an age of information. Some say an age of information overload. I don’t think it is overload so much as having no way of telling true information from false.
The awakened soul is not overwhelmed by this information. Nor is she fooled by the false information. An awakened soul can tell truth from lies more easily that the average person. A fully enlightened soul that has achieved Gnosis can rarely be fooled.
I certainly hope everyone reading this understands that Boehme is speaking allegorically when he says that when the sleeping soul is awakened, that person can become a laborer in the Heavenly Vineyard. Another allegory of this sort says that the awakened become soldiers of light in the war of light against darkness. Some don’t like to hear that, being agents of peace. But it is allegorical. The warriors of light do not attack and kill the dark ones. Instead they help them to learn and repent. Satan himself must repent in the end, and return to the flock.
So Boehme means that we must become workers for God. We must not just be trying to save ourselves, but also our fellow beings and the entire “fallen” universe of matter.