“Here is the original cause, that the Creature of the Darkness wills to be above the Deity, as the Devil does; and here is the origin of Self-Pride;for such as the Source in the Creature is, such also is the Creature. For the Creature is proceeded … out of the eternal will of the dark Mind.
“And this will is not the Will of God,neither is it God but the reconceived Will, … which stands in the center of the Birth in the Sharpness. … And to generate the Virtue of eternal Omniscience and Wisdom in the Love that is God; and the procedure from Him, is His Willing.” ~Jacob Boehme
Beginning of Ego
While the archaic language of Boehme is difficult to follow, it seems clear to me that the “Creature” he is talking about is either Ego, or man under control of Ego. If you have read any spiritual writings at all, you are probably not surprised that he looks upon ego as something negative. He actually says that it can be traced back to the Devil and the Darkness and stems from the desire to be above God(Deity).
In Gnostic spirituality, we say that it is this desire to be above God, or belief that you are as great as God, that led the fallen angels or Demiurge to try to create like God. The result was the seriously flawed creation of the material universe. And since our physical bodies and minds are part of that creation of the Demiurge, we have that ego in us as well.
Birth in Sharpness
I believe that the “birth in the Sharpness” Boehme references is simply birth into the dimension of matter. When we are born at this level, we are born with an ego, with the Creature within us. It is unavoidable.
At the same time, we are born with spiritual faculties that are dormant since they are not of this realm. We can survive on the physical level without ever awakening those spiritual faculties. But our physical body will die one day. To survive beyond that, we must awaken those spiritual faculties before it happens. You can’t wait until the flood has happened to build a boat.
Virtue of Eternal Wisdom
So Boehme is telling us that following our own will and ego is essentially serving the Darkness. He advises us to seek the “Virtue of eternal Omniscience and Wisdom in the Love that is God” instead. We do that by obeying the will of God rather than what we think is our own will in our egos, but is really the will of the Darkness. So if we want to achieve wisdom and knowledge, and become truly eternal beings, we need to follow the Will of God.
An important thing to note, however, is that Boehme never advises us to destroy our ego, even if we could. Hat is because he is smart enough and wise enough to know that would not be a smart thing to do. It isn’t even a spiritual thing to do. That is because on the material plane, we need drive and desires to get things accomplished. Without ego, we have no drive. We become sheep who are controlled by government and business—which is why those forces promote those “gurus” who advise people to utterly destroy the ego. It is even important for the spiritual student to have ego or he would lose all desire to grow and become a greater spiritual being.
We need ego, but we need it under control, on a leash. The only way to get it under control is by awakening the spirit and soul. Only a fully conscious soul can control the ego and use its power for good.