“We often see in this day how the same error bringeth danger upon the enlightened Children of God, in whom when the Sun of the Great presence of God’s Holiness shineth, by which the life passeth into triumph, and then Reason beholds therein as in a glass, and the will goeth on in SELF, in its own searching, and will … of its own motion and strength force itself into it, how that from thence arise abominable pride. … Then the subtle Devil insinuates himself into the Creature, and shift the center of Nature, and bringeth evil or false desires. … Yet the outward Light of the outward nature still remains shining on the Creature and supposes that it is the still the first Light of God, but it is not.” ~Jacob Boehme
A Danger to the Enlightened
There are several things that can be a danger to spiritual students. The ego is certainly one of them. So is the Devil or Satan and his demon minions. I don’t think ego is really a danger to the truly enlightened, however. Part of being enlightened is that one has overcome the earthly temptations that ego thrives on. Further, to be enlightened, one must have made the ego subordinate to the much wiser soul.
Children of God
We are all Children of God in the sense that our spirit and souls were created by Him. But I think Boehme means more than that. He is talking about those who are on the path of spiritual growth and enlightenment. Those who are seeking to serve God and His Divine Plan rather than their own whims and desires. Such people are more often attacked by Satan and his minions simply because they are trying to leave Satan’s realm of matter and joining God’s realm of spirit. Satan doesn’t want anyone awakening their spirits and when they do, tried to stop their progress. This is why the spiritual path is rarely an easy one. But the rewards are worth the struggle.
Sun of the Great Presence
The sun that Boehme calls the “ Sun of the Great presence of God’s Holiness” is the spiritual sun. It is the sun that has the great Light that comes form God. It is that Light, and only that Light, which can awaken the spirit and soul that lie dormant in man.
The first duty of the spiritual student is to start taking in that light to awaken his spiritual faculties. The second is to send some of that light to other beings including humans, animals, and even plants. If you wish to be enlightened, this is what to do.
Danger of Ego
What Boehme is calling SELF and will is actually Ego. Ego can be a problem for one trying to develop his spiritual self. The ego is oriented to functioning in the world of matter and makes every effort to keep us in that world. This is how the mistaken idea came about that the spiritual student needs to destroy her ego. That is not only unnecessary, but foolish.
The carpenter doesn’t throw away his hammer because he has obtained a saw. He knows that both tools have their use and keeps both. The same applies to ego. As long as we have to function in the realm of matter, we need ego. But we do need to keep it from completely dominating our thinking. That is where an awakened soul comes in. Soul and ego working together makes us an integrated being, and that gives us the best of both worlds. So let the ego and soul work together and become truly enlightened.