“Regard not any scorn of the world, as considering that it doth but scorn thy enemy, and that it become a fool to it. Nay, do thou thyself account it thy fool, which Adam caused thee to possess,and made to be thy false heir. Cast out of thy house the Son of the Bond-Woman, that strange child which God did not give to be in the house of life in Adam in the beginning; for the son of the Bond-Woman must not inherit with the son of the Free-Woman.
“The earthly will is but the son of the Bond-Woman. For the four elements should have been man’s servants, but Adam hath brought them into himself, therefore God said to Abraham when He had opened the Covenant of the promise to him, cast out the son of the bond-woman, for he shall not inherit with the son of the free. This son of the free is Christ, which God of His grace hath brought again into flesh for us, namely, a new or renewed mind, wherein … the eternal will of the soul may draw and drink in the water of life, of which Christ speaks. … It shall spring up in him and be a fountain of eternal life. This fountain is the renovation of the mind or will of the Soul.” ~Jacob Boehme
Scorn of the World
This is far more of a problem today than it was in the time of Boehme, several hundred years ago. In those days, people had respect for religion and for those who practiced it fervently. Some may have been unfriendly towards spiritual people who didn’t follow the accepted religious practices, however. We know that Boehme had to be careful with what he wrote because he could have been accused of blasphemy and imprisoned for it.
Today the problem is nearly the reverse, but even more of a problem. It is religious people who are shunned or laughed at, to a large degree. On the other side, those who do follow the major churches laugh at those following more spiritual practices rather than churches. In some cases, it is justified. So many follow self-appointed gurus who make up their teachings with no authority at all. Many of them are only interested in selling books, not saving souls. Still, we all should have the right to follow the path we choose.
Then there are those who call themselves spiritual simply because they are against religion of any sort. This further confuses matter for those who truly are awakening their spiritual selves and are looking for guidance. They won’t find it in the atheists who call themselves spiritual.
Thy Fool Called Ego
What Boehme is calling Adam’s fool is the ego or materialistic mind. The earthly mind concerns itself only with matters of the physical world. Some spiritual writers claim, with ridiculously excessive simplicity, that the path to spiritual truth is to destroy this ego. Yet those authors have not done so themselves or they would never have been able to write a book. Ego gives us drive, the desire to accomplish. It needs to be controlled, not destroyed. We need to continue to function in the physical world at the same time that we develop our spiritual faculties. We can’t do that without ego.
Son of the Bond-Woman
Once again Boehme is talking about the ego. A bond-woman is a slave or indentured servant. This seems to be saying that ego is a slave, but I think it really means to say that we are slaves of ego. Boehme continues on to say that the four elements should have been the servants of man. That is, man should be fully in charge of the physical elements of the planet. I truth, we are, we just don’t know it. Because of our ignorance, we don’t exercise that control of the planet as we should. We fill with angry and violent thoughts. Nature responds with hurricanes and earthquakes. We are jealous of our neighbor’s success, so nature responds with droughts and plagues. We think we have nothing to do with such things, but collectively, we are making them happen. But we are sons of slaves because we don’t know it and don’t control it. Once again, the solution is not to destroy the ego. That would only leave the planet in control of others who still have an ego. The solution is to control the ego and use the powers of the mind wisely.
Will of the Soul
How do we control the Ego? We do it with the will of the soul. The soul is like a spiritual mind. It is superior to the physical brain-mind in many ways. That doesn’t mean it should replace it. It only means that the soul should be controlling the brain-mind. But a sleeping soul can’t do that.
When we are born into the material world, our spirit and soul are with us, but in a dormant state. That is probably because falling into matter is a traumatic experience for our spirit and soul. So they arrive here in a kind of coma. Awakening them is the first and foremost duty of the spiritual student. Only then, can the veil be lifted from the Great illusion that surrounds us. Only then can the soul take control of the ego and keep it in check. The ego and the soul are the yin-yang of humanity. We need both to fully function in this world.