“My Son, let not the eye of nature with the will of the wonders depart from that eye which is introverted into the Divine Liberty, and into the Eternal Light of the Holy Majesty. But let it draw to thee by union with the heavenly internal eye those wonders which are externally wrought out and manifested in visible Nature. For while thou art in the world, and hast an honest employment, thou art certainly by the order of providence obliged to labor in it. … Keep, therefore, in the Center, and stir not from the Presence of God revealed within thy Soul; let the world and the devil make never so great a noise and bustle to draw thee out, mind them not; they cannot hurt thee.” ~Jacob Boehme
The “eye of nature” and the “eye which is introverted” makes us wonder what Boehme is talking about, but it really isn’t that difficult. By the “eye of nature,” he simply means our material eyes that look toward Nature, or the material world, as reality. The introverted eye can then be understood as that “eye” which looks beyond the illusions of matter into the permanent reality of the spiritual worlds. One thing that may be misleading is his calling this eye “introverted”. This may cause you to thing that is about turning inward to find that spiritual reality, but it isn’t. He is simply saying that this “eye” is found within us; it is spiritual, not physical. As far as the idea that this eye should look inward, that is a good idea, but it also needs to look outward and to recognize the spiritual hidden in the world all around us. There are gurus, especially in India, who teach that all spiritual truth is found by looking within, their proof of that is nonexistent and those who draw inward and ignore the external world rarely, if ever, accomplish anything.
Boehme correctly indicates that we get a correct view of the world by using both eyes and seeing the external as well as the internal, the material as well as the spiritual. He wisely points out that while we live in the material world, we must deal with it and work in it, but we must do so without falling down the well of materialism and without becoming so attached to material things that they become anchors holding us back. When he advises us to keep in the center, he is simply saying that we must keep a balance between both sides, not giving up on spiritual growth just because we find ourselves presently trapped in the realm of matter, but also not withdrawing from it and living in a land of dreams. We need to remember that the material world rarely changes unless inspired spiritual people push for it to happen.
Most people are not aware of this, but back in 1984 there was a critical period in which it had been predicted that World War III would almost certainly start. Although this was a material event, spiritual people did not ignore it. Groups of spiritual people from various spiritual schools all over the world, including Cosolargy (that was before I was in the group), prayed for peace and fasted during this critical period and the war did not happen. I can’t say with certainty that their prayers stopped the war, but the point is that they got involved and used their spiritual knowledge to aid the material world.
Boehme then advises us to ignore the attempts of the devil and his demonic minions to pull us away from the path of spiritual growth. This is certainly good advice. I don’t agree with him when he says “they cannot hurt thee”. They may make threats they cannot keep, but they can, through trickery, convince you to leave the path of spiritual growth, and while that may not destroy you, it certainly does harm you. So open that spiritual eye, but once you do, use both eyes.