“We have a clear example in Lucifer, and also in Adam the fist Man, of what SELF doeth, when it getteth the Light of Nature to be ts own, and when it can walk with the understanding in its own dominion. … They get the light of this outward world of nature into the possession of their reason, nothing comes of it but pride of themselves. And yet all the world so vehemently desireth and seeketh after this light as the best Treasure. …
“But while SELF, viz. Reason, is captivated and fast bound in a close and strong prison, … it is very dangerous for man to make use of the light of knowledge in SELF, as if it were in the Posession of SELF. For the wrath of the eternal and temporal nature will soon take pleasure in it, and then SELF and a man’s own reason will rise up in pride,and depart from the true resigned humility towards God, and will no longer eat the Fruit of Paradise.” ~Jacob Boehme
SELF is not Self
In Hindu scripture hat I have quoted from on this blog, Self is a good thing. It is our spiritual Self, our true Self, as opposed to our material self. But when Jacob Boehme says “SELF” he clearly means Ego, which is not at all the same as the Hindu Self.
Lucifer and Adam
So Boehme is telling us that the big mistake both Lucifer and Adam made was to let their egos get too strong and dominate their thinking. A dominant ego is a powerful thing, but it is also a troublemaker. It tends to be stubborn and not want to take advice from others. A dominant ego thinks it is in charge of everything, and that which it doesn’t know, namely spiritual things, are of no importance. When we have a dominant ego, we make rash, materialistic decision, like Adam deciding to eat the forbidden fruit. When we have an ego mind that is not guided by the soul ,we often act out of fear instead of wisdom. A life controlled by fear is one of the saddest lives we can possibly live.
Knowledge of Reason
Knowledge is a wonderful thing. But not all knowledge is equal. In fact, this knowledge from reason or ego is not the best kind of knowledge. First, it is limited to knowledge of the physical realm. That knowledge is often distorted because we only see the physical component of things. That is like seeing only two dimensions of a three-dimensional object. Partly because of that limitation, the ego can be fooled. It often beliefs things that are unproven opinion, not fact. That isn’t real knowledge.
Knowledge of Spirit
The knowledge we gain through our spiritual faculties is the only kind that is real. It is the only reliable knowledge. This is knowledge of Truth. This is Wisdom. As such, it can only make us humble rather than proud, courteous rather than arrogant.
Unfortunately, this wisdom doesn’t come to us automatically. It doesn’t even come to us easily. We have to work hard and long on developing the spiritual side of our being to make it happen.