“The Pride of Nature indeed inclines one man more strongly than another, but it forces none that they must be proud; and if there be a force [or strong compulsion upon any,] then it is when man willingly for temporary honor and pleasure sale lets the Devil into his eternal essences; and then the Devil sees presently how that man is inclined by the Spirit of the World, and in that way tempts him accordingly. If man lets him but in, he is then a guest very hard to be driven out again; yet it is possible, if the man entirely and sincerely purposes to turn, and to live according to the Will of God.” ~Jacob Boehme
Pride of Nature
What Boehme is calling “the Pride of Nature” is not natural pride, or being proud of the accomplishments of Mother Nature. He is talking about ego. Specifically, a puffed-up ego caught up is materialistic desires. A person to whom the word “treasure” means a pile of temporary money rather than the eternal treasure of an immortal spirit and soul.
Need for Ego
Ego is necessary. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t have one. But any tool can be harmful when misused and ego is probably the most misused tool we humans have to work with.
Without ego, we have no drive, no passion, no desire to accomplish. This may stop you from doing evil deeds, but it also stops you from doing good ones. You become like a piece of driftwood floating on the tides. Some governments promote the destruction of ego since it makes their people into sheeple—people who behave like sheep or contented cows.
God has little use for those people. He needs people who can accomplish things for the good of humanity and the universe. He needs people who want to help and be co-creators. Sheeple can’t do that. The key is to let the spiritual faculties control the ego, not destroy it. First, of course, those spiritual faculties have to be awakened.
Let the Devil In
The man who has too much pride and ego seeks worldly goods and honors. Titles and public recognition appeal to him. This creates what we call in computers a back door. It makes an entrance for demons to enter us and control us.
An odd thing is that the devils and demons usually don’t tempt us with things that are outside of their realm. They temp with the gifts of the material plane which is their home, their domain. And they can probably deliver on many of the material things they will promise to you. They will, of course, be careful not to tell you such things are both temporary and illusions. It would defeat their purpose to do so.
As Boehme points out, however, it is very difficult to get rid of those demons once you let them in. It is possible, but difficult. It is always best to not let them in at all.
Need not Greed
But just as we don’t need to get rid of ego, we don’t need to rid ourselves of all material possessions. We need food, clothing, and shelter to survive in this world. We can have those things under certain conditions. The condition is that we can’t get attached to things or get greedy for more than we need. Greed is not only one of the deadly sins on its own, but it is indicative of an enlarged ego. Greed means too much of that Pride in Nature.
I have noticed recently, when I walk my dogs in the park , a young woman who walks around the park two or three times for exercise. It’s a small park and this take about twenty minutes. Nonetheless, she not only has to have her cell phone with her, she is always on it talking to friends. She can’t put it away for twenty minutes while she exercises. That’s attachment.
I have also noticed in recent weeks people who refuse orders to evacuate an area when ordered to do so. They are not doing this because they don’t believe the storm or fire is coming, but because they value their property more than their lives. The fools in the media love to interview those who survive such foolishness. The should be interviewing the relatives of the ones who died from it. When you place more value on the things you own rather than your own life, you have definitely become attached. That to is part of that Pride in Nature.
Pride isn’t always bad. Only egotistical pride is. We can be proud of ourselves when we do good for others. Pride in following God’s Will is appropriate. But we must remember that we never work alone so the pride is not for ourselves. It must be or the accomplishments of the spiritual people who are the Soldiers of Light working on God’s Great Plan.