“The Divine Child which was, in the hour of the mystic conversion, born in the spark of the soul, must learn like other children to walk. …There are many eager trials, many hopes, many disappointments. At last, as it seems suddenly, the moment comes; tottering is over, the muscles have learned their lesson, … and the new self suddenly finds itself—it knows not how—standing upright and secure. That is the moment which marks the boundary between the purgative and the illuminative states.
“The process of this passage of the ‘new’ or spiritual man from his awakening to the illuminated life, has been set out by Jacob Boehme in language which is at one poetic and precise, ‘When Christ the corner stone [ie., the divine principle latent in man] stirreth himself in the extinguished image of man in his hearty conversion and repentance,’ he says, ‘then virgin Sophia appeareth in the stirring of the Spirit of Christ in the extinguished image, in her virgins attire before the Soul; at which the soul is amazed and astonished…’” ~Evelyn Underhill
The Divine Child
There are several ways to interpret “Divine Child”. It could reference Jesus. It could reference the final coming of Christ into the world of man, or it could simply represent the awakening of the Christ Consciousness within ourselves. I think it is clearly the latter in this case.
Another way to look at it is that the awakened soul is the Divine Child. It is like a child, according to Underhill, because it needs training, it needs to mature. Like a newborn, it has much to learn. Awakening (birth) is just the beginning.
Learning to Walk
Ms. Underhill says that this Divine Child, born in the “spark of the soul.” must learn to walk. This is an allegory, of course. The soul doesn’t walk, but it does grow and learn. It doesn’t learn in the same way that a human infant learns, but it learns nonetheless.
The soul may be considered to be a tiny piece of God. A tiny piece that is connected to all the other pieces like bricks in a wall or links in a chain. Because our divine soul is linked to all the others, it has access to all the knowledge, all the truth that exists. But when first awakened, it doesn’t know that. It doesn’t remember that it knows everything, so it has to learn again. It doesn’t remember how to assess all of that truth and wisdom. So it learns gradually, like an infant learning to walk.
Nourishing the Soul
Learning to walk is only part of it. Like any other child, this Divine Child must be fed. It needs nourishment. It isn’t nourished by mother’s milk. It certainly isn’t nourished by a canned formula. It is nourished with light. Not ordinary light, but spiritual light. That special light that originates with God, and flows to us through the spiritual sun.
Unfortunately, few of us have been taught to look to the spiritual sun. In fact, ancient civilizations such as the Romans, who didn’t want people becoming spiritually aware, made looking at the sun illegal. Today, we have foolish medical authorities telling people to avoid even going out into the sun regularly. But some are awakening anyway. And like a snowball rolling down a hill, the group of those truly awakening grows bigger and bigger. The divine child has many homes.
The inner quote from Jacob Boehme says that virgin Sophia appears in that Christ Consciousness awakened by the Divine Child in the soul. He is saying that real knowledge, that is Gnosis which comes from Sophia, is found in that fully awakened and conscious soul. It is not, as some modern Gnostics seem to believe, found in ancient books or secret ceremonies. The ceremonies were to help gain Gnosis, though not Gnosis themselves. Wisdom and Divine Knowledge is found in the soul, nowhere else. Which is why the Divine Child is found in the soul.