“Thou will ask, ‘What is the New Regeneration?’ or ‘how is it done in Man?’ Hear and see, stop not thy Mind, but not thy mind be filled by the spirit of this world, with its might and pomp. Take thy mind and break through the spirit of this world entirely. Incline thy mind into the kind love of God; make thy purpose earnest and strong to break through the pleasure of this world with thy Mind, and not to regard it. Consider that thou art not at home in this world, but that thou art a strange guest, captivated in a closed prison. Cry and call to Him who has the Key to the prison; yield thyself up to Him, in obedience, righteousness, modesty, charity, and truth. And seek not so eagerly after the Kingdoms of this World. … Then the chaste virgin will meet thee in thy in thy Mind highly and deeply, and will lead thee to thy bridegroom, who has the key to the Gate of the Deep. … Thou will break through as the daybreak; … yet the rays of the break of the day will appear to thee in the Paradise, in which place the chaste virgin stands, waiting for thee with the joy of the angels, who will very kindly receive thee in thy newborn mind and spirit.” ~Jacob Boehme
Born again, rebirth, regeneration. Whatever words we use for it, the true meaning of them all is the same. Unfortunately, many have no idea what that meaning is. When Jesus spoke of the need to be born again, his apostles questioned how that could be possible. They had already been born once, they noted, how could they do it again? Believers in reincarnation of the physical body think that is what it refers to. Others believe that simply becoming aware of the illusion and falsehoods of the world of materialism is being reborn, or regenerated. While all of those ideas have some merit, the great spiritual teachers, masters, and Messiahs would not have placed so much importance on such ordinary events. They had to be talking about something else, something that rarely happened. That is why they came here to teach us about it and how to do it.
The regeneration they speak of is the rebirth of the spirit and soul. It is not truly a rebirth, because the spirit and soul are never dead. They are, however, dormant when we come into this world. Making them conscious and fully functional is the new regeneration Boehme is talking about.
Stop not Thy Mind
At first reading, it seems that what Boehme is saying about the mind is contradictory. But you need to understand that when he says “Mind,” it is not the same as when he says “mind” with a lowercase “m”. By Mind, he means the spiritual mind, or soul-mind. But when he says “mind,” he means the physical and mental brain-mind. So in his somewhat convoluted way, he is telling us to listen to and develop the Spiritual Mind and turn the brain-mind away from the petty things of the world of matter. So when he tells us to “break through the spirit of this world,” he means that we need to let go of the world of matter and seek the world of spirit. As the Buddhists say, we need to lose our attachments to things. We can have things, we don’t need to live in poverty in a cave, but we can’t be attached to things.
Not at Home
Boehme says that we are not at home in this world, but merely guests. Some interpret that as meaning we come from another planet within the universe of matter. But Boehme means something greater than coming from another planet or star. He means that we came from, and belong in, another dimension, a dimension of spirit. The entire universe of matter is not our home. The physical body is not our true self. The physical body is temporary. No one can deny that. Only the spirit and soul are permanent. They were not born and they will not die. On the other hand, the entire universe of matter is destined to end. Not “end” by destruction, but by transformation back into spirit.
Captivated in a Closed Prison?
Did Boehme really mean “captivated?” The definition of that word doesn’t seem to go along with the idea of being trapped in a “closed prison”. It generally means that tour attention is being held by something beautiful of entertaining. While we might say that the realm of matter does hold us in that way, I think it more likely that Boehme meant “captured” rather than “captivated,” and the translator made an error (Boehme didn’t write in English).
Either way, the point holds. The world of matter is a prison because it hides us from reality. It is the ultimate smoke and mirrors of the stage magician. It is the Cave of Plato. And when we believe it, we fail to look beyond. We need a Toto to pull the curtain away from the wizard for us.
But it isn’t someone else who opens that curtain for us, we must do it ourselves. We can get guidance and direction from others, but we have to do
it ourselves. While there is a curtain or veil that is external to us, the primary curtain is within. It is the beliefs and filters in our subconscious minds. We need to remove or suppress those filters in order to truly see beyond. Once we see beyond, we can go beyond.
The Chaste Virgin
When we get beyond the curtain or veil that hides the truth, we will, according to Boehme, meet the “Chaste Virgin” who will help us understand the truth. This virgin is the Gnostic Sophia: Wisdom. Wisdom is found only beyond that veil. It is found only in the realm of spirit where no lies can exist.
Sophia is the chaste virgin because she has never been polluted with materialism, never been trapped in the closed prison. She will lead you to the Bridegroom (or Bride) meaning she will help you awaken your soul. It is the awakened soul that is the true mate of the body and mind. When the whole being that is you functions as one, you become a power to contend with. Regeneration is more than something that affects you spiritual life after your physical death. It helps you function now and always. So leave the prison and seek regeneration.