“Now then, if we consider the miserable Fall of Adam and Eve, we need not to run long after the mad Antichrist, to learn wisdom from him; he has none. Let us only consider ourselves, and compare the heavenly and earthly images one with the other, and so we shall see the whole root and ground thereof: We have no need of a Doctor, nor of any strange language about it, it stands written in our Body and Soul; and when we see it, it terrifies us so much, that we tremble at it, As Eve and Adam did in their Fall.
“And if we do not come to know the Treader upon the Serpent in the mark of the partition, in the gate of the deep, between the world and the kingdom of hell, then we see nothing else but misery and death, which might well awaken us from sleep.
“Do not behold thyself, thou blind mind, and consider thyself, where is thy angelic form in thee? Why are thou so angry, stern, and malicious? Wherefore does thou elevate thyself in thy wickedness, in pride, in might, and pomp, and boasts thyself a brave and potent beast? … Wherefore hast thou let the spirit of this world into thee, which seduces thee into high mindedness, into proud stoutness, into covetousness and lying, into falsehood and treachery?” ~Jacob Boehme
The Miserable Fall
The fall of Adam and Eve is not specific to them. They represent all of humanity. We have all fallen into the dimension of matter. This dimension was not created by the true God, the God of Spirit and Light, but by the fallen angels, the Demiurge of Gnostic scripture.
Albert Einstein said we cannot solve a problem using the same mentality that created it. So Boehme correctly advises us that we cannot expect help from the Antichrist (Demiurge) in gaining the wisdom we need to get out of this prison of matter. The owner and operator of the prison doesn’t help the prisoners escape. Turning to the Demiurge for spiritual advice is like turning to a prairie dog in the desert for swimming lessons. What that all means is that if we want to escape the prison of matter and climb up to the dimensions of spirit, we need to get advice from spiritual beings that are in those higher dimensions. We start by looking within ourselves and awakening our sleeping soul.
No Doctor Needed
Boehme says we don’t need a doctor to help us escape our bodies and awaken the soul. I think that today, we would say guru or spiritual teacher instead of a doctor. In any case, he is telling us that we need to trust our own soul, our own feelings. If it feels wrong, it probably is. Don’t just assume that because someone has a degree, a title, or has written a popular spiritual book that he actually knows what he is teaching. Some such writers have reduced true spiritual teachings to something that is like fast-food spirituality. It has about the same amount of spiritual nutrition as a Big Mack has physical nutrition.
Boehme adds that the truth is written in our body and soul. I’m not sure there is any of it in the body, but it definitely is found in the soul. Unfortunately, when we are born into the physical third dimension, our soul is in a dormant state much like a coma. It needs to be awakened. That is the real meaning of having a spiritual awakening. It is not a mental thing, but a spiritual one. This is what Jesus was talking about when he said we had to be born again. Many of the ancient schools called this awakening of the soul “rebirth”. Boehme was known to have had his awakening when the sunlight reflecting off a shiny metal bowl he was carrying struck him in the eyes. Yet few today accept that sun-gazing, when done properly, will awaken the sleeping soul.
Know the Treader Upon the Serpent
It is certainly a good idea to know one who has tread upon the serpent. But who is that?
Statues found in Catholic churches often have Mary, the mother of Jesus, stepping on a snake. What many don’t know is that this image was first found in temples dedicated to Astarte. When Christianity moved into areas where Astarte worship had been common and took over the temples, they declared that these statues were actually a representation of Mary.
But we don’t have to turn to Mary, or even Jesus, as one who is a treader upon the serpent. When you take this phrase in the symbolic way that it was meant, it is anyone who has successfully broken out of the physical and mental prison of matter and awakened their spiritual faculties. So while Boehme had previously told us that a “doctor”, or spiritual teacher is not necessary, he is now advising us to get to know at least one such person. This is not as contradictory as it may, at first, seem to be.
Boehme is telling us that if we are fortunate enough to find a real spiritual teacher, one who is a treader upon the serpent, we should take that person’s advice. But we should take it with a grain of salt. And we should never let such a person teach us all there is to know about the realms of spirit. The purpose of such teachers is to help us awaken our own spirit and soul. Once we do that, we gain truth and knowledge through direct experience. We become a fellow treader upon the serpent. He is also saying, however, that we shouldn’t sit on our hands and do nothing simply because we haven’t yet found a reliable guru. We all need to start on the path of spiritual awakening and development as soon as possible. Even if we make a few wrong turns, if we learn to rely upon our intuition, we will be able to correct our errors. And when we have made enough progress, we will somehow be brought together with one who is a treader upon the serpent.