“Sin must die in the Will of the Soul, or else there can be no vision of God. For the earthly Will, in sin and the wrathful nature, shall not see God. It is only the regenerated Nature, the inward Man, that is capable of the Divine Vision or enjoyment. The Soul must put on the the spirit and flesh of Christ; it cannot inherit the Kingdom of God in this earthly tabernacle. For the kingdom of sin hangs to it outwardly, which must putrify in the Earth, and rise again in new power.
“Hypocrisy, Flattery, and verbal Forgiveness avail nothing. We must be children, not by outward imputation, but by being born of God from within, which is resigned in and to God. …
“Flattery of ourselves by saying that Christ has paid the ransom and made satisfaction for our sins, and that He died for our sins, is a false and vain comfort, if we also do not die from sin in Him, and put on His merit, in new obedience, and live therein.” ~Jacob Boehme
Sin Must Die
Yes, sin must die if we are to grow spiritually. But what do we consider sin? Some think of crime more than sin. They think of murder, rape, robbery, and so on as sin. While such crimes are sins, just avoiding criminal behavior is not enough. We have to live according to the Law of God. But to do that, we must know the Law of God. Because our souls lie dormant until we make an effort to awaken them, we don’t have that direct connection with the worlds of spirit. Without that connection, we are ignorant of such things. That ignorance is the only real sin.
We don’t actually know God, we know only opinions of God passed on to us from others, who in turn learned from others, and on and on. The true Law of God is not known to us, either. We know only the opinions of men on what God’s Law is. And when we have a spiritual awakening, we find that those opinions are mostly false, misleading, or incomplete. Sin must die, and we must awaken to make that happen.
Many will assume that the “earthly will” that Boeme is talking about is the ego. I suppose that depends on your definition of ego, but for the generally accepted definition of it, that is not what he means. Ego is the “I”. It is our desire to accomplish. But there are all kinds of accomplishments. A materialistic ego is an earthly will, a spiritual one is not. The difference is the goals of the ego. So the idea is to turn the ego away from greed and materialism to spiritual goals, not to destroy or suppress it. With no ego, you have no desire to accomplish anything. God’s Army of Light needs to be made up of those who are active participants in the Great Plan, not pieces of driftwood floating with the tides.
What is the regenerated nature of man? It is the awakened spirit and soul. It is our true nature, our permanent nature. It is free of all sin, which is why sin must die to have it.
Many today are confused about this. They think simply because they have recognized materialism as a failed system, they are awakened. But that is only the first step in the process of awakening. Complete awakening is much more. One way to understand is to look at a few examples.
There are not many truly awakened people, and even fewer masters who are completely awakened. They don’t have to be told that sin must die, they just know it. Some of them are well known religious leaders and founders. That includes Jesus and Buddha. Others are recognized as saints, prophets, or spiritual teachers. This group includes St. Francis of Assisi who, after being awakened while watching a sunrise, starting calling all beings his brothers and sisters. I believe he did that because he could actually see them as spirits rather than the illusion of matter. Another is Jacob (or Jakob) Boehme quoted above. He had his awakening when the sun reflected off a shiny metal bowl and struck him in the eyes. But don’t get the idea that reflecting the sun off a metal bowl will bring an awakening to anyone. We do need to take in light from the spiritual sun to awaken. But the awakening will happen only to those in whom sin is gone. So sin must die first. Or at least be reduced to the point where it is minimal. That also means we must rid ourselves of false beliefs. Those beliefs block us from the truth. John of Ruysbroeck and Biensa Douno are others who awakened through the light of the spiritual sun.
Verbal Flattery and Forgiveness
We are taught that spiritual and religious people should forgive. We are also taught to compliment others. So why does Boehme say that verbal flattery and forgiveness is wrong? He is saying that because such things are good to say only if they are what we actually believe. If we compliment someone by saying something we don’t actually believe, it isn’t a true compliment. Likewise, if we verbally forgive a person, but don’t feel forgiveness in our hearts, it is false. If we don’t feel it, we shouldn’t say it. Just be quiet, or say something neutral. And if you compliment or forgive someone with the goal of getting something from them, you have not learned that sin must die and you need more practice or training.