sin must die

Sin Must Die to Allow Enlightenment

“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.

Earthly Will

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.

Regenerated Nature

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.

Awakened Masters

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.

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Siddhartha

Siddhartha Begins His Spiritual Journey

“Siddhartha was thus loved by everyone. He was a source of joy for everybody, he was a delight for them all. But he, Siddhartha, was not a source of joy for himself, he found no delight in himself. … Dreams and restless thoughts came into his mind, flowing from the water of the river, sparkling from the stars of the night, melting from the beams of the sun, dreams came to him and a restlessness of the soul, fuming from the sacrifices, breathing forth from the verses of the Rig-Veda, being infused into him, drop by drop, from the teachings of the old Brahmans. Siddhartha had started to nurse discontent in himself, he had started to feel that the love of his father and the love of his mother, and also the love of his friend, Govinda, would not bring him joy forever. … The sacrifices and the invocation of the gods were excellent—but was that all? …

“Not to be looked down upon was the tremendous amount of enlightenment which lay here collected and preserved by innumerable generations of wise Brahmans.—But where were the Brahmans, where the priests, where the wise men or penitents, who had succeeded in not just knowing this deepest of all knowledge but also to live it? Where was the knowledgeable one who wove his spell to bring his familiarity with the Atman out of the sleep into the state of being awake. …

“Was not Atman in him, did not the pristine source spring from his heart? It had to be found, the pristine source in one’s own self, it had to be possessed! Everything else was searching, was a detour, was getting lost.” ~Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha Begins His Journey

Siddhartha had grown up in a spiritual family. His father was a Brahman. So he knew the importance of spiritual development. He knew it was necessary. So he practiced his meditation diligently. He prayed and fasted. But eventually, like many today looking around at the conventional churches, realized that these daily practices were not helping him progress. They were doing little more than taking up time and keeping him under control. He mentions at one point that these spiritual practices are doing nothing more than helping one hide from the world. He realized that they did no more than alcohol or drugs do for many. He was little more than a drunk who hid from reality and real spiritual growth in ritual fasting, praying, and meditating.

Siddhartha and Asceticism

So Siddhartha then decides to join a group of ascetics. He gives up his fine clothes and good meals and begins to wear rags ad eat little. He soon discovers that this path isn’t really doing any more than the constant praying and meditation.

Then he hears of Gautama Buddha. Everyone is saying this man has become a true Buddha, an enlightened one, yet has rejected asceticism as the best path to follow.

Siddhartha and Buddha

So Siddhartha, along with his best friend Govinda, leaves the ascetics and goes off in search of this new enlightened one, Gautama Buddha. They find him and listen to him give a public talk. Both Siddhartha and Govinda are impressed with Buddha’s speech and whole personality. He is clearly one who has achieved a high level of enlightenment. This causes Govinda to join the group of devoted followers who pledge to listen to and follow the teachings of the master. Siddhartha, however, does not. He meets with Buddha and explains to him that, while he recognizes that the Buddha is an enlightened one, he has learned from Buddha’s own teachings, that simply listening to the talks of an enlightened one will not bring about his own enlightenment. He must seek enlightenment within himself and not from others. Buddha smiles a faint agreement and wishes him well.

What Siddhartha Learned

We hear so much these days from spiritual people on social media that religion is about hearing other’s experiences, spirituality is having your own. Yet those same people ask others for recommendations of books and videos that can bring them enlightenment. That is doing exactly the same thing as the religious people, just with different books! And following meditation methods with little or no evidence that they accomplish anything except turning people into docile sheeple is no different than the religious people attending weekly services that have become empty ceremony. They are correct in rejecting the empty ceremonies as a path to true enlightenment, but too many of them are simply following a different, yet equally empty, spiritual path.

Siddhartha learned that we must awaken our own spiritual self and learn from that true self. All we can get from books or teachers are methods for doing that. The teachers cannot give us truth, they can only point us in the right direction. And hiding from the world in drugs, booze, or meditation isn’t going to do that.

More to Come

This is only the beginning of Siddhartha’s journey. I’m sure I will have more to say about it as it continues.

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dog-like mind

Dog-Like Mind Needs to Become Angelic

“Now if thou hast had an envious [spiteful] dogged mind, and hast grudged everything to others, as a dog does with a bone which himself cannot eat, then there appears such a doggish mind, and according to that source is the worm of the Soul figured ,and such a will it keeps in the Eternity, in the first principle. …

“For the door of the deep to the Light of God appears to thee no more; for thou art a perfect creature of the first principle. And now though thou dost elevate thyself, and would break open the door of the deep, yet that cannot be done. … Thou fliest out aloft over the Kingdom of God, and cannot enter in; and the higher thou fliest, the deeper thou art in the Abyss, and thou seest not God yet, who is so near to thee.

“Therefore, it can only be done here in this life (while the Soul sticks in the Will of the Mind) so that thou breakest open the gate of the deep, and press in to God through a New Birth.” ~Jacob Boehme

A Dog-Like Mind

What people thought of when you mentioned dogs several hundred years ago is quite different than today. So when Boehme talks about someone having a mind like a dog, he doesn’t mean loving, devoted, and well-behaved. He means one who is full of greed, jealousy, and self-importance. In short, a materialist. Perhaps even a narcissist, although I think that word is being overly used these days. So a dog-like mind is not a good thing. At least not according to the way they thought of dogs back then.

Fate of the Materialist

So what Boehme is trying to get across in the first part of the quote is that the materialist has little, if any, change of achieving significant spiritual growth. Because he put so much thought and effort into collecting material goods and wealth beyond what he actually needs, he has trained his mind to follow that path. That he could suddenly stumble upon a path of spiritual enlightenment is highly unlikely. It happens in rare cases, but relying upon it is not a good idea. It’s like relying upon winning the lottery when you retire so you have money to live on. The dog-like mind is stuck in the dark forest of matter and cannot see the spiritual Light.

Door to Deep Light

I think the choice of words Boehme used here is unfortunate. It will likely be interpreted by most spiritual students today as supporting the idea that all truth is found within and the outside world should be completely ignored. But we know that Boehme’s own awakening was triggered from something outside. Specifically, He was awakened when the sun reflecting off a shiny metal bowl he was holding struck him in the eye. Yes, he had been studying religion and spirituality for some time and we can assume he was on the verge of awakening before that happened. Nonetheless, it was an external event that triggered his awakening. It was also not a coincidence that his awakening closely resembles that of St. Francis who awakened while watching a sunrise from his sickbed.

While there is certainly good reason to turn within and explore our inner self, it is the external spiritual sun that most often triggers a true spiritual awakening. And by a spiritual awakening, I don’t mean simply realizing that materialist is a failed system and there is more to reality than matter. That is just the first tiny step towards an actual awakening. A real spiritual awakening happens when the dormant spirit and soul are awakened. That takes more than just positive thought and desire. It also takes a lot of energy. The best source of that spiritual energy is the spiritual sun. That is the door to Deep Light. So forget your dog-like mind, even the spiritual version of it, and explore sun gazing and other techniques beyond simple meditation.

Elevate Yourself

You could interpret what Boehme is saying here as meaning that we have to overcome the ego to develop our spiritual self. While that is true, we don’t need to destroy the ego. It is a useful tool, especially in the world of matter. But we do need to keep it under control and a reasonable size.

Specifically, what Boehme is talking about here are those who elevate themselves by declaring that they are awakened and enlightened with no justification for doing so except an inflated ego. He says that when such people fly up to Heaven and God, allegorically speaking, they will find themselves unable to enter. God is not fooled by dog-like minds and their pretend enlightenment.

Awaken Now

So if you seriously do want to enter heaven and become one with God and the All again, you need to really awaken. And, as Boehme says, you can’t wait until your physical body is dead to do that. It will be too late. You need to awaken and develop your spirit and soul while you still live in a physical body.

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divine child

Divine Child and the Awakened Soul

“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. Continue reading “Divine Child and the Awakened Soul”

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