earnest disciple

Earnest Disciple Learns and Grows

An Earnest Disciple

“Herein is described the manner of passing the Gulf which divides the two principles of states of Heaven and Hell. …

“The disciple being very earnest to be more fully instructed how he might arrive at the Supersensual life, … came again to the master … and thus brake forth:

“Disciple: O my Master! My Master! I have endeavored to recollect my Soul in the presence of God, and to cast myself into that Deep where no creature does, nor can dwell; that I might hear the voice of the Lord speaking in me, and be initiated into that high Life. … But alas! I neither nor see as I should; there is still such a partition wall in me which beats back the Heavenly Sounds in their passage, and obstructs the entrance of that Light by which all Divine Objects are discoverable. … Wherefore be so kind as to inform me what is required on my part, that this partition may be broken or removed.

“Master: This partition is the creaturely will in thee; and this can be broken by nothing but by the Grace of Self-Denial, which is the entrance into the true following of Christ, and totally removed by nothing but a perfect conformity with the Divine Will.

“Disciple: But how shall I be able to break this creaturely will? …

“Master: This is not to be done by thyself; but by the Light and Grace of God received into thy Soul; which will, if thou gainsay not, break the darkness that is in thee, and melt down thine own will.” ~Jacob Boehme

Heaven and Hell

It is worthwhile to note that Boehme does not refer to Heaven and hell as places but as principles or states. This makes sense since, in his time, the concept of a universe of many dimensions was probably unknown, or known only to a limited number of scientific researchers. So he calls these dimensions, principles. Today, we understand the concept of dimensions, and that is what Heaven and Hell are. I won’t go through them all, but we live in the third dimension, Hell is the second dimension, and Heaven is the eighth. Some people think that the fifth dimension Heaven, but it isn’t. It is the lowest of the dimensions of spirit, not the highest. Heaven is the highest, except for the ninth which is the Godhead. For more on dimensions, click here to read an older post. The earnest disciple needs to learn and understand this.

Earnest Disciple

It is an important aspect of these tales from Jacob Boehme that in these dialogs, the disciple is eager to learn from his master. It is only because the disciple is earnest in his desire to learn and become spiritual that the master tolerates his constant questions and answers them. If the master thought this disciple was just a pest for whom there was little hope for any real spiritual development, he would probably tell him to go sit in a corner and meditate on the subject. But the master answers the questions as much as is possible given the student’s level of awareness and ability to understand.

This should be a lesson to all of us. Approach spiritual learning with a strong desire to learn, but with an open mind to new knowledge that may very well shatter beliefs you have held for most of your life. Be eager to learn for your benefit and for the benefit of all humanity. In other words, approach spiritual development with some humility rather than the idea of learning a way to lord over others or feel superior to them. Only the earnest disciple succeeds.

Recollect My Soul in the Presence of God

Here the earnest disciple is saying that he has tried to remember when his Divine Soul resided in Heaven with God and the Angels of Light, but without success. This is not surprising and the master is probably smiling at the statement. He knows that the disciple cannot remember spiritual things with the mind. He must first awaken his soul. Only the awakened soul can remember and understand its time in the presence of God.

Partitioning Will

The personal will can act as a veil or partition between the material plane and the spiritual. In fact, it does that in most of us. The master advises the disciple to suppress this personal will, and develop a desire to serve the il of God, by “ the Grace of Self-Denial.” That doesn’t mean, as some think, that the disciple must deny himself food and fast for weeks at a time, or deny herself comfortable clothing, or a warm coat in cold weather. He isn’t talking about that kind of self-denial. What he means is more direct. He wants the disciple to deny his self or ego. Not to destroy the ego, but also not allow it to rule over him. This is not an easy thing to do but can be done in time with regular practice.

It seems like a catch-22 to say that the best way to suppress the personal will is to awaken and develop our spiritual faculties, but we need to suppress the personal will in order to awaken those faculties. It isn’t a catch-22 though. What it means is that in most of us, the two things must happen gradually and together. We manage to suppress the will a little bit, and the Soul becomes a little bit more aware, more conscious. Now the more conscious soul can better control the ego so even more spiritual development is possible. And on and on the cycle goes until we are fully awakened and aware of our spiritual self and our oneness with God. The earnest disciple is patient with himself and lets these cycles happen.

barbarian king

Barbarian King Who Threatens Spiritual Growth

“The threat of the barbarian king is something upon which you shall be counseled. If you are threatened with the alternatives of death or transgressing our laws, you may transgress them within reason and the bounds of conscience. If, however, you are required to deny all that you hold to be good and true, to betray all that we hold sacred, then you must accept death for the sake of your soul.

“For the sake of the barbarians, it is perhaps best to call the Supreme Spirit “God, the God without a name.’ This will solve some difficulties, and if the barbarians think themselves superior because they contain Him within a name, let it be so and hold yourself in peace.

“Say to the barbarians, ‘as the soul of man fills his body, so does God fill his domain. As the soul surrounds and contains the body, so is it with God and his creation.” ~The Kolbrin Bible (SOF:9:7-9)

Barbarian King

Not too long ago, I think all of us felt the day of barbarian kings was over. No longer could you be killed on the whims of a royal idiot. You could not be forced to join a particular religion, or face banishment. Then Trump was elected and we learned barbarian kings can make a comeback. Foolish people forget the past way too quickly.

Sage Advice

This section of the Kolbrin Bible seems to be giving advice o the students of a particular, yet unidentified, spiritual school. What it says applies to most modern spiritual schools as well. It advises the students that if they are put under the threat of death by authorities, they may transgress certain rules of the order. It is up to each student to decide whether or not the request can be done without seriously compromising his spiritual commitments.

At times in the past, this advice was needed. Many despots of old felt they had the right to change the teachings of churches and spiritual schools to suit themselves. When the Romans took over Israel, they made the priests at the temple take a vow to honor the Roman emperor above God. Those who refused were put to death. The ones that took the oath to save themselves were the ones running the temple at the time of Jesus. They did much harm to their people and the world by taking that oath.

Even today, such things can still be found in parts of the world. In some Muslim countries, Christians must stay underground to avoid being charged with crimes and imprisoned. The same is true the other way around. Now in the United States, people from six Muslim countries are banned from visiting. This might make sense if those were the countries where most terrorists came from, but they are not. In France, Muslim women are banned from wearing certain traditional garb. These are all but one step away from executing people for belonging to the wrong religion or spiritual school. And by wrong, I don’t mean those spreading false teachings, but rather those not approved by the authorities. Barbarian kings still roam.

Under Any Name

The students are further advised to not call God by any particular name, but just say “God”. We can assume from this that the school was in a place where the God of the national religion had a different name then theirs. Admitting that could get the students in trouble. They were wisely told to simply use the generic term, “God,” o avoid problems. It doesn’t matter, after all, what name you give Him. What matters is that you recognize the true God of spirit and obey His Law.

Body and Soul

The Kolbrin Bible says that man’s soul fills his body. This supports the idea that we need to turn within to find our true self. But it goes on to say that the soul surrounds and contains the body. So the soul is as much outside as it is inside. Therefore, truth is found without every bit as much as within. We do need to turn within and learn about ourselves. But we also need to look without, especially toward the Spiritual Sun that provides the energy we need for spiritual growth. We need to bring an end to the barbarian king, and replace him with an angelic king.

Continue reading “Barbarian King Who Threatens Spiritual Growth”

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Self-Governed Yet Disciplined Students Do Best

“In some of the larger schools in England and the United States, certain scholars who have developed and manifested the ability to control themselves and their actions are placed on the roll of a grade called the ‘Self-governed grade.’ Those in this grade act as if they had memorized the following words of Herbert Spencer: ‘In the supremacy of self-control consists one of the perfections of the ideal man. …’

“As a help to the student, we will give a brief course of instruction for the cultivation of one desirable trait of character. … The case we have selected is that of a student who has been suffering from ‘a lack of moral courage … an inability to say “No!”, a feeling of inferiority. … You should fix firmly in your mind that you are the equal of any and every man. You come from the same source. You are an expression of the same one Life.” ~William Walker Atkinson

Self-governed Classes

In the United States, the self-governed class may be largely a thing of the past. There were, and possibly still are, self-governed schools. They are generally called Sudbury schools after the originating school of this type located near Sudbury, Massachusetts. In these schools, student meetings are held periodically in which the students themselves set the curricula. While there are good arguments on both sides of this concept, it is not this type of mass self-governing that interests us. We are concerned with it more on the level of the individual.

Self-governed Persons

While spiritual schools are rarely, if ever, followers of the Sudbury school philosophy, they do encourage a kind of self-governed student in their classes. While the school and its leaders decide what to teach, the student must decide himself what to listen to, and what to practice.

Certain groups today have come to think that certain children deemed “special” and given names like ‘Indigo Children,” “Crystal Children,” and so on, should never be disciplined or told to control their behavior. As a result of this belief, they are raising another kind of special children called spoiled brats.


When I write on this subject, I always thing of the movie Karate Kid (original version). In that film, the young student starts getting upset when the teacher has him washing and waxing cars. He thinks he should be practicing Karate.  He soon learns that he was being taught patience and self-discipline. Both of those are necessary to be a master of karate. They are even more necessary to be a spiritual master. Continue reading “Self-Governed Yet Disciplined Students Do Best”

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Spiritual Champion in a Temporal World

“Beloved Soul, mark: if thou wilt be a Champion in thy Savior Christ against death and hell, and would have thy young graft grow and become a tree in the Kingdom of Christ, thou must go on, and stand fast in thy first earnest purpose. It is as much as thy paternal inheritance is worth, and thy body and soul too, whether thou becomest an angel in God or a devil in Hell. … Thy purpose must stand firm, thou must not prefer temporal honor and goods before it. When the spirit of the flesh says, stay a while, it is not convenient yet; then the soul must say, now is the time for me to go back again into my native country. …

“beloved Soul, there is earnestness required to do this, and not a bare recital of words only! No, the earnest resolved Will must drive on this work, else nothing will be effected.” Jacob Boehme


By curious coincidence, I have been hearing Queen’s “We are the Champions” on the radio a lot in the last few weeks. Curious because I only listen to the radio in my car, which means about thirty minutes a day on average. Then I find this quote by Boehm discussing spiritual champions.

There are many different kinds of champions in the world. We have sports champions, spelling bee champions, champion debaters, and so on. Boehme isn’t talking about those champions of “temporal honor”. He is more interested in the champions of spirit. As he puts it, “a champion in thy Savior Christ.”

Spiritual Champion

There is more that just a different goal involved in being a spiritual champion rather than a temporal one. For starters, the temporal champion almost always want to be a champion. Wants it enough to train for it, often several hours a day, six or seven days a week. The spiritual champion is only seeking spiritual growth for himself and others. He seeks no trophy. She doesn’t want her photo in the local paper. They seek only to serve God and Christ.

Christ and Jesus

One thing needs to be clarified. To many Christians, especially the evangelical type, the names Christ and Jesus can be used interchangeably. When you say Christ, you mean Jesus and when you say Jesus you mean Christ.

In reality, they do not mean the same thing. Jesus was Christ. But Christ is not always Jesus. Christ is an eternal spirit that dwelled for a time in the man Jesus. The Christ spirit has been in other human bodies before and after Jesus. Most of the time, however, this eternal spirit lives without a physical body and without being connected to any particular person. Continue reading “Spiritual Champion in a Temporal World”