Hearing and Seeing God
By Jacob Boehme
The Disciple said to his Master: Sir, How may I come to the Place that I may SEE with God, and may HEAR God speak – to a Life that is above my Senses and Feelings – to the Supersensual Life?
The Master answered and said: Son, when thou canst throw thyself into THAT, where no Creature dwelleth, though it be but for a Moment, then thou HEAREST what God speaketh.
Is that Place where no Creature dwelleth near at Hand; or is it afar off?
It is IN THEE. And if thou canst, my Son, for a while but cease from all thy OWN Thinking and Willing, then thou shalt hear the unspeakable Words of God.
How is it that I can hear Him speak, when I stand still from Thinking and Willing?
When thou standest still from the Thinking of SELF, and the Willing of SELF; when both thy Intellect and Will are quiet and passive to the Impressions of the Eternal Word and Spirit; when thy Soul is winged up, and above that which is temporal with the outward Senses and the Imagination being locked up by Holy Abstraction; then the Eternal Hearing, Seeing, and Speaking will be revealed IN THEE; and so God heareth and seeth through thee, being now the Organ of His Spirit; and so God speaketh in thee, and whispereth to thy Spirit, and thy Spirit heareth his Voice. Blessed art thou therefore if that thou canst stand still from SELF-Thinking and SELF-Willing, and canst stop the Wheel of thy Imagination and Senses; for it is hereby that thou mayest arrive at Length to see the great Salvation of God, being made capable of all Manner of Divine Sensations and Heavenly Communications. Since it is nought indeed but thine OWN Hearing and Willing that do hinder thee, so that thou dost not see and hear God.
What now hinders or keeps me back, so that I cannot come to that, wherewith God is to be seen and heard?
Nothing truly but thine OWN Willing, Hearing, and Seeing do keep thee back from it, and do hinder thee from coming to this Supersensual State or the Life which is above Sense. And it is because thou strivest so against that, out of which thou thyself art descended and derived, that thou thus breakest thyself off, with thine OWN Willing, from God’s Willing, and with thine OWN Seeing from God’s Seeing. In as much as in thine OWN Seeing thou dost see in thine OWN Willing only, and with thine OWN Understanding thou dost understand but in and according to this thine OWN Willing, as the same stands divided from the Divine Will. This thy Willing moreover stops thy Hearing, and maketh thee deaf towards God, through thy OWN Thinking upon terrestrial Things, and thy Attending to that which is without thee; and so it brings thee into a Ground, where thou art laid hold on and captivated in Nature. And having brought thee hither, it overshadows thee with that which thou willest; it binds thee with thine own Chains, and it keeps thee in thine own dark Prison which thou makest for thyself; so that thou canst not go out thence, or come to that State which is above Nature and above Sense.
But being I am in Nature, and thus bound, as with my own Chains, and by my own natural Will; pray be so kind, Sir, as to tell me, how I may come through Nature into the Supersensual and Supernatural Ground, without the destroying of Nature?
Three Things are requisite in order to do this. The First is, Thou must resign up thy Will to God; and must sink thy SELF down to the Dust in His Mercy. The Second is, Thou must hate thy OWN Will, and forbear from doing that to which thy own Will doth drive thee. The Third is, Thou must bow thy Soul under the Cross, heartily submitting thySELF to It, that thou mayest be able to bear the Temptations of Nature and Creature. And if thou doest thus, know that God will speak into thee, and will bring thy resigned Will in to Himself, in the supernatural Ground; and then thou shalt hear, my Son, what the Lord speaketh in thee.
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