Gnostic apocalypse : Jacob Boehme's haunted narrative by Böhme, Jakob; Böhme, Jakob; O'Regan, Cyril

By Böhme, Jakob; Böhme, Jakob; O'Regan, Cyril

Argues that the discourse of Jacob Boehme represents the go back of Gnostic suggestion in modernity after one thousand yr hiatus

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27 As we will see shortly more clearly, pain is present at the level of Eternal Nature. It comes to light, however, in the transition. Transition itself is painful in a somewhat different way. 28 In chapter 5 of De Signatura Rerum, transition is thought of as a double movement of forward and up, and figured as a vertical line, representing the ascending movement from death to life, bisecting a horizontal line, representing the forward movement of manifestation. 29 In fact, Boehme has no compunction about denying divine status to the First Principle, and insisting that God is God only in the Second Principle (MM 8, 14; TP 1, 2; 1, 8).

But Eternal Nature is the necessary rather than sufficient condition of manifestation that leads to divine self-reflection (TP 2, 1; IV bk 2. 3, 16). Eternal Nature makes manifestation possible precisely by obstructing it and engendering a recoil (MM 25 [28 in English]; 26, 10, 36-38, 58). It can rightly be called a source (Urkund ) or root (Wurzel) of manifestation, which truly occurs only when its darkness, substantiality, involution, compulsiveness, and even pain give way to light, spiritual being, eccentricity, freedom, and joy (MM 4, 17).

Rather, Valentinian enlisting of non-Valentinian narrative genres reflects the judgment that the ontotheological narratives of Boehme and his successors look more like cables of multiple narrative discourses than a single discourse. And it reflects the judgment that the naming of these narrative strands in commentary and criticism as ‘apocalyptic,’ ‘Neoplatonic,’ ‘Kabbalistic,’ and ‘Valentinian’ is broadly speaking, correct. What remains to be done, however, is (a) to assess whether the narrative cable possesses any integrity of its own, or whether it is only a composite of its strands, and (b) if it does possess integrity, to assess the order of subordination-superodination between narrative discourses.

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