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The Key of Jacob Boehme
Introduction by Adam McLean
ISBN: 9780933999947
Book (Paperback)
Phanes Press
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
84 pages
January 1, 2000


The Clavis or 'Key' of Jacob Boehme, the seventeenth-century German theosopher, is a condensed version of the principal points of his mystical philosophy.

Boehme, an unschooled shoemaker, experienced while young an intense vision of the spiritual world -- a vision of the origin of the universe, the struggle of polarities in creation, and the role of Sophia or Divine Wisdom in the world. This vision inspired his writings and left him with a deep sense of the spiritual all his life. In trying to find a language to communicate his mystical perceptions, he turned to alchemical ideas and Hermetic imagery.

The main period of his writings, 1612-1624, coincided with the Rosicrucian publications, and while no definite historical link can be established, Boehme certainly worked within the spirit of the Rosicrucian movement.

The Clavis or 'Key' to his writings is taken from William Law's translation of his complete works, and includes Law's "Illustration of the Deep Principles of Jacob Behmen," which features thirteen emblematic figures designed by Dionysius Freher. This beautiful, unfolding sequence of thirteen engravings provides a symbolic picture of Boehme's teachings about Creation, while the 'Key' as a whole reveals Boehme's profound spiritual philosophy.

The introduction by Adam McLean describes the life of Jacob Boehme and the continuing influence of his mystical philosophy.

Adam McLean is a well known authority on alchemical texts and symbolism. He is the editor and publisher of over 40 books on alchemical and Hermetic ideas. Based in the UK, he has been writing and researching alchemical and hermetic literature for many years. Between 1978 and 1992, he edited the Hermetic Journal and began publishing the Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks, including The Alchemical Mandala, The Magical Calendar, and Rosicrucian Emblems. McLean organized the alchemy website, and an extensive reference work on the subject. He lives in England.
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Translated by William Law

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