Mysterium magnum. An exposition of the first book of Moses called Genesis. Concerning the manifestation or revelation of the divine word through the three principles of the divine essence; also of the originall of the world and the creation. Wherein the kingdome of nature, & the kingdome of grace, are expounded. For the better understanding of the Old and New Testament. . . .   London: . Simmons for H. Blunden, 1654.

Folio [xx], 605, [1] (blank), With 2 engraved plates on either side of one sheet. Both Durand Hotham's Life of the Author and the four tables have separate title pages. Full calf in a contemporary style, gilt decorations on covers, spine in compartments with gilt title and decorations; signature of James Bidell on title dated 1827, some browning and spotting, but overall a very good copy. $6,500.00

First Edition in English of Boehme's masterpiece, a mystical interpretation of Genesis. As a young man, Boehme experienced a mystical vision revealing the spiritual structure of the universe as well as the relationships between good and evil and God and man. His focus on the vision of the spiritual universe supports his detailed discussion of the first book of the Old Testament. Now quite rare, Boehme became highly influential in intellectual circles of Protestant Europe, especially in England and Holland.

His interests in Paracelsus, the Kabbala, alchemy and the Hermetic tradition are clearly part of the foundation of his writing. His first written work, Aurora, went unfinished, but drew to him a small circle of followers. He has since influenced major figures in philosophy, especially German Romantics such as Hegel, Baader, and Schelling. His influence can be also be traced to the work of Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Heidegger. Martin Buber drew heavily from his work, as did Carl Jung, who made numerous references to Boehme in his writings.

An intuitive genius, Boehme was one of the great mystical mind of the Rosicrucian period (1610-1625). Boehme (1575-1624) completed this work in 1623, and died the following year. He was highly influential on generations of mystics, especially of the English school. Societies of Behmenites were formed in England (he was referred to Behmen in England); many of them were later absorbed by the Quakers.


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