Tag Archives: Boehme

Oog Voor De Wereld – Brink, Martin, Muratori (2019)

Until March 14th there is an exhibition about Jacob Böhme in the Embassy Of The Free Mind (aka Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica aka Ritman Library) in Amsterdam. In a way, it is part of a travelling exhibition. In 2017 there was an exhibition in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, after Dresden there was an exhibition in Coventry cathedral and at the end, there will be a permanent exhibition in Görlitz, the place on the German / Polish border where Böhme lived most of his life. I was in Görlitz years ago and there was not too much about Böhme there, so it is good that this will change.

Scholars from Dresden, Coventry and Amsterdam have worked together on a book / catalogue of which there seem to be Dutch, English and German versions (I have not found webshops that sell the English and Dutch versions, but the Ritman website is worked at).

The Dutch book has three introductions, then speaks about the life of Böhme (Cecilia Muratori), portraits (Lucinda Martin), concepts from Böhme’s philosophy (Muratori and Martin) and then Böhme in Amsterdam (José Bouwman and Cis van Heertum) and the etches of Michael Andreae (Boudewijn Koole).

Much of what can be found in this pretty book I have ran into somewhere. Since Böhme is pretty hard to read it is always welcome when people manage to give some sort of apprehensible summery and Muratori and Martin manage pretty well. The part about Böhme in Amsterdam makes a nice read too.

Early Dutch and German publications of Böhme contained title plates of which only recently the creator became known: Michael Andreae. Andreae fell out of grace of the publisher and his plates and accompanying texts were removed. Readers were not amused and the plates and texts were published separately and these are translated and presented here. The texts are as elusive as those of Böhme himself!

Compared to Böhme’s own work, this book is easy reading, but the highly spiritual philosophy of Böhme is not easy to start with. The book makes a nice addition to recent and less recent Böhme publications, so if you can, you should visit the exhibition and buy the book or at least buy the book when the library has got its webshop back up. It is a luxurious publication with many images.

2019 Sandstein verlag, isbn 9783954985302

Jacob Boehme * Robin Waterfield (2001)

The third book in the Western Esoteric Masters series that I read is about the famous German author Jacob Boehme (1575-1624). My girlfriend was much interested in Boehme when we met. We even spent a holiday in the place where Boehme was born and died and we have several books about him and a few of him on the shelve. However Boehme appeals to me too, for some reason I did not start to read him before I bought a book myself… Waterfield has created an anthology of texts and letters, but does not give the sources. The texts are both in depth and more personal in letters. Some texts are very interesting esoterically Christian, many are simply piously Christian. Waterfield spends quite a few pages to Boehme’s alchemical, astrological and Kabbalistic imaginary and in the appendix there is a more schematic version of Boehme’s ‘system’. All in all a nice read and while waiting for the book about Robert Fludd, I am going to read some Boehme from our own library.
2001 North Atlantic Books, isbn 9781556433573