Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Ultimate Kingdom

I borrowed the title for this painting “The Last Kingdom”, (Das Lezte Konigreich”) from a line in a poem written in 1801 by the famous German writer Novalis (Fredrich von Hardenberg). When I read it there was an immediate resonance with the concepts involved.

The last kingdom struck me as the “ultimate kingdom” rather than the “final kingdom”. This is not the description of the eschaton but of the ideal pinnacle where we strive for the understanding that Jacob Boehme pointed too. A scene of dynamic resolution not a vision of destruction.

Boehme’s writings are a blueprint of the spiritual universe. However, understanding the mechanics of nature is not enough. Later writers who surreptitiously fed off Boehme work (Kant, Hegel, Marx) misunderstood Boehme’s processes and their descendants would interpret their work to see the universe as a grand device. Once all the inputs, programs, knobs, and gears were mapped and subjected to taxonomy then it could be manipulated to enhance the personal power of the technicians.

Von Hardenberg intuitively grasped the “meta” program that was running underneath the words of Boehme and in his poem “To Tieck” he introduced the concept of “the abundance of being”. This acknowledged the true mission as mystical. Understanding the mechanisms of God’s universe was not an exercise in positivism or philosophical materialism rather it was the search for fulfillment not affluence.

D S Reif

The original extended essay (and translation) about the painting refereed to above can be viewed on the website of the International Jacob Boehme Society,   CLICK HERE