“The student said to the master: ‘How may I come to the supernatural life, so that I see God and hear Him speaking?’ The Master said, ‘If you, for a single moment, may swing into that where no creature dwelleth, then thou hearest what God speaks.’ The student said: ‘Is that near or far?’ The master said: ‘It is inside of you, and if you, for one hour, may silence all your will and your senses, you will hear unspeakable words of God.‘“ Thus the enlightened philosopher Jakob Boehme (1575-1624) described the path and the goal, in the language of his time.
“Hear the unspeakable words of God“ – this is a paraphrase for the state of enlightenment. Those looking for enlightenment want to acually meet God and perceive His reality.
So, enlightenment has something to do with perception. This cannot refer to the ordinary mode of perception that one knows from daily life. Man perceives the world through the senses. Eyes, ears and other senses report their impressions to the brain, where they are assessed and classified. Intellect and emotion contribute just as much to that process as unconscious structures that have been built up over many incarnations as karma and now obscure the horizon. Anything man can perceive on the basis of ordinary consciousness is therefore always subjective and limited.
For meeting the Spirit of God, it is necessary to activate a different level of perception – a secret chamber in our own nature, the door of which usually remains hidden. What is that chamber, and where to find it?
The hidden chamber
Man is a dual being. The mortal personality carries an eternal principle in itself, a spark of the Divine Spirit. As to his own nature, this spirit-spark knows no restrictions and limitations. But it is imprisoned in a chamber inside the human heart. It is the vestigial remnant of the original divine being, which existed before it sank into the world of matter with its two spheres: this world and the world on the other side of the veil of death.
The original human being was a complete microcosm, a miniature world, that revealed itself in perfect harmony of spirit, soul and body. The original man was in unity with the Spirit of God and revealed His will. Thus he was “enlightened”. From time to time, the memory of this state penetrates from the hidden chamber into man’s consciousness. “Find the connection with God!” That is, how this delicate call of remembrance can be understood. “Search for enlightenment!”
The black box of lost immortal life
If the called person perceives this delicate impression and traces back its source inside himself, then he will discover the secret chamber of the heart. The door of this chamber is initially closed. But by the pure desire for the Light it can open up, and then the spirit-spark, which is sunken there, awakens; the “Rose” which is the power center of the immortal soul. It is the Rose which has been sending its call to the person’s mind for a long, long time – like the signal which the black box of a crashed aircraft sends from the bottom of the sea to be found.
This haunting moment in the life of a man, in which he, in a way, finds the black box of his lost immortal life, may be experienced as a first moment of enlightenment. Then, the call turns into Light, which includes a special, new kind of knowledge.