Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Boehme, or Behmen, Jakob, was born at Alt Seidenberg, a village near Gorlitz, Prussia, in 1575, where he was apprenticed to a shoemaker, pursuing the business till he had made a competency. From infancy he appears to have been subject to peculiar mental phases, which he regarded as spiritual revelation, and in 1612 he ventured to write, but not to print, a treatise Morgenrothe in Auffgang, better known as Aurora, in which he endeavours to set forth his insight into the divine nature. The chief pastor denounced his doctrines, and he was silenced for some years. In 1618 he again resumed his attempts to put his views into words, but published nothing until 1624, when his Way to Christ appeared, consisting of sundry devotional tracts. These he had to defend before the Consistorial Court at Dresden, and on his return thence he died in November, 1624. His posthumous works contain something approaching a systematic exposition of his mystical theosophy, setting forth (1) the nature of God in himself; (2) the manifestation of the Deity in the physical world; (3) the life of God in the soul of man. Many of his speculations are derived from earlier thinkers and put together in a strange philosophical jargon invented by himself, but when he gives way to the expression of his own simple feelings his utterances rouse sympathy and veneration. He has exercised a powerful influence on Protestant mystics, and the sect of Behmenists, merging into the Quakers, survived for over a century in England and Holland. Hegel acknowledges him as one of the fathers of German philosophy, though his mind was not by any means of a philosophical turn.