February 8th, 2007
Two emblems from Dionysius Andreas Freher’s Paradoxa Emblemata (71 and 76), written in the early 18th century. Through a sequence of 153 such emblems, Freher (born 1649) illustrates Jakob Böehme‘s mystical cosmology: a progression beginning at a natural unity, differentiating via free will—even rebellion, and finally returning to a more sublime unity.
What Thou hast of One yield to that One again, if thou intendest to keep it. Only by doing so canst thou be a perpetuum Mobile.
Although distributed amongst his peers in manuscript form, Paradoxa Emblemata was never published. The emblems here are taken from Adam McLean‘s hand-bound edition, produced in 1983, and based on manuscript 5789 in the British Library.
From whence is this & that, if not out of the Center?
“When one… begins to use these [emblems] in meditation, as opposed to merely intellectualising over them, one will find that it is difficult to exhaust the implications of each emblem. …The meditator will find the sequence to slowly unfold its beauty of construction and see how each step builds upon the former… to… sense the inner architecture of the emblems…” (McLean introduction, p6).