Forest Man

Lars Larsen's blog

The course "History of ecophilosophy". Part 1: Nordic ecophilosophy began with the german mystic Jakob Böhme

Publicerad 2020-07-20 23:52:00 i Church History, Ecophilosophy, Flodbergskretsen, Friedrich Hölderlin, God, Greta Thunberg, History, History of Literature, History of ecophilosophy, History of philosophy, History of religion, History of theology, Jakob Böhme, Jesus, Mystics and mysticism, Nature mysticism, Nature romanticism, Romanticism, Smith's Friends, Öfverby klosterskola,

Dear students. 
 
I will begin my history of ecophilosophy in a quite unusual way. Not from the beginning. Not from the Antiquity. I will begin from ourselves. And ask the question: where did our own ecophilosophy originate? Who can be held as the most responsible person in history for our own ecophilosophy in the Nordic countries? 
 
I know this person who is most responsible. He follows me from the Spirit World and is one of my spirit guides, and his name is Jakob Böhme (1575-1624). My brother Björn has also fallen in platonic love with him recently. Böhme lives strongly in our family through our involvement in Smith's Friends and the Flodbergskretsen, the latter being a circle of friends where many were deeply immersed in the writings of Jakob Böhme. 
 
Böhme was a shoemaker who met the Spirit of the Forest, and developed a strange, very strange philosophy of nature, that was so full of the Holy Spirit that it laid the foundation for the Pietist movement, not least the Radical Pietist movement. These were both big underground movements in the Lutheran churches which shaped a very big part of the church history since the seventeenth century. 
 
And through the Pietist movement, which continues to this day, for example in many of the Nordic free churches, ecophilosophy reached our ears. And it began with Jakob Böhme. So great a figure is Jakob Böhme. He was in the beginning quite unknown, just a shoemaker, but his fame exploded with the romantic movement, with the romantic poets and philosophers of the early nineteenth century, especially Franz von Baader, Hegel and Schelling. A little in the same manner as the fame of the "insane poet" Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843) exploded with Nietzsche and Norbert von Hellingrath. Hölderlin was also a child of Jakob Böhme, Hölderlin was after all a pietist in soul and heart.
 
What was the soul of Jakob Böhmes teaching about nature? Oh man. He is so obscure for a westerner educated in the Christian-Platonic tradition. He namely didn't belong to that tradition. He belonged to the Christian-Gnostic-Hermetic tradition, and that tradition uses a pretty strange language, if you look at it with the eyeglasses of a normal classical education. Just as Stagnelius belonged to that tradition, and can use a very strange language, talk about the demiurge and stuff, instead of saying satan. It is the same with Böhme. His main influence outside the Bible is the Christian Gnostic and Hermeticist Paracelsus (1494-1541), not Luther. He uses the terminology of Paracelsus, and cannot be understood outside of his context. Oh yes, he can, but then the Spirit has to reveal the meaning to you, and I think the Spirit did this to my brother Björn. I do not understand Böhme's terminology and symbolism, but yet he has laid the foundation to my ecophilosophy in early years. 
 
So what was the soul of Jakob Böhme's ecophilosophy? It was God and Christ. That the spirit of God and Christ permeated nature. That God was visible in nature. It was not pantheism. It was not panenteism. It was something that is ineffable. We do not have words for what it is. Böhme saw God one day in his youth. Wikipedia writes about this: "Böhme had a number of mystical experiences throughout his youth, culminating in a vision in 1600 as one day he focused his attention onto the exquisite beauty of a beam of sunlight reflected in a pewter dish. He believed this vision revealed to him the spiritual structure of the world, as well as the relationship between God and man, and good and evil." (for Swedish readers: pewter dish is "tenntallrik")
 
Sounds familiar? A classical mystical experience! And it came through studying the sunlight! It was no wonder that Böhmes first literary work had the german name Aurora: Die Morgenröte im Aufgang (1612). It is freely accessible in English online here, with the name Aurora: The Day-spring, or Dawning of the Day in the East.
 
After that followed a stream of writings in mystical philosophy, published by his friends mostly after his death, which all led to great persecution from the Orthodox Lutheran Church of his time. He did not stop, and he died with the words "Now I go hence into Paradise". 
 
If only the ecophilosophers of our time, like Greta Thunberg, knew the beautiful roots of their ecophilosophy! Let us pray that they will find my blog. It's time to awaken and find God in nature. And not only that. Also to find the spirits of our ancestors and our pioneers. That's why I hold this course. 

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Lars Larsen

Born 1984 in Finland, Norwegian, lives in Österbybruk, Sweden, poet, ecotheologian and ecophilosopher (though not an academic such), is also called "The monk" ("munken", he is monk in a self-founded monastery order, "Den Heliga Naturens Orden", "The Order of the Holy Nature"), he calls himself "Forest Man Snailson" (Skogsmannen Snigelson) because of certain strong ties to Nature and the animals, founded among other things through many years of homelessness living in tent, cot, cave and several huts in the Flaten Nature Reserve and the Nacka Reserve outside of Stockholm. He debuted as a poet in 2007 with "Över floden mig" ("Across the river of me"), published by himself, he has also published an ecotheological work, "Djurisk teologi. Paradisets återkomst" (Animalistic theology. The return of paradise") on Titel förlag 2010. He has published the poem collection "Naturens återkomst" (The return of Nature) on Fri Press förlag 2018 together with Titti Spaltro, his ex-girlfriend. Lars' professions are two, cleaner and painter (buildings). Before he was homeless, but right now he lives in Österby boende, a group home for mental patients 45 km northeast of Uppsala. His adress is: Harviksvägen 6A, 74830 Österbybruk, Sverige. One can reach him in the comments section on this blog. His texts on this blog are without copyright, belonging to "Public Domain".

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