WILLIAM BLAKE: GOLDEN STRING

Blake seeks to provide the Golden String which can lead us through the labyrinth of our experience or his own poetry.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

SELFHOOD

Library of Congress
Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Plate 4 Detail

From Boundaries of the Soul by June Singer, Page 174:

Shadow
"The way that is sought for dealing with the shadow is a difficult one. It requires a continuing search of this dark force, and when it is found it must be brought to consciousness: this is what I am, this is what I am capable of doing...This is, moreover, not something one undertakes for a limited period in the course of the analysis, and then, when the shadow is laid to rest, can assume that he can go on to the finer more glorious aspects of the analysis. The shadow is, in truth, a devilish form, and just when you think you know who he is he changes his disguise and appears from another direction. So it is, in the Jungian analysis, that the analysand is initiated into a lifelong process, that of looking within, and being willing to reflect long and hard on what he sees there, in order to avoid being taken over by it."    


In much of Blake's writing Urizen was described as the enemy whom he was unable to forgive. Knowing himself to be an Immortal Spirit who could not measure up to the dictates of the living Soul within, Blake postulated that the inner man is overlaid with a Selfhood who binds and imprisons him in layers of self-deception. The activity of Los, the Imagination, is Spiritual and the activity of Urizen, the reason, is rational. Los and Urizen could live in harmony if each did not aim to dominate the other. But in the Enlightenment, the culture in which Blake lived, Reason had replaced God as the dominant motif.

Although Blake in his youth had outwardly resisted the ethos of his society, he came to see that his own attitude sustained the struggle for dominance which was being played out around him. A resolution between his Imagination and Reason (Intellect) would have to be reached before he was freed to deliver a message of reconciliation. The problem was generated by the false reasoning that Imagination was inferior, that Reason alone had the answers to society's ills.

In Milton Blake worked out a solution to deal with his personal Selfhood. He found that the way to free himself from his dilemma was to annihilate his Selfhood through forgiveness. By bringing his own darkness into the light and by recognizing Urizen as his brother not his Enemy, Blake began to solve the conflict within his own psyche. In himself and in his culture, reason attempted to dominate. Blake developed Los as the primary opposition to Urizen in the world in which we live. Los is the agent of Urthona who provides man's connection to the Eternal. In the book Milton, Urizen and Milton (who was the field in which the conflict was played out) struggled on the banks of the Arnon. In one particular account of self-annihilation, Milton molded a human body for Urizen out of the red clay.

In Jerusalem  Blake fixed attention on the societal Selfhood. The Great Satan, the Selfhood as the Spectre of Albion which had a grip on England, could only be illuminated by a spiritual revolution in the mind of each individual. The form that the revitalized society takes is inclusiveness: every Human Form expressing its true Identity as a contributing member of the one body. This state of reconciliation can only take form through the spiritual aspect of Albion which is Jerusalem taking form throughout the natural world.   

Jerusalem, PLATE 99, (E 258)
"All Human Forms identified even Tree Metal Earth & Stone. all
Human Forms identified, living going forth & returning wearied
Into the Planetary lives of Years Months Days & Hours reposing
And then Awaking into his Bosom in the Life of Immortality.

And I heard the Name of their Emanations they are named Jerusalem

                  The End of The Song
                     of Jerusalem"


Milton, PLATE 14 [15], (E 108)
"What do I here before the Judgment? without my Emanation?
With the daughters of memory, & not with the daughters of inspiration[?]
I in my Selfhood am that Satan: I am that Evil One!              
He is my Spectre! in my obedience to loose him from my Hells
To claim the Hells, my Furnaces, I go to Eternal Death."

Milton, Plate 16, (E 110)
a full-page design (Milton striving with Urizen)
inscribed: "To Annihilate the Selfhood of Deceit & False Forgiveness"
 
Milton, PLATE 40 [46], (E 142)
"The Negation is the Spectre; the Reasoning Power in Man
This is a false Body: an Incrustation over my Immortal           
Spirit; a Selfhood, which must be put off & annihilated alway
To cleanse the Face of my Spirit by Self-examination."

Jerusalem, Plate 5, (E 147)
"O Saviour pour upon me thy Spirit of meekness & love:
Annihilate the Selfhood in me, be thou all my life!
Guide thou my hand which trembles exceedingly upon the rock of ages,
While I write of the building of Golgonooza, & of the terrors of Entuthon:
Of Hand & Hyle & Coban, of Kwantok, Peachey, Brereton, Slayd & Hutton:
Of the terrible sons & daughters of Albion. and their Generations."

Jerusalem, Plate 8, (E 151)
"I will break thee into shivers! & melt thee in the furnaces of death;       
I will cast thee into forms of abhorrence & torment if thou
Desist not from thine own will, & obey  not my stern command!
I am closd up from my children: my Emanation is dividing
And thou my Spectre art divided against me. But mark
I will compell thee to assist me in my terrible labours. To beat 
These hypocritic Selfhoods on the Anvils of bitter Death
I am inspired: I act not for myself: for Albions sake
I now am what I am: a horror and an astonishment"

 Jerusalem, Plate 27, (E 173)
 "And O thou Lamb of God, whom I    
Slew in my dark self-righteous pride:
  Art thou return'd to Albions Land!
And is Jerusalem thy Bride?

  Come to my arms & never more
Depart; but dwell for ever here:         
  Create my Spirit to thy Love:
Subdue my Spectre to thy Fear,

  Spectre of Albion! warlike Fiend!
In clouds of blood & ruin roll'd:
  I here reclaim thee as my own         
My Selfhood! Satan! armd in gold."

Jerusalem, PLATE 29 [33], (E 175)
"So spoke the Spectre to Albion. he is the Great Selfhood
Satan: Worshipd as God by the Mighty Ones of the Earth
Having a white Dot calld a Center from which branches out
A Circle in continual gyrations. this became a Heart           
From which sprang numerous branches varying their motions
Producing many Heads three or seven or ten, & hands & feet
Innumerable at will of the unfortunate contemplator
Who becomes his food[:] such is the way of the Devouring Power" 

Jerusalem, PLATE 49, (E 198)
"Striving to Create a Heaven in which all shall be pure & holy
In their Own Selfhoods, in Natural Selfish Chastity to banish Pity
And dear Mutual Forgiveness; & to become One Great Satan
Inslavd to the most powerful Selfhood: to murder the Divine Humanity    
In whose sight all are as the dust & who chargeth his Angels with folly!"

Jerusalem, PLATE 90, (E 250)
"Those who dare appropriate to themselves Universal Attributes
Are the Blasphemous Selfhoods & must be broken asunder
A Vegetated Christ & a Virgin Eve, are the Hermaphroditic
Blasphemy, by his Maternal Birth he is that Evil-One         
And his Maternal Humanity must be put off Eternally
Lest the Sexual Generation swallow up Regeneration
Come Lord Jesus take on thee the Satanic Body of Holiness

So Los cried in the Valleys of Middlesex in the Spirit of Prophecy
While in Selfhood Hand & Hyle & Bowen & Skofeld appropriate    
The Divine Names: seeking to Vegetate the Divine Vision
In a corporeal & ever dying Vegetation & Corruption
Mingling with Luvah in One. they become One Great Satan"

Jerusalem, Plate 98, (E 258)
"Which vary according as the Organs of Perception vary & they walked
To & fro in Eternity as One Man reflecting each in each & clearly seen
And seeing: according to fitness & order. And I heard Jehovah speak 
Terrific from his Holy Place & saw the Words of the Mutual Covenant Divine" 
 
Romans 12
[20] Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, 
give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his 
head.
[21] Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
First Corinthians 3
[18] Let no one deceive himself. If any one among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.
[19] For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness,"
[20] and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile."
[21] So let no one boast of men. For all things are yours,
[22] whether Paul or Apol'los or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours;
[23] and you are Christ's; and Christ is God's. 


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Thursday, February 20, 2020

SPIRIT

Wikipedia Commons
Illustrations to Blair' The Grave
Reunion of the Soul and the Body

The Red Book, by C G Jung, Page 232
  "Therefore the spirit of the depths forced me to speak to my soul, to call on her as a living and self-existing being. I had to become aware that I had lost my soul.
 
From this we learn how the spirit of the depths considers the soul: he sees her as a living and self-existing being, and with this he contradicts the spirit of this time for whom the soul is a thing dependent on man, which lets herself be judged and arranged, and whose circumference can be grasped. I had to accept that what I had previously called my soul was not my soul, but a dead system. Hence I had to speak to my soul as to something far off and unknown, which did not exist through me, but through whom I existed."
 
Blake knew himself to be a spiritual being living in a spiritual world. He could discern the activity of spirits in his daily life. They appeared to him, they spoke to him they directed him, and they became the subject which he depicted in his writing and painting. He enhanced his spiritual perception by acknowledging and exercising it.
 
The conundrum in which man finds himself is that he is two men living in two worlds. The natural man lives in both the natural and spiritual worlds. The home of the spiritual man is both the natural and spiritual worlds. Blake preferred live as a spiritual man in a spiritual world but was forced more often to live in the natural world without relinquishing his spiritual proclivities. To some extent we choose which world will be real to us, or we oscillate between the two.
 
Blake did not consider the Spiritual World to be exclusively accessible to spiritual men because all can awake and be shown the hidden world. The eye is capable of seeing more than the physical because man is capable of remembering the Eternal which is his origin. Little pieces of the Eternal are scattered in Time and Space to lure man away from the natural to the spiritual.
 

Jerusalem, Plate 62, (E 213)
"I see the Maternal Line, I behold the Seed of the Woman!
...
These are the Daughters of Vala, Mother of the Body of death
But I thy Magdalen behold thy Spiritual Risen Body
Shall Albion arise? I know he shall arise at the Last Day!
I know that in my flesh I shall see God: but Emanations
Are weak. they know not whence they are, nor whither tend.

Jesus replied. I am the Resurrection & the Life.
I Die & pass the limits of possibility, as it appears
To individual perception. Luvah must be Created                  
And Vala; for I cannot leave them in the gnawing Grave.
But will prepare a way for my banished-ones to return"

Descriptive Catalogue, (E 541)
" A Spirit and a Vision are not, as the 
modern philosophy supposes, a cloudy vapour or a
nothing: they are organized and minutely articulated beyond all
that the mortal and perishing nature can produce.  He who does
not imagine in stronger and better lineaments, and in stronger
and better light than his perishing mortal eye can see does not
imagine at all.  The painter of this work asserts that all his
imaginations appear to him infinitely more perfect and more
minutely organized than any thing seen by his
mortal eye.  Spirits are organized men: Moderns wish to 
draw figures without lines, and with great and heavy shadows; 
are not shadows more unmeaning than lines, and more heavy? O 
who can doubt this!"  

Letters, (E 724) 
"But if we fear to do the dictates of our
Angels & tremble at the Tasks set before us. if we refuse to do
Spiritual Acts. because of Natural Fears or Natural Desires!  Who
can describe the dismal torments of such a state!--I too well
remember the Threats I heard!--If you who are organized by Divine
Providence for Spiritual communion.  Refuse & bury your Talent in
the Earth even tho you should want Natural Bread." 

Jerusalem, Plate 49, (E 199)
Learn therefore O Sisters to distinguish the Eternal Human
That walks about among the stones of fire in bliss & woe
Alternate! from those States or Worlds in which the Spirit travels:
This is the only means to Forgiveness of Enemies[.] 

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 117, (E 386)
"And Los & Enitharmon builded Jerusalem weeping   
Over the Sepulcher & over the Crucified body
Which to their Phantom Eyes appear'd still in the Sepulcher
But Jesus stood beside them in the Spirit Separating
Their Spirit from their body. Terrified at Non Existence 
For such they deemd the death of the body."

Letters, (E 705)
 "Thirteen years ago.  I lost a
brother & with his spirit I  converse daily & hourly in the
Spirit.  & See him in my remembrance in the  regions of my
Imagination.  I hear his advice & even now write from his
Dictate--Forgive me for expressing to you my Enthusiasm which I
wish all to  partake of Since it is to me a Source of Immortal
Joy even in this world by it  I am the companion of Angels"

Europe, Plate iii, (E 60)
 "Then tell me, what is the material world, and is it dead?
He laughing answer'd: I will write a book on leaves of flowers,
If you will feed me on love-thoughts, & give me now and then    
A cup of sparkling poetic fancies; so when I am tipsie,
I'll sing to you to this soft lute; and shew you all alive
The world, when every particle of dust breathes forth its joy.

I took him home in my warm bosom: as we went along
Wild flowers I gatherd; & he shew'd me each eternal flower:      
He laugh'd aloud to see them whimper because they were pluck'd.
They hover'd round me like a cloud of incense: when I came
Into my parlour and sat down, and took my pen to write:
My Fairy sat upon the table, and dictated EUROPE."

Gates of Paradise, The Keys, (E 268)
11   Holy & cold I clipd the Wings 
     Of all Sublunary Things
12   And in depths of my Dungeons
     Closed the Father & the Sons                     
13   But when once I did descry 
     The Immortal Man that cannot Die
14   Thro evening shades I haste away 
     To close the Labours of my Day 

Acts 17
[27] That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
[28] For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

First Corinthians 2
[10] But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
[11] For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
[12] Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
[13] Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
[14] But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


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Monday, February 17, 2020

BODY

Victoria and Albert Museum
Christ in the Sepulcher Guarded by Angels

 C G Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, p. 132 
 "The assumption that the human psyche possesses layers that lie below consciousness is not likely to arouse serious opposition. But... there could just as well be layers lying above consciousness... The conscious mind can only claim a relatively central position and must put up with the fact that the unconscious psyche transcends and as it were surrounds it on all sides. Unconscious contents connect it backward with the physiological states on the one hand and archetypal data on the other. But it is extended forward by intuitions which are conditioned partly by archetypes and partly by subliminal perceptions depending on the relativity of time and space in the unconscious."

Blake tells us that what we normally think of the body is only the manifestation that can be perceived by our five senses. Sense data comes to us as heat and light and pressure, odor and vibration. We process it into warmth, sight, taste, smell, touch and sound. The physical body affords us the ability to interact with the physical world. Without the ability to process the data we receive, we are locked in a mental prison.
 
But the reverse is also true. Without the ability to process the non-physical intimations we receive, we are imprisoned in a false system of organizing the non-essential into the only world which to the reason is true. Blake postulates a natural body capable of interacting with the physical world and a spiritual body which connects us with the world of spirit. It is the Poetic Genius which is the True Man from which 'outward form' is derived. The sense through which we have access to both the spiritual and physical input is the Imagination which draws on the 'Divine Body of the Lord Jesus'. 
 
All Religions are One, (E 1) 
PRINCIPLE 1st  "That the Poetic Genius is the true Man. and that  the body or outward form of Man is derived from the Poetic  Genius. Likewise that the forms of all things are derived from their Genius."
Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 4, (E 34)                 
  "1 Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that calld Body is
a portion of Soul discernd by the five Senses. the chief inlets
of Soul in this age
  2. Energy is the only life and is from the Body and Reason is
the bound or outward circumference of Energy.
  3 Energy is Eternal Delight"

Milton, Plate 1, (E 96)
"the Human Imagination
Which is the Divine Body of the Lord Jesus, blessed for ever."

Milton, Plate 15 [17], (E 108)
"As when a man dreams, he reflects not that his body sleeps,
Else he would wake; so seem'd he entering his Shadow: but
With him the Spirits of the Seven Angels of the Presence
Entering; they gave him still perceptions of his Sleeping Body;
Which now arose and walk'd with them in Eden, as an Eighth   
Image Divine tho' darken'd; and tho walking as one walks
In sleep; and the Seven comforted and supported him."

Annotations to Berkeley, (E 663)
"Jesus considerd Imagination to be the Real Man & says I will
not leave you Orphanned and I will manifest myself to you   he
says also the Spiritual Body or Angel as little Children always
behold the Face of the Heavenly Father" 

Annotations to Berkeley, (E 664)
Blake - "The Natural Body is an Obstruction to the Soul or Spiritual
Body  
...
Berkeley  . . . Whence, according to Themistius, . . . it may
be inferred that all beings are in the soul.  For, saith he, the
forms are the beings.  By the form every thing is what it is. 
And, he adds, it is the soul that imparteth forms to matter, . .

Blake - This is my Opinion but Forms must be apprehended by Sense or
the Eye of Imagination 
     Man is All Imagination God is Man & exists in us & we in him 

 What Jesus came to Remove was the Heathen or Platonic
Philosophy which blinds the Eye of Imagination The Real Man"

Four Zoas, Night IV, Page 104, (E 378)
"Los said to Enitbarmon Pitying I saw
Pitying the Lamb of God Descended thro Jerusalems gates
To put off Mystery time after time & as a Man
Is born on Earth so was he born of Fair Jerusalem
In mysterys woven mantle & in the Robes of Luvah 

He stood in fair Jerusalem to awake up into Eden
The fallen Man but first to Give his vegetated body      
To be cut off & separated that the Spiritual body may be Reveald"   

First Corinthians 6
 [19] What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
[20] For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

First Corinthians 12
[27] Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

First Corinthians 15
[44] It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
[45] And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
[46] Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
[47] The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
[48] As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
[49] And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

BIRTH

British Museum   For Children: The Gates of Paradise
Copy B, Plate 8

Carl Jung Resources Archetypes constitute the structure of the collective unconscious - they are psychic innate dispositions to experience and represent basic human behavior and specific situations.
Jung about the Collective Unconscious
"The collective unconscious - so far as we can say anything about it at all  - appears to consist of mythological motifs or primordial images, for which reason the myths of all nations are its real exponents. In fact, the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious... We can therefore study the collective unconscious in two ways, either in mythology or in the analysis of the individual." (From The Structure of the Psyche, CW 8, par. 325.)

Birth
Larry was fond of saying that he had a theology professor who taught his students that "you must be born again and again and again." Larry was delighted with this statement because it expressed the Christian life as a continual process of renewals, revitalizations and restorations. The archetypal experience of being born is to begin, to enter into a dramatically new phase of existence. Blake's emphasis was on two types of birth: birth to Mortal Life and birth to Eternal Life.
 
Although Mortal Life begins with being born in the material world, the Eternal Dimension is present from the beginning. The necessity for continual rebirth results from the tension between the influence of Spirit and Matter. In Blake's system the outer world of matter had an iron grasp on the mind of man. It obscured the inner world of spirit which was the true man sojourning for a time in the world of time and space. The woes of the outer world was symptomatic of the failure of man to recognize himself as an Eternal Being connected with all which is being created and all that is Infinite and Eternal.

Although Mortal Life is a gift it is also a danger if it hides the perception of the more valuable Eternal Life which it is meant to serve. Humans gain experience by assuming appearances of types, but each is born with an identity which is more basic than the stages through which he passes. The repeated births which man experiences are the transitions as the inborn Identity becomes capable of freeing himself from 'mind forged manacles' and seeing the world as it is - Infinite      

John 3
[3] Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
[4] Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
[5] Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
[6] That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.


John 6
[63] It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

First Corinthians  2
[11] For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
[12] Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
[13] Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
[14] But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


First John 4
[5] They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
[6] We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
[7] Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
[8] He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.


Songs of Experience, Plate 52, (E 30)
"To Tirzah 
Whate'er is Born of Mortal Birth,
Must be consumed with the Earth
To rise from Generation free;
Then what have I to do with thee?"

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 138,(E 406)
"The Expanding Eyes of Man behold the depths of wondrous worlds
One Earth one sea beneath nor Erring Globes wander but Stars
Of fire rise up nightly from the Ocean & one Sun
Each morning like a New born Man issues with songs & Joy
Calling the Plowman to his Labour & the Shepherd to his rest
He walks upon the Eternal Mountains raising his heavenly voice   
Conversing with the Animal forms of wisdom night & day
That risen from the Sea of fire renewd walk oer the Earth"

Songs and Ballads,(E 473)
"Why should I care for the men of thames
Or the cheating waves of charterd streams
Or shrink at the little blasts of fear
That the hireling blows into my ear

Tho born on the cheating banks of Thames     
Tho his waters bathed my infant limbs
The Ohio shall wash his stains from me         
 I was born a slave but I go to be free"  

 Songs and Ballads, Mental Traveler, (E 484)
"Just as we Reap in joy the fruit
Which we in bitter tears did sow

And if the Babe is born a Boy
He's given to a Woman Old      
Who nails him down upon a rock
Catches his Shrieks in Cups of gold"

Auguries of Innocence, (E 491)
"The Babe is more than swadling Bands
Throughout all these Human Lands
Tools were made & Born were hands 
Every Farmer Understands
Every Tear from Every Eye
Becomes a Babe in Eternity"

Auguries of Innocence, (E 492)
"Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born 
Every Morn & every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night
We are led to Believe a Lie 
When we see not Thro the Eye   

Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night
When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light
God Appears & God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell in Night 
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of day"

Descriptive Catalogue,(E 536)
"nor can a child be born, who is not one of
these characters of Chaucer, The Doctor of Physic is described as
the first of his profession; perfect, learned, completely Master
and Doctor in his art.  Thus the reader will observe, that
Chaucer makes every one of his characters perfect in his kind,
every one is an Antique Statue; the image of a class, and not of
an imperfect individual."

Annotations to Reynolds, (E 648)
 "Knowledge of Ideal Beauty. is Not to be Acquired It is Born
with us Innate Ideas. are in Every Man Born with him. they are
truly Himself.  The Man who says that we have No Innate Ideas
must be a Fool & Knave.  Having No Con-Science or Innate
Science"

Annotations to Reynolds, (E 656)
 "Reynolds Thinks that Man Learns all that he Knows I say on
the Contrary That Man Brings All that he has or Can have Into the
World with him.  Man is Born Like a Garden ready Planted & Sown  
This World is too poor to produce one Seed" 



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Sunday, February 9, 2020

GUIDANCE

Library of Congress
Songs of innocence
Detail Plate 23
I am attempting to put Blake's teachings into the framework of Jung's Archetypes. I began with the idea of the Spiritual Journey which seems to be implicit in Blake's work. When one looks at life from the perspective of evolving or developing, the journey presents itself as an appropriate metaphor. If moving through multiple experiences along life's pathway is a universal description of existence as a human, then the term Archetype can be applied.

A second Archetypal experience that Blake presents is that of Guidance. In spite of the challenges and failures which are encountered along the journey man is not dependent solely on his own resources because he is connected to powers which are not limited to himself. These universal forces are manifest in various ways. The Soul within the individual reveals itself as a reality other than the body, mind or heart which make their presences known. But through the Soul there is felt a connection outside of personal experience with the force which creates and orders the universe, which gives meaning and purpose to existence. The Soul links man with his fellow man as well. We are not isolated from one another but dependent as are organs of one body. 

Guidance as an Archetype may arrive through each of these sources, the internal Soul, the Universal Spirit, or the Humanity dispersed within Beings.

The term Guidance is not prominent in Blake's writing but the idea of being guided is like a thread which runs through his poetry. The role of Guide is primarily assigned to Los and to Jesus. Divine Providence, the Universal Brotherhood and Angels are available for guidance and protection also. Although Guidance is always available, man does not always recognize or accept it. In Blake, the turning away from the perception of the Eternal distances man from the abundant life he is offered. Guidance is there to bring him back.

Milton, PLATE 29 [31], (E 128)
"On Albions Rock Los stands creating the glorious Sun each morning
And when unwearied in the evening he creates the Moon
Death to delude, who all in terror at their splendor leaves
His prey while Los appoints, & Rintrah & Palamabron guide
The Souls clear from the Rock of Death, that Death himself may wake 
In his appointed season when the ends of heaven meet."

Four Zoas, Night VII, PAGE 98 [90], (E 370)
"Enitharmon spread her beaming locks upon the wind & said   
O Lovely terrible Los wonder of Eternity O Los my defence & guide      
Thy works are all my joy. & in thy fires my soul delights
If mild they burn in just proportion & in secret night
And silence build their day in shadow of soft clouds & dews" 
Milton, PLATE 21 [23], (E 116)
"Obey The Dictate! Watch over this World, and with your brooding wings,
Renew it to Eternal Life: Lo! I am with you alway
But you cannot renew Milton he goes to Eternal Death

So spake the Family Divine as One Man even Jesus
Uniting in One with Ololon & the appearance of One Man
Jesus the Saviour appeard coming in the Clouds of Ololon!"
 
Milton, Plate 28 [30], (E 127) 
"Each has its Guard. each Moment Minute Hour Day Month & Year.
All are the work of Fairy hands of the Four Elements             
The Guard are Angels of Providence on duty evermore
Every Time less than a pulsation of the artery
Is equal in its period & value to Six Thousand Years.
PLATE 29 [31]
For in this Period the Poets Work is Done: and all the Great
Events of Time start forth & are concievd in such a Period
Within a Moment: a Pulsation of the Artery."

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 133,(E 401)
"Not for ourselves but for the Eternal family we live
Man liveth not by Self alone but in his brothers face            
Each shall behold the Eternal Father & love & joy abound

So spoke the Eternal at the Feast they embracd the New born Man
Calling him Brother image of the Eternal Father. they sat down
At the immortal tables sounding loud their instruments of joy
Calling the Morning into Beulah the Eternal Man rejoicd"   

Milton, PLATE 23 [25], (E 119)
"We were plac'd here by the Universal Brotherhood & Mercy
With powers fitted to circumscribe this dark Satanic death
And that the Seven Eyes of God may have space for Redemption.
But how this is as yet we know not, and we cannot know;
Till Albion is arisen; then patient wait a little while,"

Four Zoas, Night II, Page 33, (E 322)
"Thus were the stars of heaven created like a golden chain
To bind the Body of Man to heaven from failing into the Abyss" 

Jerusalem, PLATE 77, (E 231)                            
"I give you the end of a golden string,
Only wind it into a ball:
It will lead you in at Heavens gate,
Built in Jerusalems wall."


Luke 4
[17] And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
[18] The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and
recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
[19] To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.


John 16
[12] I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
[13] Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.   

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

JOURNEY

British Museum
Europe
Detail Preludium

From an earlier post:

The children to whom the first book was addressed may be the innocents, those who had not travelled far along the journey. Gates of Paradise is not presented as an account of violent activities such as those portrayed in The Book of Urizen. Instead it's a roadmap to psychic development. Blake is trying to lead us through the process of psychological evolution, but he does not express himself in clear rational language in either the first or second version. The reader is asked to use his intuition to retrieve from his unconscious, archetypal content to associate with the images supplied. The second version addressed To the Sexes seems to recognize that it is those who are in the stage of 'generation' who will benefit from these insights.

In his book Symbol and Image in William Blake, George Wingfield Digby, presented a thorough psychological commentary plate by plate. On page 6, Digby says: 'But the purpose of this form of communication is not to make explicit statements. It is to evoke and direct attention to psychological events and states of consciousness by means other than that of the intellectual concept, which is rooted in dualism.'"

Kay Parkhurst Easson and Roger Easson wrote on page 135 of William Blake: Milton the following:
"Initiating a spiritual journey requires realization of error and the loving acceptance of the journey and the teacher."

And on Page 136:
"Spiritual travel includes confrontation with error, a testing process. Throughout his journey Milton confronts projections of his selfhood, images of his error, obstacles to the pilgrims spiritual growth."

If the individual reaches the level of consciousness where he is unfulfilled by the perspective of experiencing life as an unrelenting cycle of getting and spending, of beginning and ending without anything to give meaning, he may be ready to begin a spiritual journey. In this image we see one who is ready to cast aside the paradigm about which his life has been structured and to explore the unfamiliar.

The traveller on the spiritual journey sets forth into the unknown. He has prepared with his backpack and walking stick, but he hides behind his back the secrets which he prefers not to reveal to himself and others. The sinister factors which he projects on the outer world are hidden, too, in the cave of his mind waiting for opportunity to attack when he is least suspecting.

All Religions are One, (E 1)
"PRINCIPLE 4.
As none by traveling over known lands can find out the unknown.
So from already acquired knowledge Man could not acquire more."

Songs of Innocence, (E 25)
"AH! SUN-FLOWER
Ah Sun-flower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun:
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the travellers journey is done."

Milton, Plate 17 [19], (E 111)
"For travellers from Eternity. pass outward to Satans seat,
But travellers to Eternity. pass inward to Golgonooza."

Jerusalem, Plate 77, (E 232)
"Let every Christian as much as in him lies engage himself openly & publicly before all the World in some Mental pursuit for the Building up of Jerusalem"

Sampson, (E 445)
"The aged woman walked into the field, and lo, again the angel came! Clad as a traveller fresh risen on his journey, she ran and called her husband, who came and talked with him.--O man of God, said he, thou comest from far! Let us detain thee while I make ready a kid, that thou mayest sit and eat, and tell us of thy name and warfare; that when thy sayings t come to pass, we may honour thee. The Angel answered, My name is wonderful; enquire not after it, seeing it is a secret: but, if thou wilt, offer an offering unto the Lord.
                                        THE END."

Songs and Ballads, (E 483)
The Mental Traveller
"I traveld thro' a Land of Men
A Land of Men & Women too
And heard & saw such dreadful things
As cold Earth wanderers never knew

For there the Babe is born in joy
That was begotten in dire woe
Just as we Reap in joy the fruit
Which we in bitter tears did sow"

Vision of Last Judgment, (E 556)
"These States Exist now Man Passes on but States remain for Ever he passes thro them like a traveller who may as well suppose that the places he has passed thro exist no more as a Man may suppose that the States he has passd thro exist no more Every Thing is Eternal
In Eternity one Thing never Changes into another Thing Each Identity is Eternal"

Blake's Chaucer: Prospectus, (E 569)
"The Pilgrims, if sick or lame, on their journey to and from his Shrine, were received at this House. Even at this day every friendless wretch who wants the succour of it, is considered as a Pilgrim travelling through this Journey of Life."

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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

TIME'S END

Time was a subject that interested Blake. He applied himself to developing an understanding of time beyond the simple sequence of moments flowing from past to future. Susan Fox, in Poetic Forms in Blake's Milton, showed how Blake used the device of simultaneity to demonstrate the mutability of time. Most impressive to me was her insight into understanding that the 'visionary moment' when 'past and future are joined' represented an end to time in the same sense that time ended when the Seventh Seal was broken in the Book of Revelation. As Blake wrote: Poetic Work is conceived and accomplished in that moment which transcends ordinary time as time is breached and eternity entered.
 
Poetic Forms in Blake's Milton, Susan Fox, Page 17:
  "Each of two the books of the poem [Milton] offers a range of perspectives on the central action from Eden to Ulro and from remembered past to foretold future, but in each all perspectives focus on a single instant, the instant of the purgation and union of Milton and Ololon, the instant in which past and future are joined in the abolition of time. Even those events in the poem which are clearly antecedent to its main action,  the events of the Bard's Song and the creation of Beulah, are described as the action occurs: Milton decides to descend as he hears the Bard sing (and we shall see, his decision is identical with his descent), and the Daughters of Beulah sing their history as Ololon descends. Milton's descent is both simultaneous and identical with Ololon's descent; all the other actions of the poem, past and present, are merely component actions of the focal event.
  The instant of their descents is the culmination of what Blake describes at the end of Book I as a kind of visionary moment:

"Every Time less than a pulsation of the artery 
Is equal in its period & value to Six Thousand Years. 
PLATE 29 [31] 
For in this Period the Poets Work is Done: and all the Great 
Events of Time start forth & are concievd in such a Period 
Within a Moment: a Pulsation of the Artery."
Milton, (E 127)

 ... All the actions of the poem occur in the last measurable segment of the moment, the last fragment of time itself, the instant before apocalypse puts an end to time."



Wikipedia Commons Angel of Revelation
Rev.10
[1] And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:
[2] And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
[3] And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
[4] And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
[5] And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

[6] And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

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