Milton,PLATE 29 ,(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.
Then Los conducts the Spirits to be Vegetated, into
Great Golgonooza, free from the four iron pillars of Satans Throne
(Temperance, Prudence, justice, Fortitude, the four pillars of tyranny)
That Satans Watch-Fiends touch them not before they Vegetate.
But Enitharmon and her Daughters take the pleasant charge.
To give them to their lovely heavens till the Great Judgment Day
Such is their lovely charge."
Four Zoas, Night the Eighth, Page 100, (E 372):
"Then Enitharmon erected Looms in Lubans Gate
And calld the Looms Cathedron in these Looms She wove the Spectres
Bodies of Vegetation Singing lulling Cadences to drive away
Despair from the poor wandering spectres "
The weaving activity which is a recurring theme in Blake is complicated by the possibilities of providing either a positive or negative body. Enitharmon assumes the job of weaving bodies for the spectres of the dead in order to provide them with a means of regeneration through generation. She gives them bodies in mercy shaped by the virtues of love, hope, forgiveness, understanding and faith. Rahab is simultaneously counteracting Enitharmon's work by changing love to hate, hope to despair, forgiveness to retribution, understanding to jealousy, and faith to doubt.
Jerusalem, Plate 21, (E 166)
"Shame divides Families. Shame hath divided Albion in sunder!
First fled my Sons, & then my Daughters, then my Wild Animations
My Cattle next, last ev'n the Dog of my Gate. the Forests fled
The Corn-fields, & the breathing Gardens outside separated
The Sea; the Stars: the Sun: the Moon: drivn forth by my disease
All is Eternal Death unless you can weave a chaste
Body over an unchaste Mind! Vala! O that thou wert pure!
That the deep wound of Sin might be clos'd up with the Needle,
And with the Loom: to cover Gwendolen & Ragan with costly Robes
Of Natural Virtue, for their Spiritual forms without a Veil
Wither in Luvahs Sepulcher."
Comparing these passages we may get an inkling of the difficulty of journeying through the world of generation: the world of a spirit enclosed in a body. The pull of the world of matter is toward self preservation, selfishness, the selfhood. The material surface fails to recognize the spiritual substance. The Vala who looks after her own interests is the unchaste Mind which cannot be expressed in a chaste - unselfish body. Enitharmon is attempting to weave the spiritual body over a mind which has not yet grown spiritual. Los in his furnaces is preparing the mind through enduring the affliction of experience through which error can be extinguished allowing the perception of the infinite, Jesus.
The work of Los and Enitharmon is finished when Christ consciousness has replaced ego consciousness.
Percival (William Blake's Circle of Destiny):
"Though the burden of regeneration is placed upon Los and Enitharmon, the pivotal figure of the scheme is Christ. He is the only God, the divine humanity, the existence itself. When man lives by Urizen's 'beast-formed science' he is in nonexistence. The change from nonexistence to existence - the change from Satan to Christ - is accomplished when Enitharmon out of pity weaves the generative body of Christianity for the Spectre. In doing so both she and Los comprehend that the peace of mankind is to be achieved by their own extinction. The prophetic race which preached the wrath of God will come to an end. The Christ, as seen in their self-sacrificial pity, has been achieved. Nonexistence has been exchanged for existence. The sexual world has become the generative world, and so a mortal world which passes out of existence that man may become immortal. Clothed in the habiliments of the Elect, the Redeemed, and the Reprobate, the newly 'created' cross the Arnon and pass our of Moab into Cannan, out of the kingdom of Satan int the kingdom of Christ. Albion begins to awaken upon his couch." (page 231)
JERUSALEM PLATE 100
The summation of the whole process is presented in this passage:
Four Zoas, PAGE 113 (FIRST PORTION),(E 376)
In Golgonooza Los's anvils stand & his Furnaces rage
Ten thousand demons labour at the forges Creating Continually
The times & spaces of Mortal Life the Sun the Moon the Stars
In periods of Pulsative furor beating into wedges & bars
Then drawing into wires the terrific Passions & Affections
Of Spectrous dead. Thence to the Looms of Cathedron conveyd
The Daughters of Enitharmon weave the ovarium & the integument
In soft silk drawn from their own bowels in lascivious delight
With songs of sweetest cadence to the turning spindle & reel
Lulling the weeping spectres of the dead. Clothing their limbs
With gifts & gold of Eden. Astonishd stupefied with delight
The terrors put on their sweet clothing on the banks of Arnon
Whence they plunge into the river of space for a period till
The dread Sleep of Ulro is past. But Satan Og & Sihon
Build Mills of resistless wheels to unwind the soft threads & reveal
Naked of their clothing the poor spectres before the accusing heavens
While Rahab & Tirzah far different mantles prepare webs of torture
They unweave the soft threads then they weave them anew in the forms
Of dark death & despair & none from Eternity to Eternity could Escape
But thou O Universal Humanity who is One Man blessed for Ever
Recievest the Integuments woven Rahab beholds the Lamb of God
She smites with her knife of flint She destroys her own work
Times upon times thinking to destroy the Lamb blessed for Ever
He puts off the clothing of blood he redeems the spectres from their bonds
He awakes the sleepers in Ulro the Daughters of Beulah praise him
They anoint his feet with ointment they wipe them with the hair
of their head "