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

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Psychological work is done in cooperation between inner awareness and outward behavior. Blake wants to change how the outer world is experienced by changing the inner perceptions.

Kathleen Raine in Golgonooza City of Imagination tells us that:

"We must remember at all times that a 'world' for Blake is situated not in Cartesian space but in consciousness; therefore every change of consciousness changes the world." (Page 18)


"Blake, we must remember, is writing of creation not in terms of matter but of consciousness - the faculty which experiences'." (Page 16)

The first lines of Blake's first illuminated book acknowledge 'the faculty which experiences' as the 'true faculty of knowing.'

All Religions are One , (E 1)
"The Voice of one crying in the Wilderness

The Argument As the true method of knowledge is experiment
the true faculty of knowing must be the faculty which
experiences. This faculty I treat of."

Raine continues:

"The Universe, according to Orphic tradition, is Apollo's lyre whose harmonies are a divine utterance, a divine communication of meaning and beauty. By banishing the phenomena from the Imagination - the 'faculty which experiences' - they are emptied of all significance, retaining only a quantitative existence. 'What is within is now seen without' and humankind 'raw to the hungry wind' live no longer in immeasurable incorporeal space but 'in a little and dark Land'. Yet even from this fallen race the world of Imagination is not wholly withdrawn; within every creature 'eternity expands'. the mortal worm, oppressed by Urizen, natural reason, has at all times access to the indwelling Imagination: (Page 19)

Jerusalem , Plate 27, (E 173)
"He witherd up the Human Form,
By laws of sacrifice for sin:
Till it became a Mortal Worm:
But O! translucent all within."

Four Zoas, Night II, Page 25, (E 314)
"Their eyes their ears nostrils & tongues roll outward they behold
What is within now seen without they are raw to the hungry wind
They become Nations far remote in a little & dark Land"

To Blake there is no impediment to gaining access to the ever expanding worlds of eternity because within each of us are openings through which we can pass from the mundane to imaginative. The means is available to us too through love, forgiveness, and expanded awareness.

Jerusalem, Plate 5, (E 147)
"I rest not from my great task!
To open the Eternal Worlds, to open the immortal Eyes
Of Man inwards into the Worlds of Thought: into Eternity
Ever expanding in the Bosom of God. the Human Imagination"

Illustrations for Milton's L'Allegro
Night Startled by the Lark
Blake's accompanying text: "The Lark is an Angel on the Wing; dull Night starts from his Watch Tower on a Cloud. The Dawn with her dappled Horses arises above the Earth: the Earth beneath awakes at the Lark's voice."


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