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

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Paradise Lost
Illustration 10, 1807 
In an illustration to Milton's Paradise Lost, Blake presented another view of the judgement that fell on Adam and Eve for their disobedience. Following Milton's statement, 'So judg'd he Man, both Judge and Saviour sent,' (Book 10.209), Blake pictured Christ, not Jehovah, as informing Adam and Eve of the consequences of their eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The were expelled from Eden and sent into the world which Blake calls generation.

The book of 1John (Chapter 2) in the bible, echoes the gentler attitude toward sin which Christ demonstrates in the picture painted by Blake:

"[ 1] My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:"

However the darker side of separating oneself from the Divine Presence is shown in the upper section of the picture. Here we see Sin and Death, who have been given entry into the world through the opening of the Gate of Hell. Death, to the left wearing a crown, and sin to the right with the three headed hound of hell, are in readiness to work their foul deeds in the world walled off from Eden. 

Sin & Death: the children of Satan.
Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 5, (E 34)
"And the original Archangel or possessor of the command of the
heavenly host, is calld the Devil or Satan and his children are
call'd Sin & Death" 

The Female is
      now separate from the Male: the criteria for the generative world.
 Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 133, (E 401)
"The Eternal Man arose he welcomd them to the Feast
The feast was spread in the bright South & the Eternal Man
Sat at the feast rejoicing & the wine of Eternity
Was servd round by the flames of Luvah all day & all the night

And Many Eternal Men sat at the golden feast to see 
The female form now separate They shudderd at the horrible thing
Not born for the sport and amusement of Man but born to drink up all his powers
They wept to see their shadows they said to one another this is Sin  
This is the Generative world"

Benevolent provision which is made for the new world to be inhabited by man: the Divine Vision.
Four Zoas, Night II, Page 32, (E 321)
"On clouds the Sons of Urizen beheld Heaven walled round       
They weighd & orderd all & Urizen comforted saw               
The wondrous work flow forth like visible out of the invisible   
For the Divine Lamb Even Jesus who is the Divine Vision       
Permitted all lest Man should fall into Eternal Death
For when Luvah sunk down himself put on the robes of blood
Lest the state calld Luvah should cease. & the Divine Vision
Walked in robes of blood till he who slept should awake          

Thus were the stars of heaven created like a golden chain
To bind the Body of Man to heaven from failing into the Abyss"

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