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

Sunday, May 20, 2012


John Middleton Murry, on page 247 of his book William Blake, calls our attention to the transition between 'states' in the world of generation and in the Eternal World.

"The States are everlasting in the world of Generation. In that world always are, and always will be, Love divided from the Imagination, Memory divided from Forgiveness, Reason divided from Vision. Roughly, they correspond to Luvah, and Tharmas, and Urizen, in the Fallen Man: The Sexual Threefold. When they are united, or re-united with Urthona, the Fourfold Human comes to be. But in the consummation they are not annihilated. They are simply changed. They become 'Servants of Humanity, not Gods or Lords'. We may remember the Spectre's words concerning 'the mild fields of happy Eternity'.

Four Zoas,  Page 84, (E 359)
"Mutual there we dwelt in one anothers joy revolving
Days of Eternity with Tharmas mild & Luvah sweet melodious
Upon our waters. This thou well rememberest listen I will tell
What thou forgettest. They in us & we in them alternate Livd 
Drinking the joys of Universal Manhood."
Murry continues: "That which thus unites them is the Imagination, wherein each may live and move and have his being, without seeking tyranny: and this condition of mutual forgiveness, of Mental instead of Sexual warfare, is the condition on the Eternal Man."

Milton, Plate 32 [35], (E 132)
"Calling the Human Imagination: which is the Divine Vision & Fruition
In which Man liveth eternally: madness & blasphemy, against      
Its own Qualities, which are Servants of Humanity, not Gods or Lords[.]
Distinguish therefore States from Individuals in those States.
States Change: but Individual Identities never change nor cease:
You cannot go to Eternal Death in that which can never Die."

Acts 17  

[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.

New York Public Library
Milton, Plate 14
Blake calls upon his reader to distinguish between his true identity and the states through which he passes. In his Imagination man lives Eternally; identifying with the states through which he passes, he lives in the world of generation. The image in which Milton removes his robes presents the idea that the states, the traps which ensnare man, can be discarded. Beneath the coverings are revealed the human in his fourfold nature. The Senses, the Emotions, the Reason and the Intuition serve man and do not rule him. They live in man and he in them 'Drinking the joys of Universal Manhood.' 

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