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

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Near the beginning of Milton, Blake presents another perspective on the origins. This account begins with Urizen, Los, Enitharmon and Albion already in existence. First we learn that the initial splitting of the unity occurred when the unity which was Albion was slain in two aspects. His mountains (his mind or reasoning powers) were affected as well as his tent (his body or central integrity). Here we pick up on an idea from Paradise Lost which appears elsewhere in Blake; that the fall is initiated by the envy of an angelic being for the expression of divinity incorporated in the human. Blake equates the 'Human Imagination' and the 'Divine Body of the Lord Jesus'.
Milton, Plate 2, (E 96)
"Three Classes are Created by the Hammer of Los, & Woven  

Plate 3                                                  
By Enitharmons Looms when Albion was slain upon his Mountains
And in his Tent, thro envy of Living Form, even of the Divine
And of the sports of Wisdom in the Human Imagination
Which is the Divine Body of the Lord Jesus, blessed for ever.
Mark well my words. they are of your eternal salvation:      

The colloquy begins (or continues) between Urizen and Los. Urizen separate from the unity of Albion has no individual existence. The work of Los is to create conditions through which Urizen can take form and acquire vision.
Urizen lay in darkness & solitude, in chains of the mind lock'd up
Los siezd his Hammer & Tongs; he labourd at his resolute Anvil
Among indefinite Druid rocks & snows of doubt & reasoning.

Seven Ages are required for Urizen to acquire a skeleton, a circulatory system, five senses and his limbs.

Refusing all Definite Form, the Abstract Horror roofd. stony hard.
And a first Age passed over & a State of dismal woe:      

Down sunk with fright a red round Globe hot burning. deep
Deep down into the Abyss. panting: conglobing: trembling
And a second Age passed over & a State of dismal woe.

Rolling round into two little Orbs & closed in two little Caves
The Eyes beheld the Abyss: lest bones of solidness freeze over all      
And a third Age passed over & a State of dismal woe.

From beneath his Orbs of Vision, Two Ears in close volutions
Shot spiring out in the deep darkness & petrified as they grew
And a fourth Age passed over & a State of dismal woe.

Hanging upon the wind, Two Nostrils bent down into the Deep   
And a fifth Age passed over & a State of dismal woe.

In ghastly torment sick, a Tongue of hunger & thirst flamed out
And a sixth Age passed over & a State of dismal woe.

Enraged & stifled without & within: in terror & woe, he threw his
Right Arm to the north, his left Arm to the south, & his Feet  
Stampd the nether Abyss in trembling & howling & dismay
And a seventh Age passed over & a State of dismal woe

In response to the formation of Urizen, Los emanates separate female and male forms from his original unified form.

Terrified Los stood in the Abyss & his immortal limbs
Grew deadly pale; he became what he beheld: for a red
Round Globe sunk down from his Bosom into the Deep in pangs  
He hoverd over it trembling & weeping. suspended it shook
The nether Abyss in temblings. he wept over it, he cherish'd it
In deadly sickening pain: till separated into a Female pale
As the cloud that brings the snow: all the while from his Back
A blue fluid exuded in Sinews hardening in the Abyss       
Till it separated into a Male Form howling in Jealousy

The labors continue within, while the consequences are perceived as in an exterior world. Time and space have become the canvas on which are written activities and characterisations of mental  processes.

 Within labouring. beholding Without: from Particulars to Generals
Subduing his Spectre, they Builded the Looms of Generation
They Builded Great Golgonooza Times on Times Ages on Ages
First Orc was Born then the Shadowy Female: then All Los's Family
At last Enitharmon brought forth Satan Refusing Form, in vain
The Miller of Eternity made subservient to the Great Harvest
That he may go to his own Place Prince of the Starry Wheels

New York Public Library
Plate 10
Blake has set the stage for the threefold existence of the world of Los to be played out in the three sons of Los: Rintrah, Palamabron, and Satan - wrath, pity and the reasoning abstract.

Plate 4                    
Beneath the Plow of Rintrah & the harrow of the Almighty
In the hands of Palamabron. Where the Starry Mills of Satan
Are built beneath the Earth & Waters of the Mundane Shell
Here the Three Classes of Men take their Sexual texture Woven
The Sexual is Threefold: the Human is Fourfold"            

And here the fallen Urizen has been identified with Satan, the adversary of God. 

Milton, Plate 10 [11], (E 104)
"Then Los & Enitharmon knew that Satan is Urizen       
Drawn down by Orc & the Shadowy Female into Generation"

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