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

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


The message Blake intended to deliver is seen variously by individuals who study him according to the framework in which in which they work. David Erdman viewed Blake within the "intellectual and social history of his times." Erdman, in Prophet Against Empire, finds Blake's message in the climax of Jerusalem as Albion is able to realistically view the conditions that exist around him. Albion's eyes are opened allowing Britannia to initiate a transformed society.

Erdman (
Page 485):

"In Blake's final 'Visions of Heaven & Earth' (J.96) he sees a revolutionized Britannia reversing the original Temptation by leading Albion into Paradise...But these revolutions swiftly compelled his dislocated Zoas to resume their proper places as 'Sons of Eden.' Whereupon 'England who is Britannia entered Albion's bosom rejoicing, Rejoicing in his indignation! adoring his wrathful rebuke' (J. 94-95).

After this visionary preview, the rest is easy. Blake knows that the prophetic wrath he has had such difficulty trying to control will be fully vindicated when Albion learns to express it adequately and generously in Action and Passion. Vox Populi, vox dei. The wrath in his bosom has really come from the Divine Humanity in his bosom, as he now discovers when Jesus appears, ready to converse 'as Man with Man, in Ages of Eternity And the Divine Appearance was the likeness & similitude of Los.' Albion is quickly given to understand that the angry prophet has been his true friend all along, dying for him continually - for every kindness to another is a little Death In the Divine Image nor can Can Man exist but by Brotherhood' (J. 96).

Now for a moment it is Albion who views with alarm the condition of the world, which Hand has hidden from him:  

'Do I sleep amidst danger to Friends! O my Cities & Counties
Do you sleep! rouze up! rouze up. Eternal Death is abroad'

But this act in itself accomplishes the revolution, demonstrating as it does that Albion has begun to think 'not for himself but for his Friend."

Jerusalem, Plate 96, (E 255)                                                        
"As the Sun & Moon lead forward the Visions of Heaven & Earth
England who is Brittannia entered Albions bosom rejoicing    

Then Jesus appeared standing by Albion as the Good Shepherd
By the lost Sheep that he hath found & Albion knew that it
Was the Lord the Universal Humanity, & Albion saw his Form     
A Man. & they conversed as Man with Man, in Ages of Eternity
And the Divine Appearance was the likeness & similitude of Los

Albion said. O Lord what can I do! my Selfhood cruel
Marches against thee deceitful from Sinai & from Edom
Into the Wilderness of Judah to meet thee in his pride       
I behold the Visions of my deadly Sleep of Six Thousand Years
Dazling around thy skirts like a Serpent of precious stones & gold
I know it is my Self. O my Divine Creator & Redeemer

Jesus replied Fear not Albion unless I die thou canst not live
But if I die I shall arise again & thou with me            
This is Friendship & Brotherhood without it Man Is Not

So Jesus spoke! the Covering Cherub coming on in darkness
Overshadowd them & Jesus said Thus do Men in Eternity
One for another to put off by forgiveness, every sin"
Yale Center for British Art
Young's Night Thoughts

Plate 9

The entry into a new world of expanded consciousness is initiated by the experience of awakening from the sleep of false assumptions. Albion's sleep originated when he accepted Vala as the real and lost his ability to perceive Eternity. His awakening came when he could see the natural, political and social world from the perspective of Eternity: when he could converse 'as Man with Man' with the Universal Humanity.       

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