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

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Discord & injustice were recognized by Blake not only as external conditions which could not be altered by more discord and greater injustice; he saw them too as internal conditions which became visible in society when projected outwardly. Internal strife, the explosive conflicts of the demands by aspects of the psyche with one another, requires constant surveillance. The Id, the Superego and the Ego often do not mildly accept the roles assigned to them. There is a man in our neighborhood who spews out his bitter condemnation of anyone who is unlike him or gets in his way, considering himself to have a corner on righteousness. There is a war within him between his Id (Luvah) and Superego (Urizen) which defies control by his Ego (Los). He creates external conflict because of his inner war.  

Blake offered an alternative to killing the tyrant who perpetuated war and oppression. His way is to look within to find the indigent who suffers, and the master who judges, accuses and punishes. In Plate 11 of his series of Illustration of the Book of Job, Blake shows a man who becomes aware of the tyranny which his own image of God had exercised in his psyche. Job was able to alter his God image from that of an accuser to that of a merciful God who is not the source of vengeful arbitrary punishment. He was brought into the family of God where 'mutual forgiveness' opens the Gates of Paradise.   

Courtesy of Wikimedia
Illustrations of the Book of Job
Plate 11
Words from David Bindman, William Blake: His Art and Times:
"The turning point in the series is Job's recognition of the true origin of his suffering. Lying on his bed tormented by visions, he perceives for the first time the cloven hoof of Jehovah, who is wrapped around by a serpent and points to the Decalogue, the  Moral Law of the Old Testament. He realizes that it is Satan, who 'is transformed into an Angel of Light & His Ministers into Ministers of Righteousness', and that he has worshiped one who exalted himself above the true God." (
Page 175)
Jerusalem, Plate 8, (E 150)
"And the Religion of Generation which was meant for the destruction
Of Jerusalem, become her covering, till the time of the End.
O holy Generation! [Image] of regeneration!  
O point of mutual forgiveness between Enemies!
Birthplace of the Lamb of God incomprehensible!
The Dead despise & scorn thee, & cast thee out as accursed:
Seeing the Lamb of God in thy gardens & thy palaces:
Where they desire to place the Abomination of Desolation.   
Jerusalem, Plate 49 ,(E 198)
"In one night the Atlantic Continent was caught up with the Moon,
And became an Opake Globe far distant clad with moony beams.     
The Visions of Eternity, by reason of narrowed perceptions,
Are become weak Visions of Time & Space, fix'd into furrows of death;
Till deep dissimulation is the only defence an honest man has left
O Polypus of Death O Spectre over Europe and Asia
Withering the Human Form by Laws of Sacrifice for Sin            
By Laws of Chastity & Abhorrence I am witherd up.
Striving to Create a Heaven in which all shall be pure & holy
In their Own Selfhoods, in Natural Selfish Chastity to banish Pity
And dear Mutual Forgiveness; & to become One Great Satan
Inslavd to the most powerful Selfhood: to murder the Divine Humanity   
Jerusalem, Plate 54, (E 203)
"In Great Eternity, every particular Form gives forth or Emanates
Its own peculiar Light, & the Form is the Divine Vision
And the Light is his Garment This is Jerusalem in every Man
A Tent & Tabernacle of Mutual Forgiveness Male & Female Clothings.
And Jerusalem is called Liberty among the Children of Albion"  
Gates of Paradise, For the Sexes, Prologue, (E 259)                 
"Mutual Forgiveness of each Vice
Such are the Gates of Paradise
Against the Accusers chief desire
Who walkd among the Stones of Fire
Jehovahs Finger Wrote the Law   
Then Wept! then rose in Zeal & Awe
And the Dead Corpse from Sinais heat 
Buried beneath his Mercy Seat        
O Christians Christians! tell me Why
You rear it on your Altars high"    
Job 19
[23] Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!
[24] That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!
[25] For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
[26] And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
[27] Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; 

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