Book of Urizen
Here, in the Four Zoas, Blake turns the furnaces and looms in a different direction. In the hands of Urizen the furnaces and looms operate in the Caverns of the Grave (the recesses of the unconscious) as instruments of division. The looms are set to create nets and traps to alter the instinctive energies of of the mind into patterns of abstract reasoning, and sense based weighing and measuring. But were it not for the eagles of imagination bringing light to the deep, the work would not be able to continue. The mind deceives itself by finding delight in thought patterns which will only later reveal their cruel deception.
The cruelest deception is that the mind and body can be separated into two intellects, a male and a female, each with a will of its own. There follows from this illusion the desire to possess and control the opposite nature. Spreading from Urizen and his emanation Ahania, to Los and Enitharmon, and to Luvah and Vala, the disease of a selfish and jealous Selfhood has been established.
Four Zoas, Night II, (E 318-20) "Then siezd the Lions of Urizen their work, & heated in the forge Roar the bright masses, thund'ring beat the hammers, many a pyramid Is form'd & thrown down thund'ring into the deeps of Non Entity Heated red hot they hizzing rend their way down many a league Till resting. each his [center] finds; suspended there they stand Casting their sparkies dire abroad into the dismal deep For measurd out in orderd spaces the Sons of Urizen With compasses divide the deep; they the strong scales erect PAGE 29 That Luvah rent from the faint Heart of the Fallen Man And weigh the massy Cubes, then fix them in their awful stations And all the time in Caverns shut, the golden Looms erected First spun, then wove the Atmospheres, there the Spider & Worm Plied the wingd shuttle piping shrill thro' all the list'ning threads Beneath the Caverns roll the weights of lead & spindles of iron The enormous warp & woof rage direful in the affrighted deep While far into the vast unknown, the strong wing'd Eagles bend Their venturous flight, in Human forms distinct; thro darkness deep They bear the woven draperies; on golden hooks they hang abroad The universal curtains & spread out from Sun to Sun The vehicles of light, they separate the furious particles Into mild currents as the water mingles with the wine. While thus the Spirits of strongest wing enlighten the dark deep The threads are spun & the cords twisted & drawn out; then the weak Begin their work; & many a net is netted; many a net PAGE 30 Spread & many a Spirit caught, innumerable the nets Innumerable the gins & traps; & many a soothing flute Is form'd & many a corded lyre, outspread over the immense In cruel delight they trap the listeners, & in cruel delight Bind them, condensing the strong energies into little compass ... When Urizen returnd from his immense labours & travels Descending She reposd beside him folding him around In her bright skirts. Astonishd & Confounded he beheld Her shadowy form now Separate he shudderd & was silent Till her caresses & her tears revivd him to life & joy Two wills they had two intellects & not as in times of old This Urizen percievd & silent brooded in darkning Clouds To him his Labour was but Sorrow & his Kingdom was Repentance He drave the Male Spirits all away from Ahania And she drave all the Females from him away Los joyd & Enitharmon laughd, saying Let us go down And see this labour & sorrow; They went down to see the woes Of Vala & the woes of Luvah, to draw in their delights And Vala like a shadow oft appeard to Urizen PAGE 31 The King of Light beheld her mourning among the Brick kilns compelld To labour night & day among the fires, her lamenting voice Is heard when silent night returns & the labourers take their rest"