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

Monday, April 1, 2013


British Museum
Lithograph, 1807
Genesis 5
[21] And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
[22] And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
[23] And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
[24] And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

Hebrews 11
[5] By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
[6] But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Milton, PLATE 27 [29], (E 124)
"But in Eternity the Four Arts: Poetry, Painting, Music, And 

Architecture which is Science: are the Four Faces of Man."

In Blake's lithograph of the Old Testament patriarch named Enoch he presents the Four Arts: Poetry, Painting, Music, And Architecture which are in Eternity the Four Faces of Man. We are familiar with the Four Faces of Man as the Four Zoas. The Art of Urthona is poetry, of Tharmas is painting, of Luvah is music, and of Urizen is architecture. Blake pictures music, painting and poetry plying their arts as they stand and sit on the foundation of architecture. The three are portrayed in human form but the fourth as an inanimate object. In the previous post we saw that architecture had become manifest as science in the material world and was expressed as Religion, Law, and Physic & Surgery.

Blake names Poetry Painting & Music as the 'three powers in man of conversing with paradise' not swept away by by the flood. Exercising these powers facilitate communicating with eternity.

Vision of the Last Judgment, (E 559)
"The Persons who ascend to Meet the Lord coming in the Clouds
with power & great Glory. are representations of those States
described in the Bible under the Names of the Fathers before &
after the Flood Noah is seen in the Midst of these Canopied by a
Rainbow. on his right hand Shem & on his Left Japhet these three
Persons represent Poetry Painting & Music the three Powers <in
Man> of conversing with Paradise which the flood did not Sweep
Moving to the central  image of the picture we see a man who holds a book in which is written the name Enoch in Hebrew. Enoch was unique in the Old Testament for having been translated to God's presence without experiencing death. Blake's teaching was that of experiencing Eternity is an ever present possibility through annihilating the Selfhood. The image of Enoch reinforces the idea that within man are the powers of transcending confinement in an existence that is limited to the material.

The face of this figure of Enoch is indistinguishable from Blake's portrayals of Job, Jehovah, and Urizen. He holds a book which Blake associates with the priestly religion rather than a scroll which he associates with the prophetic. His left foot is exposed offering the possibility of an entry point for either the divine or the demonic. So he is a symbol for reconciling contraries.

In the Marriage of Heaven & Hell Blake asserts that man has no body distinct from his soul. This statement is an indication that the incarnation is not the exception but the rule: that the body and soul are inseparable. The picture centered around Enoch can be seen as an image of the body and soul as the appear from various  viewpoints. The soul is expressed through the body, and the body is expressed through the soul.

Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 4, (E 34)
                 "The voice of the Devil
  All Bibles or sacred codes. have been the causes of the
following Errors.
  1. That Man has two real existing principles Viz: a Body & a
  2. That Energy. calld Evil. is alone from the Body. & that
Reason. calld Good. is alone from the Soul.
  3. That God will torment Man in Eternity for following his
  But the following Contraries to these are True
  1 Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that calld Body is
a portion of Soul discernd by the five Senses. the chief inlets
of Soul in this age
  2. Energy is the only life and is from the Body and Reason is
the bound or outward circumference of Energy.
  3 Energy is Eternal Delight"

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