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

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

RESURRECTION

British Museum
Young's Night Thoughts
Frontispiece to second volume
 



Blake painted 537 watercolors as illustrations to Edward Young's Night Thoughts. Of these 43 were engraved and included in an edition published in 1797. Blake gave greater emphasis than did Young to the Christian dimension in creating his illustrations. Blake seized the opportunity to create two images of the Resurrection.

The role that Jesus plays in Blake's own poetry gives him opportunity to bring up the resurrection in conjunction with Mary Magdalen, the raising of Lazarus, victory over death and regeneration.

 



Jerusalem, Plate 62, (E 213)
[Jerusalem speaks]

"These are the Daughters of Vala, Mother of the Body of death
But I thy Magdalen behold thy Spiritual Risen Body
Shall Albion arise? I know he shall arise at the Last Day!
I know that in my flesh I shall see God: but Emanations
Are weak. they know not whence they are, nor whither tend.

Jesus replied. I am the Resurrection & the Life.
I Die & pass the limits of possibility, as it appears
To individual perception. Luvah must be Created                 
And Vala; for I cannot leave them in the gnawing Grave.
But will prepare a way for my banished-ones to return"

John 11

[21] Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
[22] But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
[23] Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
[24] Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
[25] Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
[26] And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
[27] She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.


Jerusalem, Plate 98, (E 257)
"South stood the Nerves of the Eye. East in Rivers of bliss the Nerves of the
Expansive Nostrils West, flowd the Parent Sense the Tongue. North stood
The labyrinthine Ear. Circumscribing & Circumcising the excrementitious
Husk & Covering into Vacuum evaporating revealing the lineaments of Man
Driving outward the Body of Death in an Eternal Death & Resurrection  
Awaking it to Life among the Flowers of Beulah rejoicing in Unity
In the Four Senses in the Outline the Circumference & Form, forever
In Forgiveness of Sins which is Self Annihilation. it is the Covenant of Jehovah"

First Corinthians 15

[19] If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
[20] But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
[21] For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
[22] For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
[23] But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
[24] Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
[25] For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
[26] The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death


Four Zoas, Night I, PAGE 4, (E 301)                 
In Eden; in the Auricular Nerves of Human life
Which is the Earth of Eden, he his Emanations propagated
Fairies of Albion afterwards Gods of the Heathen, Daughter of Beulah Sing
His fall into Division & his Resurrection to Unity
His fall into the Generation of Decay & Death & his Regeneration
     by the Resurrection from the dead 

Romans 6
[8] Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
[9] Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
[10] For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
[11] Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

SELF-AWARENESS

Marriage of Heaven & Hell,  Plate 5, (E 34)
"  Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough
to be restrained; and the restrainer or reason usurps its place &
governs the unwilling.
  And being restraind it by degrees becomes passive till it is
only the shadow of desire.
  The history of this is written in Paradise Lost. & the Governor
or Reason is call'd Messiah.
  And the original Archangel or possessor of the command of the
heavenly host, is calld the Devil or Satan and his children are
call'd Sin & Death
  But in the Book of Job Miltons Messiah is call'd Satan.
  For this history has been adopted by both parties
  It indeed appear'd to Reason as if Desire was cast out. but the
Devils account is, that the Messiah fell. & formed a heaven
of what he stole from the Abyss"
In the above passage Blake struggled with understanding the most productive way of viewing the archetype which is called Satan. Harold Bloom in Blake's Apocalypse (Page 362) compares the formulations of Satan in the three books: Job, Paradise Regained and Milton. Three authors wrestle with the relationship of God and Man as it is impacted by the divisive, destructive entity known as Satan.

Bloom:
"Like the Book of Job and Paradise Regained, Blake's Milton is a study in self-awareness. Job and Milton's Son of God come to recognize themselves in their true relation to God. Blake's Milton recognizes himself as God or imaginative Man and proceeds to purge from himself everything opposed to that recognition. But where  the Book of Job and Paradise Regained identify sonship to God with obedience to Him, Blake's Milton urges us to 'seek not the heavenly father beyond the skies' but rather 'obey thou the Words of the Inspired Man.' Job and Milton's Son of God overcome their temptations, which in Job are deeply involved with inner conflicts. Blake's Milton is close to Job in that he  must rid himself of the conviction of his own righteousness before he can resolve the conflict within his own self. 

The clearest link between the Book of Job, Paradise Regained, and Milton is that the protagonist of each work must overcome Satan, or a condition brought on by Satan's activity. Here Milton occupies a kind of middle position with respect to  both the earlier works. Like Job, Blake's Milton must overcome his Satanic situation or inwardness, rather than Satan himself. But like the Son of God, Blake's Milton must resist overt Satanic temptation as well. Blake's Milton is both a suffering man, like Job, and a Son of God, very like Milton's Christ. 
...
Just as Paradise Regained afforded Milton the opportunity to explore the Jobean problem within himself, so Blake's Milton allowed the later poet to advance his personal solution to the problem of evil as it confronted him in his own life. The historical Milton indeed became a Rintrah in the wilderness, and a lonely prophet is and excellent prospect for Satan. Paradise Regained concludes with the Son of God  returning to his mother's house, to wait upon the will of God. So John Milton, at the end learned to wait, comforted by a paradise within himself, happier far than the outer one he had failed to bring about in his England. Blake's temptation, in the Bard's song, is an instructive contrast to this pattern of painfully acquired patience and prophetic hope. Under the 'mild' self-imposition of a subtler Satan than the ones who tried Job and Christ, Blake is tempted to forsake Prophecy altogether.   
...
What justifies the ways of God  to men in Milton is finally just and only this: that certain men have the courage to cast out what is not human in them, and so become Man, and to become Man is to have become God."

Milton, Plate 38 [43], (E 139)
"but Laws of Eternity
Are not such: know thou: I come to Self Annihilation
Such are the Laws of Eternity that each shall mutually     
Annihilate himself for others good, as I for thee[.]
Thy purpose & the purpose of thy Priests & of thy Churches
Is to impress on men the fear of death; to teach
Trembling & fear, terror, constriction; abject selfishness
Mine is to teach Men to despise death & to go on            
In fearless majesty annihilating Self, laughing to scorn
Thy Laws & terrors, shaking down thy Synagogues as webs
I come to discover before Heavn & Hell the Self righteousness
In all its Hypocritic turpitude, opening to every eye
These wonders of Satans holiness shewing to the Earth     
The Idol Virtues of the Natural Heart, & Satans Seat
Explore in all its Selfish Natural Virtue & put off
In Self annihilation all that is not of God alone:
To put off Self & all I have ever & ever Amen"

Milton, Plate 40 [46], (E 142)
"That the Children of Jerusalem may be saved from slavery
There is a Negation, & there is a Contrary
The Negation must be destroyd to redeem the Contraries
The Negation is the Spectre; the Reasoning Power in Man
This is a false Body: an Incrustation over my Immortal           
Spirit; a Selfhood, which must be put off & annihilated alway
To cleanse the Face of my Spirit by Self-examination.
Plate 41 [48]
To bathe in the Waters of Life; to wash off the Not Human
I come in Self-annihilation & the grandeur of Inspiration
To cast off Rational Demonstration by Faith in the Saviour
To cast off the rotten rags of Memory by Inspiration
To cast off Bacon, Locke & Newton from Albions covering          
To take off his filthy garments, & clothe him with Imagination
To cast aside from Poetry, all that is not Inspiration"

Wikimedia
Illustration of the Book of Job
Plate 18
Text on Plate 18
"Also the Lord accepted Job"
"And my Servant Job shall pray for you"
"And the Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his Friends"
 
and
Matthew 5
[44] But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
[45] That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
[46] For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
[47] And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
[48] Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

BIBLE IN MILTON

Wikimedia
Original in National Gallery
Tempera
Job and His Daughters
In Blake's Milton there are several places where we are reminded of incidents in the Bible by his use of words and phrases which are familiar from Bible reading. Blake is expanding the associations within his poem to go beyond his literal descriptions and include entire scenarios with archetypal implications. 

Milton, Plate 21, [23], (E 116) 
"Then the Divine Family said. Six Thousand Years are now 
Accomplish'd in this World of Sorrow; Miltons Angel knew 
The Universal Dictate; and you also feel this Dictate. 
And now you know this World of Sorrow, and feel Pity. Obey 
The Dictate! Watch over this World, and with your brooding wings, 
Renew it to Eternal Life: Lo! I am with you alway 
But you cannot renew Milton he goes to Eternal Death
 
So spake the Family Divine as One Man even Jesus 
Uniting in One with Ololon & the appearance of One Man 
Jesus the Saviour appeard coming in the Clouds of Ololon!"
 
Matthew 28
[18] And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
[19] Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
[20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

John 8
[26] I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.
[27] They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.
[28] Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
[29] And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

John 17
[11] And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
[22] And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
[23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Milton, Plate 30 [33), (E 129)
"For if we who are but for a time, & who pass away in winter
Behold these wonders of Eternity we shall consume
But you O our Fathers & Brothers, remain in Eternity
But grant us a Temporal Habitation. do you speak
To us; we will obey your words as you obey Jesus                 
The Eternal who is blessed for ever & ever. Amen

So spake the lovely Emanations; & there appeard a pleasant
Mild Shadow above: beneath: & on all sides round,"
Hebrews 5
[8] Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
[9] And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Milton, Plate 32 [35], (E 132)
"Thus they converse with the Dead watching round the Couch of Death.
For God himself enters Death's Door always with those that enter 
And lays down in the Grave with them, in Visions of Eternity
Till they awake & see Jesus & the Linen Clothes lying
That the Females had Woven for them, & the Gates of their Fathers House"
Luke 24
[10] It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
[11] And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
[12] Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

Milton, Plate 42 [49], (E 143)
"Then as a Moony Ark Ololon descended to Felphams Vale 
In clouds of blood, in streams of gore, with dreadful thunderings
Into the Fires of Intellect that rejoic'd in Felphams Vale
Around the Starry Eight: with one accord the Starry Eight became 
One Man Jesus the Saviour. wonderful! round his limbs
The Clouds of Ololon folded as a Garment dipped in blood
Written within & without in woven letters: & the Writing
Is the Divine Revelation in the Litteral expression:
A Garment of War, I heard it namd the Woof of Six Thousand Years 

And I beheld the Twenty-four Cities of Albion
Arise upon their Thrones to Judge the Nations of the Earth
And the Immortal Four in whom the Twenty-four appear Four-fold
Arose around Albions body: Jesus wept & walked forth
From Felphams Vale clothed in Clouds of blood, to enter into     
Albions Bosom, the bosom of death & the Four surrounded him
In the Column of Fire in Felphams Vale; then to their mouths the Four
Applied their Four Trumpets & them sounded to the Four winds" 
Revelations 19
[11] And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
[12] His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
[13] And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Matthew 24
[27] For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
[28] For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
[29] Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
[30] And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
[31] And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Exodus 13
[20] And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness.
[21] And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
[22] He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

These are some of the associations between passages in Milton and passages in the Bible. A careful reader will find many more.

 .

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

JESUS IN MILTON

Near the conclusion of Milton the Eight Starry Ones visit Blake's garden in Felpham. The Eight are the Seven Angels know as the Eyes of God plus Milton. The Eight are transformed into Jesus the Saviour who is united with Ololon as a man whose cloud folds around him as a garment. You will remember that Milton removed his garment as he began his pilgrimage in response to the Bard's Song.

Milton, Plate 14 [15], (E 198)  
"Then Milton rose up from the heavens of Albion ardorous! 
The whole Assembly wept prophetic, seeing in Miltons face 
And in his lineaments divine the shades of Death & Ulro 
He took off the robe of the promise, & ungirded himself from the oath of God 

And Milton said, I go to Eternal Death!"

Milton has achieved his reunification; release from Eternal Death to Eternal Life. The work of Jesus continued as he entered Albion's  bosom. The account of the apocalypse which would follow, Blake related in Jerusalem.

Milton, Plate 42 [49], (E 143)
"Jesus wept & walked forth
From Felphams Vale clothed in Clouds of blood, to enter into     
Albions Bosom, the bosom of death & the Four surrounded him
In the Column of Fire in Felphams Vale; then to their mouths the Four
Applied their Four Trumpets & them sounded to the Four winds"
In Milton, Ololon and Milton passed through states which were required for their spiritual development. In the end they met Jesus the Imagination who is not a state but 'the Human Existence itself'. Together in the Universal Family, Milton with Ololon lived in Christ and he in them.

Jerusalem, Plate 34 [38], (E 179) 
"but mild the Saviour follow'd him,
Displaying the Eternal Vision! the Divine Similitude!
In loves and tears of brothers, sisters, sons, fathers, and friends
Which if Man ceases to behold, he ceases to exist:

Saying. Albion! Our wars are wars of life, & wounds of love,
With intellectual spears, & long winged arrows of thought:       
Mutual in one anothers love and wrath all renewing
We live as One Man; for contracting our infinite senses
We behold multitude; or expanding: we behold as one,
As One Man all the Universal Family; and that One Man
We call Jesus the Christ: and he in us, and we in him,        
Live in perfect harmony in Eden the land of life,"

In Golgonooza by Kathleen Raine we read on page 154:
"There is, besides, a 'supreme state', and this is the Divine Humanity, who is, for Blake, the God within.
...
But for Blake Jesus is something more specific: he is 'Jesus the Imagination', the 'supreme state' of humanity which transcends, and releases from, all the states of good and evil through which human souls pass. The presence of Jesus the Imagination is with every man at all times present, born with every birth, accompanying every soul throughout life as the 'saviour' who releases man from his present state. It is Satan, the Selfhood, who identifies the man with his present state; and who is therefore the Accuser who condemns; the Divine Humanity, Jesus the imagination, is the ever-present way of release from the states.
...
Human beings can be forgiven for they are not irrevocably 'evil' but can pass through many states, and the supreme state is the goal of all."


Milton, Plate 42 [49], (E 143)
"Then as a Moony Ark Ololon descended to Felphams Vale
In clouds of blood, in streams of gore, with dreadful thunderings
Into the Fires of Intellect that rejoic'd in Felphams Vale
Around the Starry Eight: with one accord the Starry Eight became 
One Man Jesus the Saviour. wonderful! round his limbs
The Clouds of Ololon folded as a Garment dipped in blood
Written within & without in woven letters: & the Writing
Is the Divine Revelation in the Litteral expression:
A Garment of War, I heard it namd the Woof of Six Thousand Years" 
.

Monday, July 22, 2013

OLOLON IN MILTON

Library of Congress
Milton
Plate 50, Copy D

Man cannot be healed of his disunity without recovering that portion of himself which Jung calls the Anima and Blake calls the Emanation. The complete man consists of the humanity and the Emanation, two contraries which together make a whole being. The negation of the contraries, named the Selfhood, Spectre or Shadow, was confronted in the first book of Milton. That which opposed Milton's healing was annihilated opening the way for the process of integration to continue through his assimilating his Emanation. In book two Ololon follows Milton's descent. She assumes responsibility for driving Milton into the Ulro and enters the transformative process.  
Although Ololon can be seen as Milton's emanation, Ololon is much more than that. She takes the form of a sweet river in Eden, she is a multitude of Eternals, she appears as a twelve year old virgin, a moony ark, and finally as a garment dipped in blood containing the literal expression of the Divine Revelation.

Jerusalem, Plate 88, (E 246)
"But if the Emanations mingle not; with storms & agitations
Of earthquakes & consuming fires they roll apart in fear
For Man cannot unite with Man but by their Emanations
Which stand both Male & Female at the Gates of each Humanity"
Milton, Plate 21 [23], (E 115)
"There is in Eden a sweet River, of milk & liquid pearl,         
Namd Ololon; on whose mild banks dwelt those who Milton drove
Down into Ulro: and they wept in long resounding song
For seven days of eternity, and the rivers living banks
The mountains wailld! & every plant that grew, in solemn sighs lamented."

Milton, Plate 21 [23], (E 115) 
"And they lamented that they had in wrath & fury & fire
Driven Milton into the Ulro; for now they knew too late
That it was Milton the Awakener: they had not heard the Bard,
Whose song calld Milton to the attempt; and Los heard these laments.
He heard them call in prayer all the Divine Family;              
And he beheld the Cloud of Milton stretching over Europe.

But all the Family Divine collected as Four Suns
In the Four Points of heaven East, West & North & South
Enlarging and enlarging till their Disks approachd each other;
And when they touch'd closed together Southward in One Sun       
Over Ololon: and as One Man, who weeps over his brother,
In a dark tomb, so all the Family Divine. wept over Ololon.

Saying, Milton goes to Eternal Death! so saying, they groan'd in spirit
And were troubled! and again the Divine Family groaned in spirit!

And Ololon said, Let us descend also, and let us give            
Ourselves to death in Ulro among the Transgressors."

Milton, PLATE 30 [33], (E 129)
"There is a place where Contrarieties are equally True
This place is called Beulah, It is a pleasant lovely Shadow
Where no dispute can come. Because of those who Sleep.
Into this place the Sons & Daughters of Ololon descended
With solemn mourning into Beulahs moony shades & hills           
Weeping for Milton: mute wonder held the Daughters of Beulah
Enrapturd with affection sweet and mild benevolence" 
Milton, Plate 34 [38], (E 134)
"All fell towards the Center sinking downward in dire Ruin

Here in these Chaoses the Sons of Ololon took their abode        

In Chasms of the Mundane Shell which open on all sides round
Southward & by the East within the Breach of Miltons descent
To watch the time, pitying & gentle to awaken Urizen
They stood in a dark land of death of fiery corroding waters
Where lie in evil death the Four Immortals pale and cold         
And the Eternal Man even Albion upon the Rock of Ages[.]
Seeing Miltons Shadow, some Daughters of Beulah trembling
Returnd, but Ololon remaind before the Gates of the Dead

And Ololon looked down into the Heavens of Ulro in fear"
Milton, Plate 36 [40], (136)
"For Ololon step'd into the Polypus within the Mundane Shell
They could not step into Vegetable Worlds without becoming
The enemies of Humanity except in a Female Form          
And as One Female, Ololon and all its mighty Hosts
Appear'd: a Virgin of twelve years nor time nor space was
To the perception of the Virgin Ololon but as the
Flash of lightning but more  quick the Virgin in my Garden
Before my Cottage stood for the Satanic Space is delusion        

For when Los joind with me he took me in his firy whirlwind
My Vegetated portion was hurried from Lambeths shades
He set me down in Felphams Vale & prepard a beautiful
Cottage for me that in three years I might write all these Visions
To display Natures cruel holiness: the deceits of Natural Religion[.]   
Walking in my Cottage Garden, sudden I beheld
The Virgin Ololon & address'd her as a Daughter of Beulah[:]

Virgin of Providence fear not to enter into my Cottage
What is thy message to thy friend: What am I now to do
Is it again to plunge into deeper affliction? behold me          
Ready to obey, but pity thou my Shadow of Delight
Enter my Cottage, comfort her, for she is sick with fatigue 
Plate 37 [41]
The Virgin answerd. Knowest thou of Milton who descended
Driven from Eternity; him I seek! terrified at my Act
In Great Eternity which thou  knowest!  I come him to seek" 
Milton, Plate 39 [44], (E 141)
"So Milton
Labourd in Chasms of the Mundane Shell, tho here before
My Cottage midst the Starry Seven, where the Virgin Ololon
Stood trembling in the Porch: loud Satan thunderd on the stormy Sea
Circling Albions Cliffs in which the Four-fold World resides     
Tho seen in fallacy outside: a fallacy of Satans Churches
PLATE 40 [46]
Before Ololon Milton stood & percievd the Eternal Form
Of that mild Vision; wondrous were their acts by me unknown
Except remotely; and I heard Ololon say to Milton

I see thee strive upon the Brooks of Arnon. there a dread
And awful Man I see, oercoverd with the mantle of years.   
I behold Los & Urizen. I behold Orc & Tharmas;
The Four Zoa's of Albion & thy Spirit with them striving
In Self annihilation giving thy life to thy enemies
Are those who contemn Religion & seek to annihilate it
Become in their Femin[in]e portions the causes & promoters       
Of these Religions, how is this thing? this Newtonian Phantasm
This Voltaire & Rousseau: this Hume & Gibbon & Bolingbroke
This Natural Religion! this impossible absurdity
Is Ololon the cause of this? O where shall I hide my face
These tears fall for the little-ones: the Children of Jerusalem  
Lest they be annihilated in thy annihilation." 
Milton, Plate 40 [46], (E 142)
"But turning toward Ololon in terrible majesty Milton
Replied. Obey thou the Words of the Inspired Man
All that can be annihilated must be annihilated 

That the Children of Jerusalem may be saved from slavery
There is a Negation, & there is a Contrary
The Negation must be destroyd to redeem the Contraries
The Negation is the Spectre; the Reasoning Power in Man
This is a false Body: an Incrustation over my Immortal           
Spirit; a Selfhood, which must be put off & annihilated alway
To cleanse the Face of my Spirit by Self-examination."
Milton, Plate 41 [48], (E 143)
"Then trembled the Virgin Ololon & replyd in clouds of despair

Is this our Femin[in]e Portion the Six-fold Miltonic Female      
Terribly this Portion trembles before thee O awful Man
Altho' our Human Power can sustain the severe contentions
Of Friendship, our Sexual cannot: but flies into the Ulro.
Hence arose all our terrors in Eternity! & now remembrance
Returns upon us! are we Contraries O Milton, Thou & I            
O Immortal! how were we led to War the Wars of Death
Is this the Void Outside of Existence, which if enterd into
Plate 42 [49]
Becomes a Womb? & is this the Death Couch of Albion
Thou goest to Eternal Death & all must go with thee

So saying, the Virgin divided Six-fold & with a shriek
Dolorous that ran thro all Creation a Double Six-fold Wonder!
Away from Ololon she divided & fled into the depths              
Of Miltons Shadow as a Dove upon the stormy Sea.

Then as a Moony Ark Ololon descended to Felphams Vale
In clouds of blood, in streams of gore, with dreadful thunderings
Into the Fires of Intellect that rejoic'd in Felphams Vale
Around the Starry Eight: with one accord the Starry Eight became 
One Man Jesus the Saviour. wonderful! round his limbs
The Clouds of Ololon folded as a Garment dipped in blood
Written within & without in woven letters: & the Writing
Is the Divine Revelation in the Litteral expression:"

Saturday, July 20, 2013

BLAKE IN MILTON

British Museum
Milton
Copy A, Plate 29
 
Blake did not stand outside of the action which occurred in Milton. He began the book by using events in his own life to provide metaphors for the parable he presented in the Bard's Song which initiated Milton's decision to 'go to Eternal Death.' When Milton undertook his descent from his abode in Eternity to Albion's land, Blake watched his path in the appearance of  a falling star. At this point Milton entered Blake by way of his left foot. Blake was not claiming to understand what was happening to Milton, but he was claiming a desire to be used in the journey Milton was undertaking.
    
Blake's point in his poem Milton was that in undertaking the task of finding ways in which Milton's life and work may be transformed to epitomize the lineaments of the spiritual child of God he knew in Milton, he learned to transform himself. In the first book of Milton, the two poets learn to annihilate the Spectre, in the second book they learn to incorporate the Emanation.

     
Milton, Plate 14 [15], (E 108)
"Then on the verge of Beulah he [Milton] beheld his own Shadow;
A mournful form double; hermaphroditic: male & female
In one wonderful body. and he enterd into it
In direful pain for the dread shadow, twenty-seven-fold
Reachd to the depths of direst Hell, & thence to Albions land:  
Which is this earth of vegetation on which now I write,

The Seven Angels of the Presence wept over Miltons Shadow!
Plate 15 [17]
As when a man dreams, he reflects not that his body sleeps,
Else he would wake; so seem'd he entering his Shadow: but
With him the Spirits of the Seven Angels of the Presence
Entering; they gave him still perceptions of his Sleeping Body;
Which now arose and walk'd with them in Eden, as an Eighth   
Image Divine tho' darken'd; and tho walking as one walks
In sleep; and the Seven comforted and supported him.

Milton, Plate 15 [17], (E 109)
"First Milton saw Albion upon the Rock of Ages,
Deadly pale outstretchd and snowy cold, storm coverd;
A Giant form of perfect beauty outstretchd on the rock
In solemn death: the Sea of Time & Space thunderd aloud
Against the rock, which was inwrapped with the weeds of death    
Hovering over the cold bosom, in its vortex Milton bent down
To the bosom of death, what was underneath soon seemd above.
A cloudy heaven mingled with stormy seas in loudest ruin;
But as a wintry globe descends precipitant thro' Beulah bursting,
With thunders loud and terrible: so Miltons shadow fell        
Precipitant loud thundring into the Sea of Time & Space.

Then first I saw him in the Zenith as a falling star,
Descending perpendicular, swift as the swallow or swift;
And on my left foot falling on the tarsus, enterd there;
But from my left foot a black cloud redounding spread over Europe.          

Then Milton knew that the Three Heavens of Beulah were beheld
By him on earth in his bright pilgrimage of sixty years"

Milton, PLATE 21 [23], (E 115)
"And down descended into Udan-Adan; it was night:
And Satan sat sleeping upon his Couch in Udan-Adan:
His Spectre slept, his Shadow woke; when one sleeps th'other wakes

But Milton entering my Foot; I saw in the nether
Regions of the Imagination; also all men on Earth,               
And all in Heaven, saw in the nether regions of the Imagination
In Ulro beneath Beulah, the vast breach of Miltons descent.
But I knew not that it was Milton, for man cannot know
What passes in his members till periods of Space & Time
Reveal the secrets of Eternity: for more extensive               
Than any other earthly things, are Mans earthly lineaments.

And all this Vegetable World appeard on my left Foot,
As a bright sandal formd immortal of precious stones & gold:
I stooped down & bound it on to walk forward thro' Eternity."

Milton, Plate 22 [24], (E 116)
"Tho driven away with the Seven Starry Ones into the Ulro
Yet the Divine Vision remains Every-where For-ever. Amen.
And Ololon lamented for Milton with a great lamentation.

While Los heard indistinct in fear, what time I bound my sandals
On; to walk forward thro' Eternity, Los descended to me:         
And Los behind me stood; a terrible flaming Sun: just close
Behind my back; I turned round in terror, and behold.
Los stood in that fierce glowing fire; & he also  stoop'd down
And bound my sandals on in Udan-Adan; trembling I stood
Exceedingly with fear & terror, standing in the Vale             
Of Lambeth: but he kissed me and wishd me health.
And I became One  Man  with  him  arising in my strength:
Twas too late now to recede. Los had enterd into my soul:
His terrors now posses'd me whole! I arose in fury & strength."

Milton, Plate 36 [40], (E 136)  
"For Ololon step'd into the Polypus within the Mundane Shell
They could not step into Vegetable Worlds without becoming
The enemies of Humanity except in a Female Form          
And as One Female, Ololon and all its mighty Hosts
Appear'd: a Virgin of twelve years nor time nor space was
To the perception of the Virgin Ololon but as the
Flash of lightning but more  quick the Virgin in my Garden
Before my Cottage stood for the Satanic Space is delusion        

For when Los joind with me he took me in his firy whirlwind
My Vegetated portion was hurried from Lambeths shades
He set me down in Felphams Vale & prepard a beautiful
Cottage for me that in three years I might write all these Visions
To display Natures cruel holiness: the deceits of Natural Religion[.]   
Walking in my Cottage Garden, sudden I beheld
The Virgin Ololon & address'd her as a Daughter of Beulah[:]

Virgin of Providence fear not to enter into my Cottage
What is thy message to thy friend: What am I now to do
Is it again to plunge into deeper affliction? behold me          
Ready to obey, but pity thou my Shadow of Delight
Enter my Cottage, comfort her, for she is sick with fatigue  
PLATE 37 [41]
The Virgin answerd. Knowest thou of Milton who descended
Driven from Eternity; him I seek! terrified at my Act
In Great Eternity which thou  knowest!  I come him to seek

So Ololon utterd in words distinct the anxious thought"

Milton, Plate 42 [49], (E 143)
"Terror struck in the Vale I stood at that immortal sound
My bones trembled. I fell outstretchd upon the path              
A moment, & my Soul returnd into its mortal state
To Resurrection & Judgment in the Vegetable Body
And my sweet Shadow of Delight stood trembling by my side"
. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

SATAN

Wikimedia
Illustrations to Paradise Lost
Thomas Set, Image 3
'Christ Offers to Redeem Man'


The concepts which Blake dramatized in his poem Milton took form while he was living for three years in Felpham under the patronage of William Hayley. Blake's dominant function was his imagination which he felt called to express in prophetic poetry. His mentor (in Eternity) John Milton became the vehicle through which he could explore the struggles of a poet to overcome the resistances which he encountered in his effort to deliver his message of redemption.

 
Blake came to realize that Satan was not a force who had power over him. Satan could be recognized as a negation which opposed the mental movements working to create his poetry. Satan could be identified as a state not an entity. One enters the state of Satan by allowing one's own selfhood to take control of one's psyche and determine one's behaviors. The state of Satan is characterized by accusation, deception, inconsistency, destructiveness, and self-righteouness. When Blake saw these qualities enacted in Hayley he knew he had to make changes. He had to acknowledge that the negation of his work as a poet was within himself as well as outwardly in Hayley. And he had to return to London in order to avoid falling away from his great task as a poet - opening the minds of men to a perception of the infinite.
 

W. J. T. Mitchell in his chapter Blake's Radical Comedy in Blake's Sublime Allegory, edited by Curren and Wittreich explains the challenge that faced Blake:
"Blake seems to have been more interested in understanding what it means to be a prophet in an age that does not believe in prophets than in making himself look good at the expense of Hayley. Insofar as he 'serv'd / The Mills of Satan as the easier task' and hid his wrath during his stay in Felpham he had jeopardized his whole prophetic mission. Hayley's loss of temper only redeemed Blake from the charge of ingratitude; it did not solve the problem of how to be a prophet. Like Milton, Blake must have seen that Satan was not primarily Hayley or the Establishment but his own Selfhood, that part of him that doubted his calling enough to keep him in Felpham for three years." (Page 292)



Milton, Plate 3, (E 97)
"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
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

If you account it Wisdom when you are angry to be silent, and
Not to shew it: I do not account that Wisdom but Folly.
Every Mans Wisdom is peculiar to his own Individ[u]ality
O Satan my youngest born, art thou not Prince of the Starry Hosts
And of the Wheels of Heaven, to turn the Mills day & night?  
Art thou not Newtons Pantocrator weaving the Woof of Locke
To Mortals thy Mills seem every thing & the Harrow of Shaddai
A scheme of Human conduct invisible & incomprehensible
Get to thy Labours at the Mills & leave me to my wrath,

Satan was going to reply, but Los roll'd his loud thunders."  

Milton, Plate 7, (E 100)
"The first, The Elect from before the foundation of the World: 
The second, The Redeem'd. The Third, The Reprobate & form'd
To destruction from the mothers womb: follow with me my plow! 

Of the first class was Satan: with incomparable mildness;
His primitive tyrannical attempts on Los: with most endearing love    
He soft intreated Los to give to him Palamabrons station;
For Palamabron returnd with labour wearied every evening
Palamabron oft refus'd; and as often Satan offer'd
His service till by repeated offers and repeated intreaties
Los gave to him the Harrow of the Almighty;"

Milton, Plate 7, (E 100)
"What could Los do? how could be judge, when Satans self, believ'd
That he had not oppres'd the horses of the Harrow, nor the servants.  

So Los said, Henceforth Palamabron, let each his own station
Keep: nor in pity false, nor in officious brotherhood, where
None needs, be active. Mean time Palamabrons horses.
Rag'd with thick flames redundant, & the Harrow maddend with fury."


Milton, Plate 8, (E 102)
And all the Elect & all the Redeem'd mourn'd one toward another  
Upon the mountains of Albion among the cliffs of the Dead.

They Plow'd in tears! incessant pourd Jehovahs rain, & Molechs
Thick fires contending with the rain, thunder'd above rolling
Terrible over their heads; Satan wept over Palamabron
Theotormon & Bromion contended on the side of Satan            
Pitying his youth and beauty; trembling at eternal death:
Michael contended against Satan in the rolling thunder
Thulloh the friend of Satan also reprovd him; faint their reproof."

Milton, Plate 9, (E 103)
"For Satan flaming with Rintrahs fury hidden beneath his own mildness
Accus'd Palamabron before the Assembly of ingratitude! of malice:
He created Seven deadly Sins drawing out his infernal scroll,
Of Moral laws and cruel punishments upon the clouds of Jehovah
To pervert the Divine voice in its entrance to the earth
With thunder of war & trumpets sound, with armies of disease
Punisbments & deaths musterd & number'd; Saying I am God alone   
There is no other! let all obey my principles of moral individuality
I have brought them from the uppermost innermost recesses
Of my Eternal Mind, transgressors I will rend off for ever,
As now I rend this accursed Family from my covering.

Thus Satan rag'd amidst the Assembly! and his bosom grew     
Opake against the Divine Vision: the paved terraces of
His bosom inwards shone with fires, but the stones becoming opake!
Hid him from sight, in an extreme blackness and darkness,
And there a World of deeper Ulro was open'd, in the midst
Of the Assembly. In Satans bosom a vast unfathomable Abyss."   

Milton, Plate 11 [12], (E 104)
"And the Mills of Satan were separated into a moony Space
Among the rocks of Albions Temples, and Satans Druid sons
Offer the Human Victims throughout all the Earth, and Albions
Dread Tomb immortal on his Rock, overshadowd the whole Earth:
Where Satan making to himself Laws from his own identity.      
Compell'd others to serve him in moral gratitude & submission
Being call'd God: setting himself above all that is called God.
And all the Spectres of the Dead calling themselves Sons of God
In his Synagogues worship Satan under the Unutterable Name"

Milton, Plate 14 [15], (E 108)
"I will go down to self annihilation and eternal death,
Lest the Last Judgment come & find me unannihilate
And I be siez'd & giv'n into the hands of my own Selfhood
The Lamb of God is seen thro' mists & shadows, hov'ring          
Over the sepulchers in clouds of Jehovah & winds of Elohim
A disk of blood, distant; & heav'ns & earth's roll dark between
What do I here before the Judgment? without my Emanation?
With the daughters of memory, & not with the daughters of inspiration[?]
I in my Selfhood am that Satan: I am that Evil One!              
He is my Spectre! in my obedience to loose him from my Hells
To claim the Hells, my Furnaces, I go to Eternal Death." 
 
Milton, Plate 32 [35], (E 132)
"Distinguish therefore States from Individuals in those States.
States Change: but Individual Identities never change nor cease:
You cannot go to Eternal Death in that which can never Die.
Satan & Adam are States Created into Twenty-seven Churches       
And thou O Milton art a State about to be Created
Called Eternal Annihilation that none but the Living shall
Dare to enter: & they shall enter triumphant over Death
And Hell & the Grave! States that are not, but ah! Seem to be."
. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

RINTRAH

Before Blake completely formulated his fourfold system he wrote of Rintrah because he had met him in his own life and in his own psyche. He knew that wrath, justified or unjustified, gained expression and left a trail of destruction. Rintrah is modeled on the Old Testament prophets who warned Israel of her defeat and deportation for abandoning adherence to God's laws. The 'voice of one crying in the wilderness' as articulated by John the Baptist is the voice of Rintrah also. The wrath of which the prophets warned was often reflected back on them and they became alienated outcasts from their society. 
 

British Museum
Europe
Copy D, Plate 7
The wrath which Rintrah represented could be modulated if the mercy, expressed by Palamabron, accompanied him as he sought to right the ever-present wrongs he encountered. Rintrah's plow broke the hardened crust on the soil to enable Palamabron to access the workable clay with which to create.

Rintrah armed with a spear and protected by chain mail is associated with the wars devastating Europe in Blake's time. The existing order was broken up preparatory to rearranging the political landscape of Europe.

On page 333 of Fearful Symmetry, Northrop Frye states:
"The Rintrah or strong class of men is thus a 'Reprobate' class: its members are always looked on as dangerous nuisances. They accept none of the conventional values of society and are revolutionaries, iconoclasts and blasphemers of Nobodaddy."  


 
Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 2, (E 33)
"Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burdend air;
Hungry clouds swag on the deep"

Europe, Plate 5, (E 62)
"Now comes the night of Enitharmons joy!                          
Who shall I call? Who shall I send?
That Woman, lovely Woman! may have dominion?
Arise O Rintrah thee I call! & Palamabron thee!
Go! tell the human race that Womans love is Sin!                 
That an Eternal life awaits the worms of sixty winters
In an allegorical abode where existence hath never come:
Forbid all joy, & from her childhood shall the little female
Spread nets in every secret path." 

Europe, Plate 8, (E 62)
Arise O Rintrah eldest born: second to none but Orc:
O lion Rintrah raise thy fury from thy forests black:
Bring Palamabron horned priest, skipping upon the mountains:
And silent Elynittria the silver bowed queen:
Rintrah where hast thou hid thy bride!                           
Weeps she in desart shades?
Alas my Rintrah! bring the lovely jealous Ocalythron.

Arise my son! bring all thy brethren O thou king of fire.
Prince of the sun I see thee with thy innumerable race:
Thick as the summer stars:                                       
But each ramping his golden mane shakes,
And thine eyes rejoice because of strength O Rintrah furious king."

Milton, Plate 8, (E 101)
"Then Los took off his left sandal placing it on his head,
Signal of solemn mourning: when the servants of the Mills
Beheld the signal they in silence stood, tho' drunk with wine.
Los wept! But Rintrah also came, and Enitharmon on
His arm lean'd tremblingly observing all these things

And Los said. Ye Genii of the Mills! the Sun is on high
Your labours call you! Palamabron is also in sad dilemma;
His horses are mad! his Harrow confounded! his companions enrag'd.
Mine is the fault! I should have remember'd that pity divides the soul
And man, unmans: follow with me my Plow. this mournful day    
Must be a blank in Nature: follow with me, and tomorrow again
Resume your labours, & this day shall be a mournful day

Wildly they follow'd Los and Rintrah, & the Mills were silent
They mourn'd all day this mournful day of Satan & Palamabron:
And all the Elect & all the Redeem'd mourn'd one toward another  
Upon the mountains of Albion among the cliffs of the Dead.

They Plow'd in tears! incessant pourd Jehovahs rain, & Molechs
Thick fires contending with the rain, thunder'd above rolling
Terrible over their heads; Satan wept over Palamabron
Theotormon & Bromion contended on the side of Satan            
Pitying his youth and beauty; trembling at eternal death:
Michael contended against Satan in the rolling thunder
Thulloh the friend of Satan also reprovd him; faint their reproof.

But Rintrah who is of the reprobate: of those form'd to destruction
In indignation. for Satans soft dissimulation of friendship!  
Flam'd above all the plowed furrows, angry red and furious,
Till Michael sat down in the furrow weary  dissolv'd in tears
Satan who drave the team beside him, stood angry & red
He smote Thulloh & slew him, & he stood terrible over Michael
Urging him to arise: he wept! Enitharmon saw his tears         
But Los hid Thulloh from her sight, lest she should die of grief
She wept: she trembled! she kissed Satan; she wept over Michael
She form'd a Space for Satan & Michael & for the poor infected[.]
Trembling she wept over the Space, & clos'd it with a tender Moon

Los secret buried Thulloh, weeping disconsolate over the moony Space     

But Palamabron called down a Great Solemn Assembly,
That he who will not defend Truth, may be compelled to
Defend a Lie, that he may be snared & caught & taken"

Milton, Plate 9, (E 103)
"Judgment: and Lo! it fell on Rintrah and his rage:           
Which now flam'd high & furious in Satan against Palamabron
Till it became a proverb in Eden. Satan is among the Reprobate.

Los in his wrath curs'd heaven & earth, he rent up Nations
Standing on Albions rocks among high-reard Druid temples
Which reach the stars of heaven & stretch from pole to pole. 
He displacd continents, the oceans fled before his face
He alter'd the poles of the world, east, west & north & south
But he clos'd up Enitharmon from the sight of all these things"

Milton, Plate 11 [12], (E 105)
"And it was enquir'd: Why in a Great Solemn Assembly           
The Innocent should be condemn'd for the Guilty? Then an Eternal rose

Saying. If the Guilty should be condemn'd, he must be an Eternal Death
And one must die for another throughout all Eternity.
Satan is fall'n from his station & never can be redeem'd
But must be new created continually moment by moment          
And therefore the Class of Satan shall be calld the Elect, & those
Of Rintrah. the Reprobate, & those of Palamabron the Redeem'd
For he is redeem'd from Satans Law, the wrath falling on Rintrah,
And therefore Palamabron dared not to call a solemn Assembly
Till Satan had assum'd Rintrahs wrath in the day of mourning   
In a feminine delusion of false pride self-deciev'd.

So spake the Eternal and confirm'd it with a thunderous oath"

Milton, Plate 29 [31], (E 128)
"On Albions Rock Los stands creating the glorious Sun each morning
And when unwearied in the evening he creates the Moon
Death to delude, who all in terror at their splendor leaves
His prey while Los appoints, & Rintrah & Palamabron guide
The Souls clear from the Rock of Death, that Death himself may wake 
In his appointed season when the ends of heaven meet.

Then Los conducts the Spirits to be Vegetated, into
Great Golgonooza, free from the four iron pillars of Satans Throne
(Temperance, Prudence, justice, Fortitude, the four pillars of tyranny)
That Satans Watch-Fiends touch them not before they Vegetate. "   

One of the questions asked and answered by Blake through his poem Milton is how to dissipate the anger and its residue produced by opposing the forces which prevent the return to Eden.

.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

PALAMABRON

British Museum
Milton
Copy A, Plate 8

In The Illuminated Blake, David Erdman comments on Plate 10 [8] of Milton:
"The touching of feet (one left and one right) is a sort of parody of the relationship of bread and wine in Plate 2; it should represent a marriage of true Contraries (as it does in Plate 48), and the brothers Rintrah and Palamabron should be touching each other, joining fraternal pity and wrath. They cannot truly pity or hate the selfhood Satan, a mere negation who will go up in smoke (see Plate 32). He has momentarily rent pity and wrath 'asunder' - 'The Separation was terrible' - but to look for Satan's 'hidden heart' is to look into 'a vast unfathomable abyss.'" (Page 226)



In the Bard's Song the tasks of the Eternal Prophet Los are split among his three sons. The plowing is assigned to Rintrah, the harrowing is assigned to Palamabron, and the milling is the task of Satan.

We learn that Palamabron is a gentle agreeable sort who is suited to the task of working the soil which has already been torn and broken by the plow in the hands of his brother Rintrah. As aspects of the work of the Prophet, Rintrah's work is the wrath of warning the lawbreakers of the consequences of their rebelliousness; Palamabron's work is in directing the repentants toward a path of renewal. Wrath and Pity are contraries; they work together to move forward the process of producing the harvest of souls.

Blake himself plays the role of Palamabron in his relationship to Hayley. Blake and Palamabron are both poets following their vocations of preparing the soil for individuals to grow toward the Eternal. Hayley plays the role of Satan in obstructing the progress of the poet Blake as he responds to his visionary call. The conflict is related in the Bard's Song in terms of the exchange of work assignments by Palamabron and Satan. The turmoil created by the weakness of Palamabron in submitting to the demands of Satan brings about the reconsideration by Blake and Milton of the means by which the prophet/poet can deliver Eternal Truth.      


Milton, Plate 6, (E 100)
"The Web of Life is woven: & the tender sinews of life created
And the Three Classes of Men regulated by Los's hammer. 
Plate 7
The first, The Elect from before the foundation of the World:
The second, The Redeem'd. The Third, The Reprobate & form'd
To destruction from the mothers womb: follow with me my plow!

Of the first class was Satan: with incomparable mildness;
His primitive tyrannical attempts on Los: with most endearing love    
He soft intreated Los to give to him Palamabrons station;
For Palamabron returnd with labour wearied every evening
Palamabron oft refus'd; and as often Satan offer'd
His service till by repeated offers and repeated intreaties
Los gave to him the Harrow of the Almighty; alas blamable      
Palamabron. fear'd to be angry lest Satan should accuse him of
Ingratitude, & Los believe the accusation thro Satans extreme
Mildness. Satan labour'd all day. it was a thousand years
In the evening returning terrified overlabourd & astonish'd
Embrac'd soft with a brothers tears Palamabron, who also wept  

Mark well my words! they are of your eternal salvation

Next morning Palamabron rose: the horses of the Harrow
Were maddend with tormenting fury, & the servants of the Harrow
The Gnomes, accus'd Satan, with indignation fury and fire.
Then Palamabron reddening like the Moon in an eclipse,        
Spoke saying, You know Satans mildness and his self-imposition,
Seeming a brother, being a tyrant, even thinking himself a brother
While he is murdering the just; prophetic I behold
His future course thro' darkness and despair to eternal death
But we must not be tyrants also! he hath assum'd my place      
For one whole day, under pretence of pity and love to me:
My horses hath he maddend! and my fellow servants injur'd:
How should he[,] he[,] know the duties of another? O foolish forbearance
Would I had told Los, all my heart! but patience O my friends.
All may be well: silent remain, while I call Los and Satan.

But Palamabron called down a Great Solemn Assembly,
That he who will not defend Truth, may be compelled to
Defend a Lie, that he may be snared & caught & taken"

Milton, Plate 9, (E 102)
"And all Eden descended into Palamabrons tent
Among Albions Druids & Bards, in the caves beneath Albions
Death Couch, in the caverns of death, in the corner of the Atlantic.
And in the midst of the Great Assembly Palamabron pray'd:
O God protect me from my friends, that they have not power over me       
Thou hast giv'n me power to protect myself from my bitterest enemies.

Mark well my words, they are of your eternal salvation" 

Milton, Plate 9, (E 103)
"Astonishment held the Assembly in an awful silence: and tears
Fell down as dews of night, & a loud solemn universal groan
Was utter'd from the east & from the west & from the south
And from the north; and Satan stood opake immeasurable
Covering the cast with solid blackness, round his hidden heart   
With thunders utterd from his hidden wheels: accusing loud
The Divine Mercy, for protecting Palamabron in his tent.

Milton, Plate 11 [12], (E 105)
But when Leutha (a Daughter of Beulah) beheld Satans condemnation
She down descended into the midst of the Great Solemn Assembly
Offering herself a Ransom for Satan, taking on her, his Sin.   

Mark well my words. they are of your eternal salvation!

And Leutha stood glowing with varying colours immortal, heart-piercing
And lovely: & her moth-like elegance shone over the Assembly

At length standing upon the golden floor of Palamabron
She spake: I am the Author of this Sin! by my suggestion   
My Parent power Satan has committed this transgression.
I loved Palamabron & I sought to approach his Tent,
But beautiful Elynittria with her silver arrows repelld me.
Plate 12 [13]
For her light is terrible to me. I fade before her immortal beauty." 

Milton, Plate 13 [14], (E 107)
"But Elynittria met Leutha in the place where she was hidden.
And threw aside her arrows, and laid down her sounding Bow;
She sooth'd her with soft words & brought her to Palamabrons bed
In moments new created for delusion, interwoven round about,
In dreams she bore the shadowy Spectre of Sleep, & namd him Death.     
In dreams she bore Rahab the mother of Tirzah & her sisters
In Lambeths vales; in Cambridge & in Oxford, places of Thought
Intricate labyrinths of Times and Spaces unknown, that Leutha lived
In Palamabrons Tent, and Oothoon was her charming guard.

The Bard ceas'd." 

Harold Bloom in Blake's Apocalypse brings together threads of the complex fabric of Milton on Page 321: 
"Satan's emanative portion [Leutha], his repressed creativity, loved Palamabron and sought to approach him, but was repelled by Elynittria [Palamabron's emanation], more beautiful than Leutha precisely because Palamabron is an artist, a maker of civilizations. Unable to proceed openly, Leutha engendered in Satan 'his soft delusory love to Palamabron, admiration joined with envy.' The Elect advance upon the Redeemed, offering love and assistance, but harboring the murderous lust of possessiveness. The age will accept Blake as an artist, but only if he will become a Hayley, not a reborn Milton."
.

Friday, July 12, 2013

LOS IN MILTON

Los is the positive force that counteracts the destructive forces attempting to destroy man. Los is said to be the Vehicular Form of Urthona meaning that he is the means of implementing in the physical world the characteristics of the imaginative, intuitive, inclusive functioning of the mind and the universe represented by Blake as Urthona. Los is many faceted to Blake. The circumstances determine the role which he is required to play, and the role determines the behaviors appropriate to functions he performs. Los is the the Spirit of Prophecy; he is Time, Poetry, the Watchman of Eternity, a blacksmith, an artificer and sculptor.
In Milton many of Los' activities are conducted by his Sons, extensions of himself which are dedicated to specific activities, or to specific ways in which the mind functions. The three sons prominent in the Bard's Song are Palamabron, Rintrah and Satan who act out the dynamics of the mind of the prophetic poet.

Wikimedia Song of Los
Copy E, Plate 4 
Harold Bloom tells us this on Page 136 of Blake's Apocalypse:
"The world of Los comprises everything in the state of Experience that progresses through the action of contraries and that is built up as a guard against chaos, but only in a continual sense, since such constructs are never to be valued for their own sakes, but constantly to be created and destroyed by the imagination. Los is therefore an artificer, and everything he builds only an artifice of Eternity, a sculpture that the fire of fresher vision will burn down."





Jerusalem, Plate 53, (E 202) "But Los, who is the Vehicular Form of strong Urthona  So Los lamented over Satan, who triumphant divided the Nations" 
 
 Milton, Plate 24, [26], (E 120) 
"Los is by mortals nam'd Time Enitharmon is nam'd Space
But they depict him bald & aged who is in eternal youth
All powerful and his locks flourish like the brows of morning    
He is the Spirit of Prophecy the ever apparent Elias
Time is the mercy of Eternity; without Times swiftness
Which is the swiftest of all things: all were eternal torment:
All the Gods of the Kingdoms of Earth labour in Los's Halls.
Every one is a fallen Son of the Spirit of Prophecy             
He is the Fourth Zoa, that stood arou[n]d the Throne Divine."

Milton, Plate 19, [21], (E 112) 
"Four Universes round the Mundane Egg remain Chaotic    
One to the North, named Urthona: One to the South, named Urizen:
One to the East, named Luvah: One to the West, named Tharmas
They are the Four Zoa's that stood around the Throne Divine!
But when Luvah assum'd the World of Urizen to the South:
And Albion was slain upon his  mountains, & in his tent;     
All fell towards the Center in dire ruin, sinking down.
And in the South remains a burning fire; in the East a void.

In the West, a world of raging waters; in the North a solid,
Unfathomable! without end. But in the midst of these,
Is built eternally the Universe of Los and Enitharmon:       
Towards which Milton went, but Urizen oppos'd his path."

Milton, Plate 20 [22], (E 114)
"They rend the heavens round the Watchers in a fiery circle:
And round the Shadowy Eighth: the Eight close up the Couch
Into a tabernacle, and flee with cries down to the Deeps:
Where Los opens his three wide gates, surrounded by raging fires!
They soon find their own place & join the Watchers of the Ulro.  

Los saw them and a cold pale horror coverd o'er his limbs
Pondering he knew that Rintrah & Palamabron might depart:
Even as Reuben & as Gad; gave up himself to tears.
He sat down on his anvil-stock; and leand upon the trough.
Looking into the black water, mingling it with tears.            

At last when desperation almost tore his heart in twain
He recollected an old Prophecy in Eden recorded,
And often sung to the loud harp at the immortal feasts
That Milton of the Land of Albion should up ascend
Forwards from Ulro from the Vale of Felpham; and set free        
Orc from his Chain of Jealousy, he started at the thought"

Milton, Plate 22 [24], (E 116)
Tho driven away with the Seven Starry Ones into the Ulro
Yet the Divine Vision remains Every-where For-ever. Amen.
And Ololon lamented for Milton with a great lamentation."

While Los heard indistinct in fear, what time I bound my sandals
On; to walk forward thro' Eternity, Los descended to me:         
And Los behind me stood; a terrible flaming Sun: just close
Behind my back; I turned round in terror, and behold.
Los stood in that fierce glowing fire; & he also  stoop'd down
And bound my sandals on in Udan-Adan; trembling I stood
Exceedingly with fear & terror, standing in the Vale             
Of Lambeth: but he kissed me and wishd me health.
And I became One  Man  with  him  arising in my strength:
Twas too late now to recede. Los had enterd into my soul:
His terrors now posses'd me whole! I arose in fury & strength."

Milton, Plate 23 [25], (E 119)    
"But Los dispersd the clouds even as the strong winds of Jehovah, 

And Los thus spoke. O noble Sons, be patient yet a little
I have embracd the falling Death, he is become One with me
O Sons we live not by wrath. by mercy alone we live!
I recollect an old Prophecy in Eden recorded in gold; and oft
Sung to the harp: That Milton of the land of Albion.
Should up ascend forward from Felphams Vale & break the Chain
Of jealousy from all its roots; be patient therefore O my Sons
These lovely Females form sweet night and silence and secret
Obscurities to bide from Satans Watch-Fiends. Human loves        
And graces; lest they write them in their Books, & in the Scroll
Of mortal life, to condemn the accused: who at Satans Bar
Tremble in Spectrous Bodies continually day and night
While on the Earth they live in sorrowful Vegetations
O when shall we tread our Wine-presses in heaven; and Reap      
Our wheat with shoutings of joy, and leave the Earth in peace"

Millton, Plate 26 [28], (E 123)
"These are the Children of Los; thou seest the Trees on mountains
The wind blows heavy, loud they thunder thro' the darksom sky
Uttering prophecies & speaking instructive words to the sons
Of men: These are the Sons of Los! These the Visions of Eternity 

But we see only as it were the hem of their garments
When with our vegetable eyes we view these wond'rous Visions

There are Two Gates thro which all Souls descend. One Southward
From Dover Cliff to Lizard Point. the other toward the North
Caithness & rocky Durness, Pentland & John Groats House.         

The Souls descending to the Body, wail on the right hand
Of Los; & those deliverd from the Body, on the left hand
For Los against the east his force continually bends"

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

MILTON IN MILTON

Library of Congress Milton
Plate 16, Copy D


The song of the Bard in the Eternal court continued for thirteen plates in Blake's prophetic poem Milton. In Biblical terms it may be considered a long parable. Although it was presented to the Eternals as a body, it was addressed to Milton. It was an invitation to Milton to return to the level of existence which to ordinary humans is life in the real world. The dilemmas expressed in the Bard's Songs concerning the three classes of men, the emanations, and the role of the prophet, move Milton to choose to 'go to Eternal Death' to further explore the ways of God as they impact humanity.



Blake's Poetry and Designs, edited by Mary Lynn Johnson and John E Grant, Page 245 (note)
"The afterlife Milton experiences in the Heavens of Albion is inauthentic because it is achieved only by the outer shell of his personality. His essential self, as well as the works he has created and the women he has loved, are left in an unresolved state of conflict in the world of time and space. Instead of waiting for his dead body to be resurrected, Milton is now imbued with the living Spirit and casts off his former self in preparation for reentering the 'death' (cf. Paradise Lost I, 3) of the fallen world. By undergoing death as 'self-annihilation,' he will actually achieve new life, though it seems to him that he will be totally destroyed. This passage is illustrated on plate 16."
Milton, Plate 13 [14], (E 107)
"The Bard ceas'd. All consider'd and a loud resounding murmur     
Continu'd round the Halls; and much they question'd the immortal
Loud voicd Bard. and many condemn'd the high tone'd Song
Saying Pity and Love are too venerable for the imputation
Of Guilt. Others said. It it is true! if the acts have been perform'd
Let the Bard himself witness. Where hadst thou this terrible Song
  
The Bard replied. I am Inspired! I know it is Truth! for I Sing
Plate 14 [15]
According to the inspiration of the Poetic Genius
Who is the eternal all-protecting Divine Humanity
To whom be Glory & Power & Dominion Evermore Amen

Then there was great murmuring in the Heavens of Albion
Concerning Generation & the Vegetative power & concerning        
The Lamb the Saviour: Albion trembled to Italy Greece & Egypt
To Tartary & Hindostan & China & to Great America
Shaking the roots & fast foundations of the Earth in doubtfulness
The loud voic'd Bard terrify'd took refuge in Miltons bosom

Then Milton rose up from the heavens of Albion ardorous!         
The whole Assembly wept prophetic, seeing in Miltons face
And in his lineaments divine the shades of Death & Ulro
He took off the robe of the promise, & ungirded himself from the oath of God

And Milton said, I go to Eternal Death! The Nations still
Follow after the detestable Gods of Priam; in pomp               
Of warlike selfhood, contradicting and blaspheming.
When will the Resurrection come; to deliver the sleeping body
From corruptibility: O when Lord Jesus wilt thou come?
Tarry no longer; for my soul lies at the gates of death.
I will arise and look forth for the morning of the grave.       
I will go down to the sepulcher to see if morning breaks!
I will go down to self annihilation and eternal death,
Lest the Last Judgment come & find me unannihilate
And I be siez'd & giv'n into the hands of my own Selfhood
The Lamb of God is seen thro' mists & shadows, hov'ring          
Over the sepulchers in clouds of Jehovah & winds of Elohim
A disk of blood, distant; & heav'ns & earth's roll dark between
What do I here before the Judgment? without my Emanation?
With the daughters of memory, & not with the daughters of inspiration[?]
I in my Selfhood am that Satan: I am that Evil One!              
He is my Spectre! in my obedience to loose him from my Hells
To claim the Hells, my Furnaces, I go to Eternal Death."

Blake's Poetry and Designs, edited by Mary Lynn Johnson and John E Grant, Page 257 (Note)
"Insofar as Milton's Satan represents Energy (Marriage of Heaven & Hell 4-5), he must be freed from the torment to which Milton had relegated him. Insofar as Milton, unable to recognize his own hypocrisy, has been imprisoned in his own selfhood, he has been like Satan in the Bard's Song. Milton is changing his conception of Satan; no longer is the principle of evil embodied in a rebel angel; instead, it lies in one's own self-deception and self righteousness." 
 
Larry has pointed out the parallel in the New Testament to this from Milton:
"He took off the robe of the promise, & ungirded himself from the oath of God
And Milton said, I go to Eternal Death!"

Paul wrote in Philippians 2:
[5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
[6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
[7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
[8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.