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

Saturday, August 31, 2013

LOVE & HARMONY

William Blake was not the sort of person who went unnoticed. He was too gifted and too confident of his exceptional abilities not to draw attention. As a young man he was invited to the homes of some of the prominent intelligentsia of London. Through these contacts his earliest poems gained publication in 1783 in a little volume called Poetical Sketches.

In the Commentary for The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, Harold Bloom tells us that the volume can be 'viewed as a workshop of Blake's developing imaginative ambitions.' Bloom recognizes that these early works of the poet 'give definite form to the strong workings of imagination.' The pursuit of engraving and painting represented one thrust of Blake's lifelong ambition of giving form to imagination; Poetical Sketches demonstrates that the second thrust of communicating through poetry was well developed at an early age.

British Museum
Europe 
Copy D, Plate 11
Poetical Sketches, (E 413)
               "SONG.
Love and harmony combine,
And around our souls intwine,
While thy branches mix with mine,
And our roots together join.

Joys upon our branches sit,    
Chirping loud, and singing sweet;
Like gentle streams beneath our feet
Innocence and virtue meet.

Thou the golden fruit dost bear,
I am clad in flowers fair;    
Thy sweet boughs perfume the air,
And the turtle buildeth there.

There she sits and feeds her young,
Sweet I hear her mournful song;
And thy lovely leaves among,
There is love: I hear his tongue.

There his charming nest doth lay,
There he sleeps the night away;
There he sports along the day,
And doth among our branches play." 

Much that is developed in Blake's later poetry is present in these joyful verses. We are challenged to see that disparate items are not separable but 'combine' and 'intwine'. The state of innocence is portrayed in which the imagination is free to play because love and harmony reign.

Perhaps Blake had already formulated the desire that his poetry and illuminations would combine and intertwine as his imagination gained expression in multiple forms which harmonized. 

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Friday, August 30, 2013

ONE BODY

Courtesy of Wikimedia
Illustration to Blair's The Grave
Descent of Man into the Vale of Death



Blake is convinced that humans are not separate entities but portions of one body. Because man is a member of the one body (Albion), his every act is influenced by those with whom be interacts, and his acts impinge upon all others. If he becomes a punisher, he punishes himself as well as all of humanity. Every member of the body is responsible for caring of every other member. Only by doing so can the body provide for each member. Each member is harmed by the selfishness of another because all are necessary for the body to function optimally.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jerusalem, Plate 47, (E 196) 
"Hark! the mingling cries of Luvah with the Sons of Albion
Hark! & Record the terrible wonder! that the Punisher
Mingles with his Victims Spectre, enslaved and tormented         
To him whom he has murderd, bound in vengeance & enmity
Shudder not, but Write, & the hand of God will assist you!
Therefore I write Albions last words. Hope is banish'd from me."
Jerusalem, Plate 45 [31], (E 194)
"What shall I [Los] do! what could I do, if I could find these Criminals
I could not dare to take vengeance; for all things are so constructed
And builded by the Divine hand, that the sinner shall always escape,
And he who takes vengeance alone is the criminal of Providence;
If I should dare to lay my finger on a grain of sand
In way of vengeance; I punish the already punishd: O whom
Should I pity if I pity not the sinner who is gone astray!
O Albion, if thou takest vengeance; if thou revengest thy wrongs
Thou art for ever lost! What can I do to hinder the Sons
Of Albion from taking vengeance? or how shall I them perswade.
PLATE 48
These were his [Albion's] last words, and the merciful Saviour in his arms
Reciev'd him, in the arms of tender mercy and repos'd
The pale limbs of his Eternal Individuality
Upon the Rock of Ages."



Jerusalem, PLATE 31 [35], (E 177)
"Then the Divine hand found the Two Limits, Satan and Adam,
In Albions bosom: for in every Human bosom those Limits stand.
And the Divine voice came from the Furnaces, as multitudes without
Number! the voices of the innumerable multitudes of Eternity.
And the appearance of a Man was seen in the Furnaces;            
Saving those who have sinned from the punishment of the Law,
(In pity of the punisher whose state is eternal death,)
And keeping them from Sin by the mild counsels of his love.

Albion goes to Eternal Death: In Me all Eternity.
Must pass thro' condemnation, and awake beyond the Grave!
No individual can keep these Laws, for they are death
To every energy of man, and forbid the springs of life;
Albion hath enterd the State Satan! Be permanent O State!
And be thou for ever accursed! that Albion may arise again:
And be thou created into a State! I go forth to Create           
States: to deliver Individuals evermore! Amen.
So spoke the voice from the Furnaces, descending into Non-Entity
[To Govern the Evil by Good: and States abolish Systems.]"

Vision of Last Judgment, (E 565)
"In Hell all is Self
Righteousness there is no such thing there as Forgiveness of Sin
he who does Forgive Sin is Crucified as an Abettor of Criminals.
& he who performs Works of Mercy in Any shape whatever is punishd
& if possible destroyd not thro Envy  or Hatred or Malice but
thro Self Righteousness that thinks it does God service which God
is Satan" 

Love, mercy, forgiveness, generosity, kindness, and gratitude: when these are the measure which is given, they will be the measure which is returned.
 
Luke 6
[35] But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.
[36] Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
[37] "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
[38] give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back." 


Matthew 7
[1] "Judge not, that you be not judged.
[2] For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.
[3] Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
[4] Or how can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye?
[5] You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

,

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

EXTREMISTS

In Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington:

There follows a quote from Martin Luther King's letter written from the jail in Birmingham, Alabama in April of 1963. King had been jailed for refusing to discontinue his protests against the abuse of justice in the segregated South. He took the opportunity of his imprisonment to make a statement of the foundations of the movement to non-violently enact 'extreme' measures to replace the passive acceptance of conditions which were an outrage to the conscience of just men.  

"I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.
...
Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: "Get rid of your discontent." Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "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." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . ." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists."

William Blake could be added to the list of men who were willing to advocate extreme measures to effect the changes which would reverse oppression. He spoke through his poetry especially through the prophetic voice of Los and in the following poem.

Yale Center for British Art
 America, A Prophecy
Frontispiece

Songs and Ballads, (E 489)
          The Grey Monk                    
"I die I die the Mother said
My Children die for lack of Bread          
What more has the merciless Tyrant said
The Monk sat down on the Stony Bed         

The blood red ran from the Grey Monks side 
His hands & feet were wounded wide
His Body bent his arms & knees
Like to the roots of ancient trees

His eye was dry no tear could flow
A hollow groan first spoke his woe 
He trembled & shudderd upon the Bed        
At length with a feeble cry he said

When God commanded this hand to write
In the studious hours of deep midnight
He told me the writing I wrote should prove
The Bane of all that on Earth I lovd       

My Brother starvd between two Walls
His Childrens Cry my Soul appalls
I mockd at the wrack & griding chain    
My bent body mocks their torturing pain 

Thy Father drew his sword in the North
With his thousands strong he marched forth
Thy Brother has armd himself in Steel     
To avenge the wrongs thy Children feel    

But vain the Sword & vain the Bow 
They never can work Wars overthrow
The Hermits Prayer & the Widows tear
Alone can free the World from fear

For a Tear is an Intellectual Thing        
And a Sigh is the Sword of an Angel King 
And the bitter groan of the Martyrs woe    
Is an Arrow from the Almighties Bow

The hand of Vengeance found the Bed 
To which the Purple Tyrant fled
The iron hand crushd the Tyrants head 
And became a Tyrant in his stead" 
. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

FOLLOWING THE LINKS

A spiritual friend whom we met on the internet commented on Larry's recent post Blake's Main Chance. His comment was about people who lead ordinary lives as William Blake did, and accomplish extraordinary things. Larry replied by commenting that he like Whitman had written his book on government time. I followed that hint by searching for a connection between Blake and Whitman. I found a few literary and historical associations which led to Whitman's grave in New Jersey which was patterned after Death's Door in Blake's image for Blair's The Grave. Through a video on YouTube I was able to make a visit to Whitman's home in Camden NJ and his grave which is recognizable as Blake's portrayal of the door through which one passes to reach another dimension. I passed through that door and saw in Camden all the agony in Blake's London which led him to call it Babylon, a place of captivity and oppression. The woe of perceiving the deteriorated city was followed by the joy of hearing the background music and reading that the lyrics were by Woody Guthrie. I wound up hearing the voices and guitar music of my two sons back in the day when we were under the same roof, singing and playing Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, John Lennon, etc. . 


Morgan Library
America
Plate 14, Copy A 
When the mind is open (or opened) to receiving multiple intimations of images of truth, the connections with the brotherhood of man and with the cosmos are achieved. The wall is breached. We become members of the one body which to Blake is Albion animated by Jesus. 

 

David Erdman on Page 587 of Blake's Poetry and Designs is attempting to convey a similar idea:
 

"In other words, when we wind up the thread of  the illuminated poem into the golden ball of a single, dynamic, visualizable orb, we are ready to enter into new expanses, through heaven's gate, built in Jerusalem's wall - or in this instance, through the 'breach in the city ... after the battle.' It may be as Frye says, that Blake 'hardly seems to have noticed that he had perfected a radically new form of mixed art.' He hardly seem to have  cared, any more than he cared to question a window concerning his sight. It mattered little to him whether picture penetrated poem or poem penetrated picture, if only their  human, apocalyptic meaning would penetrate our hearts and minds."

Auguries of Innocence, (E 491)
"It is right it should be so 
Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Thro the World we safely go
Joy & Woe are woven fine
A Clothing for the soul divine" 
Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 8, (E 37)
"Every thing possible to be believ'd is an image of truth." 
Jerusalem, Plate 88, (E 246)
"How then can I ever again be united as Man with Man
While thou my Emanation refusest my Fibres of dominion.
When Souls mingle & join thro all the Fibres of Brotherhood
Can there be any secret joy on Earth greater than this?"
Jerusalem, Plate 96, (E 255)
"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" 
Jerusalem, Plate 77, (E 231)
"I give you the end of a golden string,
Only wind it into a ball:
It will lead you in at Heavens gate,
Built in Jerusalems wall." 
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 565)
"I assert for My self that I do
not behold the Outward Creation & that to me it is hindrance &
not Action it is as the Dirt upon my feet No part of Me. What it
will be Questiond When the Sun rises  do  you  not  see  a  round 
Disk of fire somewhat like a Guinea O no no I see an Innumerable
company of the Heavenly host crying Holy Holy Holy is the Lord
God Almighty I question not my Corporeal or Vegetative Eye any
more than I would Question a Window concerning a Sight I look
thro it & not with it."    

Saturday, August 24, 2013

BLAKE & WHITMAN

The congruence in the thought of William Blake and Walt Whitman noted in Swinburne's publication of 1868 draws attention in current studies.
   
From William Blake: A Critical Essay, 1868, by Algernon Charles Swinburne:

"Their casual audacities of expression or speculation are in effect wellnigh identical. Their outlooks and theories are evidently the same on all points of intellectual and social life. The divine devotion and selfless love which make men martyrs and prophets are alike visible and palpable in each. It is no secret now, but a matter of public knowledge, that both these men, being poor in the sight and the sense of the world, have given what they had of time or of money, of labour or of love, to comfort and support all the suffering and sick, all the afflicted and misused, whom they had the chance or the right to succour and to serve. The noble and gentle labours of the one are known to those who live in his time; the similar deeds of the other deserve and demand a late recognition. No man so poor and so obscure as Blake appeared in the eyes of his generation ever did more good works in a more noble and simple spirit. It seems that in each of these men at their birth pity and passion, and relief and redress of wrong, became incarnate and innate. That may well be said of the one which was said of the other: that “he looks like a man.” And in externals and details the work of these two constantly and inevitably coheres and coincides. A sound as of a sweeping wind; a prospect as over dawning continents at the fiery instant of a sudden sunrise; a splendour now of stars and now of storms; an expanse and exultation of wing across strange spaces of air and above shoreless stretches of sea; a resolute and reflective love of liberty in all times and in all things where it should be;...these are qualities common to the work of either."

 
Sarah Ferguson-Wagstaffe of Harvard University published an article titled: "Points of Contact": Blake and Whitman in the University of Maryland's Romantic Circles. The author demonstrates the connection Whitman had with Blake and comments on the similarities between the style and content of their poetry. A specific reference by Whitman to an influence by William Blake is not found. 

 
Here is  a passage showing how the fluidity of experience in the non-material world is portrayed by both Blake and Whitman:  
"16 - While the mythic characters in Blake’s poems contract and expand through perception, Whitman, or a version of Whitman, in Song of Myself, contracts and expands through touch. Whitman’s lexicon of expansion is extensive: for example, in Song of Myself, he "chant[s] a new chant of dilation" (428), he is "Partaker of influx and efflux," (462), and flies as "the fluid and swallowing soul" (799). It is also important to note that Whitman, as the subject of Song of Myself, is multiple: he incorporates "other" voices through and as his own. Ronald Beck explains that "At times the speaker seems to be a persona named Walt Whitman, at other times the voice of all mankind, at other times the voice of the mystical unity at the center of all being. Not only does the point of view shift, but it is often difficult to tell exactly when it shifts, and it is sometimes impossible to tell which voice is speaking" (35). The speaker in Song of Myself expands into a kosmos: "Walt Whitman, an American, one of the roughs, a kosmos, / Disorderly fleshy and sensual" (499-500). "Many long dumb" and "forbidden voices" filter out through his expansive body, and then, in a moment reminiscent of Blake’s "Human Form Divine" and his assertion that "every Minute Particular is Holy: / Embraces are Cominglings: From the Head even to the Feet," Whitman proclaims, "Divine I am inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touched from" (Jerusalem 69.42-3, Song of Myself 526)"


The Everlasting Gospel, (E 522)
"Love too long from Me has fled.
Twas dark deceit to Earn my bread      
Twas Covet or twas Custom or
Some trifle not worth caring for 
That they may call a shame & Sin 
Loves Temple that God dwelleth in
And hide in secret hidden Shrine      
The Naked Human form divine
.And render that a Lawless thing
On which the Soul Expands its wing"    


Jerusalem, Plate 69, (E 223)"Hence the Infernal Veil grows in the disobedient Female:
Which Jesus rends & the whole Druid Law removes away
From the Inner Sanctuary: a False Holiness hid within the Center,
For the Sanctuary of Eden. is in the Camp: in the Outline,
In the Circumference: & every Minute Particular is Holy:
Embraces are Cominglings: from the Head even to the Feet;
And not a pompous High Priest entering by a Secret Place.

Jerusalem pined in her inmost soul over Wandering Reuben         
As she slept in Beulahs Night hid by the Daughters of Beulah"

The Library of Congress collection is a source for extensive material concerning Walt Whitman as well as a repository for an impressive collection of William Blake's Illuminated Books. Their Exhibition, Revising Himself: Walt Whitman and Leaves of Grass includes a letter from Whitman in which Blake is discussed:

This letter's envelope bears the address, "William D. O'Connor, | Light House Bureau, | Treasury Department, | Washington, | D.C." It is postmarked: "New York | Sep | 28."
...

"Swinton has lately been posting himself about William Blake, his poems—has the new London edition of W. B. in two vols.8 He, Swinton, gives me rather new information in one respect—says that the formal resemblance between several pieces of Blake, & my pieces, is so marked that he, S, has, with persons that partially know me, passed them off temporarily for mine, & read them aloud as such. He asked me pointedly whether I had not met with Blake's productions in my youth, &c—said that Swinburne's idea of resemblance &c was not so wild, after all. Quite funny, isn't it?9"

The sketch of Whitman's burial vault which he designed in the form of Blake's illustration to Robert Blair's The Grave is included in this exhibition:
Wikimedia
Illustration for Blair's The Grave
Death's Door

Sites familiar to Whitman and his burial vault are visited in this video.
 
In his final writings to be included in Leaves of Grass, written in 1891 and titled Good-Bye My Fancy, Whitman wrote these lines which express Blake's sentiments as well:

"In its highest aspect, and striking its grandest average, essential Poetry expresses and goes along with essential Religion--has been and is more the adjunct and more serviceable to that true religion (for of course there is a false one, and plenty of it,) than all the priests and creeds and churches that now exist or have ever existed-"

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Friday, August 23, 2013

GOLIATH

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/64/e6/07/64e60719acc9cd7e346ec85d3a07a1a5.jpg

I Samuel XVII, 43–44
[43] And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
[44] And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

SPIRITUAL STATE II

Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge
An Allegory of the Spiritual State of Man
1811
Blake's large tempera painting which is tentatively called An Allegory of the Spiritual State of Man is dominated by images of women in the central portion. There is no definitive identification of their identity. We are offered  the challenge of finding whatever associations we can within Blake's own works, in the Bible, or in images and writings of other artists. 

The choice of females to provide the central content of this major tempera painting leads to many questions. The figure in the center is perhaps the dominant image in the picture. She is the figure who presents only positive connotations being a lovely, graceful, contented woman surrounded by infants and children who form her entourage.

The gestures of the other women and the objects associated with them give us clues to their character but no definite identification. In his poetry Blake uses females to represent eternal characteristics as they become manifest in the outer world. These qualities which are part of the perfect whole of eternity may acquire either constructive or destructive functions in the lower worlds.

If Blake were portraying Faith, Charity, and Hope in the three central figures at the lowest level, as had been suggested by some scholars, he makes them ambiguous. Faith looks to a book for support rather depending on inner illumination. Charity wears and carries symbols of authority and power and exhibits a priestly gesture. Hope reaches up but is held down by a heavy anchor. The abiding characteristics which Paul cites in First Corinthians, Chapter 13 are not convincingly portrayed by the three women.

The women to the right and left of the central figure can hardly be considered representations of the virtues at any level. The woman to the left appears to be a prude as represented by Blake as Tirzah. To the right is the wanton woman known as Rahab in Blake's poetry. Both of these types exercised their skills in manipulating and dominating man through sexual excesses.  

The kneeling woman at the top supported by angels has distanced herself from involvement in worldly activities. Above her head dwells the holy spirit. On her right and left are unidentified figures. It has been suggested that they are Enitharmon to the left; and Los the figure to the right which appears to be androgynous. Enitharmon and Los provided physical bodies to enable life to be generated in space and time.

Vision of Last Judgment, (E 562)
"Jesus is surrounded by Beams of Glory in which are
seen all around him Infants emanating from him   these represent
the Eternal Births of Intellect from the divine Humanity   A
Rainbow surrounds the throne & the Glory in which youthful
Nuptials recieve the infants in their hands " 

Vision of Last Judgment, (E 554)
 "The Last Judgment is not Fable or Allegory
but   Vision Fable or Allegory are a totally distinct & inferior
kind of Poetry.  Vision or Imagination is a Representation of
what Eternally Exists.  Really & Unchangeably.  Fable or Allegory
is Formd by the Daughters of Memory.  Imagination is Surrounded
by the daughters of Inspiration who in the aggregate are calld
Jerusalem"

Jerusalem, Plate 88, (E 246)
"Los answerd sighing like the Bellows of his Furnaces

I care not! the swing of my Hammer shall measure the starry
     round[.]
When in Eternity Man converses with Man they enter
Into each others Bosom (which are Universes of delight)
In mutual interchange. and first their Emanations meet   
Surrounded by their Children. if they embrace & comingle
The Human Four-fold Forms mingle also in thunders of Intellect
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
How then can I ever again be united as Man with Man
While thou my Emanation refusest my Fibres of dominion.
When Souls mingle & join thro all the Fibres of Brotherhood
Can there be any secret joy on Earth greater than this?  

Enitharmon answerd: This is Womans World, nor need she any
Spectre to defend her from Man. I will Create secret places
And the masculine names of the places Merlin & Arthur.
A triple Female Tabernacle for Moral Law I weave
That he who loves Jesus may loathe terrified Female love  
Till God himself become a Male subservient to the Female.

She spoke in scorn & jealousy, alternate torments; and
So speaking she sat down on Sussex shore singing lulling
Cadences, & playing in sweet intoxication among the glistening
Fibres of Los: sending them over the Ocean eastward into  
The realms of dark death; O perverse to thyself, contrarious
To thy own purposes; for when she began to weave
Shooting out in sweet pleasure her bosom in milky Love
Flowd into the aching fibres of Los. yet contending against him
In pride sending his Fibres over to her objects of jealousy
In the little lovely Allegoric Night of Albions Daughters
Which stretchd abroad, expanding east & west & north & south
Thro' all the World of Erin & of Los & all their Children

A sullen Smile broke from the Spectre in mockery & scorn
Knowing himself the author of their divisions & shrinkings, gratified    
At their contentions, he wiped his tears he washd his visage."

Laocoon,(E 275)
 "The True Christian Charity not dependent on Money (the lifes
     blood of Poor Families) that is on Caesar or Empire or
     Natural Religion

For every Pleasure Money Is Useless

Money, which is The Great Satan or Reason the Root of Good & Evil
     In The Accusation of Sin

Where any view of Money exists Art cannot be carried on, but War
     only (Read Matthew CX. 9 & 10 v) by pretences to the Two
     Impossibilities Chastity & Abstinence Gods of the Heathen

Is not every Vice possible to Man described in the Bible openly

All is not Sin that Satan calls so    all the Loves & Graces of Eternity."
 .

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

SPIRITUAL STATE

Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge
An Allegory of the Spiritual State of Man
1811
A tempera painting which Blake produced for Thomas Butts is the largest extant of Blake's pictures, having the dimensions of 59 3/8 x 47 3/4 inches. On the left and right borders Blake included detail showing the spiritual history of man from creation through apocalypse. He surrounds the central images with scenes which have identified with Biblical accounts. 


It is not known if in this tempera Blake was illustrating writing of another author or presenting his own ideas in symbolic form. The condition on the picture makes the images difficult to identify. On page 33-36 of William Blake: Catalogue of the Collection in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge edited by David Bindman we find these identifications of the images on the left and right borders.


On the left side in descending order:
1. Creation by Angel of the Divine Presence
2. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden
3. Noah's Ark with Rainbow Beneath
4. left: Abraham and Isaac
4. right: Moses Destroying the Egyptians in the Red Sea
5. Judgment of Solomon
6. The Babylonian Captivity
7. The Crucifixion, Seen from Behind  
 

On the right side from bottom to top:
8. The Three Marys at the Sepulcher
9. Pentecost
10. Martyrdom by Fire, and St Peter Praying in Prison
11. The Seven-headed Beast of Revelation
12. Angels Blowing the Last Trump
13. Christ in Glory Seated on Flame


Blake envisioned that through the use of his portable Fresco or tempera technique, pictures might be exhibited in public buildings and private homes for the edification or education of the viewer much as the frescoes of Michelangelo and Raphael enriched their audience in Italy.



BLAKE'S EXHIBITION AND CATALOGUE OF 1809, Page 2, (E 527)
          "The Invention of a portable Fresco.

  A Wall on Canvas or Wood, or any other portable thing, of
dimensions ever so large, or ever so small, which may be removed
with the same convenience as so many easel Pictures; is worthy
the consideration of the Rich and those who have the direction of
public Works.  If the Frescos of APELLES, of PROTOGENES, of
RAPHAEL, or MICHAEL ANGELO could have been removed, we might,
perhaps, have them now in England.  I could divide Westminster
Hall, or the walls of any other great Building, into compartments
and ornament them with Frescos, which would be removable at
pleasure.
  Oil will not drink or absorb Colour enough to stand the test
of very little Time and of the Air; it grows yellow, and at
length brown.  It was never generally used till after VANDYKE'S
time.  All the little old Pictures, called cabinet Pictures, are
in Fresco, and not in Oil.
  Fresco Painting is properly Miniature, or Enamel Painting;
every thing in Fresco is as high finished as Miniature or Enamel,
although in Works larger than Life.  The Art has been lost: I
have recovered it.  How this was done, will be told, together
with the whole Process, in a Work on Art, now in the Press.  The
ignorant Insults of Individuals will not hinder me from doing my
duty to my Art.  Fresco Painting, as it is now practised, is like
most other things, the contrary of what it pretends to be.
  The execution of my Designs, being all in Water-colours,
(that is in Fresco) are regularly refused to be exhibited by the
Royal Academy, and the British Institution has, 
this year, followed its example, and has effectually excluded me 
by this Resolution; I therefore invite those Noblemen and 
Gentlem[e]n, who are its Subscribers, to inspect what they have 
excluded: and those who have been told that my Works are 
but an unscientific and irregular Eccentricity, a Madman's
Scrawls, I demand of them to do me the justice to examine before
they decide.
  There cannot be more than two or three great Painters or
Poets in any Age or Country; and these, in a corrupt state of
Society, are easily excluded, but not so easily obstructed.  They
have ex[c]luded Watercolours; it is therefore become necessary
that I should exhibit to the Public, in an Exhibition of my own,
my Designs, Painted in Watercolours.  If Italy is enriched and
made great by RAPHAEL, if MICHAEL ANGELO is its supreme glory, if
Art is the glory of a Nation, if Genius and Inspiration are the
great Origin and Bond of Society, the distinction my Works have
obtained from those who best understand such things, calls for my
Exhibition as the greatest of Duties to my Country.  
                                             WILLIAM BLAKE"

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Monday, August 19, 2013

LAMBETH


Yale Center for British Arts
Songs of Innocence & of Experience 
Plate 51



William and Catherine Blake made their home in the Hercules Building in the Lambeth section of London from 1790 to 1800. Blake uses place name from his own neighborhood as the starting point for the transformation for which Los longed. Blake hoped that Lambeth could become the location in which Jesus and Jerusalem were united in marriage and Albion, as mankind, awoke to his true nature.   

Blake's Lambeth Mosaics Video
 
 
 
 
  
 
Milton, Plate 25 [27], (E 122)
"Go forth Reapers with rejoicing. you sowed in tears
But the time of your refreshing cometh, only a little moment     
Still abstain from pleasure & rest, in the labours of eternity
And you shall Reap the whole Earth, from Pole to Pole! from Sea to Sea
Begining at Jerusalems Inner Court, Lambeth ruin'd and given
To the detestable Gods of Priam, to Apollo: and at the Asylum
Given to Hercules, who labour in Tirzahs Looms for bread    
Who set Pleasure against Duty: who Create Olympic crowns
To make Learning a burden & the Work of the Holy Spirit: Strife.
T[o] Thor & cruel Odin who first reard the Polar Caves  
Lambeth mourns calling Jerusalem. she weeps & looks abroad
For the Lords coming, that Jerusalem may overspread all Nations  
Crave not for the mortal & perishing delights, but leave them
To the weak, and pity the weak as your infant care; Break not
Forth in your wrath lest you also are vegetated by Tirzah
Wait till the Judgement is past, till the Creation is consumed
And then rush forward with me into the glorious spiritual    
Vegetation; the Supper of the Lamb & his Bride; and the
Awaking of Albion our friend and ancient companion.

So Los spoke. But lightnings of discontent broke on all sides round"
Blake established connections to passages from the Bible by his selection of words leading to appropriate biblical verses.

Isaiah 26
[19] Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
[20] Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
[21] For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

1 Kings 19
[10] And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
[11] And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
[12] And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
[13] And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? 

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

ENERGY & RESTRAINT

The title itself announces that The Marriage of Heaven and Hell will be about contrary states and attempts to reconcile them. The Angel and the Devil are given opportunities to present their perspectives. On Plate 3 we are told that contraries are necessary. The perspective of the Angel is expressed in equating good with 'Reason' and evil with energy.
Marriage of Heaven & Hell,  Plate 3, (E 34)
 "Without Contraries is no progression.  Attraction and
Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to
Human existence.
  From these contraries spring what the religious call Good &
Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason[.] Evil is the active
springing from Energy.
  Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell."
The Devil is given his opportunity to speak on Plate 4 and praises the virtues of Energy, criticizes the exercise of restraint.
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
Soul.
  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
Energies.
  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"
 Plate 5 develops the tension between desire and restraint. Blake's concern about energy becoming suppressed and passive is evident.
Marriage of Heaaven & 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 relationship between the Prolific (energy) and the Devouring (reason) is explored on Plate 16.
Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 16, (E 40)
  "Thus one portion of being, is the Prolific. the other, the
Devouring:  to the devourer it seems as if the producer was in
his chains, but it is not so, he only takes portions of existence
and fancies that the whole.
   But the Prolific would cease to be Prolific unless the
Devourer as a sea recieved the excess of his delights."
A Memorable Fancy on Plate 19 demonstrates that the conflict created between the Angel and Devil requires that one agree to the activity of the other to sustain the disagreement.
Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 19, (E 42)
 "I answerd.  All that we saw was owing to your metaphysics: for
when you ran away, I found myself on a bank by moonlight hearing
a harper, But now we have seen my eternal lot, shall I shew you
yours?"
On Plate 21 the Devil expresses Blake's opinion that the Angel, the conventional, rational (left brained) way of thinking gets the upper hand in the relationship of the contraries through his arrogant assumptions.
Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 21, (E 42)
  "I have always found that Angels have the vanity to speak of
themselves as the only wise; this they do with a confident
insolence sprouting from systematic reasoning:" 
Paradoxes of the relationships between contraries can be seen in these Proverbs of Hell.
"Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps."
"Joys impregnate.  Sorrows bring forth."
"The rat, the mouse, the fox, the rabbet; watch the roots, the
     lion, the tyger, the horse, the elephant, watch the fruits."
"The weak in courage is strong in cunning."
"Damn. braces: Bless relaxes."

British Museum
Illustration to Young's Night Thoughts
In Norton Library's Blake's Poetry and Designs, Martin Nurmi reconciles the most basic pair of contraries presented in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell as complementary aspects of the creative process which must be married and not seek to replace one another. 
Page 560
"To use the terms of The Marriage, the contraries are 'energy' and 'reason' by which Blake means the desire for creation and the desire for order. And by 'reason' here he intends an ideal reason which strives  to supply the form and order which raw energy lacks."

Page 562
"The most important application of the doctrine of contraries, therefore, is the social one. The contraries Blake is most interested in are the two classes of men, the energetic creators and the rational organizers, or the 'devils' and 'angels,' as he calls them in The Marriage. Both classes are necessary, and both must strive positively and vigorously each in its own way if man is to live the  Human  life."     

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Friday, August 9, 2013

SPIRITUAL PERCEPTION II


Wikimedia
Robert Blair's The Grave
Heaven's Portals Wide Expand to Let Him In
The first of the two primary themes which Martin Nurmi identified in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell he calls the "idea of expanded 'spiritual sensation'". The data supplied to man by his five physical senses is a totally inadequate substitute for the visionary experience supplied by spiritual perception such as was described by Blake in his poem enclosed in his letter to Butts.


Blake uses several strategies in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell to acquaint his reader with the level of perception which he has called 'fourfold vision.' In this passage he first associates this expanded perception with gaining access to the 'tree of life' which man lost when he was expelled from the Garden of Edan. He tells us that the appearance of creation will be changed from its limited, damaged perception. He provides two metaphors for the process of apprehending the infinite, holy world: through removing the surfaces which overlay and obscure the real, and by cleaning the channels which have been provided to give access. 
 


Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 14, (E 39)
   "The ancient tradition that the world will be consumed in fire
at the  end of six thousand years is true. as I have heard from
Hell.
   For the cherub with his flaming sword is hereby commanded to 
leave his guard at the tree of life, and when he does, the whole 
creation will be consumed, and appear infinite. and holy whereas
it now  appears finite & corrupt.
   This will come to pass by an improvement of sensual enjoyment.
   But first the notion that man has a body distinct from his
soul, is to  be expunged; this I shall do, by printing in the
infernal method, by corrosives, which in Hell are salutary and
medicinal, melting apparent surfaces away, and displaying the
infinite which was hid.
   If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would
appear  to man as it is: infinite.
   For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro'
narrow chinks of his cavern."

Blake's emphasis in the following passage is gaining the ability to see the infinite always, not just some times in some things. The 'firm perswasion' is said to be capable of moving mountains as is faith in these Biblical passages. 

Matthew 17
[19] Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
[20] And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Mark 11
[23] For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

First Corinthians 13
[2] And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.


Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 12, (E 38)
"Isaiah answer'd. I saw no God. nor heard any, in a finite
organical perception
; but my senses discover'd the infinite in
every thing
, and as I was then perswaded. & remain confirm'd;
that the voice of honest indignation is the voice of God, I cared
not for consequences but wrote.
   Then I asked: does a firm perswasion that a thing is so, make it so?
He replied. All poets believe that it does, & in ages of imagination
this firm perswasion removed mountains
; but many are not capable
of a firm perswasion of any thing. ...
I then asked Ezekiel. why he eat dung, & lay so long on his
right & left side? he answerd. the desire of raising other men
into a perception of the infinite this the North American tribes
practise
. & is he honest who resists his genius or conscience.
only for the sake of present ease or gratification?"

Blake succinctly expresses the consequences of perceiving without the blinders of the conventional thought presented by the Angel.

Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 25, (E 45)
"For every thing that lives is Holy"


Here are additional quotes from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell which expand the idea of spiritual perception.
"How do you know but ev'ry Bird that cuts the airy way,
   Is an immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses five?" 
"Eternity is in love with the productions of time."      
"The hours of folly are measur'd by the clock, but of wisdom: no clock can measure."
"The most sublime act is to set another before you."
"Every thing possible to be believ'd is an image of truth."
"The soul of sweet delight. can never be defil'd,"
"When thou seest an Eagle, thou seest a portion of Genius. lift up thy head!"
"Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius."
"Thus men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast."

 "The worship of God is.  Honouring his gifts in other men
each according to his genius. and loving the greatest men
best, those who envy or calumniate great men hate God, for there
is no other God."

Martin Nurmi in The Norton Library's Blake's Poetry and Designs shares this insight:
"If everyone learned to see this way...there would be a general transformation of men's view of this world. There would also, as a consequence of this view, be a literal transformation of this world, an apocalypse. Viewing this world as 'One continued Vision or Fancy.' and knowing that life is truly a divine - and human - unity in Christ, men would re-establish society on a new foundation, forming laws of freedom and love rather than repression, abolishing every form of tyranny that prevents man from realizing his potentialities, and celebrating the divinity that is in every man." (Page 557)

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

SPIRITUAL PERCEPTION

 The Norton Library's Blake's Poetry and Designs contains a large quantity of Blake's writings plus commentary which increases our understanding and enjoyment in reading it. Martin Nurmi contributed an essay On The Marriage of Heaven an Hell in which he identifies the two basis themes of Blake's book as the 'idea of expanded sense perception' and 'his doctrine of contraries.' He introduced the first of these themes with the poem which Blake enclosed in a letter to his friend Thomas Butts.
 
Nurmi illustrated that the arrival at 'spiritual sensation' was reached through the steps which Blake enumerated in the poem. Quoting from Nurmi on page 554: "In the first part of the poem, which records a visionary experience on the sand at Felpham, the sand appears merely as 'Jewels of Light.' Then as Blake's vision becomes more intense and passes firmly into its 'two-fold state, the grains of sand begin to display their human quality, and appear as individual men:"
I each particle gazed
     Astonishd Amazed
     For each was a Man
     Human formd.
...
"We fail to recognize the human nature of creation because we look as if from a distance"  
 Each grain of Sand
     Every Stone on the Land
     Each rock & each hill
     Each fountain & rill
     Each herb & each tree
     Mountain hill Earth & Sea
     Cloud Meteor & Star
     Are Men Seen Afar
"This two-fold perception is superior to the 'single-vision' of the materialistic philosopher because it begins to show the imaginative form of things. But it does not yield a comprehensive view of the world. To gain that we must pass through an affective state, the 'three-fold vision' in which objects undergo a transformation because the perceiver undergoes one: He begins to view all things in a state of delight somewhat akin to the sexual delight with which man looks on woman."
I stood in the Streams
     Of Heavens bright beams
     And Saw Felpham sweet
     Beneath my bright feet
     In soft Female charms
"In this state he can begin to know directly by perception that on Earth there are only shadows, that the Real is elsewhere:"
  My Shadow I knew
     And my wifes shadow too
     And My Sister & Friend.
     We like Infants descend
     In our Shadows on Earth
     Like a weak mortal birth
"Having passed through this state, the perceiver is now ready to move to the highest state, oe 'four-fold' vision which enable him to see all of existence synoptically as one, as 'One Man':" 
   My Eyes more & more
     Like a Sea without shore
     Continue Expanding
     The Heavens commanding
     Till the jewels of Light
     Heavenly Men beaming bright
     Appeard as One Man
"And this One Man is the mild, forgiving Christ, who welcomes Blake to his fold, as one of those who have awakened from 'Newton's sleep', or the single vision of materialism:"
Soft he smild
     And I heard his voice Mild
     Saying This is My Fold
     O thou Ram hornd with gold
     Who awakest from sleep
     On the sides of the Deep
"Then the vision is over and the Saviour's voice fades, Blake passes into the state of enriched 'innocence' which he has portrayed in Songs of Innocence. Now all things have been permanently transformed, by his glimpse of the infinite, into objects of joy:"
 I remaind as a Child
     All I ever had known
     Before me bright Shone
British Museum
Illustrations to Dante's Paradisio 
Peter, St James, Dante and Beatrice with St John Also
 

Monday, August 5, 2013

HEAVEN & HELL

Wikimedia
Marriage of Heaven & Hell
 Plate 16, copy H

In his preface to The Great Divorce, C. S. Lewis cites Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell as representing the position that the division between good and evil can be bridged. Lewis admits that he may not know what Blake's work means but he warns against "embrace[ing] the false and disastrous converse and fancy that everything is good and everywhere is Heaven."

Many would agree that Blake was attempting to shake up the system in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell but few would think that he proposed "to turn evil into good" by "mere development or adjustment or refinement." Blake is urging his readers to reconsider conventional thought: to look from the perspective of the Devil as well as the Angel. He is convinced  that the Devourer (reason) has kept the Prolific (energy) in chains long enough. Liberty can emerge from the bonds of tyranny, commandments, institutional religion, and sexual repression.

On page 69 of The Great Divorce, Lewis expresses his attitude about the permanence of heaven and hell in this passage addressed to himself by his spiritual teacher George MacDonald:
"Both processes begin even before death. The good man's past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven; the bad man's past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why, at the end of all things, when the sun rises here and the twilight turns to blackness down there, the Blessed will say "We have never lived  anywhere except in Heaven," and the Lost, "We were always in Hell. "And both will speak truly.'"

The difference between Lewis and Blake results from their attitudes toward universal salvation. Lewis believes that the sinner will go to hell unless he reverses his course and rejects his sin. Blake believes that 'Everything that lives is Holy' and that error will be annihilated so that all human forms may be gathered into the final harvest of Souls.
 
Jerusalem, Plate 99, (E 257)
"All Human Forms identified even Tree Metal Earth & Stone. all
Human Forms identified, living going forth & returning wearied
Into the Planetary lives of Years Months Days & Hours reposing
And then Awaking into his Bosom in the Life of Immortality.
And I heard the Name of their Emanations they are named Jerusalem"


Milton, Plate 25 [27], (E 121)
"And Los stood & cried to the Labourers of the Vintage in voice of awe.

Fellow Labourers! The Great Vintage & Harvest is now upon Earth
The whole extent of the Globe is explored: Every scatterd Atom
Of Human Intellect now is flocking to the sound of the Trumpet
All the Wisdom which was hidden in caves & dens, from ancient    
Time; is now sought out from Animal & Vegetable & Mineral

The Awakener is come. outstretchd over Europe! the Vision of God is fulfilled
The Ancient Man upon the Rock of Albion Awakes,"

Jerusalem, Plate 31 [35], (E 177)
"Then the Divine hand found the Two Limits, Satan and Adam,
In Albions bosom: for in every Human bosom those Limits stand.
And the Divine voice came from the Furnaces, as multitudes without
Number! the voices of the innumerable multitudes of Eternity.
And the appearance of a Man was seen in the Furnaces;            
Saving those who have sinned from the punishment of the Law,
(In pity of the punisher whose state is eternal death,)
And keeping them from Sin by the mild counsels of his love."

Jerusalem, Plate 45 [31], (E 194)
"What shall I do! what could I do, if I could find these Criminals
I could not dare to take vengeance; for all things are so constructed    
And builded by the Divine hand, that the sinner shall always escape,
And he who takes vengeance alone is the criminal of Providence;
If I should dare to lay my finger on a grain of sand
In way of vengeance; I punish the already punishd: O whom
Should I pity if I pity not the sinner who is gone astray!"  
    
Paul in Romans 12 advises us to:
[21] Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

MIND OF URIZEN

Yale Center for British Art America
Copy M,  Plate 10

In Jill Bolte Taylor's book My Stroke of Insight she describes the different ways in which our right and left brains are configured to handle the information we receive. Although the two halves are designed to complement one another there is a tendency for the left mind, with its reasoning capability, to overshadow the right mind, which assimilates information diffusely. Blake associates Urizen with left brained reasoning; Los with right brained imagination. The previous post looked at Los and the right brain; now we look at Urizen.
 

My Stroke of Insight, Page 31:
"In contrast, our left hemisphere is completely different in the way it processes information. It takes each of those rich and complex moments created by the right hemisphere and strings them together in timely succession. It then sequentially compares the details making up this moment with the details making up the last moment. By organizing details in linear and methodical fashion, out left brain manifests the concept of time whereby our moments are divided into the past, present and future.  Within the structure of this predictable cadence, we can appreciate that must occur before that can happen...It builds an understanding of everything using deductive reasoning, such as if A is greater than B, and B is greater than C, then A must be greater than C.

Just opposite to how our right hemisphere thinks in pictures and perceives the big picture of the present moment, our left mind thrives on details, details, and more details about those details.
...
Because our left brain is filled with these ingrained programs of pattern recognition, it is superb at predicting what we will think, how we will act, or what we will feel in the future - based on our past experience.
...
Among other things, our left hemisphere categorizes information into hierarchies including things that attract us (our likes) or repel us (our dislikes). It places the judgment of good on those thing we like and bad on those things we dislike."


Jerusalem, Plate 74, (E 229)
"The Four Zoa's clouded rage; Urizen stood by Albion
With Rintrah and Palamabron and Theotormon and Bromion
These Four are Verulam & London & York & Edinburgh
And the Four Zoa's are Urizen & Luvah & Tharmas & Urthona
In opposition deadly, and their Wheels in poisonous              
And deadly stupor turn'd against each other loud & fierce
Entering into the Reasoning Power, forsaking Imagination
They became Spectres; & their Human Bodies were reposed
In Beulah, by the Daughters of Beulah with tears & lamentations

The Spectre is the Reasoning Power in Man; & when separated      
From Imagination, and closing itself as in steel, in a Ratio
Of the Things of Memory. It thence frames Laws & Moralities
To destroy Imagination! the Divine Body, by Martyrdoms & Wars"

Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 79, (E 355)
"Urizen answerd Read my books explore my Constellations 
Enquire of my Sons & they shall teach thee how to War
Enquire of my Daughters who accursd in the dark depths
Knead bread of Sorrow by my stern command for I am God
Of all this dreadful ruin   Rise O daughters at my Stern command"
    
Four Zoas, Night I, Page 11. (E 306)
"Tho in the Brain of Man we live, & in his circling Nerves.       
Tho' this bright world of all our joy is in the Human Brain.
Where Urizen & all his Hosts hang their immortal lamps
Thou neer shalt leave this cold expanse where watry Tharmas mourns
So spoke Los." [to Enitharmon]

Four Zoas, Night II, Page 28, (E 318)
"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"      

Four Zoas, Night IV, Page 52, (E 335)
"Terrified Los beheld the ruins of Urizen beneath
A horrible Chaos to his eyes. a formless unmeasurable Death
Whirling up broken rocks on high into the dismal air
And fluctuating all beneath in Eddies of molten fluid
 
Then Los with terrible hands siezd on the Ruind Furnaces         
Of Urizen. Enormous work: he builded them anew
Labour of Ages in the Darkness & the war of Tharmas
And Los formd Anvils of Iron petrific. for his blows
Petrify with incessant beating many a rock. many a planet
But Urizen slept in a stoned stupor in the nether Abyss          
A dreamful horrible State in tossings on his icy bed
Freezing to solid all beneath, his grey oblivious form
Stretchd over the immense heaves in strong shudders. silent his voice
In brooding contemplation stretching out from North to South
In mighty power. Round him Los rolld furious                   
His thunderous wheels from furnace to furnace. tending diligent
The contemplative terror. frightend in his scornful sphere
Frightend with cold infectious madness. in his hand the thundering
Hammer of Urthona. forming under his heavy hand the hours
PAGE 53 
The days & years. in chains of iron round the limbs of Urizen
Linkd hour to hour & day to night & night to day & year to year
In periods of pulsative furor. mills he formd & works
Of many wheels resistless in the power of dark Urthona" 
 
Four Zoas, Night VII, PAGE 80, (E 355)
"And Urizen Read in his book of brass in sounding tones 

Listen O Daughters to my voice Listen to the Words of Wisdom
So shall [ye] govern over all let Moral Duty tune your tongue
But be your hearts harder than the nether millstone
To bring the shadow of Enitharmon beneath our wondrous tree   
That Los may Evaporate like smoke & be no more
Draw down Enitharmon to the Spectre of Urthona
And let him have dominion over Los the terrible shade"

Taylor gained the ability to trust and exploit her right mind during the time that her left mind had lost its functioning. During her recovery from her stroke she, like Blake, choose to depend to a large extent on her right mind rather than her left because it gave her access to the unified world which we associate with spiritual consciousness.  

My Stroke of Insight, Page 139:
"My right mind is all about the richness of this present moment. It is filled with gratitude for my life and everyone and everything in it. It is content, compassionate, nurturing, and eternally optimistic. To my right mind character, there is no judgment of good/bad or right/wrong, everything exists on a continuum of relativity...To my right mind we are all equal members of the human family." 

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