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

Monday, December 2, 2013


For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise, Plate 11, (E 265) 
"11 Aged Ignorance Perceptive Organs closed their Objects close"

For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise, Plate 19, (E 268)
"11 Holy & cold I clipd the Wings Of all Sublunary Things"


The picture shows us an old man with poor eyesight restraining a winged boy. The rising sun attracts the boy who reaches for it with out stretched hand. The seated and clothed man uses his scissors to clip the wing of the child. The man is unable to see the light toward which the child is heading.

I consider this to be another of the 'birth' junctures in Blake's Gates of Paradise as were Plate 1 and Plate 5. The individual has navigated the last four challenges: learning to relate to the feminine aspect of the divided man; mastering the the demands of the ego and superego; integrating the emotional states into a balanced psyche; and finding the internal resources to take the next step. There is a new source of light and energy for the winged boy who hatched from the egg on Plate 5. However his progress will be impeded if he cannot escape from the 'mind forged manacles' which keep the eyes of 'Aged Ignorance' from seeing.

The rational mind cannot be stilled; it wants control. It's field of action is the natural world in which the ego is the decision maker: the executive officer who decides what gets done. A struggle ensues between the old order and the new. If there is to be a new man he must pursue what has been revealed by his imagination, his emotions and his integrating body.

What does it matter if the wings of all earthly things are clipped if the 'Perceptive Organs' are able to keep sight of the spiritual things which are more real, true and valuable.  

 Milton, Plate 40 [46], (E 142)
"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
That it no longer shall dare to mock with the aspersion of Madness
Cast on the Inspired," 

Jerusalem, Plate 29 [33], (E 175)     
"Turning his back to the Divine Vision, his Spectrous
Chaos before his face appeard: an Unformed Memory.

Then spoke the Spectrous Chaos to Albion darkning cold
From the back & loins where dwell the Spectrous Dead

I am your Rational Power O Albion & that Human Form              
You call Divine, is but a Worm seventy inches long
That creeps forth in a night & is dried in the morning sun
In fortuitous concourse of memorys accumulated & lost
It plows the Earth in its own conceit, it overwhelms the Hills
Beneath its winding labyrinths, till a stone of the brook        
Stops it in midst of its pride among its hills & rivers[.] 
Battersea & Chelsea mourn, London & Canterbury tremble
Their place shall not be found as the wind passes over[.]
The ancient Cities of the Earth remove as a traveller
And shall Albions Cities remain when I pass over them            
With my deluge of forgotten remembrances over the tablet

So spoke the Spectre to Albion. he is the Great Selfhood
Satan: Worshipd as God by the Mighty Ones of the Earth
Having a white Dot calld a Center from which branches out
A Circle in continual gyrations. this became a Heart           
From which sprang numerous branches varying their motions
Producing many Heads three or seven or ten, & hands & feet
Innumerable at will of the unfortunate contemplator
Who becomes his food[:] such is the way of the Devouring Power

And this is the cause of the appearance in the frowning Chaos[.]" 
Ephesians 4
[21] If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
[22] That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
[23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
[25] Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

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