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

Sunday, March 23, 2014

SPECTRES OF THE DEAD

This is a continuation of the post SPECTRE OF URTHONA
The males without a counterpart, without a concentering vision, are beheld by the Spectre of Urthona as he looks down into the lower world. These Spectres of the Dead are said to be "fragments of spirit" by Damon, perhaps resulting from the Urizen's wars.

Yale Center for British Art
Jerusalem
Plate 30
The dire state of the spectres results from mental errors of eating of the fruit of the two trees. The dualistic approach of assigning the value judgement of Good or Evil to every object is learned from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. From the Tree of Mystery is learned the idea that God is distant and unknown but provides the moral law and regulates compliance and punishes infractions. Los can provide for mankind the thoughts that can replace the destructive errors from which he needs release. He needs Enitharmon's assistance to give form to his thought, substance to his ideas.

We were each born into the material world and have been conditioned from birth to rely on feedback from our senses to interpret our environment. If we were to look at ourselves as the Specters of the Dead we would see ourselves as entities who were locked in our minds without ways to relate in the outside world of matter. Blake presents generation as the opportunity to correct the errors which prevent man from experiencing completeness. In the world of generation the inner expression is represented by Los; the outer by Enitharmon.

When man is created he enters the world of generation. The bible tells us that man is created in the Image of God. To Blake the Image of God implies both spirit and body, inner and outer, the individual and his manifestations in matter. Every rock, insect, and bird is a part of man because it is a product of his interaction with matter conveyed to him by his  mind.
  
Eternal Death to Blake is that inability to join together the activity of the imaginative mind with the ability to express it, for instance through art, or poetry or by building Golgonooza where spirits flourish. Enitharmon gains the ability to allow the outer expression in matter to be informed by the inner expression of spirit when she can 'behold the Lamb of God descending'; that is when she knows that the Eternal is present in the world of generation.

This is her transformative experience: she can now accept the role of assisting Los in forming "embodied semblances in which the dead May live".

Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 87,(E 369)
"But I have thee my [Counterpart Vegetating] miraculous 
These Spectres have no [Counterparts] therefore they ravin
Without the food of life Let us Create them Coun[terparts]
For without a Created body the Spectre is Eternal Death

Los trembling answerd Now I feel the weight of stern repentance
Tremble not so my Enitharmon at the awful gates    
Of thy poor broken Heart I see thee like a shadow withering
As on the outside of Existence but look! behold! take comfort!
Turn inwardly thine Eyes & there behold the Lamb of God
Clothed in Luvahs robes of blood descending to redeem
O Spectre of Urthona take comfort O Enitharmon   
Couldst thou but cease from terror & trembling & affright
When I appear before thee in forgiveness of ancient injuries 
Why shouldst thou remember & be afraid. I surely have died in pain
Often enough to convince thy jealousy & fear & terror
Come hither be patient let us converse together because  
I also tremble at myself & at all my former life

Enitharmon answerd I behold the Lamb of God descending
To Meet these Spectres of the Dead I therefore fear that he
Will give us to Eternal Death fit punishment for such
Hideous offenders Uttermost extinction in eternal pain    
An ever dying life of stifling & obstruction shut out
Of existence to be a sign & terror to all who behold
Lest any should in futurity do as we have done in heaven
Such is our state nor will the Son of God redeem us but destroy
Page 98 [90] 
So Enitharmon spoke trembling & in torrents of tears

Los sat in Golgonooza in the Gate of Luban where  
He had erected many porches where branchd the Mysterious Tree  
Where the Spectrous dead wail & sighing thus he spoke to Enitharmon

Lovely delight of Men Enitharmon shady refuge from furious war
Thy bosom translucent is a soft repose for the weeping souls
Of those piteous victims of battle there they sleep in happy obscurity
They feed upon our life we are their victims. Stern desire
I feel to fabricate embodied semblances in which the dead
May live before us in our palaces & in our gardens of labour 
Which now opend within the Center we behold spread abroad
To form a world of Sacrifice of brothers & sons & daughters 
To comfort Orc in his dire sufferings[;] look[!] my fires enlume afresh
Before my face ascending with delight as in ancient times" 
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