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

Sunday, April 20, 2014


The appearance of Los depends on the perspective from which one looks. Los must be a destroying, cleansing force in Ulro to remove the misconceptions to which man is subject when he turns outward instead of inward. This is his status in Ulro according to Milton O Percival in William Blake's Circle of Destiny

"Man's reason has declined in Ulro to the level of dependence on sense impressions and phenomena, that is to say, upon the feminine and outward. Its inward illumination is gone, hence the opaqueness of the landscape. With  the light and warmth of fertility gone, hence the sandy desert. The Urizen who is the  'God of this world' is blind , aged and impotent. The reason he represents cannot believe beyond demonstration, and demonstration means experiment and logic; hence the Satanic mills. This reason does not cherish the 'minute particulars,' as imagination does; on the contrary it abstracts and dissipates. Under its disintegrating influence the once articulate feminine emotions are 'scattered abroad like a cloud of smoke' among the Satanic wheels. The vengeful emotions, which are dominant in Ulro, are figured in the pits of bitumen burning. Of these passions and prejudices Urizen is the rational ally. The 'iron laws, the pretenses and the hypocrisies out of which the social net is woven are to be associate with the mills of Satan and Beelzeboul which stand beside the lake of Udan Adan and round  the roots of Albion's tree. With no faith in himself or in his fellow man, with no ideas to build with except those deduced from his own identity, Urizen builds a world in which  'man is by nature the enemy of man,' a world with no principle of cohesion except mutual hatred." (Page 69)

Jerusalem, Plate 13, (E 157)
"The Vegetative Universe, opens like a flower from the Earths center:
In which is Eternity. It expands in Stars to the Mundane Shell   
And there it meets Eternity again, both within and without,
And the abstract Voids between the Stars are the Satanic Wheels. 

There is the Cave; the Rock; the Tree; the Lake of Udan Adan;
The Forest, and the Marsh, and the Pits of bitumen deadly:
The Rocks of solid fire: the Ice valleys: the Plains             
Of burning sand: the rivers, cataract & Lakes of Fire:
The Islands of the fiery Lakes: the Trees of Malice: Revenge:
And black Anxiety; and the Cities of the Salamandrine men:
(But whatever is visible to the Generated Man,
Is a Creation of mercy & love, from the Satanic Void.)           
The land of darkness flamed but no light, & no repose:
The land of snows of trembling, & of iron hail incessant:
The land of earthquakes: and the land of woven labyrinths:
The land of snares & traps & wheels & pit-falls & dire mills:
The Voids, the Solids, & the land of clouds & regions of waters:
With their inhabitants: in the Twenty-seven Heavens beneath  Beulah:
Self-righteousnesses conglomerating against the Divine Vision:
A Concave Earth wondrous, Chasmal, Abyssal, Incoherent!
Forming the Mundane Shell: above; beneath: on all sides surrounding
Golgonooza: Los walks round the walls night and day." 

Yale Center for British Arts
Plate 16
The 'mighty Demon' as Los appears to those in Ulro assumes another appearance as a Messenger to Eden. He becomes the unassuming, inconspicuous plant growing high on a rock beside a spring. We are reminded of the 'still small voice' through which God spoke to Elijah following the demonstration of God's power in the 'earthquake, wind and fire.'


Jerusalem, Plate 31 [34], (E 131) 
"Thou percievest the Flowers put forth their precious Odours! 
And none can tell how from so small a center comes such sweets 
Forgetting that within that Center Eternity expands Its ever during doors, that Og & Anak fiercely guard. 
First eer the morning breaks joy opens in the flowery bosoms 
Joy even to tears, which the Sun rising dries; first the Wild Thyme" 

Jerusalem, Plate 35 [39], (E 136) 
"The Wild Thyme is Los's Messenger to Eden, a mighty Demon 
Terrible deadly & poisonous his presence in Ulro dark 
Therefore he appears only a small Root creeping in grass 
Covering over the Rock of Odours his bright purple mantle 
Beside the Fount above the Larks nest in Golgonooza 
Luvah slept here in death & here is Luvahs empty Tomb 
Ololon sat beside this Fountain on the Rock of Odours."

1Kings 19
[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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