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

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Harvard Art Museums
Fogg Museum

Christ Blessing
The four images which Blake painted for Thomas Butts in 1810 are not meant to be portraits, or illustrations, but symbolic representations of the stages through which men or civilizations pass as they develop toward fruition. Creation was represented as Adam, the Fall was represented as Eve, Generation was represented by Mary and her child, Regeneration was represented by Christ. The details in each picture reinforce the symbolic meaning. The four trees are the oak, the apple, the palm and the olive. The hand gestures are meant to be read as expressing attitudes characteristic of the period of development being represented.

The final image known as Christ Blessing symbolizes the reunification and reorientation of the psyche of man. The regenerated man will live in God, the one body in which all things 'live and move and have their being'. Conversely God will dwell in every breast, his thoughts will fill every mind, every body will express his will, and every imagination will be filled with the Divine Vision.

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 122, (E 391)
"Then bright Ahania shall awake from death
A glorious Vision to thine Eyes a Self renewing Vision 
The spring. the summer to be thine then Sleep the wintry days
In silken garments spun by her own hands against her funeral
The winter thou shalt plow & lay thy stores into thy barns       
Expecting to recieve Ahania in the spring with joy
Immortal thou. Regenerate She & all the lovely Sex
From her shall learn obedience & prepare for a wintry grave
That spring may see them rise in tenfold joy & sweet delight
Thus shall the male & female live the life of Eternity           
Because the Lamb of God Creates himself a bride & wife
That we his Children evermore may live in Jerusalem
Which now descendeth out of heaven a City yet a Woman
Mother of myriads redeemd & born in her spiritual palaces
By a New Spiritual birth Regenerated from Death"  

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 138, (E 406)
"The Sun has left his blackness & has found a fresher morning     
And the mild moon rejoices in the clear & cloudless night   
And Man walks forth from midst of the fires the evil is all consumd
His eyes behold the Angelic spheres arising night & day
The stars consumd like a lamp blown out & in their stead behold
The Expanding Eyes of Man behold the depths of wondrous worlds
One Earth one sea beneath nor Erring Globes wander but Stars
Of fire rise up nightly from the Ocean & one Sun
Each morning like a New born Man issues with songs & Joy
Calling the Plowman to his Labour & the Shepherd to his rest
He walks upon the Eternal Mountains raising his heavenly voice   
Conversing with the Animal forms of wisdom night & day
That risen from the Sea of fire renewd walk oer the Earth"
Acts 17
[24] The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man,
[25] nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything.
[26] And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation,
[27] that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us,
[28] for `In him we live and move and have our being';
as even some of your poets have said, `For we are indeed his offspring.

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