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

Monday, September 29, 2014

SPIRITUAL CAUSES

British Museum Jerusalem
Copy A, Plate 33
If one believes as Blake did that the spirit is the permanent nature of man and that the material is the accident of appearance, one doesn't look for causes in worldly experience. The sequence of moments leads one to interpret experience as cause and effect in the world of time and space. Although we are confined to time and cannot enter Eternity in our physical bodies, we may be given moments when time touches Eternity and allows our minds to expand into timelessness. Through such experiences we can understand that Eternity is impinging on the natural world and shaping our lives according to the eternal order.

 
In William Blake's Jerusalem, Minna Doskow, explains how the Gate of Los allows for the movement between the temporal world and the eternal. Notice that the Eternal Urthona is transformed into Los to become active in time:

 
"It is named the 'Gate of Los', for Los is the connection between time and eternity, the crucial door of change through which states may be exchanged and vision altered ... All natural creations have gates to eternity within them, and vice versa, for all natural creation is potentially eternal. Functioning very much like the vortex in Milton, the Gate of Los entered one way, from eternity, allows eternal Urthona to become Los, the twenty-eight unfallen cities to be created by Hammer and Loom in order to save Albion, or Albion to go to death. Entered the other way, however, from time, it enables Albion or the reader to awaken and enter Eternal Life. ... Although 'Satan's watchfiends' are very thorough in their search for Los's gate, numbering every grain of  sand on Earth every night, their scientific and analytic methods that Jerusalem warned Albion about earlier are exclusively material and therefor ineffective." (Page 84)


Milton, Plate 26 [28], (E 124)
"So they are born on Earth, & every Class is determinate 
But not by Natural but by Spiritual power alone, Because         
The Natural power continually seeks & tends to Destruction
Ending in Death: which would of itself be Eternal Death
And all are Class'd by Spiritual, & not by Natural power.

And every Natural Effect has a Spiritual Cause, and Not
A Natural: for a Natural Cause only seems, it is a Delusion      
Of Ulro: & a ratio of the perishing Vegetable Memory." 
Jerusalem, Plate 34 [38], (E 180) 
"So spoke London, immortal Guardian! I heard in Lambeths shades:  
In Felpham I heard and saw the Visions of Albion
I write in South Molton Street, what I both see and hear
In regions of Humanity, in Londons opening streets.

I see thee awful Parent Land in light, behold I see!
Verulam! Canterbury! venerable parent of men,                    
Generous immortal Guardian golden clad! for Cities
Are Men, fathers of multitudes, and Rivers & Mount[a]ins
Are also Men; every thing is Human, mighty! sublime!
In every bosom a Universe expands, as wings
Let down at will around, and call'd the Universal Tent.          
York, crown'd with loving kindness. Edinburgh, cloth'd
With fortitude as with a garment of immortal texture
Woven in looms of Eden, in spiritual deaths of mighty men

Who give themselves, in Golgotha, Victims to Justice; where
There is in Albion a Gate of precious stones and gold            
Seen only by Emanations, by vegetations viewless,
Bending across the road of Oxford Street; it from Hyde Park
To Tyburns deathful shades, admits the wandering souls
Of multitudes who die from Earth: this Gate cannot be found
Plate 35 [39]
By Satans Watch-fiends tho' they search numbering every grain
Of sand on Earth every night, they never find this Gate.
It is the Gate of Los. Withoutside is the Mill, intricate, dreadful
And fill'd with cruel tortures; but no mortal man can find the Mill
Of Satan, in his mortal pilgrimage of seventy years              

For Human beauty knows it not: nor can Mercy find it! But  
In the Fourth region of Humanity, Urthona namd
Mortality begins to roll the billows of Eternal Death
Before the Gate of Los. Urthona here is named Los." 
Jerusalem, Plate 77, (E 231)
 "Imagination the real & eternal World of which this Vegetable
Universe is but a faint shadow & in which we shall live in our
Eternal or Imaginative Bodies, when these Vegetable Mortal Bodies
are no more.  The Apostles knew of no other Gospel.  What were
all their spiritual gifts? What is the Divine Spirit? is the Holy
Ghost any other than an Intellectual Fountain? What is the
Harvest of the Gospel & its Labours? What is that Talent which it
is a curse to hide? What are the Treasures of Heaven which we are
to lay up for ourselves, are they any other than Mental Studies &
Performances? What are all the Gifts. of the Gospel, are they not
all Mental Gifts? Is God a Spirit who must be worshipped in
Spirit & in Truth and are not the Gifts of the Spirit Every-thing
to Man? O ye Religious discountenance every one among

you who shall pretend to despise Art & Science! I call upon you
in the Name of Jesus! What is the Life of Man but Art & Science?
is it Meat & Drink? is not the Body more than Raiment? What is
Mortality but the things relating to the Body, which Dies? What
is Immortality but the things relating to the Spirit, which Lives
Eternally! What is the joy of Heaven but Improvement in the
things of the Spirit? What are the Pains of Hell but Ignorance,
Bodily Lust, Idleness & devastation of the things of the Spirit[?]"  
Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 122, (E 391)
"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" 
Descriptive Catalogue, (E 544) 
"Acts themselves alone are history, and these are
neither the exclusive property of Hume, Gibbon nor Voltaire,
Echard, Rapin, Plutarch, nor Herodotus.  Tell me the Acts, O
historian, and leave me to reason upon them as I please; away
with your reasoning and your rubbish.  All that is not action is
not worth reading.  Tell me the What; I do not want you to
tell me the Why, and the How; I can find that out myself, as well
as you can, and I will not be fooled by you into opinions, that
you please to impose, to disbelieve what you think improbable or
impossible.  His opinions, who does not see spiritual agency, is
not worth any man's reading; he who rejects a fact because it is
improbable, must reject all History and retain doubts only."

Saturday, September 27, 2014

CONSCIOUSNESS

Wikimedia Commons
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
Since Blake does not use the word consciousness to describe the condition of being fully aware, we must look for other ways he refers to consciousness. He does tell us that if the doors of perception were cleansed we would see clearly. He directs his efforts toward awakening man to a more thorough understanding of himself. Simultaneously he tries to force man to perceive the dysfunctional world which he is responsible for creating.

 
Perception in Eternity is not limited or distorted as it is in our present condition of being enclosed in bodies of flesh, bones and blood. The Book of Urizen describes the fearful process of tearing apart the unity, and confining the functions to the operation of our internal organs, and to the senses which provide a restricted ability to allow the outside in. The reversal of this process is contained in Blake's epics Milton and Jerusalem.
 
Consciousness is won through a struggle which Blake calls the 'severe contentions of friendship.' In the brain of man are the furnaces which burn away the errors of his thought, which melt away the contentions of worldly 'love and jealousy' and which remove the filters which distort his ability to perceive reality. The fourfold nature of man has not been lost in the process, but has been redeemed. To be fully conscious to Blake is to be Human: to reach a point in one's journey when the four divided functions, the heart, mind, soul and body have become one.
Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 14, (E 39)
"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."    
Book of Los, Plate 5, (E 94)
"9: Till his Brain in a rock, & his Heart
In a fleshy slough formed four rivers
Obscuring the immense Orb of fire
Flowing down into night: till a Form 
Was completed, a Human Illusion
In darkness and deep clouds involvd."
Milton, Plate 34 [38], (E 135) 
"Those Visions of Human Life & Shadows of Wisdom & Knowledge      
Plate 35 [39]
Are here frozen to unexpansive deadly destroying terrors[.]
And War & Hunting: the Two Fountains of the River of Life
Are become Fountains of bitter Death & of corroding Hell
Till Brotherhood is changd into a Curse & a Flattery
By Differences between Ideas, that Ideas themselves, (which are  
The Divine Members) may be slain in offerings for sin
O dreadful Loom of Death! "

Visions of Daughters of Albion, Plate 2, (E 47)
" Arise my Theotormon I am pure.
Because the night is gone that clos'd me in its deadly black.
They told me that the night & day were all that I could see;     
They told me that I had five senses to inclose me up.
And they inclos'd my infinite brain into a narrow circle,
And sunk my heart into the Abyss, a red round globe hot burning
Till all from life I was obliterated and erased."

Milton, Plate 21 [23], (E 115)
"But Milton entering my Foot; I saw in the nether
Regions of the Imagination; also all men on Earth,               
And all in Heaven, saw in the nether regions of the Imagination
In Ulro beneath Beulah, the vast breach of Miltons descent.
But I knew not that it was Milton, for man cannot know
What passes in his members till periods of Space & Time
Reveal the secrets of Eternity: for more extensive               
Than any other earthly things, are Mans earthly lineaments.
    
And all this Vegetable World appeard on my left Foot,
As a bright sandal formd immortal of precious stones & gold:
I stooped down & bound it on to walk forward thro' Eternity.
...
But all the Family Divine collected as Four Suns
In the Four Points of heaven East, West & North & South
Enlarging and enlarging till their Disks approachd each other;
And when they touch'd closed together Southward in One Sun       
Over Ololon: and as One Man, who weeps over his brother,
In a dark tomb, so all the Family Divine. wept over Ololon.

Saying, Milton goes to Eternal Death! so saying, they groan'd in spirit
And were troubled! and again the Divine Family groaned in spirit!"

Jerusalem, Plate 34 [38], (E 179)
"Displaying the Eternal Vision! the Divine Similitude!
In loves and tears of brothers, sisters, sons, fathers, and friends
Which if Man ceases to behold, he ceases to exist:

Saying. Albion! Our wars are wars of life, & wounds of love,
With intellectual spears, & long winged arrows of thought:       
Mutual in one anothers love and wrath all renewing
We live as One Man; for contracting our infinite senses
We behold multitude; or expanding: we behold as one,
As One Man all the Universal Family; and that One Man
We call Jesus the Christ: and he in us, and we in him,        
Live in perfect harmony in Eden the land of life,
Giving, recieving, and forgiving each others trespasses.
He is the Good shepherd, he is the Lord and master:
He is the Shepherd of Albion, he is all in all,
In Eden: in the garden of God: and in heavenly Jerusalem.        
If we have offended, forgive us, take not vengeance against us.

Thus speaking; the Divine Family follow Albion:
I see them in the Vision of God upon my pleasant valleys."
Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 126, (E 395)
"then in stern repentance
They must renew their brightness & their disorganizd functions
Again reorganize till they resume the image of the human  
Cooperating in the bliss of Man obeying his Will
Servants to the infinite & Eternal of the Human form"

Thursday, September 25, 2014

CREATION OF STATES

Wikimedia Commons
Illustrations to Milton's Paradise Lost, Butts Set
Satan, Sin & Death
The concept of states was introduced by Blake as an aspect of freeing man from the power of sin, death and Satan. When man is accused by Satan of sin, he may accept the label of sinfulness, and fall away from his self-perception of innocence. In order for man to be restored to an awareness of his own integrity or Identity, Blake presented the states as temporary conditions through which man passed to gain experience.

Satan is a master state, the state of error which manifests in multiple ways. Milton and Blake called Sin and Death the children of Satan. Satan is a state, not an individual, an angel or a god. Satan was never allowed to take a human form. His influence comes from manipulating the minds of men.

 
Milton Percival in William Blake's Circle of Destiny tells us this about states as means of transformation:
"All those whose hearts are given over to malice, hatred and vengeance traverse the wheel of Ulro. It may be escaped in true Gnostic fashion, by the birth of Christ in the soul. The doctrine of states is witness to such a birth. It is itself nothing less than a changed interpretation of spiritual experience. It is in that sense the immediate avenue of escape, but the real escape is in the regeneration by which a change in outlook is made possible."


Vision of Last Judgment, (E 556)
"it ought to be understood that the Persons
Moses & Abraham are not here meant but the States Signified by
those Names the Individuals being representatives or Visions of
those States as they were reveald to Mortal Man in the Series of
Divine Revelations. as they are written in the Bible these
various States I have seen in my Imagination when distant they
appear as One Man but as you approach they appear 
Multitudes of Nations."

Jerusalem, Plate 25, (E 170)
"For not one sparrow can suffer, & the whole Universe not suffer also,
In all its Regions, & its Father & Saviour not pity and weep.
But Vengeance is the destroyer of Grace & Repentance in the bosom
Of the Injurer: in which the Divine Lamb is cruelly slain:
Descend O Lamb of God & take away the imputation of Sin
By the Creation of States & the deliverance of Individuals Evermore Amen

Thus wept they in Beulah over the Four Regions of Albion
But many doubted & despaird & imputed Sin & Righteousness       
To Individuals & not to States, and these Slept in Ulro."

Milton, Plate 32 [35], (E 132)
"Distinguish therefore States from Individuals in those States.
States Change: but Individual Identities never change nor cease:
You cannot go to Eternal Death in that which can never Die.
Satan & Adam are States Created into Twenty-seven Churches       
And thou O Milton art a State about to be Created
Called Eternal Annihilation that none but the Living shall
Dare to enter: & they shall enter triumphant over Death
And Hell & the Grave! States that are not, but ah! Seem to be.

Judge then of thy Own Self: thy Eternal Lineaments explore       
What is Eternal & what Changeable? & what Annihilable!
The Imagination is not a State: it is the Human Existence itself
Affection or Love becomes a State, when divided from Imagination
The Memory is a State always, & the Reason is a State
Created to be Annihilated & a new Ratio Created                  
Whatever can be Created can be Annihilated Forms cannot
The Oak is cut down by the Ax, the Lamb falls by the Knife
But their Forms Eternal Exist, For-ever. Amen Halle[l]ujah"

Jerusalem, Plate 20, (E 165)
"Jerusalem answer'd with soft tears over the valleys.

O Vala what is Sin? that thou shudderest and weepest
At sight of thy once lov'd Jerusalem! What is Sin but a little
Error & fault that is soon forgiven; but mercy is not a Sin
Nor pity nor love nor kind forgiveness!"

Milton, Plate 29 [31], (E 127)
"But in the Optic vegetative Nerves Sleep was transformed
To Death in old time by Satan the father of Sin & Death
And Satan is the Spectre of Orc & Orc is the generate Luvah

But in the Nerves of the Nostrils, Accident being formed         
Into Substance & Principle, by the cruelties of Demonstration
It became Opake & Indefinite; but the Divine Saviour,
Formed it into a Solid by Los's Mathematic power.
He named the Opake Satan: he named the Solid Adam"

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."
. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

INTERNAL GOD

British Museum
Jerusalem

Copy A, Plate 76
Blake was of the opinion that the church had taught man that God is distant from him; that his home is in the sky, far removed from our home on earth. Even Jesus taught people to pray to 'Our Father which art in Heaven.' The distance between God and man was further increased when in the Age of Reason man was taught that God did not intervene in the activities of man. God became the observer who let the universe run itself according to the laws of physics. 

This idea of God was totally contrary to the God that Blake knew and loved. From the time that Blake was a child he had known God as a presence who visited him. Blake is reported to have seen God's face at his nursery window, later he saw a tree full of angels on Peckham Rye. Blake's mother was sympathetic to these direct experiences of God because through the Moravian Church she was familiar with acknowledging and following the guidance of the spirit. This accessible presence was the God whom Blake wanted to share with his readers.

Blake was not timid about expressing his conviction that God has descended to man and resides in humanity and in each individual. Blake had the confidence to write about God as the Holy Spirit who dwells in man because he was familiar with the theme which permeates the writings of the New Testament. He confirmed the experience in his own life and testified to it in his works of imagination.

Jerusalem, Plate 4, (E 146)
"Awake! awake O sleeper of the land of shadows, wake! expand!
I am in you and you in me, mutual in love divine:
Fibres of love from man to man thro Albions pleasant land.
In all the dark Atlantic vale down from the hills of Surrey
A black water accumulates, return Albion! return!                
Thy brethren call thee, and thy fathers, and thy sons,
Thy nurses and thy mothers, thy sisters and thy daughters
Weep at thy souls disease, and the Divine Vision is darkend:
Thy Emanation that was wont to play before thy face,
Beaming forth with her daughters into the Divine bosom
     [Where!!] 
Where hast thou hidden thy Emanation lovely Jerusalem
From the vision and fruition of the Holy-one?
I am not a God afar off, I am a brother and friend;
Within your bosoms I reside, and you reside in me:
Lo! we are One; forgiving all Evil; Not seeking recompense!      
Ye are my members O ye sleepers of Beulah, land of shades!

But the perturbed Man away turns down the valleys dark;
[Saying. We are not One: we are Many, thou most
     simulative]
Phantom of the over heated brain! shadow of immortality!
Seeking to keep my soul a victim to thy Love! which binds
Man the enemy of man into deceitful friendships:
Jerusalem is not! her daughters are indefinite:
By demonstration, man alone can live, and not by faith.
My mountains are my own, and I will keep them to myself!
Jerusalem, Plate 38 [43], (E 184)
"O God of Albion descend! deliver Jerusalem from the Oaken Groves!

Then Los grew furious raging: Why stand we here trembling around
Calling on God for help; and not ourselves in whom God dwells
Stretching a hand to save the falling Man: are we not Four
Beholding Albion upon the Precipice ready to fall into
Non-Entity:"
.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

FORGIVING



British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
Forgiveness to Blake is a characteristic of Eternity. Not the this world's forgiveness of taking offense, or offending, apologizing and returning to the same behavior. Eternal forgiveness is dwelling in a condition of Mercy where this is no offending, accusation, or imputing of sin; where disagreement are allowed and respected. In the Eternal condition there is no hindering of one another or feeling of being hindered by others.

When men in this world are able to forgive one another from the depths of their hearts, they partake of Eternal forgiveness. Forgiveness becomes mutual. The awareness of the need to be forgiven become  as  powerful as the need to forgive. Forgiveness itself becomes a messenger from heaven, the food which feeds the soul, and the fire which burns away the unforgiving shell of pain and resentment.

Jerusalem, Plate 52, (E 201)
"Friendship cannot exist without Forgiveness
of Sins continually.  The Book written by Rousseau calld his
Confessions is an apology & cloke for his sin & not a confession.
  But you also charge the poor Monks & Religious with being the
causes of War: while you acquit & flatter the Alexanders &
Caesars, the Lewis's & Fredericks: who alone are its causes & its
actors.  But the Religion of Jesus, Forgiveness of Sin, can never
be the cause of a War nor of a single Martyrdom.
  Those who Martyr others or who cause War are Deists, but never
can be Forgivers of Sin.  The Glory of Christianity is, To
Conquer by Forgiveness.  All the Destruction therefore, in
Christian Europe has arisen from Deism, which is Natural
Religion." 
Jerusalem, Plate 54, (E 203)
"In Great Eternity, every particular Form gives forth or Emanates
Its own peculiar Light, & the Form is the Divine Vision
And the Light is his Garment This is Jerusalem in every Man
A Tent & Tabernacle of Mutual Forgiveness Male & Female Clothings.
And Jerusalem is called Liberty among the Children of Albion" 
Jerusalem, Plate 61, (E 212) 
"Saying, Doth Jehovah Forgive a Debt only on condition that it shall
Be Payed? Doth he Forgive Pollution only on conditions of Purity
That Debt is not Forgiven! That Pollution is not Forgiven
Such is the Forgiveness of the Gods, the Moral Virtues of the    
Heathen, whose tender Mercies are Cruelty. But Jehovahs Salvation
Is without Money & without Price, in the Continual Forgiveness of Sins
In the Perpetual Mutual Sacrifice in Great Eternity! for behold!
There is none that liveth & Sinneth not! And this is the Covenant
Of Jehovah: If you Forgive one-another, so shall Jehovah Forgive You:    
That He Himself may Dwell among You." 
Jerusalem, Plate 92, (E 252)
"Los answerd swift as the shuttle of gold. Sexes must vanish & cease
To be, when Albion arises from his dread repose O lovely Enitharmon:
When all their Crimes, their Punishments their Accusations of Sin: 
All their Jealousies Revenges. Murders. hidings of Cruelty in Deceit
Appear only in the Outward Spheres of Visionary Space and Time.
In the shadows of Possibility by Mutual Forgiveness forevermore 
And in the Vision & in the Prophecy, that we may Foresee & Avoid
The terrors of Creation & Redemption & Judgment."
For The Sexes THE GATES of PARADISE, Prologue, (E 259)         
"Mutual Forgiveness of each Vice
Such are the Gates of Paradise" 
Songs & Ballads, My Spectre, (E 477)
"Then shall we return & see
The worlds of happy Eternity

& Throughout all Eternity        
I forgive you you forgive me
As our dear Redeemer said                       
This the Wine & this the Bread"
Mark 11
[25] And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."

Luke 6
[37] "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

Matthew 26
[27] And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you;
[28] for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

.

Friday, September 19, 2014

AWAKE FROM SLEEP

Blake was an optimist. He believed that man was not condemned to accept the cycle of descent into deeper and deeper destruction and despair. The opportunity to live in the material world of time and space could result in the renewal of vision, brotherhood, and integration. His formula for recovery entailed inner work to restructure the psyche and break free from destructive patterns of thought.
 
Blake was appalled at the unwillingness of men to see the errors which they accepted as normal and necessary. He called on men to look at themselves and the world they constructed in the light of the possibilities for a world in which Imagination prevailed. To Blake man was not distant from God but lived in God, and God lived in him. This gave man the power to change himself and change his surroundings.
Yale Center for British Art
Jerusalem, Copy E, Plate 41
 

Like Albion, the Universal Man of Blake's Jerusalem, man is asleep and must awake to fulfill his human potential of living with the consciousness of being God incarnate. Blake's call to every man is to wake from his stupor; to recognize how his own brokenness contributes to the brokenness of the world. Like Los, the individual can assume responsibility for breaking down the systems internally and externally which sustain the errors which cause man to at war within himself, at war with his brothers and at war with God.  


  
Milton, Plate 14 [15], (E 108)
"And Milton said, I go to Eternal Death! The Nations stills 
Follow after the detestable Gods of Priam; in pomp               
Of warlike selfhood, contradicting and blaspheming.
When will the Resurrection come; to deliver the sleeping body
From corruptibility: O when Lord Jesus wilt thou come?
Tarry no longer; for my soul lies at the gates of death."

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"

Jerusalem, Plate 73, (E 228)
"Voltaire insinuates that these Limits are the cruel work of God
Mocking the Remover of Limits & the Resurrection of the Dead     
Setting up Kings in wrath: in holiness of Natural Religion
Which Los with his mighty Hammer demolishes time on time
In miracles & wonders in the Four-fold Desart of Albion
Permanently Creating to be in Time Reveald & Demolishd
Satan Cain Tubal Nimrod Pharoh Priam Bladud Belin                
Arthur Alfred the Norman Conqueror Richard John
[Edward Henry Elizabeth James Charles William George] 
And all the Kings & Nobles of the Earth & all their Glories
These are Created by Rahab & Tirzah in Ulro: but around 
These, to preserve them from Eternal Death Los Creates           
Adam Noah Abraham Moses Samuel David Ezekiel
[Pythagoras Socrates Euripedes Virgil Dante Milton]  
Dissipating the rocky forms of Death, by his thunderous Hammer
As the Pilgrim passes while the Country permanent remains
So Men pass on: but States remain permanent for ever"       

Jerusalem, Plate 37 [41], (E 183)
"The Twenty-eight trembled in Deaths dark caves, in cold despair
They kneeld around the Couch of Death in deep humiliation
And tortures of self condemnation while their Spectres ragd within.
The Four Zoa's in terrible combustion clouded rage
Drinking the shuddering fears & loves of Albions Families
Destroying by selfish affections the things that they most admire
Drinking & eating, & pitying & weeping, as at a trajic scene.
The soul drinks murder & revenge, & applauds its own holiness   

They saw Albion endeavouring to destroy their Emanations.

[illustration, with inscription, reversed: 
"Each Man is in
his Spectre's power 
Untill the arrival 
of that hour,
When his Humanity 
awake 
And cast his Spectre into the Lake"]

Jerusalem, Plate 38 [43], (E 184)
"They saw their Wheels rising up poisonous against Albion
Urizen, cold & scientific: Luvah, pitying & weeping
Tharmas, indolent & sullen: Urthona, doubting & despairing
Victims to one another & dreadfully plotting against each other
To prevent Albion walking about in the Four Complexions.      

They saw America clos'd out by the Oaks of the western shore;
And Tharmas dash'd on the Rocks of the Altars of Victims in Mexico.
If we are wrathful Albion will destroy Jerusalem with rooty Groves
If we are merciful, ourselves must suffer destruction on his Oaks!
Why should we enter into our Spectres, to behold our own corruptions
O God of Albion descend! deliver Jerusalem from the Oaken Groves!

Then Los grew furious raging: Why stand we here trembling around
Calling on God for help; and not ourselves in whom God dwells
Stretching a hand to save the falling Man: are we not Four
Beholding Albion upon the Precipice ready to fall into Non-Entity:
Seeing these Heavens & Hells conglobing in the Void. Heavens over Hells
Brooding in holy hypocritic lust, drinking the cries of pain

From howling victims of Law: building Heavens Twenty-seven-fold.
Swelld & bloated General Forms, repugnant to the Divine-
Humanity, who is the Only General and Universal Form         
To which all Lineaments tend & seek with love & sympathy
All broad & general principles belong to benevolence
Who protects minute particulars, every one in their own identity."
. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SELF-ANNIHILATION

To Blake the point at which regeneration could begin was the point of self-annihilation. Each person has within himself the desire for self-preservation. We feed this desire with layers of protective shielding. The possibility of self-annihilation is frightening.

 This armor insulating us from threat may be called the Selfhood, the false reasoning power. We learn to build ourselves up by tearing others down; we learn to blame others for our shortcomings; we learn to claim as our own what we have been freely given by God. A Selfhood grows within us and distorts our ability to perceive clearly or allow the imagination to be expressed in us and through us.

New York Public Library
Milton
Copy C, Plate 44
As Blake sat down to write Jerusalem he felt the need to ask that the Savior annihilate the Selfhood within him. To Blake the Imagination was equivalent to the Holy Spirit or the Christ within man. He intended that his poetry not come from himself as a individual, or from his Selfhood, but from the Imagination being expressed through him. If he expressed in his poetry his selfish, self-protective nature, then the ability to be a channel for the flow of the Spirit through him would  be blocked.

Through his struggles with understanding the internal facets of himself and how they inhibited his ability to maintain a clear channel for the expression of the Imagination, Blake learned that he could not use force to free himself to write. He needed to open pathways by being receptive to the positive contributions which could came to him even from the least promising sources.

Blake developed the realization that to rid himself of the inhibitions that his Selfhood presented he had to befriend it. He had to invite it into consciousness and determine what it said to him. He found that the power the Selfhood exercised over him was removed when he brought the Selfhood in, rather than giving it an external existence.
 

Annihilation of the Selfhood is a recurring process because the Selfhood grows again as the psyche accumulates more injuries and sees more choas around him. The solution is always to annihilate it by incorporating it. This process  may seem simple and straightforward but Blake presents the challenge and terror which he found it to be.


Jerusalem, Plate 5, (E 147)
"Trembling I sit day and night, my friends are astonish'd at me.
Yet they forgive my wanderings, I rest not from my great task!
To open the Eternal Worlds, to open the immortal Eyes
Of Man inwards into the Worlds of Thought: into Eternity
Ever expanding in the Bosom of God. the Human Imagination        
O Saviour pour upon me thy Spirit of meekness & love:
Annihilate the Selfhood in me, be thou all my life!
Guide thou my hand which trembles exceedingly upon the rock of ages,"

Milton, Plate 14 [15], (E 108)
"When will the Resurrection come; to deliver the sleeping body
From corruptibility: O when Lord Jesus wilt thou come?
Tarry no longer; for my soul lies at the gates of death.
I will arise and look forth for the morning of the grave.       
I will go down to the sepulcher to see if morning breaks!
I will go down to self annihilation and eternal death,
Lest the Last Judgment come & find me unannihilate
And I be siez'd & giv'n into the hands of my own Selfhood"

Milton, Plate 32 [35], (E 135)
"Judge then of thy Own Self: thy Eternal Lineaments explore       
What is Eternal & what Changeable? & what Annihilable!

The Imagination is not a State: it is the Human Existence itself
Affection or Love becomes a State, when divided from Imagination
The Memory is a State always, & the Reason is a State
Created to be Annihilated & a new Ratio Created                  
Whatever can be Created can be Annihilated Forms cannot"

Milton, Plate 38 [43], (E 139)
"In the Eastern porch of Satans Universe Milton stood & said

Satan! my Spectre! I know my power thee to annihilate
And be a greater in thy place, & be thy Tabernacle               
A covering for thee to do thy will, till one greater comes
And smites me as I smote thee & becomes my covering.
Such are the Laws of thy false Heavns! but Laws of Eternity
Are not such: know thou: I come to Self Annihilation
Such are the Laws of Eternity that each shall mutually     
Annihilate himself for others good, as I for thee[.]
Thy purpose & the purpose of thy Priests & of thy Churches
Is to impress on men the fear of death; to teach
Trembling & fear, terror, constriction; abject selfishness
Mine is to teach Men to despise death & to go on            
In fearless majesty annihilating Self, laughing to scorn
Thy Laws & terrors, shaking down thy Synagogues as webs
I come to discover before Heavn & Hell the Self righteousness
In all its Hypocritic turpitude, opening to every eye
These wonders of Satans holiness shewing to the Earth     
The Idol Virtues of the Natural Heart, & Satans Seat
Explore in all its Selfish Natural Virtue & put off
In Self annihilation all that is not of God alone:
To put off Self & all I have ever & ever Amen"

Milton, Plate 40 [46], (E 141)
"I see thee strive upon the Brooks of Arnon. there a dread
And awful Man I see, oercoverd with the mantle of years.   
I behold Los & Urizen. I behold Orc & Tharmas;
The Four Zoa's of Albion & thy Spirit with them striving
In Self annihilation giving thy life to thy enemies
Are those who contemn Religion & seek to annihilate it
Become in their Femin[in]e portions the causes & promoters
Of these Religions, how is this thing? this Newtonian Phantasm
This Voltaire & Rousseau: this Hume & Gibbon & Bolingbroke
This Natural Religion! this impossible absurdity
Is Ololon the cause of this? O where shall I hide my face
These tears fall for the little-ones: the Children of Jerusalem  
Lest they be annihilated in thy annihilation."

Milton, Plate 40 [46], (E 142)
 "Obey thou the Words of the Inspired Man
All that can be annihilated must be annihilated   

That the Children of Jerusalem may be saved from slavery
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."

Jerusalem, Plate 7, (E 150)
"Los answer'd. Altho' I know not this! I know far worse than this:
I know that Albion hath divided me, and that thou O my Spectre,
Hast just cause to be irritated: but look stedfastly upon me:
Comfort thyself in my strength the time will arrive,
When all Albions injuries shall cease, and when we shall         
Embrace him tenfold bright, rising from his tomb in immortality.
They have divided themselves by Wrath. they must be united by
Pity: let us therefore take example & warning O my Spectre,
O that I could abstain from wrath! O that the Lamb
Of God would look upon me and pity me in my fury.                
In anguish of regeneration! in terrors of self annihilation:
Pity must join together those whom wrath has torn in sunder,
And the Religion of Generation which was meant for the destruction
Of Jerusalem, become her covering, till the time of the End.
O holy Generation! [Image] of regeneration!
O point of mutual forgiveness between Enemies!
Birthplace of the Lamb of God incomprehensible!" 
. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

FOURFOLD HUMAN

Blake teaches that the human is Fourfold incorporating reason, emotions, body and imagination. The Sexual world of Generation is Threefold. The head, heart and loins are functioning but the imagination is dormant. Without the imagination the other aspects engage in selfish strife among the three.  

British Museum
 Jerusalem 
  Copy A, Plate 92
Blake's myth treats the fall from an original state of unity in Eden through the consequences of division which are many and devastating. Tharmas, the body, struggles in the flood of materiality to avoid losing his grasp on existence. Urizen, the reason, follows mistaken pursuits attempting to go it alone as the solitary arbitrator. Luvah, the emotions, is split between his powerful emanation Vala, and his revolutionary force, Orc. Urthona, the imagination, delegates his role to his materialized form, Los, who continually attempts to eliminate the errors which plague the divided man. Until the four work out their differences, see the value in the other, and relinquish aspirations of autonomy, they are condemned to a cycle of failure.

Although being fully human means being unified, achieving unity is facilitated through becoming conscious to the four forces which are active in the mind and in the outer world in which we live. An individual may unconsciously express in his behavior any of the four forces. Gaining an understanding of the dynamics of the interchanges of the four can enable the individual to quell the dissensions within and the conflicts encountered outwardly.

The image from near the end of Jerusalem when unity is being restored, shows the heads of four men emerging from the ground as if released to assume their proper places in the in the psyche of Albion.

 Milton, Plate 4, (E 97)
"Beneath the Plow of Rintrah & the harrow of the Almighty
In the hands of Palamabron. Where the Starry Mills of Satan
Are built beneath the Earth & Waters of the Mundane Shell
Here the Three Classes of Men take their Sexual texture Woven
The Sexual is Threefold: the Human is Fourfold"              

Jerusalem, Plate 12, (E 155)
"Go on, builders in hope: tho Jerusalem wanders far away,
Without the gate of Los: among the dark Satanic wheels.

Fourfold the Sons of Los in their divisions: and fourfold,       
The great City of Golgonooza: fourfold toward the north
And toward the south fourfold, & fourfold toward the east & west
Each within other toward the four points: that toward
Eden, and that toward the World of Generation,
And that toward Beulah, and that toward Ulro:                    
Ulro is the space of the terrible starry wheels of Albions sons:
But that toward Eden is walled up, till time of renovation:
Yet it is perfect in its building, ornaments & perfection."

Jerusalem, Plate 98, (E 258)
"The Sons & Daughters of Albion on soft clouds Waking from Sleep
Soon all around remote the Heavens burnt with flaming fires    
And Urizen & Luvah & Tharmas & Urthona arose into
Albions Bosom: Then Albion stood before Jesus in the Clouds
Of Heaven Fourfold among the Visions of God in Eternity"

Letters, To Thomas Butts, (E 722)
     "Now I a fourfold vision see
     And a fourfold vision is given to me
     Tis fourfold in my supreme delight
     And three fold in soft Beulahs night
     And twofold Always.  May God us keep
     From Single vision & Newtons sleep"
. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

SIN & VENGEANCE

British Museum Jerusalem
Plate 25
The spiral of descent from Eden could have been stopped but for the emergence of the concepts of sin and vengeance which obscured the Divine Vision and deterred man's return.

 When mercy and justice prevail, they work together to produce forgiveness. Without mercy, cruelty destroys the balance and vengeance follows. Because vengeance is not justice but reprisal, it destroys the vengeful as well as his victim.

In the world of Generation injury cannot be avoided. If, however, every injury is named a sin for which a punishment is required, there is soon an escalation to violence and vengeance. Opportunities are sought to strike out and brotherhood is destroyed. Blake uses the term 'impute sin' which implies that an infraction may be harmless until it is named a sin and becomes toxic. Blake introduced the concept of 'state' through which an individual passes in order to avoid imputing sin and to allow for the annihilation of error.

Man however can fall into the state of Ulro as described in Blake's Four Zoas: The Design of a Dream by Brian Wilkie and Mary Lynn Johnson:

"Ulro will be Blake's lowest state of existence, a world of pure unreality where all things are reduced to their lowest common denominator of spiritless physical matter. Brooding with nurselike solicitude over the ultimate home of the spectrous, the Daughters of Beulah condemn the corrupted sexuality of Tharmas and Enion, exposing the Spectre, or shadow personality in every man, for what it is in relation to full humanity, 'insane & most / Deformed.' (Page 28)
...
But the fall of man is arrested at the Ulro-point; the limits of time, space, matter, and the human body are set. The species and most human beings will survive - just barely - through Tharmas, the vestigial voice of instinct that signals the absurdity of all this unhappiness and waste, through Los, the power that makes possible even in the fallen state moments of ecstatic vision, and through that mysterious providence or hope that Blake calls Jesus, the Council of God.' (Page 83)

The will to survive, the vision of an alternative, and the Divine Providence enable man to abandon vengeance in exchange for life.  

Book of Ahania, Plate 5, (E 90)
"14: But now alone over rocks, mountains
Cast out from thy lovely bosom:                          
Cruel jealousy! selfish fear!
Self-destroying: how can delight,
Renew in these chains of darkness
Where bones of beasts are strown
On the bleak and snowy mountains
Where bones from the birth are buried
Before they see the light."  
    
Milton, Plate 9, (E 103)
"For Satan flaming with Rintrahs fury hidden beneath his own mildness
Accus'd Palamabron before the Assembly of ingratitude! of malice:
He created Seven deadly Sins drawing out his infernal scroll,
Of Moral laws and cruel punishments upon the clouds of Jehovah
To pervert the Divine voice in its entrance to the earth
With thunder of war & trumpets sound, with armies of disease
Punisbments & deaths musterd & number'd; Saying I am God alone   
There is no other! let all obey my principles of moral individuality
I have brought them from the uppermost innermost recesses
Of my Eternal Mind, transgressors I will rend off for ever,
As now I rend this accursed Family from my covering."

Jerusalem, Plate 25, (E 170)
"And there was heard a great lamenting in Beulah: all the Regions
Of Beulah were moved as the tender bowels are moved: & they said:

Why did you take Vengeance O ye Sons of the mighty Albion?
Planting these Oaken Groves: Erecting these Dragon Temples
Injury the Lord heals but Vengeance cannot be healed:            
As the Sons of Albion have done to Luvah: so they have in him
Done to the Divine Lord & Saviour, who suffers with those that suffer:
For not one sparrow can suffer, & the whole Universe not suffer also,
In all its Regions, & its Father & Saviour not pity and weep.
But Vengeance is the destroyer of Grace & Repentance in the bosom
Of the Injurer: in which the Divine Lamb is cruelly slain:
Descend O Lamb of God & take away the imputation of Sin
By the Creation of States & the deliverance of Individuals Evermore Amen

Thus wept they in Beulah over the Four Regions of Albion
But many doubted & despaird & imputed Sin & Righteousness       
To Individuals & not to States, and these Slept in Ulro."
.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

IMAGINATION

British Museum
Songs of Innocence
Final Plate, Copy B
 

To Blake Imagination was the alternative to reason. Through imagination man had access to regions of thought that were unknown to reason. Reason is limited and static while imagination is expansive and dynamic. Reason delves within the spacial and temporal; imagination within the eternal.
 
Urthona is the Zoa who represents imagination. His work is carried on in the unconscious of man.  He corresponds to intuition in Jung's system. Urthona is an integrating force in the psyche providing the core organizing principles for the other Zoas.




Laocoon, (E 273)  "The Eternal Body of Man is The IMAGINATION.  that is God himself, The Divine Body, JESUS We are his Members"

Jerusalem, Plate 77, (E 231)
"I know of no other
Christianity and of no other Gospel than the liberty both of body
& mind to exercise the Divine Arts of Imagination.   
  Imagination the real & eternal World of which this Vegetable
Universe is but a faint shadow & in which we shall live in our
Eternal or Imaginative Bodies, when these Vegetable Mortal Bodies
are no more."
Jerusalem, Plate 5, (E 147) 
"Trembling I sit day and night, my friends are astonish'd at me.
Yet they forgive my wanderings, I rest not from my great task!
To open the Eternal Worlds, to open the immortal Eyes
Of Man inwards into the Worlds of Thought: into Eternity
Ever expanding in the Bosom of God. the Human Imagination        
O Saviour pour upon me thy Spirit of meekness & love:
Annihilate the Selfhood in me, be thou all my life!
Guide thou my hand which trembles exceedingly upon the rock of ages,
While I write of the building of Golgonooza,"

Jerusalem, Plate 71, E 225)
"For all are Men in Eternity. Rivers Mountains Cities Villages,
All are Human & when you enter into their Bosoms you walk
In Heavens & Earths; as in your own Bosom you bear your Heaven
And Earth, & all you behold, tho it appears Without it is Within
In your Imagination of which this World of Mortality is but a Shadow."
. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

HEGEMONY OF REASON



Yale Center for British Art
America
Plate 10, Copy M
Blake lived in what some call The Age of Reason. He is said to be one of the first Romantics who ushered in a new age which demonstrated that reason, without emotions and longings is insufficient to satisfy the whole man. In his poetry Blake made reason, in the form of his Zoa Urizen, one of the major sources of the failures of society to provide for its constituents. The Age of Reason had destroyed patterns of religion, government and economics. Although intending to free man from bondage, reason's efforts had brought about forms of enslavement. Man was set on the path of materialism and reductionism when he became dependent primarily on reason. He was reduced to a being without faith, stability, security or liberty.
Blake's thesis was that reason had been elevated to a place of dominance over the other aspects of man's psyche. Reason then built a world where men were valued as instruments of production not compassion, where children were not nurtured or protected from exploitation, and where women were forced into defensiveness. The observation that reason imposed one view onto all, without variation or exception, caused Blake to react against the position he saw reason carving out for itself.
Quoting from an earlier post:
"Urizen wanders about the world spinning the web of religion, carving the laws of God and unable any longer to see into the closed tents of the Eternals. Urizen, the Superego, has created a dilemma; he can say 'Thou shalt not,' but he can't say 'Thou shalt.' (“Without a vision the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18.) Urizen is at an impasse from which he cannot extricate himself. The divided self, without the Spirit or Imagination lacks the ability to live the life of joy, peace, forgiveness and brotherhood."

America, Plate 7, (E 53)
"Lover of wild rebellion, and transgresser of Gods Law;
Why dost thou come to Angels eyes in this terrific form?
Plate 8
The terror answerd: I am Orc, wreath'd round the accursed tree:
The times are ended; shadows pass the morning gins to break;
The fiery joy, that Urizen perverted to ten commands,
What night he led the starry hosts thro' the wide wilderness:
That stony law I stamp to dust: and scatter religion abroad      
To the four winds as a torn book, & none shall gather the leaves;
But they shall rot on desart sands, & consume in bottomless deeps;
To make the desarts blossom, & the deeps shrink to their fountains,
And to renew the fiery joy, and burst the stony roof."

Song of Los, (E 68)
"Thus the terrible race of Los & Enitharmon gave
Laws & Religions to the sons of Har binding them more
And more to Earth: closing and restraining:                      
Till a Philosophy of Five Senses was complete
Urizen wept & gave it into the hands of Newton & Locke"    

Book of Urizen, Plate 4, (E 72)
"6. Here alone I in books formd of metals
Have written the secrets of wisdom                            
The secrets of dark contemplation
By fightings and conflicts dire,
With terrible monsters Sin-bred:
Which the bosoms of all inhabit;
Seven deadly Sins of the soul. 

7. Lo! I unfold my darkness: and on
This rock, place with strong hand the Book
Of eternal brass, written in my solitude.

8. Laws of peace, of love, of unity:
Of pity, compassion, forgiveness.          
Let each chuse one habitation:
His ancient infinite mansion:
One command, one joy, one desire,
One curse, one weight, one measure
One King, one God, one Law."

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

Compell the poor to live upon a Crust of bread by soft mild arts
Smile when they frown frown when they smile & when a man looks pale
With labour & abstinence say he looks healthy & happy
And when his children Sicken let them die there are enough
Born even too many & our Earth will be overrun
Without these arts If you would make the poor live with temper
With pomp give every crust of bread you give with gracious cunning 
Magnify small gifts reduce the man to want a gift & then give with pomp 
Say he smiles if you hear him sigh If pale say he is ruddy
Preach temperance   say he is overgorgd & drowns his wit
In strong drink tho you know that bread & water are all
He can afford   Flatter his wife pity his children till we can   

Reduce all to our will as spaniels are taught with art"
. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

GOOD & EVIL

Another of what I consider to be the essential teachings of William Blake is his attitude toward Good & Evil. He was not inclined to accept traditional definitions of any concept. He approached Good & Evil in his predictably iconoclastic way.
When the reasoning mind divides the contraries into categories which it labels Good and Evil it enters the state of Satan the accuser. The contraries are meant to complement and complete each other; they have no inherent moral value. They are not meant to be split asunder in opposition but to enhance one another by adding the missing piece.     

www.william-blake.org
The Large Color Printed Drawings of 1795
The Good and Evil Angels Struggling for Possession of a Child
The moral law is the result of the assignment of values to specific characteristics. When these laws are said to be the commandments of God they become instruments of oppression.
 
Romans 5
[13] sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 

Romans 8
[28] We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.

 
In William Blake's Circle of Destiny Milton Percival explains the beginning of the fall thus:
"The great cosmic break in which the fine relationship of the contraries is destroyed is the work of the Spectre. Blown with pride in his emanative life, he abstracts from it a set of qualities called Good. In his arrogance he believes that these qualities which he admires are due to his own activities; he does not realize that they are but the result of the undisturbed functioning of an harmonious whole."

Jerusalem, Plate 49, (E 199)
"Yet they are blameless & Iniquity must be imputed only           
To the State they are enterd into that they may be deliverd:
Satan is the State of Death, & not a Human existence:
But Luvah is named Satan, because he has enterd that State.
A World where Man is by Nature the enemy of Man
Because the Evil is Created into a State. that Men               
May be deliverd time after time evermore. Amen.
Learn therefore O Sisters to distinguish the Eternal Human
That walks about among the stones of fire in bliss & woe
Alternate! from those States or Worlds in which the Spirit travels:
This is the only means to Forgiveness of Enemies" 
An essential of Blake's teachings is that man can escape from the dominion of perceiving individuals as evil or good. Each has the potential of rejecting error by 'Conversing with Eternal Realities as they Exist in the Human Imagination.'
  
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 554)
"The Last Judgment when all those are Cast away who trouble
Religion with Questions concerning Good & Evil or Eating of the
Tree of those Knowledges or Reasonings which hinder the Vision of
God turning all into a Consuming fire  Imaginative Art &
Science & all Intellectual Gifts all the Gifts of the Holy Ghost
are [despisd] lookd upon as of no use & only Contention
remains to Man then the Last Judgment begins & its Vision is seen
by the [Imaginative Eye] of Every one according to the
situation he holds
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" 
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 561) 
"A Last Judgment is not for the purpose of making Bad
Men better but for the Purpose of hindering them from opressing
the Good with Poverty & Pain by means of Such Vile Arguments &
Insinuations" 
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 562)
 "Here they are no longer talking of what is Good &
Evil or of what is Right or Wrong & puzzling themselves in Satans
Labyrinth But are Conversing with Eternal
Realities as they Exist in the Human Imagination   We are in a
World of Generation & death & this world we must cast off if we
would be Painters Such as Rafa[e]l Mich Angelo & the
Ancient Sculptors. if we do not cast off this world we shall be
only Venetian Painters who will be cast off & Lost from Art" 
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 563)
"Eternity Exists and All things in Eternity Independent of
Creation which was an act of Mercy I have represented
those who are in Eternity by some in a Cloud within the Rainbow
that Surrounds the Throne they merely appear as in a Cloud when
any thing of Creation Redemption or Judgment are the Subjects of
Contemplation tho their Whole Contemplation is Concerning these
things the Reason they so appear is The Humiliation of the
Reasoning & Doubting Selfhood & the Giving all up to Inspiration 
 By this it will be seen that I do not consider either the Just
or the Wicked to be in a Supreme State but to be every one of
them States of the Sleep which the Soul may fall into in its
Deadly Dreams of Good & Evil when it leaves Paradise
following the Serpent" 
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 563)
"The Combats of Good & Evil is Eating of the Tree
of Knowledge The Combats of Truth & Error is Eating of the Tree
of Life" 
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 564)
 "Christ comes
as he came at first to deliver those who were bound under the
Knave not to deliver the Knave He Comes to Deliver Man the
Accused & not Satan the Accuser we do not
find any where that Satan is Accused of Sin he is only accused of
Unbelief & thereby drawing Man into Sin that he may accuse him. 
Such is the Last Judgment a Deliverance from Satans Accusation
Satan thinks that Sin is displeasing to God he ought to know that
Nothing is displeasing to God but Unbelief & Eating of the Tree
of Knowledge of Good & Evil 
Men are admitted into Heaven not because they have
governd their Passions or have No Passions but because
they have Cultivated their Understandings.  The Treasures of
Heaven are not Negations of Passion but Realities of Intellect
from which All the Passions Emanate in their Eternal
Glory   The Fool shall not enter into Heaven let him be ever so
Holy.  Holiness is not The Price of Enterance into Heaven Those
who are cast out Are All Those who having no Passions of their
own because No Intellect.  Have spent their lives in Curbing &
Governing other Peoples by the Various arts of Poverty & Cruelty
of all kinds"
. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

VEGETABLE GLASS

Yale Center for British Art
Jerusalem

Plate 4
The post, Divine Vision, is the first of a series of posts on Blake's essential teachings. This, the second, is intended to demonstrate that Blake saw that the outer world which seems 'real' to us should be recognized as a 'soft sexual delusion' to 'delight the wanderer'. 

When man loses sight of the spiritual dimension, the world discernible by the senses replaces it. This is the world of Vala, the outer appearances which compose her veil or 'film of matter which covers all reality'. (Damon) The veil is constructed not only of sense data, but is built of the false reasoning which supplies the Moral Law to replace the 'perception of the infinite'.

The Vegetable Glass of Nature is what man perceives to be his world after the loss of his ability to see the Divine Vision. Unable to see through the covering veil which hides the infinite and eternal, he sees projections formed by his own limited mind reflected back by the Vegetable Glass of Nature. 

Milton O Percival, on Page 265, of William Blake's Circle of Destiny writes of the sinister web woven when Albion turns away from the inward, active masculine to the outward, passive, feminine aspect:

"Matter begins its spurious existence in the mind as Albion began to fall. He moved from the inward into the outward, the feminine and the natural; he believed in it; he even set up the passive feminine, in its various aspects, as his ideal of good. In doing so he he moved into darkness and doubt, for, as Plotinus says, 'The unbelieving element is sense; it is the other, the Intellectual Principle that sees.' At the same time he confers upon the feminine a spurious life and independence. Enion found, when she first wove the web of nature, that it was 'perverse and wayward,' with a will of its own. Out of this feminine self-assertion come the Daughters of Albion, who weave the perception as narrowly as possible, and fold the world according to their will. But that will or power - an irrational thing - was conferred on them by the irrational mind. A falsity itself, it was created by a falsity. The unlit matter which the Daughters create is the product of the unlit soul. It would vanish if the soul were 'awake.'" 

Vision of Last Judgment, (E 555)
"Reality was Forgot & the Vanities of Time & Space only Rememberd
& calld Reality
...
This world of Imagination is the World of
Eternity it is the Divine bosom into which we shall all go after
the death of the Vegetated body   This World  is
Infinite & Eternal whereas the world of Generation or Vegetation
is Finite & [for a small moment] Temporal    There Exist
in that Eternal World the Permanent Realities of Every Thing
which we see are reflected in this Vegetable Glass of Nature"    
Milton, Plate 21 [23], (E 115)
"And all this Vegetable World appeard on my left Foot,
As a bright sandal formd immortal of precious stones & gold:
I stooped down & bound it on to walk forward thro' Eternity."   
Milton, Plate 29 [31], (E 127)
"Wher'eer he goes & all his neighbourhood bewail his loss:
Such are the Spaces called Earth & such its dimension:
As to that false appearance which appears to the reasoner,       
As of a Globe rolling thro Voidness, it is a delusion of Ulro
The Microscope knows not of this nor the Telescope. they alter
The ratio of the Spectators Organs but leave Objects untouchd
For every Space larger than a red Globule of Mans blood.
Is visionary: and is created by the Hammer of Los                
And every Space smaller than a Globule of Mans blood. opens
Into Eternity of which this vegetable Earth is but a shadow:"   
Jerusalem, Plate 19, (E 164)
"And Los was roofd in from Eternity in Albions Cliffs
Which stand upon the ends of Beulah, and withoutside, all
Appear'd a rocky form against the Divine Humanity.               

Albions Circumference was clos'd: his Center began darkning
Into the Night of Beulah, and the Moon of Beulah rose
Clouded with storms: Los his strong Guard walkd round beneath the Moon
And Albion fled inward among the currents of his rivers."    
Jerusalem, Plate 29 [33], (E 175)
"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[.] 
Albions Emanation which he had hidden in jealousy
Appeard now in the frowning Chaos prolific upon the Chaos
Reflecting back to Albion in Sexual Reasoning Hermaphroditic

Albion spoke. Who art thou that appearest in gloomy pomp
Involving the Divine Vision in colours of autumn ripeness        
I never saw thee till this time, nor beheld life abstracted
Nor darkness immingled with light on my furrowd field
Whence camest thou! who art thou O loveliest? the Divine Vision
Is as nothing before thee, faded is all life and joy

Vala replied in clouds of tears Albions garment embracing        

I was a City & a Temple built by Albions Children.
I was a Garden planted with beauty I allured on hill & valley
The River of Life to flow against my walls & among my trees
Vala was Albions Bride & Wife in great Eternity
The loveliest of the daughters of Eternity when in day-break    

I emanated from Luvah over the Towers of Jerusalem
And in her Courts among her little Children offering up
The Sacrifice of fanatic love! why loved I Jerusalem!
Why was I one with her embracing in the Vision of Jesus
Wherefore did I loving create love, which never yet              
Immingled God & Man, when thou & I, hid the Divine Vision
In cloud of secret gloom which behold involve me round about  
Know me now Albion: look upon me I alone am Beauty
The Imaginative Human Form is but a breathing of Vala
I breathe him forth into the Heaven from my secret Cave          
Born of the Woman to obey the Woman O Albion the mighty
For the Divine appearance is Brotherhood, but I am Love" 
.