|British Museum |
Book of Urizen
Copy D, Plate 8
When we look to find the essential teachings of Blake, we can settle on one as fundamental: that being unable to perceive the Divine Vision undermines man's humanity. The collapse of all that comprises an orderly system ensues when man can no longer see that God or Spirit is the central organizing force in the universe. The vision of God, like the force of gravity holds everything together and ordains the patterns of movement. But man turns away, he listens to another voice, he follows a path that leads to destruction.
The wanderings of man in a wilderness, in a desert or in the chartered streets of London tell of men without vision, listening to the negation of Satan or the selfishness of their own Spectre.
Milton, Plate 2, (E 96) "Mark well my words! they are of your eternal salvation: Three Classes are Created by the Hammer of Los, & Woven Plate 3 By Enitharmons Looms when Albion was slain upon his Mountains And in his Tent, thro envy of Living Form, even of the Divine Vision And of the sports of Wisdom in the Human Imagination Which is the Divine Body of the Lord Jesus, blessed for ever."
Milton, Plate 9, (E 102) "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. Thus Satan rag'd amidst the Assembly! and his bosom grew Opake against the Divine Vision: the paved terraces of His bosom inwards shone with fires, but the stones becoming opake! Hid him from sight, in an extreme blackness and darkness, And there a World of deeper Ulro was open'd, in the midst Of the Assembly. In Satans bosom a vast unfathomable Abyss."
Milton, Plate 21 , (E 116) "Watch over this World, and with your brooding wings, Renew it to Eternal Life: Lo! I am with you alway But you cannot renew Milton he goes to Eternal Death So spake the Family Divine as One Man even Jesus Uniting in One with Ololon & the appearance of One Man Jesus the Saviour appeard coming in the Clouds of Ololon! Plate 22  Tho driven away with the Seven Starry Ones into the Ulro Yet the Divine Vision remains Every-where For-ever. Amen. And Ololon lamented for Milton with a great lamentation."
Milton, Plate 32  (E 131) "But the Divine Humanity & Mercy gave us a Human Form Because we were combind in Freedom & holy Brotherhood While those combind by Satans Tyranny first in the blood of War And Sacrifice &, next, in Chains of imprisonment: are Shapeless Rocks Retaining only Satans Mathematic Holiness, Length: Bredth & Highth Calling the Human Imagination: which is the Divine Vision & Fruition In which Man liveth eternally: madness & blasphemy, against Its own Qualities, which are Servants of Humanity, not Gods or Lords"
Jerusalem, Plate 27, (E 172) "He witherd up the Human Form, By laws of sacrifice for sin: Till it became a Mortal Worm: But O! translucent all within. The Divine Vision still was seen Still was the Human Form, Divine Weeping in weak & mortal clay O Jesus still the Form was thine. And thine the Human Face & thine The Human Hands & Feet & Breath Entering thro' the Gates of Birth And passing thro' the Gates of Death" Jerusalem, Plate 29 , (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"
Jerusalem, Plate 34 , (E 179) "Turning from Universal Love petrific as he went, His cold against the warmth of Eden rag'd with loud Thunders of deadly war (the fever of the human soul) Fires and clouds of rolling smoke! but mild the Saviour follow'd him, 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:"