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

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


1st Corinthians 15
[44] It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.
[45] Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
[46] But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual.
[47] The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
[48] As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven.
[49] Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
[50] I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
Within sentient beings is the ability to create images. To different species, the world appears differently because their senses and brains are constructed differently. A dog's world is said to be dominated by smell. A butterfly constructs his reality through an eye which produces multiple images. Migrating birds are guided by vibrations to which humans are insensible. We would not recognize the world we now know if we were given another being's senses as a replacement for our own. We construct our world by mentally ordering sensory data through mental processing to build images.

To Blake the ordinary process of producing images is analogous to a higher level of image building or consciousness which is Imagination. The human infant is immersed in a world of sensation which he must decipher with his physical brain. Blake tells us that we are immersed in a reality of spiritual sensation which we can decipher with our Imaginations to produce images of Eternity. For Blake the exercise of Imagination was almost automatic, for others it must be cultivated to be actualized.

Annotations to Berkeley's Siris, (E 664)
"Knowledge is not by deduction but Immediate by Perception or
Sense at once   Christ addresses himself to the Man not to his
Blake uses the word Imagination to point to the ability to perceive not through sensation, reason and emotion but though immersion in the universal being whom he calls Albion. Imagination may be described as a direct, unprocessed experience of an outer world which connects through our inner world with the unity of all life. To Imagination the inner world is pregnant with the outer, and the outer with the inner. The fruit which is borne in the inner produces abundant manifestations outwardly. Man has the opportunity through Imagination to engage in a process of shedding his garments layer by layer until he is released into the Divine Presence.
Annotations to Wordsworth's Poems, (E 666)
"Imagination is the Divine Vision not of The
World nor of Man nor from Man as he is a Natural Man but only as
he is a Spiritual Man Imagination has nothing to do with Memory"
To live in the world of Imagination is to give less credence to the conventional world of exchange of material things and more attention to the exchange of ideas and images. If we could see our world less in the form of property and power and more in the form of empathy and relationships, we could enter the Eternal world by being carried by the Fiery Chariot of Contemplative Thought.
A Vision of the Last Judgment,  (E  560)
 "If the Spectator could Enter into these Images in his
Imagination approaching them on the Fiery Chariot of his
Contemplative Thought if he could Enter into Noahs Rainbow or
into his bosom or could make a Friend & Companion of one of these
Images of wonder which always intreats him to leave mortal things
as he must know then would he arise from his Grave then would he
meet the Lord in the Air & then he would be happy   General
Knowledge is Remote Knowledge it is in Particulars that Wisdom
consists & Happiness too.  Both in Art & in Life General Masses
are as Much Art as a Pasteboard Man is Human Every Man has Eyes
Nose & Mouth this Every Idiot knows but he who enters into &
discriminates most minutely the Manners & Intentions the
Characters in all their branches is the
alone Wise or Sensible Man & on this discrimination All Art is
Jerusalem, Plate 36 [40], (E 181)
"Los shudder'd at beholding Albion, for his disease
Arose upon him pale and ghastly: and he call'd around
The Friends of Albion: trembling at the sight of Eternal Death
The four appear'd with their Emanations in fiery
Chariots: black their fires roll beholding Albions house of Eternity               
Damp couch the flames beneath and silent, sick, stand shuddering
Before the Porch of sixteen pillars: weeping every one
Descended and fell down upon their knees round Albions knees,
Swearing the Oath of God! with awful voice of thunders round
Upon the hills & valleys, and the cloudy Oath roll'd far and wide

Albion is sick! said every Valley, every mournful Hill
And every River: our brother Albion is sick to death.
He hath leagued himself with robbers! he hath studied the arts
Of unbelief! Envy hovers over him! his Friends are his abhorrence!
Those who give their lives for him are despised!                 
Those who devour his soul, are taken into his bosom!
To destroy his Emanation is their intention:
Arise! awake O Friends of the Giant Albion
They have perswaded him of horrible falshoods!
They have sown errors over all his fruitful fields!              

The Twenty-four heard! they came trembling on watry chariots.
Borne by the Living Creatures of the third procession
Of Human Majesty, the Living Creatures wept aloud as they
Went along Albions roads, till they arriv'd at Albions House."

Annotations to Berkeley's Siris, (E 663)
 "Jesus considerd Imagination to be the Real Man & says I will
not leave you Orphanned and I will manifest myself to you   he
says also the Spiritual Body or Angel as little Children always
behold the Face of the Heavenly Father" 
John 14
[16] And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
[17] Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
[18] I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
[19] Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

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."

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