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

Monday, April 13, 2015

SLEEP OF ALBION

Albion's fall into disease, disaster and despair is the result of his loss of the fine-tuned integrity of the integrated whole. When he loses the ability to perceive the vision of the Form Divine, he loses access to his Jerusalem, his Soul where his image of God resides. There are three simultaneous occurrences: Albion falls asleep, Jerusalem is lost to him and his Spectre arises. 

Yale Center for British Arts
Jerusalem
Plate 37
Albion's fall is not complete. He is not allowed to reach the depths of the void outside of existence for it becomes a womb to nurture his regeneration. He reaches the precipice but does not fall into non-entity.

In Plate 37 Blake incorporates Jesus, the incarnate God, cradling the unconscious Albion between the palm of suffering and the oak of sacrifice, supported by the moon of generation on the wings of regeneration. The text is surrounded by the stars of redemption. The lower section portrays the fractured aspects of the divided Albion: his Spectre and his Emanation.

Jerusalem, Plate 23, (E 168)
"Jerusalem reply'd, like a voice heard from a sepulcher:
Father! once piteous! Is Pity. a Sin? Embalm'd in Vala's bosom
In an Eternal Death for. Albions sake, our best beloved.         
Thou art my Father & my Brother: Why hast thou hidden me,
Remote from the divine Vision: my Lord and Saviour.

Trembling stood Albion at her words in jealous dark despair:
He felt that Love and Pity are the same; a soft repose!
Inward complacency of Soul: a Self-annihilation!                 

I have erred! I am ashamed! and will never return more:
I have taught my children sacrifices of cruelty: what shall I
     answer?
I will hide it from Eternals! I will give myself for my Children!
Which way soever I turn, I behold Humanity and Pity!

He recoil'd: he rush'd outwards; he bore the Veil whole away     
His fires redound from his Dragon Altars in Errors returning.
He drew the Veil of Moral Virtue, woven for Cruel Laws,
And cast it into the Atlantic Deep, to catch the Souls of the Dead.
He stood between the Palm tree & the Oak of weeping
Which stand upon the edge of Beulah; and there Albion sunk       
Down in sick pallid languor! These were his last words, relapsing!
Hoarse from his rocks, from caverns of Derbyshire & Wales
And Scotland, utter'd from the Circumference into Eternity.

Blasphemous Sons of Feminine delusion! God in the dreary Void
Dwells from Eternity, wide separated from the Human Soul         

But thou deluding Image by whom imbu'd the Veil I rent
Lo here is Valas Veil whole, for a Law, a Terror  & a Curse!
And therefore God takes vengeance on me: from my clay-cold bosom
My children wander trembling victims of his Moral justice."
Jerusalem, Plate 36 [40], (E 182)
"O! how the torments of Eternal Death, waited on Man:     
And the loud-rending bars of the Creation ready to burst:
That the wide world might fly from its hinges, & the immortal mansion
Of Man, for ever be possess'd by monsters of the deeps:
And Man himself become a Fiend, wrap'd in an endless curse,
Consuming and consum'd for-ever in flames of Moral Justice. 
For had the Body of Albion fall'n down, and from its dreadful ruins
Let loose the enormous Spectre on the darkness of the deep,
At enmity with the Merciful & fill'd with devouring fire,
A nether-world must have recievd the foul enormous spirit,
Under pretence of Moral Virtue, fill'd with Revenge and Law."
 
Albion's members must be returned to consciousness of their connectivity. The oneness of the many must override their identification as individuals whose self-interest supersedes membership in the one body. 

1 Corinthians 12
[11] But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
[12] For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
[13] For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
[14] For the body is not one member, but many.
...
[25] That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
[26] And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
[27] Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
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