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

Sunday, August 23, 2015

ETERNAL MAN IS RISEN [126]

British Library
Four Zoas Manuscript
Page 126
Four Zoas, Night IX, PAGE 126, (E 395) "And now fierce Orc had quite consumd himself in Mental flames Expending all his energy against the fuel of fire The Regenerate Man stoopd his head over the Universe & in His holy hands recievd the flaming Demon & Demoness of Smoke And gave them to Urizens hands the Immortal frownd Saying Luvah & Vala henceforth you are Servants obey & live You shall forget your former state return O Love in peace Into your place the place of seed not in the brain or heart If Gods combine against Man Setting their Dominion above The Human form Divine. Thrown down from their high Station In the Eternal heavens of Human Imagination: buried beneath In dark Oblivion with incessant pangs ages on ages In Enmity & war first weakend 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 Luvah & Vala descended & enterd the Gates of Dark Urthona And walkd from the hands of Urizen in the shadows of Valas Garden Where the impressions of Despair & Hope for ever vegetate In flowers in fruits in fishes birds & beasts & clouds & waters The land of doubts & shadows sweet delusions unformd hopes They saw no more the terrible confusion of the wracking universe They heard not saw not felt not all the terrible confusion For in their orbed senses within closd up they wanderd at will And those upon the Couches viewd them in the dreams of Beulah As they reposd from the terrible wide universal harvest Invisible Luvah in bright clouds hoverd over Valas head And thus their ancient golden age renewd for Luvah spoke With voice mild from his golden Cloud upon the breath of morning Come forth O Vala from the grass & from the silent Dew Rise from the dews of death for the Eternal Man is Risen"


This page concerning the restoration of Luvah and Vala was not included in Blake's Poetry and Designs which selected a limited number of passages from each of the  Nine Nights. I have followed their selection which included Night I in its entirety and a few pages from the other eight Nights. Frye, however, calls attention to Page 126 as including Blake's own description of his intended thesis.
 
Northrop Frye, Fearful Symmetry, Page 270:
"The theme of the Four Zoas is, first the loss of the identity of divine and human natures which brought about the Fall and and created the physical universe; second the struggle to regain this identity in the fallen world which was completed by Jesus; and, third, the apocalypse. This thesis is given most concisely in the following passage:

If Gods combine against Man Setting their Dominion above
The Human form Divine. Thrown down from their high Station       
In the Eternal heavens of Human Imagination: buried beneath 
In dark Oblivion with incessant pangs ages on ages
In Enmity & war first weakend 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
From the point of view of this poem, therefore, the essential barrier between man and his divine inheritance is the belief in a nonhuman God founded on the fallen vision of an objective nature. This is what Blake means by "Religion.
...
Page 278
"The Plan of the Four Zoas is not difficult to follow. Night I deals with the fall of Tharmas and the end of the Golden Age; Night II with the fall of Luvah and the end of the Silver age; Night III with the fall of Urizen and the end of the Brazen Age; Night IV with the beginning of the Iron Age or humanity in its present form six thousand years ago and the establishment of fallen life (Adam) and death (Satan). Then comes the tracing of the Orc cycle, under the symbols of the birth and binding of Orc in Night V, Urizen's exploration of his dens in Night VI, the crucifixion of Orc and the triumph of moral virtue in Night VII. In Night VII, however, a double cricis takes place, one an imaginative advance, symbolized by the mingling of Los and the Spectre of Urthona, the other a consolidation of error symbolized by the birth of Rahab from the Spectre of Urthona and another character called the Shadow of Enitharmon. In Night VIII this antithesis sharpens into its final form, in the Incarnation of Christ and the epiphany of Antichrist respectively. Night IX deals with the apocalypse."

Nearing the end of the Apocalypse in the Book of Revelation, John writes:
 

Revelation 22
[1] And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
[2] In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
[3] And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
[4] And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
[5] And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
[6] And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
[7] Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.


In the Apocalypse described by John of Patmos and by Blake, the principles which guide Eternity transform man's earthly experience.
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