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

Monday, January 25, 2016

LOS

Los was the hero of Blake's poetry, but like most heroes he was not unblemished. He was multi-talented, being a prophet, a poet, an artist, a builder, a blacksmith, a warrior and a friend. Using our contemporary vocabulary he was also, a therapist, a social worker, a visionary and a protester. He was a husband working out a marriage to a independent, feminist woman. He was the jealous father to a rebellious son whose raw power was willing to use methods his parent would not use.

British Museum
Song of Los
Copy A, Plate 8
Jerusalem, PLATE 45 [31], (E 194)  "What shall I do! what could I do, if I could find these
Criminals I could not dare to take vengeance; for all things are so constructed
And builded by the Divine hand, that the sinner shall always escape,
And he who takes vengeance alone is the criminal of Providence;
If I should dare to lay my finger on a grain of sand In way of vengeance;
I punish the already punishd: O whom Should I pity if I pity not the sinner who is gone astray!
O Albion, if thou takest vengeance; if thou revengest thy wrongs Thou art for ever lost!
What can I do to hinder the Sons Of Albion from taking vengeance? or how shall I them perswade.
So spoke Los, travelling thro darkness & horrid solitude:"

Los was Blake's alter ego attempting those feats of physical, intellectual and spiritual achievement which Blake admired. Blake gave this dramatic account of becoming one with Los.
 

New York Public Library
Milton
Plate 43, Copy C
Milton, Plate 22 [24], (E 116)
"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.
  While Los heard indistinct in fear, what time I bound my sandals
On; to walk forward thro' Eternity, Los descended to me:
And Los behind me stood; a terrible flaming Sun: just close
Behind my back; I turned round in terror, and behold.
Los stood in that fierce glowing fire; & he also stoop'd down
And bound my sandals on in Udan-Adan
; trembling I stood
Exceedingly with fear & terror, standing in the
Vale Of Lambeth: but he kissed me and wishd me health.  
 
And I became One Man with him arising in my strength:
Twas too late now to recede. Los had enterd into my soul:
His terrors now posses'd me whole! I arose in fury & strength.
"

 
Los and Urizen were the two most durable characters in Blake's work. Los, as the representative of Urthona in the physical world, struggled to prevent Urizen, the reasoning mind, from obscuring the perception of the Infinite, Eternal Soul which inhabits every being. Blake suffered with Los the anguish of seeing Jerusalem disdained and Vala enthroned.


Wikimedia Commons
Urizen
Copy G, Plate 18
Four Zoas, Night IV, Page 51, (E 334)
"O why did foul ambition sieze thee Urizen Prince of Light
And thee O Luvah prince of Love
till Tharmas was divided
And I what can I now behold but an Eternal Death
Before my Eyes & an Eternal weary work to strive
Against the monstrous forms that breed among my silent waves
Is this to be A God far rather would I be a Man
To know sweet Science & to do with simple companions
Sitting beneath a tent & viewing sheepfolds & soft pastures  
 
Take thou the hammer of Urthona rebuild these furnaces
Dost thou refuse mind I the sparks that issue from thy hair 

Page 52
I will compell thee to rebuild by these my furious waves
Death choose or life thou strugglest in my waters, now choose life
And all the Elements shall serve thee
to their soothing flutes
Their sweet inspiriting lyres thy labours shall administer
And they to thee only remit not faint not thou my son
Now thou dost know what tis to strive against the God of waters
  So saying Tharmas on his furious chariots of the Deep
Departed far into the Unknown & left a wondrous void
Round Los
. afar his waters bore on all sides round. with noise
Of wheels & horses hoofs & Trumpets Horns & Clarions
Terrified Los beheld the ruins of Urizen beneath
A horrible Chaos to his eyes. a formless unmeasurable Death
Whirling up broken rocks on high into the dismal air
And fluctuating all beneath in Eddies of molten fluid
Then Los with terrible hands siezd on the Ruind Furnaces
Of Urizen. Enormous work: he builded them anew
Labour of Ages in the Darkness & the war of Tharmas

And Los formd Anvils of Iron petrific. for his blows
Petrify with incessant beating many a rock. many a planet
But Urizen slept in a stoned stupor in the nether Abyss"

 

There are 97 posts which have the label Los on this blog.
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Thursday, January 21, 2016

AHANIA

Wikipedia Commons
Book of Ahania
Plate 2



Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Urizen did not make an ideal husband. In the beginning, however, Urizen and Ahania were compatible. Urizen engaged in strenuous work and Ahania provided relaxation and rest. Gradually Urizen's work became more burdensome to him and Ahania noticed his darker side. Ahania had been treated by Urizen as a part of himself with no mind or will of her own. When she began to see Urizen's depression about the present and fears about the future, Urizen recognized that she had a life of her own. Rather than listen to Ahania's observations reflected back to him, he threw her out. Of course, the irony is that the changes Urizen saw taking place in Ahania were taking place in himself.  


Wikipedia Commons
Book of Ahania
Plate 1
Book of Ahania, Plate 2, (E 84)
7: Dire shriek'd his invisible Lust                           
Deep groan'd Urizen! stretching his awful hand
Ahania (so name his parted soul)
He siez'd on his mountains of jealousy.
He groand anguishd & called her Sin,

Kissing her and weeping over her;           
Then hid her in darkness in silence;
Jealous tho' she was invisible.

8: She fell down a faint shadow wandring
In chaos and circling dark Urizen,
As the moon anguishd circles the earth;     
Hopeless! abhorrd! a death-shadow,
Unseen, unbodied, unknown,
The mother of Pestilence.



Book of Ahania, Plate 5, (E 89)
"13: The sweat poured down thy temples           
To Ahania return'd in evening
The moisture awoke to birth
My mothers-joys, sleeping in bliss.

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.

       FINIS" 
Ahania was meant to be the mind's delight in the embodiment of ideas in the outer world. Without Urizen to supply the ideas which fed the blissful images of her world, she was sucked toward the void and lamented on the borders of nonentity. Contrarily, without Ahania, Urizen's work was futile and sterile, never bringing to life his spontaneous outpouring of thought. He focused instead on limiting creativity, emotion, and enjoyment of the present moment.
uga.edu
Four Zoas
Page 36


 

Four Zoas, Night II, Page 36, (E 325)
"It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity
Thus could I sing & thus rejoice, but it is not so with me!  
Ahania heard the Lamentation & a swift Vibration Spread thro her Golden frame. She rose up eer the dawn of day 
When Urizen slept on his couch. drawn thro unbounded space 
Onto the margin of Non Entity the bright Female came
There she beheld the Spectrous form of Enion in the Void
And never from that moment could she rest upon her pillow End of the Second Night"


 
Four Zoas, Night III, Page 42, (E 328)
"She ended. for [from] his wrathful throne burst forth the black hail storm

Am I not God said Urizen. Who is Equal to me
Do I not stretch the heavens abroad or fold them up like a garment

He spoke mustering his heavy clouds around him black opake
Page 43 
Then thunders rolld around & lightnings darted to & fro
His visage changd to darkness & his strong right hand came forth 
To cast Ahania to the Earth be siezd her by the hair
And threw her from the steps of ice that froze around his throne

Saying Art thou also become like Vala. thus I cast thee out      
Shall the feminine indolent bliss. the indulgent self of weariness
The passive idle sleep the enormous night & darkness of Death
Set herself up to give her laws to the active masculine virtue
Thou little diminutive portion that darst be a counterpart
Thy passivity thy laws of obedience & insincerity
Are my abhorrence. Wherefore hast thou taken that fair form
Whence is this power given to thee! once thou wast in my breast
A sluggish current of dim waters. on whose verdant margin
A cavern shaggd with horrid shades. dark cool & deadly. where
I laid my head in the hot noon after the broken clods            
Had wearied me. there I laid my plow & there my horses fed
And thou hast risen with thy moist locks into a watry image
Reflecting all my indolence my weakness & my death
To weigh me down beneath the grave into non Entity
Where Luvah strives scorned by Vala age after age wandering      
Shrinking & shrinking from her Lord & calling him the Tempter
And art thou also become like Vala thus I cast thee out."
. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

VALA

Wikimedia Commons
Four Zoas, Night I
Page 3





Jerusalem, Plate 29 [33], (E 175)
"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"
 





Blake often portrayed the original fall of man in terms of a plot between Urizen, man's reasoning mind and Luvah, man's emotional heart. But as the battleground shifted Luvah's emanation Vala, became prominent in the development of the myth. Blake's first epic was originally named Vala, not the Four Zoas.  Blake saw that man was enthralled by his attachment to the natural world represented by Vala. The object to which the emotions respond had replaced the activity of engaging in spontaneous emotional involvement. Man began to serve Vala, as Nature, instead of being served by nature. The label 'good' was attached to the feminine world of externals, resulting in the neglect of the masculine internal world. 

The Eternal world of Luvah and Vala had been Beulah, the state of sweet repose where there is no dissension and contraries are equally true. Outside of Beulah, Vala assumed several identities: she was the temptress who lured Albion away from Jerusalem; she was the veil which concealed from man the recognition of Eternity; she was the means by which the moral law was imposed on man; she was the instrument of vengeance when her religion of Mystery gained power. 

Yale Center for British Art
Jerusalem
Plate 32
Vala & Enitharmon

Four Zoas, Night I, Page 1, (E 305)
"Hear! I will sing a Song of Death! it is a Song of Vala!
The Fallen Man takes his repose: Urizen sleeps in the porch
Luvah and Vala woke & flew up from the Human Heart
Into the Brain; from thence upon the pillow Vala slumber'd.
And Luvah seiz'd the Horses of Light, & rose into the Chariot of Day
Sweet laughter siezd me in my sleep! silent & close I laughd
For in the visions of Vala I walkd with the mighty Fallen One
I heard his voice among the branches, & among sweet flowers."

 
  
 
Jerusalem, Plate 29 [33], (E 176)
"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"
Yale Center for British Art
Jerusalem
Plate 51
Vala, Hyle, Skofield

Monday, January 18, 2016

CREATIVE EXTREMISTS

This post was first published in August 2013 in celebration of the  50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. It is republished today in honor of Martin Luther King's 86TH birthday.
 
There follows a quote from Martin Luther King's letter written from the jail in Birmingham, Alabama in April of 1963. King had been jailed for refusing to discontinue his protests against the abuse of justice in the segregated South. He took the opportunity of his imprisonment to make a statement of the foundations of the movement to non-violently enact 'extreme' measures to replace the passive acceptance of conditions which were an outrage to the conscience of just men.
 
"I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.
...
Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: "Get rid of your discontent." Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . ." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists."


William Blake could be added to the list of men who were willing to advocate extreme measures to effect the changes which would reverse oppression. He spoke through his poetry especially through the prophetic voice of Los and in the following poem.
Yale Center for British Art
 America, A Prophecy
Frontispiece

Songs and Ballads, (E 489)
          The Grey Monk                    
"I die I die the Mother said
My Children die for lack of Bread          
What more has the merciless Tyrant said
The Monk sat down on the Stony Bed         

The blood red ran from the Grey Monks side 
His hands & feet were wounded wide
His Body bent his arms & knees
Like to the roots of ancient trees

His eye was dry no tear could flow
A hollow groan first spoke his woe 
He trembled & shudderd upon the Bed        
At length with a feeble cry he said

When God commanded this hand to write
In the studious hours of deep midnight
He told me the writing I wrote should prove
The Bane of all that on Earth I lovd       

My Brother starvd between two Walls
His Childrens Cry my Soul appalls
I mockd at the wrack & griding chain    
My bent body mocks their torturing pain 

Thy Father drew his sword in the North
With his thousands strong he marched forth
Thy Brother has armd himself in Steel     
To avenge the wrongs thy Children feel    

But vain the Sword & vain the Bow 
They never can work Wars overthrow
The Hermits Prayer & the Widows tear
Alone can free the World from fear

For a Tear is an Intellectual Thing        
And a Sigh is the Sword of an Angel King 
And the bitter groan of the Martyrs woe    
Is an Arrow from the Almighties Bow

The hand of Vengeance found the Bed 
To which the Purple Tyrant fled
The iron hand crushd the Tyrants head 
And became a Tyrant in his stead"

Thursday, January 14, 2016

ENION

Yale Center for British Art
Jerusalem
Plate 87, Copy E
The separation of Tharmas from his emanation Enion is intimately bound to the creation of what we perceive as the world of matter. One way we can envision this is that the consciousness of man developed to the point where he discriminated between what went on in own mind, and what was reflected to his mind through his senses from an outer world of material objects. Blake prefers for us to envision this as Enion fleeing from Tharmas and becoming the mother of Time & Space. Tharmas could not reverse the process once it had begun. Enion was destined to wander sorrowfully outside of the Eternal world which she and Tharmas had enjoyed before the separation took place.

Enion seems to be the character who carried the burden of the separation and descent more than any other. She had lost her connection with the inner world when she became alienated from Tharmas. Her children withdrew from her and formed from her substance a world she could not enter. Her response was to speak laments which articulated the condition of humanity in a world without consciousness of Eternity.

Four Zoas, Night I, Page 4, (E 301)
"Begin with Tharmas Parent power. darkning in the West

Lost! Lost! Lost! are my Emanations      Enion O Enion  
We are become a Victim to the Living We hide in secret  
I have hidden Jerusalem in Silent Contrition    O Pity Me
I will build thee a Labyrinth also O pity me    O Enion  
Why hast thou taken sweet Jerusalem from my inmost Soul  
Let her Lay secret in the Soft recess of darkness & silence
It is not Love I bear to [Jerusalem] It is Pity    
She hath taken refuge in my bosom & I cannot cast her out.

The Men have recieved their death wounds & their Emanations are fled 
To me for refuge & I cannot turn them out for Pitys sake   
Enion said--Thy fear has made me tremble thy terrors have surrounded me  
All Love is lost Terror succeeds & Hatred instead of Love
And stern demands of Right & Duty instead of Liberty.
Once thou wast to Me the loveliest son of heaven--But now        
 
Why art thou Terrible and yet I love thee in thy terror till
I am almost Extinct & soon shall be a Shadow in Oblivion
Unless some way can be found that I may look upon thee & live
Hide me some Shadowy semblance. secret whispring in my Ear
In secret of soft wings. in mazes of delusive beauty             
I have lookd into the secret soul of him I lovd
And in the Dark recesses found Sin & cannot return

Trembling & pale sat Tharmas weeping in his clouds"
uga.edu
Four Zoas
Page 8

Four Zoas, Night I, PAGE 8, (E 304) 
"Till with fierce pain she brought forth on the rocks her sorrow & woe
Behold two little Infants wept upon the desolate wind.

The first state weeping they began & helpless as a wave
Beaten along its sightless way growing enormous in its motion to
Its utmost goal, till strength from Enion like richest summer shining               
Raisd the bright boy & girl with glories from their heads out beaming      
Drawing forth drooping mothers pity drooping mothers sorrow  

They sulk upon her breast her hair became like snow on mountains
Weaker & weaker, weeping woful, wearier and wearier
Faded & her bright Eyes decayd melted with pity & love           
Page 9
And then they wanderd far away she sought for them in vain 
In weeping blindness stumbling she followd them oer rocks & mountains
Rehumanizing from the Spectre in pangs of maternal love
Ingrate they wanderd scorning her drawing her Spectrous Life
Repelling her away & away by a dread repulsive power             
Into Non Entity revolving round in dark despair.
And drawing in the Spectrous life in pride and haughty joy   
Thus Enion gave them all her spectrous life

Then Eno a daughter of Beulah took a Moment of Time          
And drew it out to Seven thousand years with much care & affliction
And many tears & in Every year made windows into Eden 

She also took an atom of space & opend its center
Into Infinitude & ornamented it with wondrous art
Astonishd sat her Sisters of Beulah to see her soft affections
To Enion & her children & they ponderd these things wondring     
And they Alternate kept watch over the Youthful terrors
They saw not yet the Hand Divine for it was not yet reveald
But they went on in Silent Hope & Feminine repose

But Los & Enitharmon delighted in the Moony spaces of Eno"
uga.edu
Four Zoas
Page 9 
Four Zoas, Night VIII, PAGE 114 [110], (E 385) "He touches the remotest pole & in the Center weeps That Man should Labour & sorrow & learn & forget & return To the dark valley whence he came to begin his labours anew In pain he sighs in pain he labours in his universe Screaming in birds over the deep & howling in the Wolf Over the slain & moaning in the cattle & in the winds And weeping over Orc & Urizen in clouds & flaming fires And in the cries of birth & in the groans of death his voice Is heard throughout the Universe whereever a grass grows Or a leaf buds The Eternal Man is seen is heard is felt And all his Sorrows till he reassumes his ancient bliss Such are the words of Ahania & Enion. Los hears & weeps" .

Saturday, January 9, 2016

EMANATION

Associated with each of the Zoas is an Emanation, the female counterpart of the male. Ahania is the feminine nature of Urizen, Enion of Tharmas, Vala of Luvah, and Enitharmon of Los who stands in for Urthona. Blake is not reluctant to picture the Emanations as they appear in the natural world but their appearance in Eternity is beyond even Blake.

Blake was indebted to the heterodox tradition for his development of the concept of emanation. A Christian Gnostic theologian of the third century presented the idea of emanation descending from God into lower forms of existence. The emanations were "not separate existencies so much as personified agencies." However, like Blake, Valentinius saw the the emanative portions falling into "only a partial knowledge of the hidden God."

As we read in Frye's
Fearful Symmetry, "The word "emanation" in Blake means the object-world; creature in Eden, female in Beulah, object or nature in Generation, abstraction in Ulro." (Page 127). We follow in Blake the descent of the emanation through the four levels of spiritual consciousness as she attempts to reascend to "depth which the understanding cannot fathom."   

Brief Analysis of the Sects, Heresies, and Writers of the First Three Centuries PRINTED FOR JAMES COOPER, TRINITY STREET, in 1857 elucidates the concept of emanations:
Page 29
To read the Greek words go to the website.
Valentinus 
"The theory of emanations, which was in some measure 
adopted by all Gnostics, received considerable increase 
from the fertility of his speculative powers. He supposed 
a Supreme Being, infinite, invisible, incomprehensible, 
and therefore called Bv0o^, the depth which the under- 
standing cannot fathom, who, having spent numberless 
ages in repose, resolved to reveal himself, and for this 
purpose employed his thought, Evvota, also called 2t^, 
silence, who alone had dwelt with, or within him. The 
first manifestations, or ^ons, produced, were NoO?^ in- 
telligence, and *A\i]0€ia, truth. 

These ^ons are to be considered only as revealed forms 
of the Supreme Being ; not separate existencies so much 
as personified agencies, whose combination constituted the 
Plenoma, or fulness, of the attributes and perfections 
of the Godhead. They comprised altogether thirty ^ons, 
of whom half were supposed to be males, «.6., active 
agencies, and the other half females, t.e., passive principles. 

In proportion as these -^ons were removed from the 
Supreme God, they decreased in knowledge and perfection. 
The lower ^ons had, therefore, only a partial knowledge 
of the hidden God, and the desire of one of them in 
particular, 'Siorjyiaj to know more of him produced a con- 
cision in the Pleroma, one result of which was that Jio(f>ia 
gave birth to an imperfect being, who was incapable of 
remaining in the Pleroma, and was cast out into Chaos, i 
This being, called Achamoth, formed the Demiurgos, by ] 
whom the world was made, and reduced tVva wvia «a.^ 
Bbapeless mass of matter to some degr^^ oi ot'^ax* ^^Q^"

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. Beholding them 
Displayd in the Emanative Visions of Canaan in Jerusalem & in Shiloh
And in the Shadows of Remembrance, & in the Chaos of the Spectre"

Vision of Last Judgment, (E 562)
"Jesus is surrounded by Beams of Glory in which are
seen all around him Infants emanating from him   these represent
the Eternal Births of Intellect from the divine Humanity   A
Rainbow surrounds the throne & the Glory in which youthful
Nuptials recieve the infants in their hands In Eternity Woman is
the Emanation of Man she has No Will of her own There is no such
thing in Eternity as a Female Will"
. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

MUNDANE EGG

New York Public Library
 Milton   Copy C, Plate 34
We live in the mundane egg surrounded by the mundane shell. The egg is the physical world where we perceive with our physical senses. All which is experienced in the mundane egg is projected on the mundane shell which surrounds and encloses the physical world. Recorded on the mundane shell are the images of the history of what happens within time and space.

The mental world is represented by the worlds of Tharmas, Urthona, Luvah and Urizen, who overlap the mundane egg. The earth is entirely within the world of Urthona and is impinged upon by the worlds of Tharmas and Luvah. The world of Urizen is within the mundane egg but outside of the earth. Within the mental world of Urizen it is the state of Satan. The void is outside of existence surrounding the mental worlds.
Jerusalem, Plate 1, (E 144)
"There is a Void, outside of Existence, which if enterd into
Englobes itself & becomes a Womb, such was Albions Couch
A pleasant Shadow of Repose calld Albions lovely Land

His Sublime & Pathos become Two Rocks fixd in the Earth
His Reason his Spectrous Power, covers them above                
Jerusalem his Emanation is a Stone laying beneath
O [Albion behold Pitying] behold the Vision of Albion"
Milton, Plate 17 [19], (E 110)
"But Miltons Human Shadow continu'd journeying above
The rocky masses of The Mundane Shell; in the Lands
Of Edom & Aram & Moab & Midian & Amalek.                         

The Mundane Shell, is a vast Concave Earth: an immense
Hardend shadow of all things upon our Vegetated Earth
Enlarg'd into dimension & deform'd into indefinite space,
In Twenty-seven Heavens and all their Hells; with Chaos
And Ancient Night; & Purgatory. It is a cavernous Earth  
Of labyrinthine intricacy, twenty-seven folds of opakeness
And finishes where the lark mounts; here Milton journeyed
In that Region calld Midian among the Rocks of Horeb
For travellers from Eternity. pass outward to Satans seat,
But travellers to Eternity. pass inward to Golgonooza."
Milton, Plate 19 [21], (E 112)
"Four Universes round the Mundane Egg remain Chaotic    
One to the North, named Urthona: One to the South, named Urizen:
One to the East, named Luvah: One to the West, named Tharmas
They are the Four Zoa's that stood around the Throne Divine!
But when Luvah assum'd the World of Urizen to the South:
And Albion was slain upon his  mountains, & in his tent;     
All fell towards the Center in dire ruin, sinking down.
And in the South remains a burning fire; in the East a void.
In the West, a world of raging waters; in the North a solid,
Unfathomable! without end. But in the midst of these,
Is built eternally the Universe of Los and Enitharmon:       
Towards which Milton went, but Urizen oppos'd his path."
Milton, Plate 34 [38], (E 134)
"Here in these Chaoses the Sons of Ololon took their abode        

In Chasms of the Mundane Shell which open on all sides round
Southward & by the East within the Breach of Miltons descent
To watch the time, pitying & gentle to awaken Urizen
They stood in a dark land of death of fiery corroding waters
Where lie in evil death the Four Immortals pale and cold         
And the Eternal Man even Albion upon the Rock of Ages[.]
Seeing Miltons Shadow, some Daughters of Beulah trembling
Returnd, but Ololon remaind before the Gates of the Dead

And Ololon looked down into the Heavens of Ulro in fear
They said. How are the Wars of Man which in Great Eternity 
Appear around, in the External Spheres of Visionary Life
Here renderd Deadly within the Life & Interior Vision
How are the Beasts & Birds & Fishes, & Plants & Minerals
Here fixd into a frozen bulk subject to decay & death[?]
Those Visions of Human Life & Shadows of Wisdom & Knowledge"
Jerusalem, Plate 42, (E 190)
"And Los drew his Seven Furnaces around Albions Altars
And as Albion built his frozen Altars, Los built the Mundane Shell,
In the Four Regions of Humanity East & West & North & South,
Till Norwood & Finchley & Blackheath & Hounslow, coverd the whole Earth.
This is the Net & Veil of Vala, among the Souls of the Dead."
Jerusalem, Plate 76, (E 231)
"But Jesus breaking thro' the Central Zones of Death & Hell
Opens Eternity in Time & Space; triumphant in Mercy

Thus are the Heavens formd by Los within the Mundane Shell
And where Luther ends Adam begins again in Eternal Circle
To awake the Prisoners of Death; to bring Albion again           
With Luvah into light eternal, in his eternal day."
Four Zoas, Night Page II, Page 24, (E 314) 
"Mighty was the draught of Voidness to draw Existence in

Terrific Urizen strode above, in fear & pale dismay
He saw the indefinite space beneath & his soul shrunk with horror
His feet upon the verge of Non Existence; his voice went forth

Luvah & Vala trembling & shrinking, beheld the great Work master 
And heard his Word! Divide ye bands influence by influence
Build we a Bower for heavens darling in the grizly deep
Build we the Mundane Shell around the Rock of Albion

The Bands of Heaven flew thro the air singing & shouting to Urizen
Some fix'd the anvil, some the loom erected, some the plow       
And harrow formd & framd the harness of silver & ivory
The golden compasses, the quadrant & the rule & balance
They erected the furnaces, they formd the anvils of gold beaten in mills
Where winter beats incessant, fixing them firm on their base
The bellows began to blow & the Lions of Urizen stood round the anvil" 
Four Zoas, Night II, Page 32, (E 321)
"And the Divine Vision appeard in Luvahs robes of blood
Thus was the Mundane shell builded by Urizens strong power"

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