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

Monday, October 23, 2017

CREATE A SYSTEM

"I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Mans 
I will not Reason & Compare: my business is to Create"
                                                     Jerusalem, Plate 11

 The system that Blake created was based on his ability to see a world in a grain of sand, a heaven in a wild flower. He could focus his attention beyond the appearance presented to him by the natural world and see the Eternal implications which were hidden by the outward creation. If our doors of perception were cleansed we could see everything as it is: Infinite. If instead we see only through narrow chinks of our cavern we will mix bad art with good art, we will confuse error and truth, we will accept the world our five senses perceive not as a veil covering reality but as reality itself.
 
The outward system in which Blake lived was one of political tyranny, social oppression and economic poverty. But he was able to transcend his circumstance by using his art and poetry to reveal truth, display beauty and spread joy. His plea was that we see not with tunnel vision but through eyes that opened to Eternity ever expanding like the eyes of the Immortals.
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 565)
"The Last Judgment is an Overwhelming of Bad Art & Science. 
Mental Things are alone Real 
what is Calld Corporeal Nobody Knows of its Dwelling Place 
it is in Fallacy & its Existence an Imposture  
Where is the Existence Out of Mind or Thought 
Where is it but in the Mind of a Fool.  

Some People flatter themselves that there will be No Last Judgment
& that Bad Art will be adopted & mixed with Good Art 
That Error or Experiment will make a Part of Truth 
& they Boast that it is its Foundation 
these People flatter themselves   

I will not Flatter them 
Error is Created Truth is Eternal 
Error or Creation will be Burned Up 
& then & not till then Truth or Eternity will appear 
It is Burnt up the Moment Men cease to behold it 

I assert for My self that I do not behold the Outward Creation 
& that to me it is hindrance & not Action 
it is as the Dirt upon my feet No part of Me. 
What it will be Questiond When the Sun rises 
do you not see a round Disk of fire somewhat like a Guinea 

O no no I see an Innumerable company of the Heavenly host 
crying Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty 
I question not my Corporeal or Vegetative Eye any
more than I would Question a Window concerning a Sight 
I look thro it & not with it."
British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts  
 

LIMITS

British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts

The two limits set upon Man are the Limit of Contraction and the Limit of Opacity. These are the lower limits below which man will not sink. No upper limits are set: his mind is capable of comprehending all the thoughts of God. Likewise his vision is capable seeing everything as it is.
 

If there are limits to man's Expansion and Translucence they are self-imposed. If Man sees himself as a child of Adam, as living in a body which determines what he can sense, what he can understand, where he can go and what he can do, he is limited. But if he sees himself as a spirit temporarily associated with a particular body, material limitations lose their power. As the writer of the First Letter of John tells us:
 

"it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
 

Blake took John's statement seriously and admonished his reader to refuse to accept the limitations placed on his Eternal Spirit imposed by a physical body.
 

Blake perceived another limitation below which man would not fall; this was the Limit of Opacity named Satan. The salient characteristic of Blake's Satan is his inability to perceive the truth of the Spiritual dimension. Man's ability to recognize the reality of the non-material world, which Blake calls Translucence, opens him to the Infinite, Eternal world beyond our sense-perceived world within time and space. Blake uses the term Imagination to describe the ability of Man to connect with the ever-expanding consciousness of being united with Eternity.
 

In the beginning of Jerusalem Blake packed into a few words the purpose of all of his attempts to communicate:  
"I rest not from my great task!
To open the Eternal Worlds, to open the immortal Eyes
Of Man inwards into the Worlds of Thought: into Eternity
Ever expanding in the Bosom of God. the Human Imagination"


Book of Urizen, Plate 3, (E 71) 
"1. Earth was not: nor globes of attraction
The will of the Immortal expanded
Or contracted his all flexible senses.
Death was not, but eternal life sprung"

Book of Urizen, Plate 15, (E 78)                                     
"Thus the Eternal Prophet was divided
Before the death-image of Urizen
For in changeable clouds and darkness
In a winterly night beneath,
The Abyss of Los stretch'd immense:       
And now seen, now obscur'd, to the eyes
Of Eternals, the visions remote
Of the dark seperation appear'd.
As glasses discover Worlds
In the endless Abyss of space,            
So the expanding eyes of Immortals
Beheld the dark visions of Los,
And the globe of life blood trembling"

Jerusalem, Plate 13,(E 157)
"Around Golgonooza lies the land of death eternal; a Land         
Of pain and misery and despair and ever brooding melancholy:
In all the Twenty-seven Heavens, numberd from Adam to Luther;
From the blue Mundane Shell, reaching to the Vegetative Earth.

The Vegetative Universe, opens like a flower from the Earths center:
In which is Eternity. It expands in Stars to the Mundane Shell   
And there it meets Eternity again, both within and without,
And the abstract Voids between the Stars are the Satanic Wheels.

There is the Cave; the Rock; the Tree; the Lake of Udan Adan;
The Forest, and the Marsh, and the Pits of bitumen deadly:
The Rocks of solid fire: the Ice valleys: the Plains             
Of burning sand: the rivers, cataract & Lakes of Fire:
The Islands of the fiery Lakes: the Trees of Malice: Revenge:
And black Anxiety; and the Cities of the Salamandrine men:
(But whatever is visible to the Generated Man,
Is a Creation of mercy & love, from the Satanic Void.)"

Jerusalem, Plate 34 [38],(E 180) 
"Saying. Albion! Our wars are wars of life, & wounds of love,
With intellectual spears, & long winged arrows of thought:       
Mutual in one anothers love and wrath all renewing
We live as One Man; for contracting our infinite senses
We behold multitude; or expanding: we behold as one,
As One Man all the Universal Family; and that One Man
We call Jesus the Christ: and he in us, and we in him,        
Live in perfect harmony in Eden the land of life,
Giving, recieving, and forgiving each others trespasses."

Jerusalem, Plate 34 [38],(E 180) 
"for Cities
Are Men, fathers of multitudes, and Rivers & Mountains
Are also Men; every thing is Human, mighty! sublime!
In every bosom a Universe expands, as wings
Let down at will around, and call'd the Universal Tent."

Jerusalem, Plate 42, (E 189)
"There is a limit of Opakeness, and a limit of Contraction;
In every Individual Man, and the limit of Opakeness,             
Is named Satan: and the limit of Contraction is named Adam.
But when Man sleeps in Beulah, the Saviour in mercy takes
Contractions Limit, and of the Limit he forms Woman: That
Himself may in process of time be born Man to redeem
But there is no Limit of Expansion! there is no Limit of Translucence.   
In the bosom of Man for ever from eternity to eternity.
Therefore I break thy bonds of righteousness; I crush thy messengers!
That they may not crush me and mine: do thou be righteous,
And I will return it; otherwise I defy thy worst revenge:
Consider me as thine enemy: on me turn all thy fury              
But destroy not these little ones, nor mock the Lords anointed:
Destroy not by Moral Virtue, the little ones whom he hath chosen!
The little ones whom he hath chosen in preference to thee.
He hath cast thee off for ever; the little ones he hath anointed!
Thy Selfhood is for ever accursed from the Divine presence    

So Los spoke: then turn'd his face & wept for Albion."

Jerusalem, Plate 55, (E 205) 
"Let the Human Organs be kept in their perfect Integrity
At will Contracting into Worms, or Expanding into Gods
And then behold! what are these Ulro Visions of Chastity! 
Or as the sweat upon the labouring shoulder: or as the chaff   
Of the wheat-floor or as the dregs of the sweet wine-press
Such are these Ulro Visions, for tho we sit down within
The plowed furrow, listning to the weeping clods till we
Contract or Expand Space at will: or if we raise ourselves
Upon the chariots of the morning. Contracting or Expanding Time! 
Every one knows, we are One Family! One Man blessed for ever

Silence remaind & every one resumd his Human Majesty" 

Jerusalem, Plate 71, (E 224)
"And above Albions Land was seen the Heavenly Canaan
As the Substance is to the Shadow: and above Albions Twelve Sons
Were seen Jerusalems Sons: and all the Twelve Tribes spreading
Over Albion. As the Soul is to the Body, so Jerusalems Sons,
Are to the Sons of Albion: and Jerusalem is Albions Emanation  
What is Above is Within, for every-thing in Eternity is translucent:
The Circumference is Within: Without, is formed the Selfish Center
And the Circumference still expands going forward to Eternity.
And the Center has Eternal States! these States we now explore."

Four Zoas, Night II, Page 34, (E 322)
"For Los & Enitharmon walkd forth on the dewy Earth   
Contracting or expanding their all flexible senses               
At will to murmur in the flowers small as the honey bee
At will to stretch across the heavens & step from star to star
Or standing on the Earth erect, or on the stormy waves
Driving the storms before them or delighting in sunny beams
While round their heads the Elemental Gods kept harmony"

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 138, (E 406)
"The Sun has left his blackness & has found a fresher morning     
And the mild moon rejoices in the clear & cloudless night     
And Man walks forth from midst of the fires the evil is all consumd
His eyes behold the Angelic spheres arising night & day
The stars consumd like a lamp blown out & in their stead behold
The Expanding Eyes of Man behold the depths of wondrous worlds
One Earth one sea beneath nor Erring Globes wander but Stars
Of fire rise up nightly from the Ocean & one Sun
Each morning like a New born Man issues with songs & Joy
Calling the Plowman to his Labour & the Shepherd to his rest
He walks upon the Eternal Mountains raising his heavenly voice   
Conversing with the Animal forms of wisdom night & day
That risen from the Sea of fire renewd walk oer the Earth" 
  
1 John 3
[1] Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
[2] Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

PERFECT UNITY

Wikimedia Commons
Joseph of Arimathea preaching to the inhabitants of Britain
Blake saw that the Perfect Unity of Homer's poetry was apparent in its parts (minute particulars) as much as in its totality. The unifying force came not from what the author included or omitted but from his own inner truth or spirit from which he was writing. The ability to trust his imagination instead of his reasoning power enabled him to connect with the underlying reality which transcends individual experience.

The Perfect Unity of Homer's poetry included the bad with the good. It was not about morality but about intrinsic character. Blake considered bad and good to be contraries whose differences would be reconciled when error was annihilated. The substance of poetry is furnished not by the Reasoning Abstract but by the Imagination which has access to the Holy Spirit - connecting the image of God within each with the one whose in whose image man is made. 

ON HOMERS POETRY, (E 269) 
"Every Poem must necessarily be a perfect Unity, but why Homers is
peculiarly so, I cannot tell: he has told the story of
Bellerophon & omitted the judgment of Paris which is not only a
part, but a principal part of Homers subject
  But when a Work has Unity it is as much in a Part as in the
Whole. the Torso is as much a Unity as the Laocoon
  As Unity is the cloke of folly so Goodness is the cloke of
knavery  Those who will have Unity exclusively in Homer come out
with a Moral like a sting in the tail: Aristotle says Characters
are either Good or Bad: now Goodness or Badness has nothing to do
with Character. an Apple tree a Pear tree a Horse a Lion, are
Characters but a Good Apple tree or a Bad, is an Apple tree
still: a Horse is not more a Lion for being a Bad Horse. that is
its Character; its Goodness or Badness is another consideration.
  It is the same with the Moral of a whole Poem as with the Moral
Goodness
of its parts Unity & Morality, are secondary considerations &
belong to Philosophy & not to Poetry, to Exception & not to Rule,
to Accident & not to Substance. the Ancients calld it eating of
the tree of good & evil.
  The Classics, it is the Classics! & not Goths nor Monks, that
Desolate Europe with Wars.
                                                             
ON VIRGIL                            
Sacred Truth has pronounced that Greece & Rome as Babylon &
Egypt: so far from being parents of Arts & Sciences as they
pretend: were destroyers of all Art.  Homer Virgil & Ovid confirm
this opinion & make us reverence The Word of God, the only light
of antiquity that remains unperverted by War.  Virgil in the
Eneid Book VI. line 848 says Let others study Art: Rome has
somewhat better to do, namely War & Dominion
  Rome & Greece swept Art into their maw & destroyd it     a
Warlike State never can produce Art.  It will Rob & Plunder &
accumulate into one place, & Translate & Copy & Buy & Sell &
Criticise, but not Make.
  Mathematic Form is Eternal in the Reasoning Memory.  Living
Form is Eternal Existence.
  Grecian is Mathematic Form
  Gothic is Living Form"

Descriptive Catalogue, (E 544)
"The human mind cannot go beyond the
gift of God, the Holy Ghost.  To suppose that Art can go beyond
the finest specimens of Art that are now in the world, is not
knowing what Art is; it is being blind to the gifts of the
spirit."

Vision of last Judgment, (E 554)
 "The Last Judgment when all those are Cast away who trouble
Religion with Questions concerning Good & Evil or Eating of the
Tree of those Knowledges or Reasonings which hinder the Vision of
God turning all into a Consuming fire  Imaginative Art &
Science & all Intellectual Gifts all the Gifts of the Holy Ghost
are [despisd] lookd upon as of no use & only Contention
remains to Man then the Last Judgment begins & its Vision is seen
by the [Imaginative Eye] of Every one according to the
situation he holds"

Milton, Plate 25 [27], (E 122)
"And you shall Reap the whole Earth, from Pole to Pole! from Sea to Sea
Begining at Jerusalems Inner Court, Lambeth ruin'd and given
To the detestable Gods of Priam, to Apollo: and at the Asylum
Given to Hercules, who labour in Tirzahs Looms for bread    
Who set Pleasure against Duty: who Create Olympic crowns
To make Learning a burden & the Work of the Holy Spirit: Strife."

Jerusalem, Plate 74 (E 229)
"The Spectre is the Reasoning Power in Man; & when separated      
From Imagination, and closing itself as in steel, in a Ratio
Of the Things of Memory. It thence frames Laws & Moralities
To destroy Imagination! the Divine Body, by Martyrdoms & Wars

Teach me O Holy Spirit the Testimony of Jesus! let me
Comprehend wonderous things out of the Divine Law" 
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Thursday, October 19, 2017

RAM HORN'D

First posted on July 17, 2011

Ram Horn'd with Gold

A Blake Hypertext Commentary

The Spiritual Autobiography of William Blake

Edited by Larry Clayton

"Blake sent this poem to the one faithful Christian he knew who had befriended and loved him. The circumstances leave no doubt as to the identity of the One Man. The poem poetically expresses Blake's faith as it relates to God, Man and the relationship between the two. It expresses what the Christian faith has to say about the relationship as well as it can be expressed verbally. It also expresses with vivid eloquence the child like nature of the entrance to the kingdom of God. Blake here celebrates and confesses it. To interpret Blake's experience we could use any number of hackneyed phrases representing the various dialects of the language of Zion; suffice it to say that for most of them as for Blake this is the main event, the center of the Moment of Grace. At this point Jesus became and forever afterward remained the One and the ever present Reality which Blake had formerly known as the Infinite or Eternal. For Blake Jesus was a Man, the Reality of Life, and most ultimately the All. In all three instances Blake strictly followed Johnine and Pauline strains of the New Testament."

Letters, 16, Oct 1800, (E 712)  
"To my Friend Butts I write
     My first Vision of Light
     On the yellow sands sitting
     The Sun was Emitting
     His Glorious beams
     From Heavens high Streams
     Over Sea over Land
     My Eyes did Expand
     Into regions of air
     Away from all Care
     Into regions of fire
     Remote from Desire
     The Light of the Morning
     Heavens Mountains adorning
     In particles bright
     The jewels of Light
     Distinct shone & clear--
     Amazd & in fear
     I each particle gazed
     Astonishd Amazed
     For each was a Man
     Human formd.  Swift I ran
     For they beckond to me
     Remote by the Sea
     Saying.  Each grain of Sand
     Every Stone on the Land
     Each rock & each hill
     Each fountain & rill
     Each herb & each tree
     Mountain hill Earth & Sea
     Cloud Meteor & Star
     Are Men Seen Afar
     I stood in the Streams
     Of Heavens bright beams
     And Saw Felpham sweet
     Beneath my bright feet
     In soft Female charms
     And in her fair arms
     My Shadow I knew
     And my wifes shadow too
     And My Sister & Friend.
     We like Infants descend
     In our Shadows on Earth
     Like a weak mortal birth
     My Eyes more & more
     Like a Sea without shore
     Continue Expanding
     The Heavens commanding
     Till the jewels of Light
     Heavenly Men beaming bright
     Appeard as One Man
     Who Complacent began
     My limbs to infold
     In his beams of bright gold
     Like dross purgd away
     All my mire & my clay
     Soft consumd in delight
     In his bosom sun bright
     I remaind.  Soft he smild
     And I heard his voice Mild
     Saying This is My Fold
     O thou Ram hornd with gold
     Who awakest from sleep
     On the sides of the Deep
     On the Mountains around
     The roarings resound
     Of the lion & wolf
     The loud sea & deep gulf
     These are guards of My Fold
     O thou Ram hornd with gold
     And the voice faded mild
     I remaind as a Child
     All I ever had known
     Before me bright Shone
     I saw you & your wife
     By the fountains of Life
     Such the Vision to me
     Appeard on the Sea"
 
Image from:
Wikipedia Commons
America a Prophecy
Plate 9 

Another post: WHY RAM HORN'D?

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I Haste Away

Before Larry left this mortal life in December 2016 he was fond of repeating a few simple lines from Blake which elucidated the attitude which was appropriate for us to have toward the approach of death in this world:
Gates of Paradise, Keys, (E 268)
"13   But when once I did descry 
     The Immortal Man that cannot Die
14   Thro evening shades I haste away 
     To close the Labours of my Day
15   The Door of Death I open found                             
     And the Worm Weaving in the Ground
16   Thou'rt my Mother from the Womb 
     Wife, Sister, Daughter to the Tomb 
     Weaving to Dreams the Sexual strife
     And weeping over the Web of Life"  

He published this in a post in March of 2015. 
The term, Death Eternal, means something far different from the conventional intonation. To Blake it meant captivity to the Material for someone completely oblivious to the realm of Spirit.

Wikimedia Commons
Jerusalem    
Frontispiece 

The word die is carefully avoided by most of us; when a loved one dies, we say he/she passed away. The question is - what dies? The Roman Empire died; the British Empire died? But those were not people per se; they were states, conglomerates of materiality. So death is relative - from what to what? Ellie asked a workmate if he considered himself a body or a spirit; "a body", he said; "a spirit", she said.So what dies? A body or a spirit or both? (In mortal life our bodies are said to actually die (cell by cell) and be renewed every 7 years.)
 

So at the end of mortal life what dies? the body of course, the garment that we acquired when we descended into the Sea of Time and Space and the 'daughters of Enitharmon' began to cut and splice it.


When Odysseus (or Luvah) threw the garment back to the sea goddess, he was on his way back to Eternity, where we all go sooner or later.


In the French Quarter in N.O. a black friend told me about her dead son; he had had an incurable and painful disease; he came to her and asked her permission to die, which she of course granted. In one of Charles Williams' delightful metaphysical thrillers two characters are especially memorable: a saintly lady fully in tune with the life of the Spirit, and a man who generations before had been hanged; his spirit still hung around that locale, which happened to be outside her window. She met him there and gave him permission to depart in peace.

In the play called William Blake Meets Thomas Paine we witness a conversation that Will Blake had with his brother Robert (long deceased), and we are led to believe that this was commonplace in Blake's life.


"Every Death is an improvement in the State of the Departed." (Letters, 74 - to Linnell; Erdman 774)
 

By Death Eternal Blake implied descent into mortal life.
By Life Eternal he meant return to our Eternal Origin.
But what, we ask, have you and I learned here in our mortal life?
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Thursday, October 12, 2017

MORTAL FADES

National Gallery
Death of Saint Joseph
1803 for Thomas Butts
John 6
[39] And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
[40] And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
[41] The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
[42] And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
[43] Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
[44] No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

 
Luke 4
[17] And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
[18] The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
[19] To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
[20] And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
[21] And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
[22] And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?

 
Joseph lies dying supported by Mary and attended by Jesus. There is no account of this scene in the Bible. Jesus was known in his community as a son of Joseph although the gospels attest that he was conceived by the Holy Spirit. On his deathbed Blake pictures Joseph as honored and beloved. In the sky above him is a rainbow comprised of the heads and wings of angels. Light radiates from the family group as Joseph prepares for death with a prayer.

Joseph anticipates the departure from his body of his Eternal Spirit.

Job 1
[21] And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
 

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 113 [109], (E 384) 
"When the man gently fades away in his immortality
When the mortal disappears in improved knowledge cast away 
The former things so shall the Mortal gently fade away 
And so become invisible to those who still remain"
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 555)
"[PAGE 69] This world of Imagination is the World of
Eternity it is the Divine bosom into which we shall all go after
the death of the Vegetated body   This World  is
Infinite & Eternal whereas the world of Generation or Vegetation
is Finite & [for a small moment] Temporal    There Exist
in that Eternal World the Permanent Realities of Every Thing
which we see are reflected in this Vegetable Glass of Nature
     All Things are comprehended in their Eternal Forms in the
Divine [P 70] body of the Saviour the True Vine of Eternity
The Human Imagination who appeard to Me as Coming to Judgment.
among his Saints & throwing off the Temporal that the Eternal
might be Establishd."
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

MY MORTAL PART

artfund.org Death of the Virgin
The pair of watercolors which Blake painted for Butts depicting the deaths of the parents of Jesus, like all of Blake's images, are meant to be read symbolically. Joseph was an earthly human, his death was the death of a natural man. When his body died his spirit was released to rejoin the Communion of Saints who cast off the Temporal to be Established in the Eternal.

The mother of Jesus was a somewhat different case. The physical nature of the Incarnate Christ had come to Jesus through her. Blake had Jesus address her as 'mother of my mortal part.' Jesus predeceased his mother when he was crucified on Golgotha. In Blake's image Death of the Virgin, Jesus stands with her. No earthly beings attend her; four angels minister at the head and feet to the body in repose.
 

Perhaps Blake's implication is that Mary's Natural Body had already been raised as her Spiritual Body: by becoming the mother of the mortal part of Christ her Spiritual Body was expressed in a unique way. In Blake's Milton he used the virgin Ololon as a symbol of the material, feminine part of man's nature which became integrated in the Unified, Redeemed Body of the complete Man.

Matthew 1
[18] Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
[19] Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
[20] But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
[21] And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
[22] Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
[23] Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Isaiah 7
[14] Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.


John 2 
[1] And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 
[2] And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 
[3] And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 
[4] Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
Songs of Innocence & of Experience, Song 52, (E 30)
"To Tirzah             

Whate'er is Born of Mortal Birth,
Must be consumed with the Earth
To rise from Generation free;
Then what have I to do with thee?

The Sexes sprung from Shame & Pride
Blow'd in the morn: in evening died
But Mercy changd Death into Sleep;
The Sexes rose to work & weep.

Thou Mother of my Mortal part.
With cruelty didst mould my Heart. 
And with false self-decieving tears,
Didst bind my Nostrils Eyes & Ears.

Didst close my Tongue in senseless clay
And me to Mortal Life betray:
The Death of Jesus set me free, 
Then what have I to do with thee?

[text on illustration:] It is Raised a Spiritual Body"
 
Four Zoas, Night VIII, PAGE 104 (SECOND PORTION), (E 377)
"He stood in fair Jerusalem to awake up into Eden
The fallen Man but first to Give his vegetated body    
To be cut off & separated that the Spiritual body may be Reveald"
 
Annotations to Berkley's Siris, (E 664)
"The Natural Body is an Obstruction to the Soul or Spiritual Body" 
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Monday, October 2, 2017

CAIN FLEEING

Wikimedia Commons
Cain Fleeing from the Wrath of God
Gen.4
[1] And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
[2] And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
[3] And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
[4] And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
[5] But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
[6] And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
[7] If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
[8] And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
[9] And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
[10] And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
[11] And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;
[12] When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
[13] And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
[14] Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
 
Cain and Abel fit into the categories of wrath and pity, or of the Reprobate and the Redeemed, of the rebel and the conformist. Blake represented them as Rintrah and Palamabron. Rintrah was perpetually outside of 'acceptable' behavior, that is the conventions of society. Palamabron was too timid to break out of the patterns expected of him.
 
The contentions between the two brothers were stirred up by the third brother Satan who was given leave to change the relationships and duties within the family structure.

Blake presented characters and situations for us to consider as external facts, but it is up to us to discern the inner realities. The account of Cain and Abel, too, is presented as a story about people who lived when civilization was beginning. But they also represent internal realities which are active within our psyches. We have within ourselves Cain and Abel, Rintrah and Palamabron. Within us too are the Lord and Satan contending over our perceptions and our behaviors.
Europe, Plate 8, (E 61)
"Arise O Rintrah eldest born: second to none but Orc:
O lion Rintrah raise thy fury from thy forests black:
Bring Palamabron horned priest, skipping upon the mountains:
And silent Elynittria the silver bowed queen:
Rintrah where hast thou hid thy bride!                           
Weeps she in desart shades?
Alas my Rintrah! bring the lovely jealous Ocalythron.

Arise my son! bring all thy brethren O thou king of fire.
Prince of the sun I see thee with thy innumerable race:
Thick as the summer stars:                                       
But each ramping his golden mane shakes,
And thine eyes rejoice because of strength O Rintrah furious king." 
Milton, Plate 7, (E 99)
"The first, The Elect from before the foundation of the World:  
The second, The Redeem'd. The Third, The Reprobate & form'd
To destruction from the mothers womb: follow with me my plow!  

Of the first class was Satan: with incomparable mildness;
His primitive tyrannical attempts on Los: with most endearing love    
He soft intreated Los to give to him Palamabrons station;
For Palamabron returnd with labour wearied every evening
Palamabron oft refus'd; and as often Satan offer'd
His service till by repeated offers and repeated intreaties
Los gave to him the Harrow of the Almighty; alas blamable      
Palamabron. fear'd to be angry lest Satan should accuse him of
Ingratitude, & Los believe the accusation thro Satans extreme
Mildness. Satan labour'd all day. it was a thousand years
In the evening returning terrified overlabourd & astonish'd
Embrac'd soft with a brothers tears Palamabron, who also wept  

Mark well my words! they are of your eternal salvation

Next morning Palamabron rose: the horses of the Harrow
Were maddend with tormenting fury, & the servants of the Harrow
The Gnomes, accus'd Satan, with indignation fury and fire.
Then Palamabron reddening like the Moon in an eclipse,        
Spoke saying, You know Satans mildness and his self-imposition,
Seeming a brother, being a tyrant, even thinking himself a brother
While he is murdering the just; prophetic I behold

His future course thro' darkness and despair to eternal death
But we must not be tyrants also! he hath assum'd my place      
For one whole day, under pretence of pity and love to me:
My horses hath he maddend! and my fellow servants injur'd:
How should he[,] he[,] know the duties of another? O foolish forbearance
Would I had told Los, all my heart! but patience O my friends.
All may be well: silent remain, while I call Los and Satan." 
Milton, Plate 8, (E 101)
"Mean while wept Satan before Los, accusing Palamabron;
Himself exculpating with mildest speech. for himself believ'd
That he had not opress'd nor injur'd the refractory servants." 
MIlton, Plate 14 [15], (E 108)
"I in my Selfhood am that Satan: I am that Evil One!
He is my Spectre! in my obedience to loose him from my Hells
To claim the Hells, my Furnaces, I go to Eternal Death."
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