|University of Adelaide|
The Grave - Page 11
The Grave - Page 11
Fuseli - XI. A FAMILY MEETING IN HEAVEN.
Book - 11 Death's Door
In his arrangement of Blake's illustrations to Blair's The Grave, Fuseli is completing the cyclical movement. The Soul made its descent into a physical body, assumed a persona, experienced various states of consciousness, became a witness to a process which is unfolding, and began the assent to the origin. The soul was alone on its journey through life (or death according to one's perspective.) It experienced a reunion with its emanation in the previous picture, now it is reunited with the family of Immortals. The archetypal forms are being brought together instead of being expressed or dispersed in matter.
This stage of development is represented in the image for The Grave by the reunion of a family in love, respect and joy. Blake used the symbol of Brotherhood as well to indicate the condition of being joined in mutual appreciation and cooperation when the spiritual journey is reaching completion.
The Book Milton A Poem by William Blake by Kay Parkhurst Easson and Roger R Easson contains this statement about Brotherhood on page 170:
"Each member of the Brotherhood is at once individual and familial, which is to say each maintains his identity, but each by spiritual friendship unites with the Brotherhood, and with the eternal form of Brotherhood, the Starry Eight within Jesus. Brotherhood, therefore, is a mutual relationship, not a hierarchical relationship. There is no jealousy or envy among spiritual friends, no desire to surpass or eclipse the reputation of a predecessor. Rather, there is mutual communication, each to each, and mutual support for the eternal perspectives inherent in each."
Milton, Plate 21 , (E 116) "Seven mornings Los heard them, as the poor bird within the shell Hears its impatient parent bird; and Enitharmon heard them: But saw them not, for the blue Mundane Shell inclosd them in. And they lamented that they had in wrath & fury & fire Driven Milton into the Ulro; for now they knew too late That it was Milton the Awakener: they had not heard the Bard, Whose song calld Milton to the attempt; and Los heard these laments. He heard them call in prayer all the Divine Family; And he beheld the Cloud of Milton stretching over Europe. But all the Family Divine collected as Four Suns In the Four Points of heaven East, West & North & South Enlarging and enlarging till their Disks approachd each other; And when they touch'd closed together Southward in One Sun Over Ololon: and as One Man, who weeps over his brother, In a dark tomb, so all the Family Divine. wept over Ololon. Saying, Milton goes to Eternal Death! so saying, they groan'd in spirit And were troubled! and again the Divine Family groaned in spirit! And Ololon said, Let us descend also, and let us give Ourselves to death in Ulro among the Transgressors. Is Virtue a Punisher? O no! how is this wondrous thing? This World beneath, unseen before: this refuge from the wars Of Great Eternity! unnatural refuge! unknown by us till now! Or are these the pangs of repentance? let us enter into them Then the Divine Family said. Six Thousand Years are now Accomplish'd in this World of Sorrow; Miltons Angel knew The Universal Dictate; and you also feel this Dictate. And now you know this World of Sorrow, and feel Pity. Obey The Dictate! Watch over this World, and with your brooding wings, Renew it to Eternal Life: Lo! I am with you alway But you cannot renew Milton he goes to Eternal Death So spake the Family Divine as One Man even Jesus Uniting in One with Ololon & the appearance of One Man Jesus the Saviour appeard coming in the Clouds of Ololon!" Jerusalem, Plate 34 , (E 179] "but mild the Saviour follow'd him, Displaying the Eternal Vision! the Divine Similitude! In loves and tears of brothers, sisters, sons, fathers, and friends Which if Man ceases to behold, he ceases to exist: 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. He is the Good shepherd, he is the Lord and master: He is the Shepherd of Albion, he is all in all, In Eden: in the garden of God: and in heavenly Jerusalem. If we have offended, forgive us, take not vengeance against us. Thus speaking; the Divine Family follow Albion: I see them in the Vision of God upon my pleasant valleys." Four Zoas, Night I, Page 21, (E 310) "Then those in Great Eternity met in the Council of God As one Man for contracting their Exalted Senses They behold Multitude or Expanding they behold as one As One Man all the Universal family & that one Man They call Jesus the Christ & they in him & he in them Live in Perfect harmony in Eden the land of life Consulting as One Man above the Mountain of Snowdon Sublime" Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 133, (E 401) "In families we see our shadows born. & thence we know | Ephesians That Man subsists by Brotherhood & Universal Love | iii c. We fall on one anothers necks more closely we embrace | 10 v Not for ourselves but for the Eternal family we live Man liveth not by Self alone but in his brothers face Each shall behold the Eternal Father & love & joy abound So spoke the Eternal at the Feast they embracd the New born Man Calling him Brother image of the Eternal Father. they sat down At the immortal tables sounding loud their instruments of joy Calling the Morning into Beulah the Eternal Man rejoicd"
 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.