|Four Zoas, Night II|
Enion's second lament focuses on the consequences of her withdrawal from Tharmas. Life in the external world does not work out like she may have expected it to. Her intentions may have been good but the results are the opposite. She knew that it was the decisions that she made which have led to suffering. Although the spoiled world may have been providing her with the experience she needed to arrive at wisdom, was the price too high if all that she had was required in exchange?
Enion was more than an observer in the world of life, she was the means by which the life inhabiting her world was generated. The multitude of lifeforms were her children. She understood that life lives on death but she couldn't grasp why that must be so. She was not one who found it easy to rejoice in a world where all do not share in the prosperity.
Four Zoas, Night II, Page 34, (E 324)
"Thus livd Los driving Enion far into the deathful infinite
That he may also draw Ahania's spirit into her Vortex Ah happy blindness Enion sees not the terrors of the uncertain Thus Enion wails from the dark deep, the golden heavens tremble PAGE 35 I am made to sow the thistle for wheat; the nettle for a nourishing dainty I have planted a false oath in the earth, it has brought forth a poison tree I have chosen the serpent for a councellor & the dog For a schoolmaster to my children I have blotted out from light & living the dove & nightingale And I have caused the earth worm to beg from door to door I have taught the thief a secret path into the house of the just I have taught pale artifice to spread his nets upon the morning My heavens are brass my earth is iron my moon a clod of clay My sun a pestilence burning at noon & a vapour of death in night What is the price of Experience do men buy it for a song Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No it is bought with the price Of all that a man hath his house his wife his children Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy And in the witherd field where the farmer plows for bread in vain It is an easy thing to triumph in the summers sun And in the vintage & to sing on the waggon loaded with corn It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted To speak the laws of prudence to the houseless wanderer PAGE 36 To listen to the hungry ravens cry in wintry season When the red blood is filld with wine & with the marrow of lambs It is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements To hear the dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughter house moan To see a god on every wind & a blessing on every blast To hear sounds of love in the thunder storm that destroys our enemies house To rejoice in the blight that covers his field, & the sickness that cuts off his children While our olive & vine sing & laugh round our door & our children bring fruits & flowers Then the groan & the dolor are quite forgotten & the slave grinding at the mill And the captive in chains & the poor in the prison, & the soldier in the field When the shatterd bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead 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!"What Enion experienced when she was separated from Tharmas was consciousness of mortality in a mortal world. What was within Enion, was what she beheld in the void which she inhabited.
Paul of Tarsus, in the seventh chapter of Romans, reported experience of the same agony as portrayed in Enion's lament. He was conscious of being unable to act from the good which he mentally sought to follow. He also was conscious that he did the things that he hated. Blake explicitly stated the choices of Enion whose results were abhorrent to her. Her dilemma was that knowing what she had wrought, and finding it unacceptable; she hadn't the wisdom to find an escape. The best she could do was attempt to ignore the devastation which surrounded her. The easy way to gain experience is to ignore the unpleasant things that are generated by decisions to aggrandize oneself while others bear heavy burdens.
To some extent Enion's solution is one we often choose when confronted with conditions which are too upsetting for us to allow ourselves to fully comprehend. Larry confessed to finding himself confronted with a level of suffering of which he had no experience when he saw Calcutta. As a young man he had traveled the world as a merchant seaman. He was 19 or 20 in 1946 when his ship reached Calcutta:
"At Calcutta we saw people whose only home was the street, people dying of cholera, etc. A rich man had opened his home to the Allies; it was like a museum, certainly not the kind of place you would want to live, but with European masterworks of art on the walls, big overstuffed sofas, everything associated with western affluence. We heard that he fed 150 beggars every day. We visited a temple with carvings of sexual intercourse in 50 different positions. We visited the burning ghats where the dead were brought. We saw one corpse being burned; the heat caused the tendons to contract and the poor body started to rise up. The attendant grabbed a stick and beat it back down. The sacred river was right there with all sorts of dead things in it and people bathing.
Dozens of children followed us around begging. I bought a leather suitcase from a merchant on the sidewalk. He asked $100 for it, but sold it for $10. I could probably have gotten it for less, but I had gotten tired of dickering with him.
Calcutta made a powerful impression on me. I felt the intense need to help that so many others had felt there. I knew that I had a choice, to dedicate the rest of my life to trying to help them, or to harden my heart. It's obvious which choice I took, since I left a few days later and never went back."
But he didn't forget. He couldn't rejoice in his own prosperity by wiping out consciousness of the suffering world.
Romans 7 (RSV)
 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.
 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.
 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.
 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
 For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self,
 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members.
 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.