The Eternal Man; the fallen man; due to rise.
Beulah in the Bible was the
target="-blank">name Isaiah gave to the Holy Land, when it was to be
redeemed. It means married. Blake used it as the place of
rest from the fierce contentions of Eternity.
"Both read the same Bible day and night
But you read black where I read white."
(from The Everlasting Gospel by William Blake)
name="bacon"> We have Blake's Annotations on
Bacon's Essays (erd 620-32), part of which you may read
target="-blank">this review of Bacon's thought.
Some understanding of Berkeley's thought is a good
preliminary to understanding the shape of Blake's
mature vision of God, which came to him definitively
You can say nothing other than the products of your
mind, which means that an objective God is a complete
unknown; Blake would say there's no such thing:
In Blakean theology Jesus is the only God; not the man
named Jesus: he's only a man. No! Blake's Jesus is the
indwelling spirit within the psyche- the fount of
imagination and forgiveness. Jesus is one.
Thus, when the two Great Commandments meld together,
the neighbor we're exhorted to love is the God within
the other. So to love God with all your heart and mind
and soul and strength involves loving God in all the
particulars-- not just your neighbor, but his animals,
insects, sticks and stones. Nature thus becomes what is groaning in travail; to love and care for it is to love God. "God only Acts & Is, in existing beings or Men" (MHH plate 16).
Daughters of Beulah
Enion was the consort of the 4th Zoa, Tharmas. He represented the basic physical aspect of Albion. In relation to Carl Jung's four functions Tharmas would be sensation (however among scholars there is some disagreement about that, borne out by a passage found in Milton and again in Jerusalem: "For Four Universes round the Mundane Egg remain Chaotic One to the North; Urthona: One to the South; Urizen: One to the East: Luvah: One to the West, Tharmas; They are the Four Zoas that stood around the Throne Divine". Tharmas and Enion were the parents of Los and Enitharmon. In his larger mythological works, especially The Four Zoas, Blake gave to Enion some of the most intense poetry that he wrote. For an introduction to Tharmas and Enion go to href="chap9.htm#tharmas" target="-blank">Chapter 9.
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.
Female love did not mean for Blake what one might think. Female love is love of materiality, nature, beauty, anything to keep you from spirit. Note that in My Spectre Blake has us agree to give up female love, and a few lines on agree to give up love (means the same thing).
Golgonooza appears a number of times in Blake's works: 17 times in 4Z; 22 times in Milton, and 22 times in Jerusalem. Interpretations of the term are quite varied, depending to a large degree on the interpreter's spiritual orientation: "Los builded Golgonooza": Los represents the fallen imagination, ie the creative builder of the material realm. Eventually Jerusalem takes the place of Golgonooza.
More blood has been shed in the name of Christ than almost any other source.
In href="http://www.iath.virginia.edu/cgi-bin/nph-1965/blake/erdman/erd/@Generic__BookTextView/9599;pt=9683" target="-blank">Milton Eternal Death meant leaving Heaven (as Jesus is reported to have done) to improve the sad situation on Earth.
In Blake's 'Milton' the poet, Milton, "goes to Eternal Death" from his home in heaven, like Jesus had done or Buddha, to rescue "the nations" from the toils of the God of this World (Milton Plate 14:14).
In 1800 at the invitation of the famous poet William Hayley, the Blakes moved to Felpham in Sussex, near the sea. By 1803 they were back in London.
Blake used "the God of this world" 7 times according to the href="http://www.english.uga.edu/~nhilton/ee/home.html"> target=""> Blake concordance. Two of them occur near the end of href="http://users.compaqnet.be/cn127848/blake/collected/chap-08.html" target=""> The Everlasting Gospel (page 523)
mind forg'd manacles: Blake found people, then (and now) uniformly blind to the mental chains that sentenced them to a mediocre existence. He used this href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/asguru/english/03contexts/14williamblake/popups/index_a.shtml" target="">famous term in his Songs of Experience. The term is used in this work repeatedly explaining Blake's approach to his prophetic poetry.
Moment of Grace: The Moment of Grace or the Felpham Moment in this work represents the turning point in Blake's life when he awakened to the riches of Christ. He commemorated it with the poem he called the href"chap4.htm#light">First Vision of Light. As per Friedlander: The young Blake had thought the great struggle in human life was between Luvah and Urizen, energy and its boundaries. By the end of the Felpham period, Blake had come to view the great struggle as being between the visionaries, who saw all men as part of the divine family, and the rationalizing masses, concerned only with personal security.
Blake found much use of mystery in the Bible in both positive and negative forms. In Revelation the chief enemy is called the Great Whore, Babylon, and Mystery (17:5 (taken from Frye, The Bible as Literature, page 136).
The Four Zoas: a long href="http://www.english.uga.edu/nhilton/Blake/blaketxt1/the_four_zoas.html" target="-blank">poem that served as a kind of first draft to 'Milton' and 'Jerusalem'. Reading this closely one may discern the spiritual growth which Blake went through culminating in the target="-blank">Moment of Grace .
Plato's Myth of the Cave had a big influence on Blake's understanding.
Urizen was one of the four zoas: Broadly speaking the four zoas were href="chap9.htm#tharmas" target="-blank">Tharmas- the body. Urizen- the mind. Los- the imagination Luvah- the feelings
With the "narrow chinks of his cavern" found in Plate 11 of the Marriage of Heaven and Hell Blake of course had an href="http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/greek/philosopher/myth_allegory_cave_plato.html" target="-blank">obvious source.
The Couches of the Dead is a universal symbol representing those who have died to Eternity in order to be born into our fallen world.
The main chance is a term Blake referred to for using his art (without integrity) for commercial purposes.
He originally ascribed this to Jesus, but then added Urthona and Los (the Lord's representatives in his system).
Rahab: the name Blake applied to the Whore of Babylon of Revelation. However the Bible, and Blake as well, used the name for some more honorable women.
In Blake's conception (as in the Bible) we come into the world with innocence, lose it (See 'Songs of Experience') and hopefully evolve to a higher level of consciousness. Blake and the Bible refer to these two developments as fall and return.
The mundane shell and the 'covering cherub' are two ways Blake described the fallen condition, and organized religion has a prominent place in both myths. Two (relatively) contemporary authors deserve mention: Joseph Chilton Pearce's Crack in the Cosmic Egg deserves study. It looks like an elaborate expansion of Blake's ideas here. I haven't recently determined what if any recognition he gave to Blake, although I found the mundane shell mentioned on page xiv of the 1988 edition. Marcus Borg, on page 114 of his The God We Never Knew, speaks of 'the hatching of the heart', i.e. the conversion of the hard heart to the open heart: "If what is within is to live, the egg must hatch, the shell must break, the heart must open." And he refers us to href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%2031:31-37;&version=31;" target=-blank">Jeremiah's New Covenant. In Blake's long poem, Milton, the older poet, Milton, imitating his friend, Jesus, comes down from Heaven, and cracks the mundane egg on his way to the center. Marriage is a sacrament in Christian thought, and for many of us it's the primary sacrament of life. But in 19th century British society, we may get the idea (from Dickens or Trollope) that matrimony served commercial rather than religious purposes. Blake violently objected to that (obviously objectionable) custom; it led him to use such phrases as the marriage hearse.
Rintrah In Blake's poetry Rintrah is mentioned 48 times, first in MHH, then in Europe, the Four Zoas, Milton, and Jerusalem. He obviously had a special meaning to Blake, but shades and nuances of the meaning occurred throughout. 1, At the beginning (and end) of MHH Rintrah roared; perhaps in his mind at that moment Rintrah represented the angry young man who would write the revolutionary material just ahead. 2. In plates 5 and 8 of Europe Rintrah is pictured as a mailed knight of the queens of England and France, daughters of Enitharmon, who entice Rintrah into the hideous war between the two countries. 3. Rintrah's identity is best seen in The Four Zoas: And these are the Sons of Los & Enitharmon. Rintrah Palamabron Theotormon Bromion Antamon Ananton Ozoth Ohana Sotha Mydon Ellayol Natho Gon Harhath Satan Har Ochim Ijim Adam Reuben Simeon Levi Judah Dan Naphtali Gad Asher Issachar Zebulun Joseph Benjamin David Solomon Paul Constantine Charlemaine Luther Milton (FZ8-107.6 Erdman 380) 4. At the beginning of Milton (Plates 3-7) we have The Bard's Song. Rintrah has a prominent place here. Enitharmon - The Shadowy Female - has brought forth all Los's Family: Orc, Rintrah, Palamabron, and finally Satan. We see these last three in Plate 10. Satan is the fiery one; Rintrah is next, and behind Rintrah is his peaceable brother, Palamabron. (Elsewhere Blake referred to Satan as a state, not an individal. He is the 'state of Error'.)The Selfhood is one of many super complex metaphors that fill Blake's works. We can see three different levels in which he used it: 1. At the moral level it represents the egocentricity, the term Blake gave for the fallen man, He also calls it the href="#spectre" target="-blank">Spectre and Satan. In modern psychological parlance it has the meaning of the egocentric self as opposed to the Self, which href="http://www.mtnmath.com/whatrh/node112.html" target="-blank">Jung equated with Christ- the Divine Image. 2. The blindness to the spiritual (Eternal) shown by the person (or culture) who depends exclusively upon the material, the life that one lives in the Sea of Time and Space. 3. A necessity to act in the material world. This led to Blake's understanding of the necessity to continually annihilate and continually regenerate the Selfhood. The Selfhood acts in the light of good and evil, chooses good to adhere to and evil to abhor or confront. In Eternity this is no longer necessary, but in this vale of tears there's no other way to interact. Christ gives the Christian work to do, and it must be done in the realm of materiality. Mortal life means materiality (among other things of course). (For an introduction to Self-Annilation look at href="http://www.blakearchive.org/exist/blake/archive/transcription.xq?objectid=milton.d.illbk.46">Plate 40 of Milton. To read this is a difficult assignment, but it abounds in the particular Blake ideas that will help you understand the whole bit.)
For Blake (and before him for Swedenborg) states are the stages or conditions through which we pass in our journey through life. Blake had colorful designations for the various states. For example Satan is the state of Death, Adam, Abraham, and many other biblical figures serve to designate various states we may pass through in time. Jesus was the Divine Humanity, the final and perfect state that we achieve. According to Damon (page 386) "States are stages of error, which the Divine Mercy creates so that the State and not the individual in it shall be blamed." Once you realize that a person is not a state, but in a state, it becomes possible to forgive. Forgiving is the characteristic of the Divine Humanity (Jesus), the one state that is not error. Blake did not consider Adam, Abraham, Moses, etc. to be merely individuals in history. No, they were types of states through which we may pass in our journey upward or downward. Christ is the ultimate state toward which we aspire, a state of forgiveness rather than judgment. The states represent "all that can happen to Man in his pilgrimage of seventy years" (Jer 16:67 E161).
Satan has varying identities in Blake's poems, but href="http://www.pathguy.com/blake/blakemil.txt" target="">Friedlander, describing Blake's Milton indicated Satan was "any person who thinks himself "righteous in his vegetated spectre, holy by following the laws of conventional piety". (Thus he is very close to Jesus and Paul, both of whom considered self-righteous judgment as the Ultimate human evil.) Another word for this is the limit of opacity.
(From Damon, page 386): "the stars symbolize Reason"; they belong to Urizen; in Eternity they were part of Albion, but with the Fall they fled, and formed the Mundane Shell. Blake also provided a href="primer.htm#stars2" target="">redemptive dimension to stars.
Time and Space are creatures like Adam and Eve. Blake tells us that Los created time and Enitharmon space. The magnificent Arlington Tempera is often called the Sea of Time and Space.
Cave of the Nymphs
Pity meant to Blake (and perhaps for 18th century English) something entirely different from its general current connotation. It was much closer to compassion than it is in our day. According to the Blake Concordance the word is mentioned 178 times in Blake's Complete Works. But the poem that best defines the meaning that pity had for him is The Divine Image from Songs of Innocence. In Plate 7 of href="http://www.blakearchive.org/exist/blake/archive/transcription.xq?objectid=milton.b.illbk.05">Blake's Milton we read about the "three classes of mortal men": the elect (self-righteous), the redeemed (saved sinners), and the reprobate (prophets harried from place to place).
Ulro: this material world; also called the 'seat of Satan' as in 'the ruler of this present world". Tirzah is one of Blake's bad women; for a short poem where Blake vividly describes his use of the word look at href="http://www.repeatafterus.com/title.php?i=4914" target="">To Tirzah. The word unbelief, used by Blake was much like what Jesus railed about, while using the positive mode. Neither of them meant by unbelief failure to adhere to the intellectual propositions which are supposed to define the Christian faith. For both men belief meant commitment to the reality of a loving God. Ulro This world (in the same sense the term is used in the New Testament); also this vale of tears; also the seat of Satan, and a dread sleep (many such usages in 4Z) Urizen The Zoa who represented Reason. In Blake's thought he became closely related to Nobodaddy, the unforgiving and cruel Old Testament God. In 'Milton' Blake describes the contest between the old god, Urizen and 'Milton' (a surrogate here for Christ). It's a vivid description of the humanizing of God that came to us with the words of Jesus, about the loving heavenly father. Vala The original name of the Four Zoas was Vala. In Blake's mythology she was the consort of Luvah (the god of love). Vala represents woman in general; she is also called Tirzah (purely earthly woman) and Jerusalem (heavenly woman). In Jerusalem, after the Moment of Grace, Blake wrote "The Wheel of Religion". In it he showed once again the difference between false and true Christianity, using almost entirely biblical figures:
"Both read the same Bible day and night But you read black where I read white." (from The Everlasting Gospel by William Blake) The Covering Cherub for Blake sums up [indicated] the 27 Christian heavens which shut man out from Eternity (Damon 93) In the Everlasting gospel we read " Was Jesus Born of a Virgin pure..." To appreciate these verses look at The Marriage of Heaven and Earth. Blake developed a vividly graphic image of the priestly cocoon in his major work called Milton (See plate 33). His poetry here is almost invincibly opaque, but the meaning has extreme significance in regard to his pscyhology, his world view, his religious outlook. The Mundane Shell represents fallen man, and particularly the worship of materiality rather than spirit. And more particularly the encrustation of organized religion (and law) over the spirit of humanity. Viewed individually it represents the psyche of a person whose consciousness has not yet evolved form the purely material. Or to look at this from another viewpoint: a child who has lost his innocence.
I stood among my valleys of the south, And saw a flame of fire, even as a Wheel Of fire surrounding all the heavens: it went From west to east against the current of Creation, and devour'd all things in its loud Fury and thundering course round heaven and earth By it the Sun was rolled into an orb; By it the Moon faded into a globe, Travelling thro' the night; for from its dire And restless fury Man himself shrunk up Into a little root a fathom long. And I asked a Watcher and a Holy One Its name. He answer'd: "It is the Wheel of Religion." I wept and said: "Is this the law of Jesus, This terrible devouring sword turning every way?" He answer'd: "Jesus died because He strove Against the current of this Wheel: its name Is Caiaphas, the dark Preacher of Death, Of sin, of sorrow, and of punishment, Opposing Nature. It is Natural Religion. "But Jesus is the bright Preacher of Life, Creating Nature from this fiery Law By self-denial and Forgiveness of Sin. Go, therefore, cast out devils in Christ's name, Heal thou the sick of spiritual disease, Pity the evil; for thou art not sent To smite with terror and with punishments Those that are sick, like to the Pharisees, Crucifying, and encompassing sea and land, For proselytes to tyranny and wrath. "But to the Publicans and Harlots go: Teach them true happiness, but let no curse Go forth out of thy mouth to blight their peace. For Hell is open'd to Heaven; thine eyes beheld The dungeons burst, and the prisoners set free." (Jerusalem, 77)
Science, like everything else fell and then ascended. In the fallen 80% of Blake's myth purely material science, ignoring any spiritual content, was denoted by Bacon, Newton and Locke. However it will be redeemed. In the Last Judgment
Thus The Four Zoas end.
In Blake's conception (as in the Bible) we come into the world with innocence, lose it (See 'Songs of Innocence' and hopefully evolve to a higher level of consciousness. Blake and the Bible refer to these two developments as fall and return. The 'mundane shell' and the target="main">'covering cherub' are two ways Blake described the fallen condition, and organized religion has a prominent place in both myths. Two (relatively) contemporary authors deserve mention: Joseph Chilton Pearce's Crack in the Cosmic Egg deserves study. It looks like an elaborate expansion of Blake's ideas here. I haven't recently determined what if any recognition he gave to Blake, although I found the mundane shell mentioned on page xiv of the 1988 edition. Marcus Borg, on page 114 of his The God We Never Knew, speaks of 'the hatching of the heart', i.e. the conversion of the hard heart to the open heart: "If what is within is to live, the egg must hatch, the shell must break, the heart must open." In Blake's long poem, Milton, the older poet, Milton, imitating his friend, Jesus, comes down from Heaven, and cracks the mundane egg on his way to the center.
This last verse quotes href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=50&chapter=2&verse=3&end_verse=5&version=9&context=context" target="-blank">John 2:4 with Jesus speaking as a spiritual rather than a material person. I find it very interesting that at the age of four C.G.Jung is reported to have had a dream in which a gigantic turd fell from the sky and landed on the local cathedral.
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