Wednesday, July 26, 2017

PARADISE LOST 6

Wikipedia Commons
Illustrations to Milton's Paradise Lost
Illustration 6
Raphael Warns Adam and Eve
Genesis 2
[8] And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
[9] And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
...
[16] And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
[17] But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

The sixth Illustration to Paradise Lost shows Adam, Eve and the angel Raphael in the glorious garden of Eden. God knew that Satan had entered the earth and begun his attack on the 'human pair.' Thinking that Adam and Eve might prevent Satan's 'designs In them at once to ruin all mankind', God assigned Raphael to descend to the garden with a warning. Raphael's delivered the message that the happy couple could lose the idyllic situation they enjoyed if Satan could trap them with his deceit.

Adam looks at Raphael apprehensively; Eve, with an untroubled look, serves the lunch. Around the fruit laden tree in the background which is entwined by a serpent, Blake included symbolic animals:
elephant - strength
tiger - wrath
peacock - pride
horse - lust
donkey - beast of burden
ox - patience
birds of paradise - freedom
wading birds - transcend earth, water and air.
God did not place humanity on earth to be alone. Adam and Eve walked in the garden with God 'in the cool of the evening.' Guardian angels were dispatched to watch over them throughout the day and night.

Paradise Lost
John Milton
Book 5
Line 224
[God instructs Raphael]
  " Raphael, said he, thou hearest what stir on Earth
Satan, from Hell 'scaped through the darksome gulf,
Hath raised in Paradise; and how disturbed
This night the human pair; how he designs
In them at once to ruin all mankind. 
Go therefore, half this day as friend with friend
Converse with Adam, in what bower or shade
Thou findest him from the heat of noon retired,
To respite his day-labor with repast,
Or with repose; and such discourse bring on,
As may advise him of his happy state,
Happiness in his power left free to will,
Left to his own free will, his will though free,
Yet mutable; whence warn him to beware
He swerve not, too secure: Tell him withal
His danger, and from whom; what enemy,
Late fallen himself from Heaven, is plotting now
The fall of others from like state of bliss;
By violence? no, for that shall be withstood;
But by deceit and lies: This let him know,
Lest, willfully transgressing, he pretend
Surprisal, unadmonished, unforewarned.
So spake the Eternal Father,"

Book 5
Line 519
[Raphael to Adam and Eve]
"Son of Heaven and Earth,
Attend. That thou art happy, owe to God;
That thou continuest such, owe to thyself,
That is, to thy obedience; therein stand.
This was that caution given thee; be advised.
God made thee perfect, not immutable;
And good he made thee, but to persevere
He left it in thy power; ordained thy will
By nature free, not over-ruled by fate
Inextricable, or strict necessity:
Our voluntary service he requires,
Not our necessitated; such with him
Finds no acceptance, nor can find; for how
Can hearts, not free, be tried whether they serve
Willing or no, who will but what they must
By destiny, and can no other choose?
Myself, and all the angelic host, that stand
In sight of God, enthroned, our happy state
Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds;
On other surety none: Freely we serve,
Because we freely love, as in our will
To love or not; in this we stand or fall:
And some are fallen, to disobedience fallen,
And so from Heaven to deepest Hell; Oh fall
From what high state of bliss, into what woe!"

The danger of falling away from the Divine Benevolence can not be taken lightly. Blake and Milton wanted to impress upon their readers the effort and care that God takes to keep his precious creation intact. Man is not meant to be divided from Man or God. Eternal vigilance is Man's responsibility.

Jerusalem, Plate 55, (E 204)  
"all equal share
Divine Benevolence & joy, for the Eternal Man
Walketh among us, calling us his Brothers & his Friends:         
Forbidding us that Veil which Satan puts between Eve & Adam" 
Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 133, (E 401)
And Many Eternal Men sat at the golden feast to see 
The female form now separate They shudderd at the horrible thing
Not born for the sport and amusement of Man but born to drink up all his powers
They wept to see their shadows they said to one another this is Sin
This is the Generative world they rememberd the Days of old

And One of the Eternals spoke All was silent at the feast 

Man is a Worm wearied with joy he seeks the caves of sleep
Among the Flowers of Beulah in his Selfish cold repose
Forsaking Brotherhood & Universal love in selfish clay
Folding the pure wings of his mind seeking the places dark
Abstracted from the roots of Science then inclosd around  
In walls of Gold we cast him like a Seed into the Earth
Till times & spaces have passd over him duly every morn
We visit him covering with a Veil the immortal seed
With windows from the inclement sky we cover him & with walls
And hearths protect the Selfish terror till divided all 

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."

Ephesians 3
[8] Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this 
grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable 
riches of Christ;
[9] And to make all men see what is the 
fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath 
been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
[10] 
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly 
places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
[11] According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
[12] In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Once to Every Man and Nation
Author: James Russell Lowell (1845)

Monday, July 24, 2017

PARADISE LOST 5

Wikipedia Commons
Illustrations to Milton's Paradise Lost 
Illustration 5
Adam and Eve Asleep
Genesis 3
[4] And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
[5] For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Blake's fifth Illustration of Paradise Lost shows the two angels whom God sent to look over Adam and Eve when they entered the state of sleep. Milton's implication is that in sleep the mind is more vulnerable to the entry of darkness into the psyche to counter the higher levels of consciousness. Eve had not yet consciously thought of eating the forbidden fruit. However Satan in the disguise of a toad whispered in her ear what she perceived as a dream.   

Paradise Lost
Milton 
Book 4
Line 784-812
  "From these, two strong and subtle Spirits he called
That near him stood, and gave them thus in charge.
Ithuriel and Zephon, with winged speed
Search through this garden, leave unsearched no nook;
But chiefly where those two fair creatures lodge,
Now laid perhaps asleep, secure of harm.
This evening from the sun's decline arrived,
Who tells of some infernal Spirit seen
Hitherward bent (who could have thought?) escaped
The bars of Hell, on errand bad no doubt:
Such, where ye find, seize fast, and hither bring.
So saying, on he led his radiant files,
Dazzling the moon; these to the bower direct
In search of whom they sought: Him there they found
Squat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve,
Assaying by his devilish art to reach
The organs of her fancy, and with them forge
Illusions, as he list, phantasms and dreams;
Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint
The animal spirits, that from pure blood arise
Like gentle breaths from rivers pure, thence raise
At least distempered, discontented thoughts,
Vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate desires,
Blown up with high conceits ingendering pride.
Him thus intent Ithuriel with his spear
Touched lightly; for no falsehood can endure
Touch of celestial temper, but returns
Of force to its own likeness: Up he starts
Discovered and surprised."

Book 5 line 82
[Eve's dream]
  "So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held,
Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part
Which he had plucked; the pleasant savory smell
So quickened appetite, that I, methought,
Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the clouds
With him I flew, and underneath beheld
The earth outstretched immense, a prospect wide
And various: Wondering at my flight and change
To this high exaltation; suddenly
My guide was gone, and I, methought, sunk down,
And fell asleep; but Oh, how glad I waked
To find this but a dream! Thus Eve her night
Related, and thus Adam answered sad.

line 117
[Adam to Eve]
 Evil into the mind of God or man
May come and go, so unreproved, and leave
No spot or blame behind: Which gives me hope
That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream,
Waking thou never will consent to do."

The wisdom of the ages tells us that when dreams occur their meaning is obscure. They come from a deeper level of consciousness than the one we operate from in our waking state. They speak in the language of images and imagination. When Eve was given a dream she did not know where it came from or how to interpret it. From her dream she constructed illusions and fancies of an Eve who was more than the 'helpmeet' of Adam. Satan planted in Eve's mind the idea that eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree would make her wiser, stronger and more like God himself. Eve had the choice: evolve according to the pattern implanted within her or seek more than had been given to her.

This was the dilemma with which Eve struggled. Milton and Blake struggled with it too, as do you and I.
Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Song 26, (E 16)
"A Dream
Once a dream did weave a shade,
O'er my Angel-guarded bed,
That an Emmet lost it's way
Where on grass methought I lay.

Troubled wilderd and folorn   
Dark benighted travel-worn,
Over many a tangled spray
All heart-broke I heard her say.

O my children! do they cry
Do they hear their father sigh.   
Now they look abroad to see,
Now return and weep for me.

Pitying I drop'd a tear:
But I saw a glow-worm near:
Who replied. What wailing wight   
Calls the watchman of the night.

I am set to light the ground,
While the beetle goes his round:
Follow now the beetles hum,
Little wanderer hie thee home."   
 
Europe, Plate 9, (E 63)
"Enitharmon slept,                                                
Eighteen hundred years: Man was a Dream!
The night of Nature and their harps unstrung:
She slept in middle of her nightly song,
Eighteen hundred years, a female dream!"

Jerusalem, Plate 34 [38], (E 180)
"Thus speaking; the Divine Family follow Albion:
I see them in the Vision of God upon my pleasant valleys.

I behold London; a Human awful wonder of God!
He says: Return, Albion, return! I give myself for thee:         
My Streets are my, Ideas of Imagination.
Awake Albion, awake! and let us awake up together.
My Houses are Thoughts: my Inhabitants; Affections,
The children of my thoughts, walking within my blood-vessels,
Shut from my nervous form which sleeps upon the verge of Beulah  
In dreams of darkness, while my vegetating blood in veiny pipes,
Rolls dreadful thro' the Furnaces of Los, and the Mills of Satan.
For Albions sake, and for Jerusalem thy Emanation
I give myself, and these my brethren give themselves for Albion.

So spoke London, immortal Guardian!"

Jerusalem, Plate 10 [11], E 104
"Then Los & Enitharmon knew that Satan is Urizen       
Drawn down by Orc & the Shadowy Female into Generation
Oft Enitharmon enterd weeping into the Space, there appearing
An aged Woman raving along the Streets (the Space is named
Canaan) then she returnd to Los weary frighted as from dreams   

The nature of a Female Space is this: it shrinks the Organs
Of Life till they become Finite & Itself seems Infinite.   

And Satan vibrated in the immensity of the Space! Limited
To those without but Infinite to those within: it fell down and
Became Canaan: closing Los from Eternity in Albions Cliffs     
A mighty Fiend against the Divine Humanity mustring to War"
 
Blake's friend Henry Fuseli pictured the scene in Paradise Lost differently.  

Friday, July 21, 2017

PARADISE LOST 4

Wikipedia Commons
Illustrations of Milton's Paradise Lost 
Illustration 4
Satan Watching the Caresses of Adam and Eve
In Blake's fourth illustration to Milton's Paradise Lost Blake shows a contrast between Satan entwined by the serpent, and Adam and Eve embracing each other. Most striking is that Satan and the serpent gaze into the other's eyes just as the human lovers do. Satan points to the head of Adam indicating his point of attack will be through Adam's brain (or perhaps through his unconscious.)

The first set of Illustrations of Paradise Lost which Blake painted for Rev. Joseph Thomas shows Satan with his upper body above Eve, facing toward Adam. In the second series Blake made the following year for Thomas Butts, he reverses the position of Satan. Also reversed are the positions of the sun and the moon. The sun which had been setting behind Eve is now rising behind Adam. This positions the sun in its rightful place with the male, and the moon with its reflected light behind the female. This positioning is more consistent with Milton's intent:

"For softness she and sweet attractive grace;
He for God only, she for God in him:" (line 296-7)    

In 2008 Anna Beer wrote a biography titled Milton: Poet, pamphleteer, and Patriot. She sees the mature Milton as having resolved many of his sexual issues and able to envision Eden from a healthy sexual perspective. She states: "Milton's Edenic vision of ideal heterosexual love, expressed both physically and emotionally, is an extraordinary development in his writing, indeed in his life." (Page 326) 

On Page 324, Beer makes this observation:

"Milton's vision of Eden is an erotic world of sensuous pleasures, where man and woman are fascinatingly different from each other. Adam and Eve walk through Eden hand in hand, those 'wanton ringlets' waving as she moves, every step a kind of foreplay.
...
The lovers 'enjoy their fill / Of bliss on bliss.'
Milton, unlike many of religious commentators, unlike his younger self, is quite comfortable with the idea that there was sex, and good sex, before the Fall. But it was sex with love rather than

in the bought smile
Of harlots, loveless, joyless, unendeared,
Casual fruition... (IV:765-7)

No 'casual fruition', for Adam and Eve; instead 'mutual bliss,' a delightful sleep as rose-petals fall upon their naked bodies...This is what humanity had lost."


Paradise Lost 
John Milton 
Book 4
Line 289
"for in their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shone,
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure,
(Severe, but in true filial freedom placed,)
Whence true authority in men; though both
Not equal, as their sex not equal seemed;
For contemplation he and velour formed;
For softness she and sweet attractive grace;
He for God only, she for God in him:
His fair large front and eye sublime declared
Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks
Round from his parted forelock manly hung
Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
She, as a veil, down to the slender waist
Her unadorned golden tresses wore
Disheveled, but in wanton ringlets waved
As the vine curls her tendrils, which implied
Subjection, but required with gentle sway,
And by her yielded, by him best received,
Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,
And sweet, reluctant, amorous delay.
Nor those mysterious parts were then concealed;
Then was not guilty shame, dishonest shame
Of nature's works, honor dishonorable,
Sin-bred, how have ye troubled all mankind
With shows instead, mere shows of seeming pure,
And banished from man's life his happiest life,
Simplicity and spotless innocence. 

Line 354
[Satan first observes Adam and Eve]
 When Satan still in gaze, as first he stood,
Scarce thus at length failed speech recovered sad.
Oh Hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold?
Into our room of bliss thus high advanced
Creatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps,
Not Spirits, yet to heavenly Spirits bright
Little inferior; whom my thoughts pursue
With wonder, and could love, so lively shines
In them divine resemblance, and such grace
The hand that formed them on their shape hath poured.
Ah, gentle pair, ye little think how nigh
Your change approaches, when all these delights
Will vanish, and deliver ye to woe;
More woe, the more your taste is now of joy;" 
The Bible had little to say about the relationship between Adam and Eve before the fall. Man was created first, and woman was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.

Genesis 1
[26] And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
[27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
[28] And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Genesis 2
[20]...but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
[21] And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
[22] And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
[23] And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
[24] Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

An account of Los and Enitharmon parallels facets of the creation of Adam and Eve. Enitharmon is a part of Los before she becomes a separate being outside of him. Like Milton's first couple they are fascinated by one another's beauty and differences. But their 'two wills', 'two intellects' will also turn their joy to woe as Milton predicts for his lovers.    

Jerusalem, Plate 86, (E 245)
"Nor can any consummate bliss without being Generated
On Earth...
So dread is Los's fury, that none dare him to approach
Without becoming his Children in the Furnaces of affliction

And Enitharmon like a faint rainbow waved before him         
Filling with Fibres from his loins which reddend with desire
Into a Globe of blood beneath his bosom trembling in darkness
Of Albions clouds. he fed it, with his tears & bitter groans 
Hiding his Spectre in invisibility from the timorous Shade
Till it became a separated cloud of beauty grace & love       
Among the darkness of his Furnaces dividing asunder till
She separated stood before him a lovely Female weeping
Even Enitharmon separated outside, & his Loins closed
And heal'd after the separation: his pains he soon forgot:
Lured by her beauty outside of himself in shadowy grief.      
Two Wills they had; Two Intellects: & not as in times of old.

Silent they wanderd hand in hand like two Infants wandring
From Enion in the desarts, terrified at each others beauty
Envying each other yet desiring, in all devouring Love,"

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

PARADISE LOST 3


Wikipedia Commons
Illustrations to Paradise Lost
Illustration 3

Christ Offers to Redeen Man
John Milton, William Blake and the writers of John and Philippians agreed that God had foreknowledge that Adam and Eve would fall to Satan's temptation. Before Adam and Eve encountered the serpent in Eden, God had provided that his Son would offer himself as an avenue through which Adam and Eve and their descendants would be redeemed.

In testimony to the fact that this account is not taking place in time but in Eternity, early in his drama Milton places the scene of Son of God offering to take upon himself the wrath which should have fallen on man. The creation in time and the temptation had not yet occurred when the Son accepted his role in the process of redemption.

Blake's third illustration to Paradise Lost captures the moment when God in heaven accepts the offer of his Son to redeem Man. A mournful God embraces the Son who has assumed the human form. Satan has escaped from the hell into which he fell and is occupying the world made for man. 

Paradise lost
Book 3
Line 167
"To whom the great Creator thus replied.
Oh son, in whom my soul hath chief delight,
Son of my bosom, Son who art alone.
My word, my wisdom, and effectual might,
All hast thou spoken as my thoughts are, all
As my eternal purpose hath decreed;
man shall not quite be lost, but saved who will;
Yet not of will in him, but grace in me
Freely vouchsafed; once more I will renew
His lapsed powers, though forfeit; and enthralled
By sin to foul exorbitant desires;
Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand
On even ground against his mortal foe;

line 213
 Say, heavenly Powers, where shall we find such love?
Which of you will be mortal, to redeem
Man's mortal crime, and just the unjust to save?
Dwells in all Heaven charity so dear?
And silence was in Heaven: on man's behalf
He asked, but all the heavenly quire stood mute,
Patron or intercessor none appeared, 
By me upheld, that he may know how frail
His fallen condition is, and to me owe
All his deliverance, and to none but me. 

line 227
Father, thy word is past, man shall find grace; 

line 237
I offer: on me let thine anger fall;
Account me Man; I for his sake will leave
Thy bosom, and this glory next to thee
Freely put off, and for him lastly die
Well pleased; on me let Death wreak all his rage."   

John 1
[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
[2] The same was in the beginning with God.
[3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 

Philippians 2 
[5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 
[6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God
[7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 
[8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 
[9] Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Four Zoas, Night VIII, Page 107 [115], (E 381) 
"And Satan not having the Science of Wrath but only of Pity
Was soon condemnd & wrath was left to wrath & Pity to Pity
Rintrah & Palamabron Cut sheer off from Golgonooza
Enitharmons Moony space & in it Satan & his companions
They rolld down a dim world Crusted with Snow deadly & dark 

Jerusalem pitying them wove them mantles of life & death
Times after times And those in Eden sent Lucifer for their Guard
Lucifer refusd to die for Satan & in pride he forsook his charge
Then they sent Molech Molech was impatient They sent
Molech impatient They Sent Elohim who created Adam
To die for Satan Adam refusd but was compelld to die
By Satans arts. Then the Eternals Sent Shaddai
Shaddai was angry Pachad descended Pachad was terrified
And then they Sent Jehovah who leprous stretchd his hand to Eternity
Then Jesus Came & Died willing beneath Tirzah & Rahab"

Jerusalem, Plate 96, (E 256)
"Jesus said. Wouldest thou love one who never died
For thee or ever die for one who had not died for thee
And if God dieth not for Man & giveth not himself           
Eternally for Man Man could not exist. for Man is Love:
As God is Love: every kindness to another is a little Death
In the Divine Image nor can Man exist but by Brotherhood

So saying. the Cloud overshadowing divided them asunder
Albion stood in terror: not for himself but for his Friend
Divine, & Self was lost in the contemplation of faith
And wonder at the Divine Mercy & at Los's sublime honour"

Jerusalem, Plate 40 [45], (E 188)
"So spoke, unheard by Albion. the merciful Son of Heaven
To those whose Western Gates were open, as they stood weeping
Around Albion: but Albion heard him not; obdurate! hard!      
He frown'd on all his Friends, counting them enemies in his sorrow"

Saturday, July 15, 2017

PARADISE LOST 2

Wikipedia Commons
Illustrations to Milton's Paradise Lost 
Illustration 2
Satan, Sin and Death: Satan Comes to the Gates of Hell 
Paradise Lost
John Milton
Book 2, Beginning line 721
"For never but once more was wither like
To meet so great a foe. And now great deeds
Had been achieved, whereof all Hell had rung,
Had not the snaky Sorceress, that sat
Fast by Hell-gate and kept the fatal key,
Risen, and with hideous outcry rushed between.
Oh father, what intends thy hand, she cried,
Against thy only son? What fury, Oh son,

Possesses thee to bend that mortal dart
Against thy father's head? And know'st for whom?  ...
T' whom thus the portress of Hell-gate replied:
Hast thou forgot me, then; and do I seem
Now in thine eye so foul?, once deemed so fair
In Heaven, when at the assembly, and in sight
Of all the seraphim with thee combined
In bold conspiracy against Heaven's King,

All on a sudden miserable pain
Surprised thee, dim thine eyes and dizzy swum
In darkness, while thy head flames thick and fast
Threw forth, till on the left side opening wide,
Likest to thee in shape and countenance bright,
Then shining heavenly fair, a goddess armed,
Out of thy head I sprung. Amazement seized
All the host of Heaven; back they recoiled afraid
At first, and called me Sin,
and for a sign
Portentous held me; but, familiar grown,
I pleased, and with attractive graces won
The most averse, thee chiefly, who, full oft
Thyself in me thy perfect image viewing,
Becam'st enamored; and such joy thou took'st
With me in secret that my womb conceived
A growing burden.

...
Pensive here I sat
Alone; but long I sat not, till my womb,
Pregnant by thee, and now excessive grown,
Prodigious motion felt and rueful throes.
At last this odious offspring whom thou seest,
Thine own begotten, breaking violent way,
Tore through my entrails, that, with fear and pain
Distorted, all my nether shape thus grew
Transformed: but he my inbred enemy
Forth issued, brandishing his fatal dart,
Made to destroy. I fled, and cried out Death!"


Blake's second illustration to Paradise Lost shows what has been called the 'Unholy Trinity.' Satan, Sin and Death are pictured at the Gate of Hell as Satan tries to exit hell on his journey to disrupt God's intention to create a new level of being called 'man.' Being unwilling to come under the dominion of God, Satan has undertaken to oppose God by launching an attack on man. At the gate of hell Satan encountered two beings whom he did not recognize. Sin was a woman, partly beautiful and alluring, partly grotesque and repelling. Death was an armed and menacing being, although without form or substance. Sin and Death were children of Satan whose conception was so dreadful that Satan has erased it from his memory. When they were identified to Satan, the gate was unlocked and he was allowed to pass out through the Gate of Hell in order to continue on his path to menace the newly created earthly beings.

Milton's scenario did not originate in the Bible. In the book of Genesis, the entry of Death into the world was the result of the fall of Eve and Adam. They were expelled from Eden to prevent them from eating the fruit of the Tree of Life which would have granted Eternal life. Their fate instead would be to return to the earth from which they were made.
 
The first mention of sin occurs later in Genesis in conjunction with Cain's gift being unacceptable to God. There is no mention of Satan in the book of Genesis. 

Genesis 3 
[19] In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return
... 
[22] And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 
[23] Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 
[24] So drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Blake refused to see the physical body made from dust as the true humanity. The death of the body was a release to the Life Eternal. Eternal Death was life on earth in as far as it was lived without consciousness of the Divine.

That which prevented man from living Eternally, although confined to earth, was his Selfhood, Spectre or Satan. It's origin was mental when he first conceived of a distant, punishing God whose love was exclusive. It was not sin which alienated man from God. It was his inability to experience God as good, loving and accessible. 

Jerusalem, Plate 4, (E 146) 
"Of the Sleep of Ulro! and of the passage through 
Eternal Death! and of the awaking to Eternal Life." 
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.

And Milton said. I go to Eternal Death! Eternity shudder'd
For he took the outside course, among the graves of the dead
A mournful shade. Eternity shudderd at the image of eternal death

Then on the verge of Beulah he beheld his own Shadow;
A mournful form double; hermaphroditic: male & female
In one wonderful body. and he enterd into it
In direful pain for the dread shadow, twenty-seven-fold
Reachd to the depths of direst Hell, & thence to Albions land:  
Which is this earth of vegetation on which now I write,"

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

PARADISE LOST 1

Wikipedia Commons
Illustrations to Milton's Paradise Lost 
Butts Set, Illustration 1
Satan Arousing the Rebel Angels 
John Milton wrote 12 books in his epic Paradise Lost. For these 12 books Blake make 12 illustrations. Since Blake could cover only the highlights of Milton's poem in 12 pictures, he choose the most dramatic and revealing scenes as subjects for his illustrations. Milton's narrative does not move in a straight line from beginning to end of his poem since it is dealing with the interaction of time and eternity. Only in the final scene when Adam and Eve were led from the Garden of Eden did the earth as the habitation of man become real. At that point the limits of time and space became the milieu in which humanity was confined.

Milton chose to begin his epic in the midst of action. Satan, one of the heavenly hosts, had already rebelled against God. He had attracted as his followers a third of the angels into a battle against the remaining angels loyal to God. Blake's first illustration pictures Satan and his army after they have been defeated and expelled from heaven. The angels, not being mortal, were alive in hell and suffering regrets. Satan had not accepted defeat but was rousing his troops to further mischief.

When Milton wrote, he was not thinking only of God and the angels who opposed his leadership but of Cromwell (in whose government Milton had served) and the opposing military and political forces which brought down his government. When Blake illustrated, he was thinking also of events in his own times. The American and French revolutions had upended the prevailing order. Napoleon had led his military forces against the governments of Europe and prevailed.

The rebellion of Satan and the war in heaven are mentioned in the Book of Revelation. However as they appear in Paradise Lost, they were invented by Milton as explanations of the entry of evil into the world. In Blake's myth it was the disobedience of Urizen which initiated the appearance of Satan and the fall from heaven of a portion of the starry host.

Revelation
Chapter 12
[1] And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
[2] And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
[3] And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
[4] And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
[5] And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
[6] And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
[7] And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
[8] And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
[9] And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Paradise Lost
John Milton
Book 1, lines 81-127
"To whom the arch-enemy,
And thence in Heaven called Satan, with bold words
Breaking the horrid silence thus began.
If thou beest he; But oh how fallen! how changed
From him, who in the happy realms of light
Clothed with transcendent brightness didst outshine
Myriads though bright: If he whom mutual league,
United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,
Joined with me once, now misery hath joined
In equal ruin: into what pit thou seest
From what heighth fallen, so much the stronger proved
He with his thunder: and till then who knew
The force of those dire arms? yet not for those,
Nor what the Potent Victor in his rage
Can else inflict, do I repent or change,

Though changed in outward luster; that fixed mind
And high disdain, from sense of injured merit,
That with the mightiest raised me to contend,

And to the fierce contention brought along
Innumerable force of spirits armed
That durst dislike his reign, and me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse power opposed
In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,
And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?
All is not lost; the unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?
That glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his power,
Who from the terror of this arm so late
Doubted his empire, that were low indeed,
That were an ignominy and shame beneath
This downfall; since by fate the strength of gods
And this empyreal substance cannot fail,

Since through experience of this great event
In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced,
We may with more successful hope resolve
To wage by force or guile eternal war
Irreconcilable, to our grand Foe,
Who now triumphs, and in the excess of joy
Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven.
So spake the apostate angel, though in pain,
Vaunting aloud, but racked with deep despair:"


Four Zoas, Night V, Page 64, (E 343)
[Urizen speaks]
"My songs are turned to cries of Lamentation              
Heard on my Mountains & deep sighs under my palace roofs         
Because the Steeds of Urizen once swifter than the light
Were kept back from my Lord & from his chariot of mercies

O did I keep the horses of the day in silver pastures
O I refusd the Lord of day the horses of his prince
O did I close my treasuries with roofs of solid stone            
And darken all my Palace walls with envyings & hate

O Fool to think that I could hide from his all piercing eyes
The gold & silver & costly stones his holy workmanship
O Fool could I forget the light that filled my bright spheres
Was a reflection of his face who calld me from the deep          

I well remember for I heard the mild & holy voice
Saying O light spring up & shine & I sprang up from the deep 
He gave to me a silver scepter & crownd me with a golden crown
& said Go forth & guide my Son who wanders on the ocean      

I went not forth. I hid myself in black clouds of my wrath       
I calld the stars around my feet in the night of councils dark
The stars threw down their spears & fled naked away
We fell. I siezd thee dark Urthona In my left hand falling

I siezd thee beauteous Luvah thou art faded like a flower
And like a lilly is thy wife Vala witherd by winds               
When thou didst bear the golden cup at the immortal tables
Thy children smote their fiery wings crownd with the gold of heaven

Four Zoas, Night VIII, Page 101, (E 374)
"Terrified & astonishd Urizen beheld the battle take a form  
Which he intended not a Shadowy hermaphrodite black & opake 
The Soldiers namd it Satan but he was yet unformd & vast
Hermaphroditic it at length became hiding the Male
Within as in a Tabernacle Abominable Deadly

The battle howls the terrors fird rage in the work of death
Enormous Works Los Contemplated inspird by the holy Spirit
Los builds the Walls of Golgonooza against the stirring battle 
That only thro the Gates of Death they can enter to Enitharmon
Raging they take the human visage & the human form

Feeling the hand of Los in Golgonooza & the force
Attractive of his hammers beating & the Silver looms
Of Enitharmon singing lulling cadences on the wind 
They humanize in the fierce battle where in direful pain
Troop by troop the beastial droves rend one another sounding loud
The instruments of sound & troop by troop in human forms they urge

PAGE 102 
The dire confusion till the battle faints those that remain
Return in pangs & horrible convulsions to their beastial state"

    

URTHONA DIVIDED

Yale center for British Art
Jerusalem
Plate 30
There is no definitive creation story in Blake's mythology. In this passage Urthona as imagination can be thought of as the origin of creation. The divisions of Urthona are his Spectre, his Emanation, and Los, the form he takes to work in our world.

The Spectre of Urthona tried to remember what happened as far back as his memory went. He could recall that Los and Enitharmon were born but the exact circumstances escaped him. He knew that he had been changed from the unified, Eternal being who was Urthona to a dark spectre unsure of what was going on. He remembered the life he enjoyed before he was separated from Enitharmon and Los. He told Enitharmon of her own origin which she did not remember. Urthona lamented that he had become 'a slave of that creation I created.'

The exterior world had taken control and would dominate until a way could be found to make the return journey through the closed gates of paradise.

Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 83, (E 359)
"In dark confusion mean time Los was born & Enitharmon
But how I know not then forgetfulness quite wrapd me up
A period nor do I more remember till I stood
Beside Los in the Cavern dark enslavd to vegetative forms    
According to the Will of Luvah who assumed the Place
Of the Eternal Man & smote him. But thou Spectre dark
Maist find a way to punish Vala in thy fiery South
To bring her down subjected to the rage of my fierce boy

PAGE 84 
The Spectre said. Thou lovely Vision this delightful Tree
Is given us for a Shelter from the tempests of Void & Solid
Till once again the morn of ages shall renew upon us
To reunite in those mild fields of happy Eternity
Where thou & I in undivided Essence walkd about     
Imbodied. thou my garden of delight & I the spirit in the garden
Mutual there we dwelt in one anothers joy revolving
Days of Eternity with Tharmas mild & Luvah sweet melodious
Upon our waters. This thou well rememberest listen I will tell
What thou forgettest. They in us & we in them alternate Livd   
Drinking the joys of Universal Manhood. One dread morn
Listen O vision of Delight One dread morn of goary blood
The manhood was divided for the gentle passions making way     
Thro the infinite labyrinths of the heart & thro the nostrils issuing
In odorous stupefaction stood before the Eyes of Man   
A female bright. I stood beside my anvil dark a mass
Of iron glowd bright prepard for spades & plowshares. sudden down
I sunk with cries of blood issuing downward in the veins
Which now my rivers were become rolling in tubelike forms 
Shut up within themselves descending down I sunk along,   
The goary tide even to the place of seed & there dividing
I was divided in darkness & oblivion thou an infant woe
And I an infant terror in the womb of Enion
My masculine spirit scorning the frail body issud forth
From Enions brain In this deformed form leaving thee there   
Till times passd over thee but still my spirit returning hoverd 
And formd a Male to be a counterpart to thee O Love
Darkend & Lost In due time issuing forth from Enions womb
Thou & that demon Los wert born Ah jealousy & woe      
Ah poor divided dark Urthona now a Spectre wandering    
The deeps of Los the Slave of that Creation I created
I labour night & day for Los but listen thou my vision
I view futurity in thee I will bring down soft Vala
To the embraces of this terror & I will destroy
That body I created then shall we unite again in bliss  

Thou knowest that the Spectre is in Every Man insane brutish 
Deformd that I am thus a ravening devouring lust continually
Craving & devouring but my Eyes are always upon thee O lovely
Delusion & I cannot crave for any thing but thee not so      
The spectres of the Dead for I am as the Spectre of the Living   
For till these terrors planted round the Gates of Eternal life
Are driven away & annihilated we never can repass the Gates

PAGE 85 
Astonishd filld with tears the spirit of Enitharmon beheld
And heard the Spectre bitterly she wept Embracing fervent   
Her once lovd Lord now but a Shade herself also a shade
Conferring times on times among the branches of that Tree"
In Jerusalem we read that Enitharmon and Urthona's spectre were taken in by Los in order to enter into Albion. By entering Albion's Central void they could hold for him the Divine Vision which would result in his entering Generation which would be swallowed up in Regeneration.

Jerusalem, Plate 44 [30], (E 193)
"And the Two that escaped; were the Emanation of Los & his
Spectre: for whereever the Emanation goes, the Spectre
Attends her as her Guard, & Los's Emanation is named
Enitharmon, & his Spectre is named Urthona: they knew
Not where to flee: they had been on a visit to Albions Children  
And they strove to weave a Shadow of the Emanation
To hide themselves: weeping & lamenting for the Vegetation
Of Albions Children; fleeing thro Albions vales in streams of gore 

Being not irritated by insult bearing insulting benevolences
They percieved that corporeal friends are spiritual enemies      
They saw the Sexual Religion in its embryon Uncircumcision
And the Divine hand was upon them bearing them thro darkness
Back safe to their Humanity as doves to their windows:
Therefore the Sons of Eden praise Urthonas Spectre in Songs
Because he kept the Divine Vision in time of trouble.            

They wept & trembled: & Los put forth his hand & took them in
Into his Bosom: from which Albion shrunk in dismal pain;
Rending the fibres of Brotherhood & in Feminine Allegories
Inclosing Los: but the Divine Vision appeard with Los
Following Albion into his Central Void among his Oaks.           

And Los prayed and said. O Divine Saviour arise
Upon the Mountains of Albion as in ancient time. Behold!
The Cities of Albion seek thy face, London groans in pain
From Hill to Hill & the Thames laments along the Valleys
The little Villages of Middlesex & Surrey hunger & thirst        
The Twenty-eight Cities of Albion stretch their hands to thee:
Because of the Opressors of Albion in every City & Village:
They mock at the Labourers limbs! they mock at his starvd Children.
They buy his Daughters that they may have power to sell his Sons:
They compell the Poor to live upon a crust of bread by soft mild arts:   
They reduce the Man to want: then give with pomp & ceremony.
The praise of Jehovah is chaunted from lips of hunger & thirst!
Humanity knows not of Sex: wherefore are Sexes in Beulah?
In Beulah the Female lets down her beautiful Tabernacle;
Which the Male enters magnificent between her Cherubim:          
And becomes One with her mingling condensing in Self-love
The Rocky Law of Condemnation & double Generation, & Death.

Albion hath enterd the Loins the place of the Last Judgment:
And Luvah hath drawn the Curtains around Albion in Vala's bosom
The Dead awake to Generation! Arise O Lord, & rend the Veil! 

So Los in lamentations followd Albion, Albion coverd,"
Jerusalem, Plate 7, (E 149)
"Pity must join together those whom wrath has torn in sunder,
And the Religion of Generation which was meant for the destruction
Of Jerusalem, become her covering, till the time of the End.
O holy Generation! [Image] of regeneration!"

Thursday, July 06, 2017

GOLDEN COMPASS 3

Descriptive Catalogue, (E 543) 
"All these things are written in Eden.  
The artist is an inhabitant of that happy country, and if 
every thing goes on as it has begun, the world of vegetation 
and generation may expect to be opened again to Heaven, 
through Eden, as it was in the beginning."

Genesis1
[5] And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
[6] But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
[7] And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
[8] And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

Genesis 3
[22] And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
[23] Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
[24] So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. 

British Museum
Europe
Frontispiece
In Milton's Paradise Lost there were two falls - the first of Lucifer and a group of angels who followed him, and the second of Adam and Eve, the first of the human race, who disobeyed God's command. The first fall to Blake also took place in heaven when Luvah seized the Horses of Light and destroyed the delicate balance among the Four Zoas.  Blake's Ulro (Hell) was created as a result of the first. His Generation (Earth) was created as a result of the second when humanity (Albion) lost the ability to perceive the Divine Vision.
 
Sometime after 1794 Blake's friend Ozias Humphry purchased from him a copy of Europe. On Humphry's copy another friend of Blake, George Cumberland, inscribed quotations from poetry related to the particular plate. On the Frontispiece he wrote a passage from the seventh chapter of Milton's Paradise Lost. Whatever Blake wanted to convey in his picture would have been colored by the influence which Milton had on him. It was inevitable that in the hours Blake spent in coloring copies of the Frontispiece and of separate prints of the image, that his thoughts would have turned to Milton's epic with its accounts of angels and devils, creation and fall, the God of wrath and the God of mercy.   

Blake felt an intense affinity to Milton. The two men struggled to find answers to the same questions. They desired to discern God's ways in order to inform their readers of the reasons that the world which was created good had become so bad.

Milton and Blake sought God's guidance as they entered the Imagination to create their myths.

 
Paradise Lost
Milton
Book I


  • Instruct me, for thou knowest; thou from the first
  • Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread
  • Dove-like satst brooding on the vast abyss
  • And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark
  • Illumine, what is low raise and support;
  • That to the heighth of this great argument
  • I may assert eternal providence,
  • And justify the ways of God to men.

  • Jerusalem, Plate 5, (E 147)
    "Trembling I sit day and night, my friends are astonish'd at me.
    Yet they forgive my wanderings, 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        
    O Saviour pour upon me thy Spirit of meekness & love:
    Annihilate the Selfhood in me, be thou all my life!
    Guide thou my hand which trembles exceedingly upon the rock of ages,
    While I write of the building of Golgonooza, & of the terrors of Entuthon:
    Of Hand & Hyle & Coban, of Kwantok, Peachey, Brereton, Slayd & Hutton:
    Of the terrible sons & daughters of Albion. and their Generations."
    
    This is Milton's creation account as told to Adam by the archangel Michael:
    
    Paradise Lost, Book VII
    "Mean while the Son
    On his great expedition now appeared,
    Girt with Omnipotence, with radiance crowned
    Of Majesty Divine; sapience and love
    Immense, and all his Father in him shone.
    About his chariot numberless were poured
    Cherub, and Seraph, Potentates, and Thrones,
    And Virtues, winged Spirits, and chariots winged
    From the armory of God; where stand of old
    Myriads, between two brazen mountains lodged
    Against a solemn day, harnessed at hand,
    Celestial equipage; and now came forth
    Spontaneous, for within them Spirit lived,
    Attendant on their Lord: Heaven opened wide
    Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound
    On golden hinges moving, to let forth
    The King of Glory, in his powerful Word
    And Spirit, coming to create new worlds.
    On heavenly ground they stood; and from the shore
    They viewed the vast immeasurable abyss
    Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild,
    Up from the bottom turned by furious winds
    And surging waves, as mountains, to assault
    Heaven's heighth, and with the center mix the pole.
     Silence, ye troubled Waves, and thou Deep, peace,
    Said then the Omnific Word; your discord end!
    Nor stayed; but, on the wings of Cherubim
    Uplifted, in paternal glory rode
    Far into Chaos, and the world unborn;
    For Chaos heard his voice: Him all his train
    Followed in bright procession, to behold
    Creation, and the wonders of his might.
    Then staid the fervid wheels, and in his hand
    He took the golden compasses, prepared
    In God's eternal store, to circumscribe
    This universe, and all created things:
    One foot he centered, and the other turned
    Round through the vast profundity obscure;
    And said, Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds,
    This be thy just circumference, Oh World,
    Thus God the Heaven created, thus the Earth,
    Matter unformed and void: Darkness profound
    Covered the abyss: but on the watery calm
    His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread,"
    
     
    In the original state for Blake there was Perfect Unity - no division between God and Man and no divisions within Man. Creation was unnecessary because God included all possibilities.The nature of the forces which brought about the first separation is unknowable but it brought about a cascade of consequences.
    
    
    
    
    Four Zoas, Night I, Page3, (E 300)
     "Four Mighty Ones are in every Man; a Perfect Unity   
    (John XVII c. 21 & 22 & 23 v)
    Cannot Exist. but from the Universal  Brotherhood of Eden 
    (John I c. 14. v)
    
    The Universal Man. To Whom be Glory Evermore Amen       
    
    the Natures of those Living Creatures the Heavenly Father only
    Knoweth no Individual Can know in all Eternity
    
    Los was the fourth immortal starry one, & in the Earth
    Of a bright Universe Empery attended day & night                 
    Days & nights of revolving joy, Urthona was his name
    
    PAGE 4            
    In Eden; in the Auricular Nerves of Human life
    Which is the Earth of Eden, he his Emanations propagated
    Fairies of Albion afterwards Gods of the Heathen, Daughter of Beulah Sing
    His fall into Division & his Resurrection to Unity
    His fall into the Generation of Decay & Death & his Regeneration 
         by the Resurrection from the dead" 
    
    For Blake there was no creation which was not
            also a fall. Since the original state was a Perfect Unity, when divisions began to occur the fall was already in
            progress. 'Heaven and Earth' and 'Let there be Light' imply the
            first divisions. Blake considered that Creation, Fall, and
            Regeneration were occurring continually and simultaneously. However when at the end
            of the Four Zoas, Urthona
            was no longer divided, it was a creative moment of a new
            beginning (Apocalypse.)

    Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 139, (E 407)
    "Urthona is arisen in his strength no longer now
    Divided from Enitharmon no longer the Spectre Los                
    Where is the Spectre of Prophecy where the delusive Phantom
    Departed & Urthona rises from the ruinous walls
    In all his ancient strength to form the golden armour of science
    For intellectual War The war of swords departed now
    The dark Religions are departed & sweet Science reigns           
    
                      End of The Dream"

    Saturday, July 01, 2017

    GOLDEN COMPASS 2

    Genesis 1
    [1] In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    [2] And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
    [3] And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
    [4] And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

    Wikimedia Commons
    from Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge University
    Europe
    Plate 1, Copy K
    When the title 'Ancient of Days' was attached to this image by J T Smith in his Biographical Sketch in 1828 - the year after Blake died - he was seeing it as a representation of God the Creator. He saw that in Blake's image the Creative Being was surrounded by light in the midst of darkness, stirred by the wind, kneeling to reach into the undefined, and carefully using his instrument to define and elucidate his creation. To Blake, God's act of creation was a mercy to give Time and Space to fallen man that he might develop the ability to live in Eden and endure the 'severe contentions of Friendship.'
     

    This image would not have been such a favorite of Blake had it not included the possibility of seeing in it the benevolent God in whose image man was made.        
    Vision of  Last Judgment, (E 563)
      "Many suppose that before the
    Creation All was Solitude & Chaos This is the most pernicious
    Idea that can enter the Mind as it takes away all sublimity from
    the Bible & Limits All Existence to Creation & to Chaos To the
    Time & Space fixed by the Corporeal Vegetative Eye & leaves the
    Man who entertains such an Idea the habitation of Unbelieving
    Demons   Eternity Exists and All things in Eternity Independent of
    Creation which was an act of Mercy" 
    
    Annotations to Lavater, (E 599) 
     "God is in the lowest effects as well as in the highest
    causes for he is become a worm that he may nourish the weak  
         For let it be rememberd that creation is. God descending
    according to the weakness of man for our Lord is the word of God
    & every thing on earth is the word of God & in its essence is God" 
    

    In Willam Blake's Circle of Destiny, by Milton O Percival he states on Page 88:
     

    "In the created world (the Generative world of the myth) the physical universe loses the chaotic character of Ulro and takes on the 'fixed' aspect we now know. Man can no longer transcend time and space at will. He has been given a 'vegetative body' from the limits of which he cannot escape. His spiritual perceptions have been made organic. This was for Blake a cruel provision; yet he sees the placer of limits the remover of limits. Just as the purpose of systems is the ultimate release from all systems, so is the purpose of limits the release from all limits. Los's definite systems lift man out of a world of intellectual chaos. So, too, do the fixed spacial forms reported by organic senses deliver him from the indefinite of matter. Los's 'vegetated' world stands between man and chaos. It is the earth by which he escapes from the abstract hell of his own devising. When the purpose of Los's generative world has been achieved, when in short, the Generative earth shall have passed through its revolution of time, it too, will come to an end. Meanwhile he who frets at mortal limitations may solace himself with the thought that:

    (But whatever is visible to the Generated Man, 
    Is a Creation of mercy & love, from the Satanic Void.)" 
    Milton, Plate 13, (E 157)



    The term 'Ancient of Days' appears only three times in the Bible - all in the seventh chapter of the Book of Daniel. The chapter would have been highly significant to Blake for its presentation of the four great beasts who were overcome by the Ancient of Days. Daniel sees that the everlasting kingdom of the saints of the most High was instituted when the four beasts or kingdoms came to an end. The Zoas were the four great beasts to Blake. Their dominions as competing entities were eliminated to initiate the unified Man who could recognize the God Within who was there from the beginning.
     
    Daniel 7
    [1] In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.
    [2] Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
    [3] And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
    [4] The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.
    [5] And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
    [6] After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
    [7] After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
    [8] I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
    [9] I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
    [10] A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
    [11] I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
    [12] As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
    [13] I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
    [14] And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
    [15] I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
    [16] I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
    [17] These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
    [18] But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
    [19] Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
    [20] And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
    [21] I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
    [22] Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
    [23] Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
    [24] And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
    [25] And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
    [26] But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
    [27] And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
    [28] Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.




    Europe, Plate 2, (E 61)
    "I bring forth from my teeming bosom myriads of flames.
    And thou dost stamp them with a signet, then they roam abroad    
    And leave me void as death:
    Ah! I am drown'd in shady woe, and visionary joy.
    
    And who shall bind the infinite with an eternal band?
    To compass it with swaddling bands? and who shall cherish it
    With milk and honey?                                             
    I see it smile & I roll inward & my voice is past." 
    Book of Urizen, Plate 20, (E 80)  
    
    "7. He form'd a line & a plummet
    To divide the Abyss beneath.
    He form'd a dividing rule:

    8. He formed scales to weigh;
    He formed massy weights;
    He formed a brazen quadrant;
    He formed golden compasses
    And began to explore the Abyss
    And he planted a garden of fruits

    9. But Los encircled Enitharmon
    With fires of Prophecy
    From the sight of Urizen & Orc.

    10. And she bore an enormous race"

    Auguries of Innocence, (E 492)
    "Every Night & every Morn
    Some to Misery are Born 
    Every Morn & every Night
    Some are Born to sweet delight
    Some are Born to sweet delight
    Some are Born to Endless Night
    We are led to Believe a Lie 
    When we see not Thro the Eye                                    t
    Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night
    When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light
    God Appears & God is Light
    To those poor Souls who dwell in Night 
    But does a Human Form Display
    To those who Dwell in Realms of day"
    
    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."  

    Entrance to GE Building in New York City