|Yale Center for British Art|
[Jerusalem to Vala] "When Albion rent thy beautiful net of gold and silver twine; Thou hadst woven it with art, thou hadst caught me in the bands Of love; thou refusedst to let me go: Albion beheld thy beauty Beautiful thro' our Love's comeliness, beautiful thro' pity. The Veil shone with thy brightness in the eyes of Albion, Because it inclosd pity & love; because we lov'd one-another! Albion lov'd thee! he rent thy Veil! he embrac'd thee! he lov'd thee! Astonish'd at his beauty & perfection, thou forgavest his furious love: I redounded from Albions bosom in my virgin loveliness. The Lamb of God reciev'd me in his arms he smil'd upon us: He made me his Bride & Wife: he gave thee to Albion. Then was a time of love: O why is it passed away! Then Albion broke silence and with groans reply'd
Plate 21 O Vala! O Jerusalem! do you delight in my groans You O lovely forms, you have prepared my death-cup"The God of Eternity may manifest as light or some abstract principle of benevolence, but the mind refuses to see the transcendent God as an object or material entity (the old man in the sky.) Jesus took on the image of God as a physical man who lived and worked and loved in the world which we experience. Blake developed the image of Jerusalem to represent the spiritual nature of God which is accessible to man in this world. Blake saw Jerusalem as the Emanation of Albion (all of mankind). She is the ethereal but active force which takes on the pain and suffering which results from the divisions within the Divine Body. At one point in the book named for her, she became the bride of Jesus, indicating that the reconciling of the contraries had been accomplished. The mind had become capable of being aware of contrary entities without assigning value: without eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Albion could not awake without incorporating Jerusalem, his emanation, into his total being. When Albion retired into his long sleep, Jerusalem wandered the streets expressing compassionate self-sacrifice. The awakened Albion called upon Jerusalem to awake and resume her Eternal form which integrated and unified 'all nations' in a shared consciousness.
Jerusalem, Plate 96, (E 256) "Do I sleep amidst danger to Friends! O my Cities & Counties Do you sleep! rouze up! rouze up. Eternal Death is abroad So Albion spoke & threw himself into the Furnaces of affliction All was a Vision, all a Dream: the Furnaces became Fountains of Living Waters Howing from the Humanity Divine And all the Cities of Albion rose from their Slumbers, and All The Sons & Daughters of Albion on soft clouds Waking from Sleep Soon all around remote the Heavens burnt with flaming fires And Urizen & Luvah & Tharmas & Urthona arose into Albions Bosom: Then Albion stood before Jesus in the Clouds Of Heaven Fourfold among the Visions of God in Eternity Plate 97 Awake! Awake Jerusalem! O lovely Emanation of Albion Awake and overspread all Nations as in Ancient Time For lo! the Night of Death is past and the Eternal Day Appears upon our Hills: Awake Jerusalem, and come away So spake the Vision of Albion & in him so spake in my hearing The Universal Father."The wisdom of Jerusalem is forgiveness and compassion; it is tolerance and inclusion. Los held before himself a vision of Jerusalem as he walked among his furnaces attempting to open the return path to Eternity for mankind. His vision included a reflection of all the beauty and love of Eternity as well as the history of God's relationship with humanity.
Jerusalem, Plate 86, (E 244)
"I see thy Form O lovely mild Jerusalem, Wingd with Six Wings In the opacous Bosom of the Sleeper, lovely Three-fold In Head & Heart & Reins, three Universes of love & beauty Thy forehead bright: Holiness to the Lord, with Gates of pearl Reflects Eternity beneath thy azure wings of feathery down Ribbd delicate & clothd with featherd gold & azure & purple From thy white shoulders shadowing, purity in holiness! Thence featherd with soft crimson of the ruby bright as fire Spreading into the azure Wings which like a canopy Bends over thy immortal Head in which Eternity dwells Albion beloved Land; I see thy mountains & thy hills And valleys & thy pleasant Cities Holiness to the Lord I see the Spectres of thy Dead O Emanation of Albion. Thy Bosom white, translucent coverd with immortal gems A sublime ornament not obscuring the outlines of beauty Terrible to behold for thy extreme beauty & perfection Twelve-fold here all the Tribes of Israel I behold Upon the Holy Land: I see the River of Life & Tree of Life I see the New Jerusalem descending out of Heaven Between thy Wings of gold & silver featherd immortal Clear as the rainbow, as the cloud of the Suns tabernacle Thy Reins coverd with Wings translucent sometimes covering And sometimes spread abroad reveal the flames of holiness Which like a robe covers: & like a Veil of Seraphim In flaming fire unceasing burns from Eternity to Eternity Twelvefold I there behold Israel in her Tents A Pillar of a Cloud by day: a Pillar of fire by night Guides them: there I behold Moab & Ammon & Amalek There Bells of silver round thy knees living articulate Comforting sounds of love & harmony & on thy feet Sandals of gold & pearl, & Egypt & Assyria before me The Isles of Javan, Philistea, Tyre and Lebanon Thus Los sings upon his Watch walking from Furnace to Furnace."William Blake's Circle of Destiny, by Milton O Percival, provides a succinct statement of the Emanation's contribution to wholeness:
"His Emanations are the fine flowering of life, the 'loves and graces' of the unfallen Albion. They are the sum total of the spirit's manifestation.
In union with her masculine source - the proper relation of the contraries undisturbed - the Emanation provides a 'con-centering vision,' whereby faith in the unity of all life is maintained. The mind, having in this state a sympathetic and intuitive understanding of the Emanation (the life of the world of manifestation), accepts the body and its energies - all of them - and knows them to be good. Enion and Jerusalem remain intact. God is seen in his works. Man and his universe are one." (Page 98)