Thursday, February 21, 2019

FIRST VISION

British Museum
Small Book of Designs
From Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Milton Klonsky's book William Blake, The Seer and His Visions, published in 1977, approaches the study of Blake from his own unique position as do each of us. Klonsky was the product of his time and his environment and wrote with the zeal of one immersed in the dawning of a new age.

W. C. Bamberger on the blog named Zoamorphosis tells us that:

"Klonsky was a classic 'Village Intellectual' who set out to know everything interesting there was to know—about drugs, drink, poetry, politics, and most memorably, the great poet artist William Blake. And, further, to combine all this in unexpected ways, give it some topspin, and serve it back with style."

Klonsky began his book with a striking account of his 'first and only' use of LSD. Were it not for the role that Blake's poetry played in that experience it would not have had such a profound impact on Klonsky.
On page 8 of Klonsky's book he relates the consequences of his 'trip' as opening him to a new way of seeing and an alteration of his awareness of time and eternity:  

"My 'trip', I knew, would last from five to six hours...but suppose it were to take fifty years, sixty, a whole lifetime? What then? As if existence itself were a more subtly corrosive kind of acid, consuming and flaying us, almost unawares, from within and without, to whose pangs we gradually become accustomed until the end. It occurred to me then, as I lurched and plodded off the beach, that this is what Blake must have meant when he wrote: 'Time is the mercy of Eternity; without Times swiftness/Which is the swiftest of all things: all were eternal torment':
...
"Looking back now I can recall neither visions nor apparitions, disembodied genii nor spirits out of the vasty deep - unless, perhaps, that of Blake himself, whom I invoked to preside over the scene. What I saw instead ('As the Eye,' said Blake, 'such the Object') was the world as I had always conceived it to be, the only 'real' reality of matter reduced to minuter and minuter particles in a space-time expanding to infinity-eternity, no more no less,  according to the scientific dispensation of Newton & Einstein, but which I had never perceived so 'im-mediativtely' and 'into-it-ively' until then."

These are the passages from Blake which were incorporated in Klonsky's intense LSD experience:
Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 14, (E 39)
 "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would
appear  to man as it is: infinite.
   For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro'
narrow chinks of his cavern."

Songs of Experience, Introduction, (E 18)
"Turn away no more:
Why wilt thou turn away
The starry floor
The watry shore
Is giv'n thee till the break of day."

Auguries of Innocence, (E 490)
"To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour"

Milton, Plate 17, (E 110) 
"The Mundane Shell, is a vast Concave Earth: an immense
Hardend shadow of all things upon our Vegetated Earth
Enlarg'd into dimension & deform'd into indefinite space,
In Twenty-seven Heavens and all their Hells; with Chaos
And Ancient Night; & Purgatory. It is a cavernous Earth
Of labyrinthine intricacy,"

Milton, Plate 24 [26], (E 121)
"Time is the mercy of Eternity; without Times swiftness
Which is the swiftest of all things: all were eternal torment:"  
_________________
In addition W. C. Bamberger has this to say about Klonsky's  involvement with Blake:
"Blake intoxicates Klonsky, helps him look at the world with sustained energy, and from new perspectives - with the added benefit of avoiding the damaging effects of less literary and artistic drugs."

"Such perception, Klonsky points out, 'must be personal. . .  [Has] to be seen by himself alone. There can be no other eyewitness.'"

Letters, To Rev Trusler, (E 701)
But I
hope that none of my Designs will be destitute of Infinite
Particulars which will present themselves to the Contemplator. 
And tho I call them Mine   I know that they are not Mine being of
the same opinion with Milton when he says That the Muse visits
his Slumbers & awakes & governs his Song when Morn purples The
East. & being also in the predicament of that prophet who says  I
cannot go beyond the command of the Lord to speak good or bad 

Letters, To Thomas Butts, (E 712)
"To my Friend Butts I write
     My first Vision of Light
     On the yellow sands sitting
     The Sun was Emitting
     His Glorious beams
     From Heavens high Streams
     Over Sea over Land
     My Eyes did Expand
     Into regions of air
     Away from all Care
     Into regions of fire
     Remote from Desire
     The Light of the Morning
     Heavens Mountains adorning
     In particles bright
     The jewels of Light
     Distinct shone & clear--
     Amazd & in fear
     I each particle gazed
     Astonishd Amazed
     For each was a Man
     Human formd.  Swift I ran
     For they beckond to me
     Remote by the Sea
     Saying.  Each grain of Sand
     Every Stone on the Land
     Each rock & each hill
     Each fountain & rill
     Each herb & each tree
     Mountain hill Earth & Sea
     Cloud Meteor & Star
     Are Men Seen Afar"

Monday, February 18, 2019

OPENING THE GATES

Wikimedia Commons
Laocoon
Blake's wide ranging comments on Art, Life, Creation, Good and Evil are contained on this print. You can greatly enlarge the image by right-clicking on picture and opening in a new window.

Joseph Campbell shared with Blake a desire to open the minds of men to a perception of the infinite. We find in The Flight of the Wild Gander his thoughts on breaking through the mental resistance to becoming open to 'immediate, unmitigated, perfectly direct experience'.

The Flight of the Wild Gander:

"In the simplest of terms, I think we might say that when a situation or phenomenon evokes in us a sense of existence (instead of some reference to the possibility of an assurance of meaning) we have an experience of this kind. The sense of existence may be shallow or profound, more of less intense, accordance to our capacity or readiness; but even a brief shock...can yield an experience of no-mind: that is to say, the poetical order, the order of art. When this occurs, our own reality-reality-beyond-meaning is awakened (or perhaps better: we are awakened to out own reality-beyond-meaning), and we experience an affect which is neither thought nor feeling but an interior impact...[We] have had, for an instant, a sense of existence: a moment of unevaluated, unimpeded, lyric life - antecedent to both language and feeling; such can never be communicated empirically verifiable propositions, but only suggested by art."  (Page 186) 

Campbell thought that man was capable of making a quantum leap in consciousness as had been achieved to reach our current level of development which gave us the ability to build a civilization based on cities, agriculture, and institutions. To move to a higher development the individual consciousness would turn inward and use the imagination to create art which was an expression of existence on the other side of silence. There is no map to guide man into unexplored territory; his inner knowing must overcome his trepidation.

The Flight of the Wild Gander:

"[W]ith the rise of the modern scientific method of research in the sixteenth and seventh centuries, and development in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth of the power driven machine, the human race was brought across a culture threshold...outdated bronze and iron age heritages give place to forms not imagined. And that they are giving place surely is clear. "Man is condemned," as Sartre says, 'to be free." ... For there is, in fact, in quiet places, a great deal of spiritual quest and finding...by ones and twos, there entering the forest at those points which they themselves have chosen, where they see it to be most dark, and there is no path or way." (Page 225)
No Natural Religion, (E 2)
"None could have other than natural or organic thoughts if
he had none but organic perceptions"

Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 12, (E 38)
"Isaiah answer'd. I saw no God. nor heard any, in a finite
organical perception; but my senses discover'd the infinite in
every thing, and as  I was then perswaded. & remain confirm'd;
that the voice of honest indignation is the voice of God, I cared
not for consequences but  wrote."

Visions of Daughters of Albion, Plate 4, (E 48)
"Thou knowest that the ancient trees seen by thine eyes have fruit;
But knowest thou that trees and fruits flourish upon the earth
To gratify senses unknown? trees beasts and birds unknown:       
Unknown, not unpercievd, spread in the infinite microscope,
In places yet unvisited by the voyager. and in worlds
Over another kind of seas, and in atmospheres unknown:
Ah! are there other wars, beside the wars of sword and fire!
And are there other sorrows, beside the sorrows of poverty!      
And are there other joys, beside the joys of riches and ease?
And is there not one law for both the lion and the ox?
And is there not eternal fire, and eternal chains?
To bind the phantoms of existence from eternal life?
Then Oothoon waited silent all the day. and all the night" 

Milton, Plate 32 [36], (E 132)
"Judge then of thy Own Self: thy Eternal Lineaments explore       
What is Eternal & what Changeable? & what Annihilable!

The Imagination is not a State: it is the Human Existence itself
Affection or Love becomes a State, when divided from Imagination
The Memory is a State always, & the Reason is a State
Created to be Annihilated & a new Ratio Created                  
Whatever can be Created can be Annihilated   Forms cannot"

On Virgil, (E 270)
"Mathematic Form is Eternal in the Reasoning Memory.  Living
Form is Eternal Existence."

Four Zoas, Night II, PAGE 24, (E 314) 
"Mighty was the draught of Voidness to draw Existence in"

Four Zoas, Night IV, Page 87 (E 369)
"Los trembling answerd Now I feel the weight of stern repentance
Tremble not so my Enitharmon at the awful gates    
Of thy poor broken Heart I see thee like a shadow withering
As on the outside of Existence but look! behold! take comfort!
Turn inwardly thine Eyes & there behold the Lamb of God
Clothed in Luvahs robes of blood descending to redeem
O Spectre of Urthona take comfort O Enitharmon   
Couldst thou but cease from terror & trembling & affright
When I appear before thee in forgiveness of ancient injuries  
Why shouldst thou remember & be afraid. I surely have died in pain
Often enough to convince thy jealousy & fear & terror
Come hither be patient let us converse together because  
I also tremble at myself & at all my former life"

Annotations to Lavater, (E 594)
"Lavater: Sense seeks and finds the thought; the thought seeks
and finds genius.
Blake: & vice. versa. genius finds thought without seekg & thought
thus, producd finds sense

Lavater: The poet, who composes not before the moment of
inspiration, and as that leaves him ceases--composes, and he
alone, for all men, all classes, all ages.
Blake: Most Excellent

Lavater: He, who has frequent moments of complete existence,
is a hero, though not laurelled, is crowned, and without crowns,
a king: he only who has enjoyed immortal moments can reproduce
them.
Blake: O that men would seek immortal moments   O that men would
converse with God"

Laocoon, (E 273)
"The Eternal Body of Man is The IMAGINATION.
The whole Business of Man Is The Arts & All Things Common
The Old & New Testaments are the Great Code of Art
Jesus & his Apostles & Disciples were all Artists
SCIENCE is the Tree of DEATH
ART is the Tree of LIFE  GOD is JESUS

Prayer is the Study of Art
Praise is the Practise of Art
Fasting &c. all relate to Art
The outward Ceremony is Antichrist
Without Unceasing Practise nothing can be done" 

Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 86, (E 368) 
"Los furious answerd. Spectre horrible thy words astound my Ear
With irresistible conviction I feel I am not one of those 
Who when convincd can still persist. tho furious. controllable
By Reasons power. Even I already feel a World within
Opening its gates & in it all the real substances
Of which these in the outward World are shadows which pass away
Come then into my Bosom & in thy shadowy arms bring with thee   
My lovely Enitharmon. I will quell my fury & teach
Peace to the Soul of dark revenge & repentance to Cruelty

So spoke Los & Embracing Enitharmon & the Spectre
Clouds would have folded round in Extacy & Love uniting"
. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

IMAGINATIVE ART


British Museum
Compositions from the Works Days and Theogony of Hesiod
Modesty and Justice returning to heaven
Engraved by William Blake after John Flaxman
At the age of ten Blake enrolled in drawing school. At the age of thirteen he began his apprenticeship as an engraver. At twenty-two he completed his apprenticeship and began study at the Royal Academy Schools. He was well prepared to earn his living as a professional engraver which he did for the rest of his life. He is remembered, however, for his poetry, his illuminated books and his philosophical and psychological insights. His craft of engraving allowed him to express his creative intellect in ways worthy of his talent. 

Blake had the gift of seeing beyond the natural world perceived by the senses -  a characteristic which was not unique although unusual if not cultivated. But his ability to communicate what he saw in words and pictures, has not often been duplicated. It is no wonder that he was not recognized by his contemporaries when he presented visions of a world they could not apprehend. If generations following his develop a level of consciousness adequate to apprehend beyond the limits of materiality, they will find a treasure trove in Blake's work to expand the dimensions of their world. 

Kathleen Raine saw that Blake as well as other poets and artists had a 'perception of the infinite' although they were out of favor with the dominant culture. They are preserving the essential knowledge, held in trust since ancient times, which will allow humanity to be transformed into a full, clear and true reflection of the Divine in whose image man is created.    
From Defending Ancient Springs by Kathleen Raine, Page 160:

"Demotic art ('paint the warts') dwells upon the blemishes the eye sees; imaginative art reflects 'the true man', 'To which all lineaments tend and seek with love and sympathy', as Blake said. Imaginative poetry alone has a real function to perform; for the pseudo-arts of realism perform no function beyond the endless reporting of the physical world; which quantitative science (whose proper function it is) can do very much better. But true poetry has the power of transforming consciousness itself by holding before us icons, images of forms only partially and superficially realized in 'ordinary life'."

Page 165
"Blake had read Plotinus on the Beautiful, and seems to be echoing his very images when he answers those critics who objected to his representation of spiritual essences with real bodies that they would do well to consider that the Venus, the Minerva, the Jupiter and the Apollo, which they admire in Greek statues are all of the representations of spiritual existences, of gods immortal to the mortal and perishing organs of sight. And yet they are embodied and organized in solid marble. Plato, Plotinus and all who have followed their doctrine have known that to copy from a mental form, an idea, is to come nearer to perfection than to copy nature; which is itself only a reflection, image or imprint of an anterior pattern. The artist must look to the original not the copy."


Jerusalem, Plate 38 [41], (E 184)
"Then Los grew furious raging: Why stand we here trembling around
Calling on God for help; and not ourselves in whom God dwells
Stretching a hand to save the falling Man: are we not Four
Beholding Albion upon the Precipice ready to fall into Non-Entity:
Seeing these Heavens & Hells conglobing in the Void. Heavens over Hells
Brooding in holy hypocritic lust, drinking the cries of pain 
From howling victims of Law: building Heavens Twenty-seven-fold.
Swelld & bloated General Forms, repugnant to the Divine-
Humanity, who is the Only General and Universal Form         
To which all Lineaments tend & seek with love & sympathy
All broad & general principles belong to benevolence
Who protects minute particulars, every one in their own identity."
Descriptive Catalogue, (E 531)
"No man can believe that either Homer's Mythology, or Ovid's,
were the production of Greece, or of Latium; neither will any one
believe, that the Greek statues, as they are called, were
the invention of Greek Artists; perhaps the Torso is the only
original work remaining; all the rest are evidently copies,
though fine ones, from greater works of the Asiatic Patriarchs.
The Greek Muses are daughters of Mnemosyne, or Memory, and not of
Inspiration or Imagination, therefore not authors of such sublime
conceptions.  Those wonderful originals seen in my visions, were
some of them one hundred feet in height; some were painted as
pictures, and some carved as basso relievos, and some as groupes
of statues, all containing mythological and recondite meaning,
where more is meant than meets the eye."

Public Address, PAGE 59, (E 574)
     "Men think they can Copy Nature as Correctly  as I copy 
Imagination this they will find Impossible. & all the Copies or
Pretended Copiers
of Nature from Rembrat to Reynolds Prove that Nature becomes
tame to its Victim nothing but Blots & Blurs.  Why are
Copiers of Nature Incorrect while Copiers of Imagination are
Correct this is manifest to all"

Public Address, (E 578) 
"Countrymen Countrymen do not suffer yourselves to be disgracd

The English Artist may be assured that he is doing an injury
& injustice to his Country while he studies & imitates the
Effects of Nature.  England will never rival Italy while we
servilely copy. what the Wise Italians Rafael & Michael Angelo
scorned nay abhorred as Vasari tells us

     Call that the Public Voice which is their Error
     Like as a Monkey peeping in a Mirror
     Admires all his colours brown & warm
     And never once percieves his ugly form

What kind of Intellects must he have who sees only the Colours of
things & not the Forms of Things" 
Descriptive Catalogue, (E 544)  
"It will be necessary for the Painter to say
something concerning his ideas of Beauty, Strength and Ugliness.
  The Beauty that is annexed and appended to folly, is a
lamentable accident and error of the mortal and perishing life;
it does but seldom happen; but with this unnatural mixture the
sublime Artist can have nothing to do; it is fit for the
burlesque.  The Beauty proper for sublime art, is lineaments, or
forms and features that are capable of being the receptacles of
intellect; accordingly the Painter has given in his beautiful
man, his own idea of intellectual Beauty.  The face and limbs
that deviates or alters least, from infancy to old age, is the
face and limbs of greatest Beauty and perfection."

Annotations to Reynolds, (E 648)
 "Knowledge of Ideal Beauty. is Not to be Acquired It is Born
with us Innate Ideas. are in Every Man Born with him. they are
truly Himself.  The Man who says that we have No Innate Ideas
must be a Fool & Knave.  Having No Con-Science or Innate
Science" 

Annotations to Reynolds, (E 541)
"The connoisseurs and artists who have made objections to
Mr. B.'s mode of representing spirits with real bodies, would do
well to consider that the Venus, the Minerva, the Jupiter, the
Apollo, which they admire in Greek statues, are all of them
representations of spiritual existences of God's immortal, to
the mortal perishing organ of sight; and yet they are embodied
and organized in solid marble.  Mr. B. requires the same latitude
and all is well.  The Prophets describe what they saw in Vision
as real and existing men whom they saw with their imaginative and
immortal organs; the Apostles the same; the clearer the organ the
more distinct the object.  A Spirit and a Vision are not, as the 
modern philosophy supposes, a cloudy vapour or a
nothing: they are organized and minutely articulated beyond all
that the mortal and perishing nature can produce.  He who does
not imagine in stronger and better lineaments, and in stronger
and better light than his perishing mortal eye can see does not
imagine at all.  The painter of this work asserts that all his
imaginations appear to him infinitely more perfect and more
minutely organized than any thing seen by his
mortal eye.  Spirits are organized men:"

Monday, February 11, 2019

CREATIVE FANTASY

Wikipedia Commons
Milton's Mysterious Dream,
Watercolor Illustration to Milton's L'Allegro and Il Penseroso
Since the unconscious is an aspect of the mind to which the conscious mind has little access, there is difficulty in discerning its content. If an individual behaves in a way which is inconsistent with the values to which he consciously ascribes, he may be under the control of unconscious forces which are unacceptable to the society in which he lives. The apostle Paul said, "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." If a person is seeking to understand why he fails to measure up to the standards which he consciously sets for himself, he may find some answers in myth and dreams for these are ways the unconscious makes itself known to the conscious mind.

By seeking to understand what messages are conveyed to his own psyche by dreams and myth one learns to assimilate a broader range of experience which applies to him and to the world consciousness to which he belongs.

Kathleen Raine on Page 126 of Defending Ancient Springs quoted Jung as recalling 'the unending myth of death and rebirth, and of the multitudinous figures who weave in and out of this mystery': 

"Of this story no single life can realize more than a part; but beneath our individual experience is the pooled experience of our inheritance, Jung's 'collective unconscious' which discloses itself so he says, only through the medium of creative fantasy. 'It comes alive in the creative man, it reveals itself in the vision of the artist, in the inspiration of the thinker, in the inner experience of the mystic.' the mythologies of all races are its embodiment; the psychologists are newcomers in a field long known to the poets; a fact they are apt to forget.
...
Dreams resemble myths in their personification and symbolic forms and enactments; and the knowledge which myths and dreams alike mediate and embody is not conceptual knowledge; in symbols the soul can speak, but not the discursive reason. Explanations come afterwards and are far less fundamental; one has only to think of the countless expositions given some myth, which always survives these attempts to throw light upon its mystery. But the sign of the initiate of the ancient Mysteries was the finger laid upon the lips, the sign of silence. The Mysteries cannot be divulged because they elude verbal formulation."

Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Song 41, (E 24)
"The Angel  

I Dreamt a Dream! what can it mean?
And that I was a maiden Queen:
Guarded by an Angel mild:
Witless woe, was ne'er beguil'd!

And I wept both night and day
And he wip'd my tears away
And I wept both day and night
And hid from him my hearts delight

So he took his wings and fled:
Then the morn blush'd rosy red:
I dried my tears & armed my fears,
With ten thousand shields and spears,

Soon my Angel came again;
I was arm'd, he came in vain:
For the time of youth was fled            
And grey hairs were on my head." 
Europe, Plate 9, (E 62)
"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!"

Milton, Plate 15 [17], (E 109)
"As when a man dreams, he reflects not that his body sleeps,
Else he would wake; so seem'd he entering his Shadow: but
With him the Spirits of the Seven Angels of the Presence
Entering; they gave him still perceptions of his Sleeping Body;
Which now arose and walk'd with them in Eden, as an Eighth   
Image Divine tho' darken'd; and tho walking as one walks
In sleep; and the Seven comforted and supported him.

Like as a Polypus that vegetates beneath the deep!
They saw his Shadow vegetated underneath the Couch
Of death: for when he enterd into his Shadow: Himself:           
His real and immortal Self: was as appeard to those
Who dwell in immortality, as One sleeping on a couch
Of gold; and those in immortality gave forth their Emanations
Like Females of sweet beauty, to guard round him & to feed
His lips with food of Eden in his cold and dim repose!           

But to himself he seemd a wanderer lost in dreary night."

Friday, February 08, 2019

MAKING OF MYTH

Wikimedia Commons
Mercy and Truth Are Met Together
Although when we read Blake's poetry we may be most aware of the particular characters and images which we encounter, that is not all there is to it. The minutiae may be thought of as the instrumentality which serves the myth as a whole. But the myth itself also means more, for like all myth, it is pointing beyond itself to truth that cannot be expressed in words. Although we may wish that Blake's thoughts should be unequivocally stated so that we could read Jerusalem in the way that we read the newspaper, that is impossible. It is up to the reader to make his own intuitive contribution by fitting the parts into a whole which may be elusive.  

Kathleen Raine on page 135 of Defending Ancient Springs expresses the artistry of the poet who has the gift of being a vehicle for presenting the moment when eternity penetrates time and renovates the whole:

"So for Yeats the vision of what lies behind the veil came in glimpses, seldom in whole symbolic episodes, still less in myths which unfold like those of Blake, into great epic drama enacted in an interior country within whose spaces we move freely. The unit of such poetry is not the symbol. Myths are not built by adding piece by piece, they are not the sum of symbolic parts. The unit of the myth is the whole enactment, and all its figures; each symbol exists as a part within that imaginative unity, from which it is inseparable, and by which it is determined; as a sentence determines words, and is not merely their sum.
...in every turbulent encounter with the mighty form of his Zoas, we recognize parts within a great whole whose harmony is implicit. The ability to handle the units of myth - which might be defined as dynamic symbol, symbol in transformation - ought to be recognized as the supreme poetic gift. In such poetry the symbolic parts are inseparable from the imaginative configuration and constellations within which they appear...we do not think of these as separate symbols but as parts of the world in which the poem moves, as we move in nature. Yer considered separately each symbol is used with the precision of words in a language of which the poet has perfect mastery."


Milton, Plate 5, (E 98) 
"While the Females prepare the Victims. the Males at Furnaces 
And Anvils dance the dance of tears & pain. loud lightnings
Lash on their limbs as they turn the whirlwinds loose upon
The Furnaces, lamenting around the Anvils & this their Song

Ah weak & wide astray! Ah shut in narrow doleful form
Creeping in reptile flesh upon the bosom of the ground      
The Eye of Man a little narrow orb closd up & dark
Scarcely beholding the great light conversing with the Void
The Ear, a little shell in small volutions shutting out
All melodies & comprehending only Discord and Harmony
The Tongue a little moisture fills, a little food it cloys  
A little sound it utters & its cries are faintly heard
Then brings forth Moral Virtue the cruel Virgin Babylon

Can such an Eye judge of the stars? & looking thro its tubes
Measure the sunny rays that point their spears on Udanadan
Can such an Ear filld with the vapours of the yawning pit.  
Judge of the pure melodious harp struck by a hand divine?
Can such closed Nostrils feel a joy? or tell of autumn fruits
When grapes & figs burst their covering to the joyful air
Can such a Tongue boast of the living waters? or take in
Ought but the Vegetable Ratio & loathe the faint delight     
Can such gross Lips percieve? alas! folded within themselves
They touch not ought but pallid turn & tremble at every wind

Thus they sing Creating the Three Classes among Druid Rocks    
Charles calls on Milton for Atonement. Cromwell is ready
James calls for fires in Golgonooza. for heaps of smoking ruins  
In the night of prosperity and wantonness which he himself Created
Among the Daughters of Albion among the Rocks of the Druids"

Milton, Plate 31 [34], (E 130)
"Thou hearest the Nightingale begin the Song of Spring;
The Lark sitting upon his earthy bed: just as the morn
Appears; listens silent; then springing from the waving Corn-field! loud
He leads the Choir of Day! trill, trill, trill, trill,
Mounting upon the wings of light into the Great Expanse:
Reecchoing against the lovely blue & shining heavenly Shell:
His little throat labours with inspiration; every feather
On throat & breast & wings vibrates with the effluence Divine    
All Nature listens silent to him & the awful Sun
Stands still upon the Mountain looking on this little Bird

With eyes of soft humility, & wonder love & awe.
Then loud from their green covert all the Birds begin their Song
The Thrush, the Linnet & the Goldfinch, Robin & the Wren         
Awake the Sun from his sweet reverie upon the Mountain:
The Nightingale again assays his song, & thro the day,
And thro the night warbles luxuriant; every Bird of Song
Attending his loud harmony with admiration & love.
This is a Vision of the lamentation of Beulah over Ololon!       

Thou percievest the Flowers put forth their precious Odours!
And none can tell how from so small a center comes such sweets 
Forgetting that within that Center Eternity expands
Its ever during doors, that Og & Anak fiercely guard[.]
First eer the morning breaks joy opens in the flowery bosoms     
Joy even to tears, which the Sun rising dries; first the Wild Thyme
And Meadow-sweet downy & soft waving among the reeds.
Light springing on the air lead the sweet Dance: they wake
The Honeysuckle sleeping on the Oak: the flaunting beauty
Revels along upon the wind; the White-thorn lovely May           
Opens her many lovely eyes: listening the Rose still sleeps    
None dare to wake her. soon she bursts her crimson curtaind bed
And comes forth in the majesty of beauty; every Flower:
The Pink, the Jessamine, the Wall-flower, the Carnation
The Jonquil, the mild Lilly opes her heavens! every Tree,        
And Flower & Herb soon fill the air with an innumerable Dance
Yet all in order sweet & lovely, Men are sick with Love!
Such is a Vision of the lamentation of Beulah over Ololon"

Jerusalem, Plate 3, (E 145)
    "Reader! [lover] of books! [lover] of heaven,
    And of that God from whom [all books are given,]
    Who in mysterious Sinais awful cave
    To Man the wond'rous art of writing gave,
    Again he speaks in thunder and in fire!                
    Thunder of Thought, & flames of fierce desire:
    Even from the depths of Hell his voice I hear,
    Within the unfathomd caverns of my Ear.
    Therefore I print; nor vain my types shall be:
    Heaven, Earth & Hell, henceforth shall live in harmony" 

Poetical Sketches, SONG, (E 413)
"Love and harmony combine,
And around our souls intwine,
While thy branches mix with mine,
And our roots together join.

Joys upon our branches sit,    
Chirping loud, and singing sweet;
Like gentle streams beneath our feet
Innocence and virtue meet.

Thou the golden fruit dost bear,
I am clad in flowers fair;    
Thy sweet boughs perfume the air,
And the turtle buildeth there.

There she sits and feeds her young,
Sweet I hear her mournful song;
And thy lovely leaves among,
There is love: I hear his tongue.   

There his charming nest doth lay,
There he sleeps the night away;
There he sports along the day,
And doth among our branches play." 

Annotations to Reynolds, (E 659)
 "Demonstration Similitude & Harmony are Objects of Reasoning 
Invention Identity & Melody are Objects of Intuition" 

Monday, February 04, 2019

SPIRITUAL SENSE

British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night thoughts
William Blake and Crabb Robinson attempted to communicate with one another but there was a language barrier between them. Blake's mind was occupied by a perception of the infinite and he could only speak the language of allusion, metaphor and reference to the non-material. Joseph Campbell had a similar problem with an interviewer who insisted that myth was a lie. Campbell demonstrated to him the difference between a simile and a metaphor to show that metaphoric thought can't be contained in prosaic speech.

Irene Langridge in her book William Blake: A Study of His Life and Art Work, published in 1904, used a conversation between Blake and Robinson to shed light the use of natural speech and spiritual speech. Natural speech approaches a subject from the exterior: to speak at a spiritual level one must enter into the subject and speak from the relationship which one establishes. 

Here are quotes from page 64 of William Blake: A Study of His Life and Art Work:
"In Blake’s conversations with Crabb Robinson, this mystic view of Christ is very apparent. “On my asking,” writes Mr. Robinson, “in what light he viewed the great questions of the duty of Jesus,” he said, “He is the only God. But then,” he added, “and so am I, and so are you.”
 
Keeping this point in view,—Blake’s belief in the identity of the Spirit of God behind all phenomena, the homogeneous character of the great creative Energy or Imagination expressing Itself through various forms and organisms,—another extract from Crabb Robinson’s diary will help us still nearer home to Blake’s point of view. He writes: “In the same tone, he said repeatedly, ‘The Spirit told me.’ I took occasion to say, ‘You express yourself as Socrates used to do. What resemblance do you suppose there is between your spirit and his?’ ‘The same as between our countenances.’ He paused and added, ‘I was Socrates,’ and then, as if correcting himself, ‘a sort of brother. I must have had conversations with him. So I had with Jesus Christ. I have an obscure recollection of having been with both of them.’ I suggested on philosophic grounds the impossibility of supposing an immortal being created an a parte post without an a parte ante. His eye brightened at this, and he fully concurred with me. ‘To be sure, it is impossible. We are all co-existent with God, members of the Divine Body. We are all partakers of the Divine Nature.’”
 
The latter words seem as ordinary and orthodox as on first reading his assertion that he was Socrates seems wild and mad. But all Blake really meant (and I think Crabb Robinson only half took his meaning) was, that the vegetative universe being a mere shadow, so are the accidents of personality, the age one is born into, the organic form which incloses the spirit. So his personality and that of Socrates, their imprisonment in the “vegetative” life were differences of no account, being transitory. But he and Socrates were one (or at least related) at the point where their spirits (the eternal verity) touched, and melted each into the other.
 
He understood the Bible in its spiritual sense. As to the natural sense, “Voltaire was commissioned by God to expose that. I have had much intercourse with Voltaire, and he said to me, ‘I blasphemed the Son of Man, and it shall be forgiven me, but they (the enemies of Voltaire) blasphemed the Holy Ghost in me, and it shall not be forgiven them.’” This affords an instance of the manner in which Blake intuitively probed beneath the appearance, and divined the spirit beneath, discarding the fact or body with which it clothed itself. " 

Laocoon, (E 275) 
"If Morality was Christianity Socrates was the Saviour"
Description of Last Judgment, (E 554)
"The Hebrew Bible & the Gospel of
Jesus are not Allegory but Eternal Vision or Imagination of All
that Exists <Note here that Fable or Allegory is Seldom without
some Vision Pilgrims Progress is full of it   the Greek Poets the
same but Allegory & Vision ought 
to be known as Two Distinct Things & so calld for the Sake of
Eternal Life   Plato has made Socrates say that Poets & Prophets do
not Know or Understand what they write or Utter   this is a most
Pernicious Falshood.    If they do not pray [it] is an inferior Kind to
be calld Knowing    Plato confutes himself"

Letters, To Butts, (E 730)
"Thus I hope that all our three years trouble Ends in
Good Luck at last & shall be forgot by my affections & only
rememberd by my Understanding to be a Memento in time to come &
to speak to future generations by a Sublime Allegory which is now
perfectly completed into a Grand Poem[.] I may praise it since I
dare not pretend to be any other than the Secretary the Authors
are in Eternity I consider it as the Grandest Poem that This
World Contains.  Allegory addressd to the Intellectual powers
while it is altogether hidden from the Corporeal Understanding is
My Definition of the Most Sublime Poetry. it is also somewhat in
the same manner defind by Plato.  This Poem shall by Divine
Assistance be progressively Printed & Ornamented with Prints &
given to the Public--But of this work I take care to say little
to Mr H. since he is as much averse to my poetry as he is to a
Chapter in the Bible"

ON HOMERS POETRY, (E 269)            
"Every Poem must necessarily be a perfect Unity, but why Homers is
peculiarly so, I cannot tell: he has told the story of
Bellerophon & omitted the judgment of Paris which is not only a
part, but a principal part of Homers subject
  But when a Work has Unity it is as much in a Part as in the
Whole. the Torso is as much a Unity as the Laocoon
  As Unity is the cloke of folly so Goodness is the cloke of
knavery  Those who will have Unity exclusively in Homer come out
with a Moral like a sting in the tail: Aristotle says Characters
are either Good or Bad: now Goodness or Badness has nothing to do
with Character. an Apple tree a Pear tree a Horse a Lion, are
Characters but a Good Apple tree or a Bad, is an Apple tree
still: a Horse is not more a Lion for being a Bad Horse. that is
its Character; its Goodness or Badness is another consideration.
  It is the same with the Moral of a whole Poem as with the Moral Goodness
of its parts Unity & Morality, are secondary considerations &
belong to Philosophy & not to Poetry, to Exception & not to Rule,
to Accident & not to Substance. the Ancients calld it eating of
the tree of good & evil.
  The Classics, it is the Classics! & not Goths nor Monks, that
Desolate Europe with Wars."

John 19
[6] When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
[7] The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
[8] When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;
[9] And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.
[10] Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
[11] Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
[12] And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.

.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

REGENERATION

Wikipedia Commons
Gates of Paradise
Frontispiece
Four Archetypes, by C. G. Jung includes a chapter titled Concerning Rebirth. In introducing the chapter Jung made these statements on page 50:
"Rebirth is not a process that we can in any way observe. We can neither measure, weigh or photograph it. It is entirely beyond sense perception. We have to do here with a purely psychic reality.
...
Rebirth is an affirmation that must be counted among the primordial affirmations of mankind...There must be psychic events underlying these affirmations which it is the business of psychology to discuss...Two main groups of experience may be distinguished: that of the transcendence of life, and that of one's own transformation." 

Blake did not use the term rebirth for the transformation of consciousness he advocated. He preferred to write of 'annihilation of the selfhood' or 'awaking' or 'regeneration' as his metaphors for the renovation of perception which transforms the individual. Images of rebirth permeate Blake's writing and although he seldom used the terminology of traditional religion, the transformation he sought was synonymous with that sought by Jesus as he taught and demonstrated in his ministry. 

The alteration of the mind of man may come as sudden insight, but the actual transformation is the process which begins with preparation and continues with restructuring relationships and patterns of behavior. Blake wrote of fundamental activities taking place deep within that oriented man to be ready to grasp the truth which was offered when he was ready to receive. Blake saw the position in which man found himself, however dreadful, as opportunity to invite the transforming power to enter and renovate every moment - past, present and future - because it is recognized as Eternal.



Milton, Plate 35 [39], (E 136)
"There is a Moment in each Day that Satan cannot find
Nor can his Watch Fiends find it, but the Industrious find
This Moment & it multiply. & when it once is found
It renovates every Moment of the Day if rightly placed.      
In this Moment Ololon descended to Los & Enitharmon
Unseen beyond the Mundane Shell Southward in Miltons track" 
Four Zoas, Night I, Page 3, (E 301)
"His fall into Division & his Resurrection to Unity
His fall into the Generation of Decay & Death & his Regeneration 
     by the Resurrection from the dead" 
Four Zoas, Night IV, Page 55, (E 338)
"And first he found the Limit of Opacity & namd it Satan
In Albions bosom for in every human bosom these limits stand     
And next he found the Limit of Contraction & namd it Adam
While yet those beings were not born nor knew of good or Evil

Then wondrously the Starry Wheels felt the divine hand. Limit 
Was put to Eternal Death Los felt the Limit & saw
The Finger of God touch the Seventh furnace in terror            
And Los beheld the hand of God over his furnaces
Beneath the Deeps in dismal Darkness beneath immensity
PAGE 55 (SECOND PORTION) 
In terrors Los shrunk from his task. his great hammer           
Fell from his hand his fires hid their strong limbs in smoke
For with noises ruinous   hurtlings & clashings & groans 
The immortal endur'd. tho bound in a deadly sleep
Pale terror siezd the Eyes of Los as he beat round              
The hurtling Demon. terrifid at the shapes
Enslavd humanity put on he became what he beheld
He became what he was doing he was himself transformd"

Jerusalem, Plate 39 [44], (E 186)
"From Hyde Park spread their vegetating roots beneath Albion
In dreadful pain the Spectrous Uncircumcised Vegetation

Forming a Sexual Machine: an Aged Virgin Form,           
In Erins Land toward the north, joint after joint & burning
In love & jealousy immingled & calling it Religion
And feeling the damps of death they with one accord delegated Los
Conjuring him by the Highest that he should Watch over them
Till Jesus shall appear: & they gave their power to Los       
Naming him the Spirit of Prophecy, calling him Elijah"
 
Milton, Plate 25 [27], (E 122)
 "The Awakener is come. outstretchd over Europe! the Vision of God is fulfilled
The Ancient Man upon the Rock of Albion Awakes,
He listens to the sounds of War astonishd & ashamed;
He sees his Children mock at Faith and deny Providence          
Therefore you must bind the Sheaves not by Nations or Families
You shall bind them in Three Classes; according to their Classes
So shall you bind them. Separating What has been Mixed
Since Men began to be Wove into Nations by Rahab & Tirzah
Since Albions Death & Satans Cutting-off from our awful Fields;  
When under pretence to benevolence the Elect Subdud All
From the Foundation of the World."

Jerusalem, Plate 94, (E 254)
"Time was Finished! The Breath Divine Breathed over Albion
Beneath the Furnaces & starry Wheels and in the Immortal Tomb
And England who is Brittannia awoke from Death on Albions bosom 
She awoke pale & cold she fainted seven times on the Body of Albion"

Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Song 54, (E 31) 
"The Voice of the Ancient Bard.  

Youth of delight come hither:
And see the opening morn,
Image of truth new born.
Doubt is fled & clouds of reason.
Dark disputes & artful teazing."

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 132, (E 402)
"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." 

Jerusalem, Plate 7, (E 150)
"O that I could abstain from wrath! O that the Lamb
Of God would look upon me and pity me in my fury.                
In anguish of regeneration! in terrors of self annihilation:
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!            
O point of mutual forgiveness between Enemies!
Birthplace of the Lamb of God incomprehensible!"

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 137, (E 405)
"Then Los who is Urthona rose in all his regenerate power"
. 

Monday, January 28, 2019

LIMITED & ETERNAL

British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts


Near the end of his final book, Jung reached some conclusions on the ultimate questions facing man.

From C. G. Jung's Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Page 325:
"The decisive question for man is this: Is he related to something infinite or not?
...
The more a man lays stress on false possessions, the less sensitivity he has for what is essential, the less satisfying is his life. He feels limited because he has limited aims, and the result is envy and jealousy. If we understand and feel that there is in this life a link with the infinite, desires and attitudes change.
...
Only consciousness of our narrow confinement in the self forms the link to the limitlessness of the unconscious. In such awareness we experience ourselves concurrently as limited and eternal, as both the one and the other."


Perhaps Blake would have quibbled if he had heard Jung's statement that man breaks through to awareness of the unity of the limited and the eternal, through consciousness of his constraints. But both men were struggling to reconcile the poles of a paradox. Man experiences himself as divided, as living in two worlds - the sordid world of the survival of the fittest, and the divine world of innocence where 'all things work together for good.' One which imprisons him in time and space and one which invites him to soar in his imagination.

Reconciling the opposite poles of the dilemma may have come more naturally to Blake because he spoke the language of poetry whereas Jung spoke the language of science. Blake provided us with first hand images in metaphor and pictures to facilitate the experience of reconciliation. Jung analyzed dreams and myths for the material that supported ideas and concepts which he formulated intellectually.   


All Religions are One, (E 1)
 "The Religions of all Nations are derived from
each Nations different reception of the Poetic Genius which is
every where call'd the Spirit of Prophecy."
All Religions are One, (E 1)
  As all men are alike (tho' infinitely various) So
all Religions & as all similars have one source 
  The true Man is the source he being the Poetic Genius

There is No Natural Religion, (E 2)
  The desire of Man being Infinite the possession is Infinite
& himself Infinite
     Conclusion,   If it were not for the Poetic or Prophetic
character. the Philosophic & Experimental would soon be at the
ratio of all things & stand still, unable to do other than repeat
the same dull round over again
     Application.   He who sees the Infinite in all things sees
God.  He who sees the Ratio only sees himself only.
 Therefore God becomes as we are, that we may be as he is"

Marriage of Heaven and Hell,Plate 13, (E 39)
 "I then asked Ezekiel. why he eat dung, & lay so long on his
right  & left side? he answerd. the desire of raising other men
into a  perception of the infinite" 
Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 14, (E 39)
 "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would
appear  to man as it is: infinite.
   For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro'
narrow chinks of his cavern."

Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 18, (E 41)
"By degrees we beheld the infinite Abyss, fiery as the smoke 
of a burning city; beneath us at an immense distance was the sun,
black but shining[;] round it were fiery tracks on which revolv'd
vast spiders, crawling after their prey; which flew or rather
swum in the infinite deep, in the most terrific shapes of animals
sprung from corruption. & the air was full of them, & seemd
composed of them; these are Devils. and are called Powers of the
air, I now asked my companion which was my eternal lot? he said,
between the black & white spiders 
  But now, from between the black & white spiders a cloud and
fire burst and rolled thro the deep blackning all beneath, so
that the nether deep grew black as a sea & rolled with a terrible
noise: beneath us was nothing now to be seen but a black tempest,
till looking east between the clouds & the waves, we saw a
cataract of blood mixed with fire and not many stones throw from
us appeard and sunk again the scaly fold of a monstrous serpent.
at last to the east, distant about three degrees appeard a fiery
crest above the waves slowly it reared like a ridge of golden
rocks till we discoverd two globes of crimson fire. from which
the sea fled away in clouds of smoke, and now we saw, it was the
head of Leviathan. his forehead was divided into streaks of green
& purple like those on a tygers forehead: soon we saw his mouth &
red gills hang just above the raging foam tinging the black deep
with beams of blood, advancing toward [PL 19] us with all the
fury of a spiritual existence.
  My friend the Angel climb'd up from his station into the mill;
I remain'd alone, & then this appearance was no more, but I found
myself sitting on a pleasant bank beside a river by moon light
hearing a harper who sung to the harp. & his theme was, The man
who never alters his opinion is like standing water, & breeds
reptiles of the mind." 
. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

THE SPIRIT



Wikimedia Commons
Christ in the Sepulcher Guarded by Angels
Here are statements about spirit from Page 88 of Four Archetypes, by C. G. Jung:
"In keeping with its original wind-nature, spirit is always an active, winged, swift-moving being as well as that which vivifies, stimulates, incites, fires, and inspires. To put it in modern language, spirit is the dynamic principle, forming for that very reason the classical antithesis of matter - the antithesis, that is, of its stasis and inertia. Basically it is the contrast between life and death.
...
The special development of man's idea of spirit rests on the recognition of that its invisible presence is a psychic phenomenon, i.e., one's own spirit and that this consists not only of uprushes of life but formal products too. Among the first, the most prominent are the images and shadowy presentations which occupy out inner field of vision: among the second, thinking and reason, which organize the world of images. In this way a transcendent spirit superimposed itself upon the original, natural life-spirit, and even swung over to the opposite position, as though the latter were merely naturalistic. The transcendent spirit became the supernatural and transmudane cosmic principle of order and as such was given the name of 'God,' or at least it became an attribute of the One Substance (as in Spinoza) or as one person of the Godhead (as in Christianity.)" 

Jung emphasized that the archetype spirit has both a bright side and a dark side which can overwhelm the psyche. He states " the archetype of the spirit is capable of working for good as well as for evil, but it depends on man's free will - i.e., conscious - decision whether the good will also be perverted into something satanic." Blake seems to have preferred to use the word spirit for the benevolent force whose goal is always to bring together what is divided, to shed light in dark places and to replace suffering with joy.

To Blake the Spirit was a subjective experience abiding within humanity. Unless an individual can conceive of a reality which is not a material object accessible to the senses, the spiritual world will be inaccessible to him. Blake realized that it was not through his sense perception that he had a connection with a dimension of reality which was more expansive, more enriching and more encompassing than the natural world. He knew that spiritual perception was available to everyone who sought it but that few took advantage of its benefits. Blake's gifts were unique but his ability to use the gifts which he had received created an avenue for others to realize their own gifts, to claim them, and to put them into the service of the spiritual world into which they opened.

Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 5, (E 35)
"How do you know but ev'ry Bird that cuts the airy way,
   Is an immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses five?"

Milton, PLATE 40 [46], (E 141)
"I see thee strive upon the Brooks of Arnon. there a dread
And awful Man I see, oercoverd with the mantle of years.   
I behold Los & Urizen. I behold Orc & Tharmas;
The Four Zoa's of Albion & thy Spirit with them striving
In Self annihilation giving thy life to thy enemies"

Milton, Plate 40 [46], (E 142)
"The Negation is the Spectre; the Reasoning Power in Man
This is a false Body: an Incrustation over my Immortal           
Spirit; a Selfhood, which must be put off & annihilated alway
To cleanse the Face of my Spirit by Self-examination."

Jerusalem, Plate 3, (E 145)
    "The Spirit of Jesus is continual forgiveness of Sin: he who
waits to be righteous before he enters into the Saviours kingdom,
the Divine Body; will never enter there."

Jerusalem, Plate 5, (E 147)
"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,"

Jerusalem, Plare 27, (E 173)
 "Come to my arms & never more
Depart; but dwell for ever here:         
  Create my Spirit to thy Love:
Subdue my Spectre to thy Fear,"

Jerusalem, Plate 74, (E 229)
"The Spectre is the Reasoning Power in Man; & when separated      
From Imagination, and closing itself as in steel, in a Ratio
Of the Things of Memory. It thence frames Laws & Moralities
To destroy Imagination! the Divine Body, by Martyrdoms & Wars

Teach me O Holy Spirit the Testimony of Jesus! let me
Comprehend wonderous things out of the Divine Law" 

Four Zoas, Night VIII, Page 100, (E 374) 
"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" 

Descriptive Catalogue, (E 541)
"A Spirit and a Vision are not, as the 
modern philosophy supposes, a cloudy vapour or a
nothing: they are organized and minutely articulated beyond all
that the mortal and perishing nature can produce."

Letters, to Hayley,(E 705)
"Thirteen years ago.  I lost a
brother & with his spirit I  converse daily & hourly in the
Spirit.  & See him in my remembrance in the  regions of my
Imagination.  I hear his advice & even now write from his
Dictate--Forgive me for expressing to you my Enthusiasm which I
wish all to  partake of Since it is to me a Source of Immortal
Joy even in this world by it  I am the companion of Angels."

Four Zoas, Night VII, PAGE 84,(E 359)
"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
...
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"

Four Zoas, Night IX, PAGE 117, (E 386)
"And Los & Enitharmon builded Jerusalem weeping       
Over the Sepulcher & over the Crucified body
Which to their Phantom Eyes appear'd still in the Sepulcher
But Jesus stood beside them in the Spirit Separating
Their Spirit from their body. Terrified at Non Existence 
For such they deemd the death of the body. Los his vegetable hands
Outstretchd his right hand branching out in fibrous Strength
Siezd the Sun. His left hand like dark roots coverd the Moon
And tore them down cracking the heavens across from immense to immense
Then fell the fires of Eternity with loud & shrill 
Sound of Loud Trumpet thundering along from heaven to heaven
A mighty sound articulate Awake ye dead & come
To judgment from the four winds Awake & Come away"

Everlasting Gospel,(E 520)
"Thou also dwellst in Eternity       
Thou art a Man God is no more
Thy own humanity learn to adore
For that is my Spirit of Life
Awake arise to Spiritual Strife"

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

SPIRIT & IMAGINATION

Fitzwilliam Museum
The Ascension

Although both Blake and Jung elevated imagination to a position of importance, the perspectives from which they considered it were different. Jung, the scientist, considered imagination from an analytic perspective. Blake used extravagant language in his poetry to present the immediate experience of the imagination which Jung described. Both realized that spirit and imagination are closely allied but Blake considered imagination to be essential to living as a human.

Jung's primary interest was the psyche and he tended to view the spirit in relationship to psychological development. Blake saw the spirit as primary: the Zoas were meant to serve the spirit which was eternal and immortal. Jung was reticent about overstating the role of the spirit in humanity's development but he paid homage to it as a source of creativity.

Four Archetypes, by C. G. Jung, Page 90:

"The hallmarks of spirit are firstly, the principle of spontaneous movement and activity; secondly the spontaneous capacity to produce images independently of sense perception; and thirdly the autonomous and sovereign manipulation of these images. The spiritual entity approaches primitive man from outside; but with increasing development gets lodged in man's consciousness and becomes a subordinate function, thus apparently forfeiting its original character of autonomy. That character is retained only in the most conservative views, namely in religion. The descent of spirit into the sphere of human consciousness is expressed in the myth of the divine vous [mind] caught in the embrace of tvous [form ?]. This process continuing over the ages, is probably an unavoidable necessity, and the religious would find themselves in a very forlorn situation if they believed in the attempt to hold up evolution. Their task, if they are well advised, is not to impede the ineluctable march of events, but to guide it in such a way that it can proceed without fatal injury to the soul...He himself did not create the spirit, rather the spirit makes him creative."
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 555)
"This World of Imagination is
Infinite & Eternal whereas the world of Generation or Vegetation
is Finite & Temporal"
Milton, Plate 10 [11], (E 104)
"The nature of a Female Space is this: it shrinks the Organs
Of Life till they become Finite & Itself seems Infinite."
Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 12, (E 38)
 "Isaiah answer'd. I saw no God. nor heard any, in a finite
organical perception; but my senses discover'd the infinite in
every thing, and as  I was then perswaded. & remain confirm'd;
that the voice of honest indignation is the voice of God, I cared
not for consequences but  wrote."
Europe, Plate 10, (E 63)
"Thought chang'd the infinite to a serpent; that which pitieth:   
To a devouring flame; and man fled from its face and hid
In forests of night; then all the eternal forests were divided
Into earths rolling in circles of space, that like an ocean rush'd
And overwhelmed all except this finite wall of flesh.            
Then was the serpent temple form'd, image of infinite
Shut up in finite revolutions, and man became an Angel;
Heaven a mighty circle turning; God a tyrant crown'd." 
Milton, Plate 32 [35], (E 131) 
"The Imagination is not a State: it is the Human Existence itself
Affection or Love becomes a State, when divided from Imagination" 
Jerusalem, Plate 77, (E 231)
"Imagination the real & eternal World of which this Vegetable
Universe is but a faint shadow & in which we shall live in our
Eternal or Imaginative Bodies, when these Vegetable Mortal Bodies
are no more.  The Apostles knew of no other Gospel.  What were
all their spiritual gifts? What is the Divine Spirit? is the Holy
Ghost any other than an Intellectual Fountain? What is the
Harvest of the Gospel & its Labours? What is that Talent which it
is a curse to hide? What are the Treasures of Heaven which we are
to lay up for ourselves, are they any other than Mental Studies &
Performances? What are all the Gifts. of the Gospel, are they not
all Mental Gifts? Is God a Spirit who must be worshipped in
Spirit & in Truth and are not the Gifts of the Spirit Every-thing
to Man? O ye Religious discountenance every one among
you who shall pretend to despise Art & Science! I call upon you
in the Name of Jesus! What is the Life of Man but Art & Science?
is it Meat & Drink? is not the Body more than Raiment? What is
Mortality but the things relating to the Body, which Dies? What
is Immortality but the things relating to the Spirit, which Lives
Eternally! What is the joy of Heaven but Improvement in the
things of the Spirit? What are the Pains of Hell but Ignorance,
Bodily Lust, Idleness & devastation of the things of the
Spirit?" 
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Sunday, January 20, 2019

CONTRARY ENERGIES

Wikipedia Commons Jerusalem Plate 84

In Four Archetypes, Carl Jung provides some of his insights into his understanding of the operation of opposite polarities in psycho dynamics. Blake and Jung were both exploring the inner realities for which we use the term psyche. For this reason they tended to use a common terminology but with either glaring or subtle differences. Neither expected to be able to describe the workings of the psyche in rational terms.
 
Blake might agree with Jung's statement on page 150 of Four Archetypes:
"The concepts of complex Psychology are, in essence, not intellectual formulations but names for certain areas of experience, and though they can be described they remain dead and irrepresentable to anyone who has not experienced them."

On page 40 Jung speaks of the origin of 'paired opposites' as a result of getting in touch with the 'secret fear' hidden in the unconscious. He associates the process with an experience of resolution which is so personal that words cannot capture it.
 
Page 40
"one identifies whenever there is a secret fear to be exorcised. What is feared is the unconscious and its magical influence. ...It is a psychological fact that a soon as we touch on these identifications we enter the realm of the syzgies, the paired opposites, where the One is never separated from the Other, its antithesis. It is field of personal experience which leads directly to the experience of individuation, the attainment of the self...This realm is so entirely one of immediate experience that it cannot be captured by any formula, but can only be hinted at to one who already knows."
Jung states that the fundamental organization of the psyche is based on polarity. Opposites form the poles in the energy system which drives the psyche. We cannot say anything about the psyche other than what the psyche is saying about itself. What we learn from the psyche is true even if to the reason it contradicts itself.
 
Page 149
 "The conflict between the two dimensions of consciousness is simply an expression of the polaristic structure of the psyche, which like any other energy system is dependent on the tension of opposites. That is why there is no general psychological propositions which could not just as well be reversed: indeed reversibility proves their validity. We should remember that in any psychological discussion we are not saying anything about the psyche, but the psyche is speaking about itself."
We are familiar with Blake's contrary states as characteristic of the level of existence called Beulah which is basically the domain of Luvah and Vala. Damon tell us that it is "the realm of the Subconscious ... the source of poetic inspiration and dreams."
 
These passages from Blake indicate the fundamental position which he perceived to indicate the work of contraries. Like Jung he thinks that working out the relationships between contraries is necessary in order to understand the dynamics of the human psyche. The work goes on in the depths of the mind as well as in the place where life is experienced externally. 'Love Pity and Sweet Compassion' form the milieu in which the reconciliation of contraries is accomplished. The contraries must be brought together in order that additional battles within the psyche can be undertaken and resolved. Beulah is provided as a protected place of repose until the Soul awakes to further realizations.
 
Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 3, (E 34)
"Without Contraries is no progression.  Attraction and
Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to
Human existence.
  From these contraries spring what the religious call Good &
Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason[.] Evil is the active 
springing from Energy.
  Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell."
Milton, Plate 30 [33], (E 129)  
"There is a place where Contrarieties are equally True
This place is called Beulah, It is a pleasant lovely Shadow
Where no dispute can come. Because of those who Sleep.
Into this place the Sons & Daughters of Ololon descended
With solemn mourning into Beulahs moony shades & hills           
Weeping for Milton: mute wonder held the Daughters of Beulah
Enrapturd with affection sweet and mild benevolence

Beulah is evermore Created around Eternity; appearing
To the Inhabitants of Eden, around them on all sides.
But Beulah to its Inhabitants appears within each district       
As the beloved infant in his mothers bosom round incircled
With arms of love & pity & sweet compassion. But to
The Sons of Eden the moony habitations of Beulah,
Are from Great Eternity a mild & pleasant Rest."

Milton, Plate 48, (E 196)
"Eternity groan'd. & was troubled, at the image of Eternal Death!

Beneath the bottoms of the Graves, which is Earths central joint,
There is a place where Contrarieties are equally true:
(To protect from the Giant blows in the sports of intellect,     
Thunder in the midst of kindness, & love that kills its beloved:
Because Death is for a period, and they renew tenfold.)
From this sweet Place Maternal Love awoke Jerusalem 
With pangs she forsook Beulah's pleasant lovely shadowy Universe
Where no dispute can come; created for those who Sleep."