Thursday, November 05, 2009


In reading Blake we may be reminded of the popular phrase 'deja vu, all over again.' Blake is trying to involve us in a process of relinquishing errors, of being melted down and remolded by Los into forms which can live the Imaginative life. Blake recognizes that becoming the selves we are meant to be, is not a one or two step process but involves multi-steps. The process he describes involves putting off errors by allowing them to take form and be recognized as error. When the error is shown to be unproductive, to be a determent to living as we want to live, we are better able to deal with it. We find that some errors repeatedly return, requiring us to expose them to the light more than once. In Blake's myth, Los is patient, casting forms into the furnace through 'six thousand years,' so that the the material can be hammered into the Human or Divine shape.

Los at His Furnace

In Vision of the Last Judgment (E562), Blake states:
"All Life consists of these Two Throwing off Error <& Knaves
from our company> continually
& recieving Truth
Continually. he who is out of the Church &
opposes it is

no less an Agent of Religion than he who is in it. to be an Error
& to be Cast out is a part of Gods Design No man can Embrace
True Art till he has Explord & Cast out False Art or he will be
himself Cast out by those

who have Already Embraced True Art Thus My Picture is a
History of Art & Science [& its] Which is Humanity itself. What
are all the Gifts of the

Spirit but Mental Gifts whenever any Individual Rejects Error &
Embraces Truth a Last Judgment passes upon that Individual"
Here is a quote from a Jungian psychologist, Rodney Ravenswood, which reflects Blakean themes of undergoing the changes necessary for transformation.

"To the extent that the persona is founded upon processes of denial it must eventually be shed/shattered in order to make way for any real growth in the personality. This is as true of the collective persona of national identity as it is of the individual self image. If the persona is to realise its potential to be that through which one's more authentic nature sounds (persona = to sound through), it must be grounded in an embrace and dialogue with the shadow as inner other."

Link to Ravenswood

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