Monday, December 07, 2009

Annihilate the Selfhood

We hear about this from Blake only after his conversion
to Christianity; it was a consequence of the Moment of Grace.

Blake spent his youth denouncing the 'Enemy': an
oppressive political and economic conspiracy against
Albion--its tool, the 'State Church' (all churches in
fact), exploitation of the poor, the Art merchants
who approved only commercial art (they had dealt with
Blake like the Pharisees dealt with Jesus), and
finally the misguided help of a 'corporeal friend'.

Jerusalem, Plate 76

After all this came the Moment when he heard the voice:
"thou ram horn'd with gold", and he knew himself accepted
and used by the Eternal Powers that abide after all the
above has passed away. Here's where he was at that point
in his journey through life, and the system with which he
reported it.

He came to see that the 'Enemy' was within (we have met
the enemy, and he is Us). He 'came to himself', he
confessed his sins. Henceforth the annihilation of his selfhood (Jerusalem 5, line 23) and the power of Forgiveness became his chief motifs. The old, old story was told again.