Sunday, January 24, 2010

BLAKE'S HERO

Albion Rose - Blakes's inscription: 'Albion rose from where he labourd at the Mill with Slaves / Giving himself for the Nations he danc'd the dance of Eternal Death'.

"...myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestations." Joseph Campbell

It is interesting to observe the parallels visible between the mythological tradition and Blake's created myth. Here we have Joseph Campbell showing how the same concepts of fall and return which we encounter in Blake's poetry pervade the hero story.

From Joseph Campbell's, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Page 259:

"'For,' as Jesus states it, 'behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.' Indeed, the lapse of superconsciousness into the state of unconsciousness is precisely the meaning of the Biblical image of the Fall. The constriction of consciousness, to which we owe the fact that we see not the source of the universal power but only the phenomenal forms reflected from that power, turns superconsciousness into unconsciousness and, at the same time creates the world. Redemption consists in the return to superconsciousness and therewith the dissolution of the world. This is the great image and theme of the cosmogonic cycle, the mythical image of the world's coming into manifestation and subsequent return into the nonmanifest condition. Equally, the birth, life, and death of the individual may be regarded as a descent into unconsciousness and return. The hero is the one who, while still alive, knows and represents the claim of the superconsciouness which throughout creation is more or less unconscious. The adventure of the hero represents the moment in his life when he achieved illumination - the nuclear moment when, while still alive, he found and opened the road to the light beyond the dark walls of our living death."...
"In any case, they are telling metaphors of the destiny of man, man's hope, man's faith, and man's dark mystery."

These are the processes of the human mind or of life as we experience it: analysis and synthesis (Chemistry), differentiation and integration (Mathematics), destruction and construction (Architecture), death and birth (Biology).

As Blake describes the breaking apart and bringing together and we join in the experience, hopefully we can focus as much on the synthesis as on the analysis.

Here Blake portrays Los as the Hero:
Jerusalem, Plate 38, (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."

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