Friday, February 12, 2010

Blake & Revelation I

David Bindman in William Blake: His Art and
Times: 
"Uninitiated Christians mistakenly worship
the creator, as if he were God; they
believed in Christ as the one who would
save them from sin, and who they believed
had risen bodily from the dead: they
accepted him by faith, but without
understanding the mystery of his nature”
or their own. But those who had gone on to
receive the gnosis had come to recognize
Christ as the one sent from the Father,
whose coming reveled to them that their
own nature was identical with his and
with God's . . . Those who lacked
spiritual inspiration envied those who
spoke out in public at the worship service
and who spoke in prophecy, taught, and
healed others.

William Blake, noting such different
portraits of Jesus in the New Testament,
sided with the one the Gnostics preferred
against "the vision of Christ that all men
see":

The vision of Christ that thou dost see is
my visions deepest enemy...  Thine is the
friend of all Mankind, mine speak in
parables to the blind:
Thine loves the same world that mine
hates, thy Heavens doors are my Hell gates
. . .  Both read the Bible day and night
but thou read'st black where I read white
. . .
Seeing this False Christ, in fury and
passion, I made my Voice heard all over
the Nation. . . .

The apocalyptic and revolutionary nature
of Blake's beliefs, as he well knew,
rendered normal publication of his
Prophetic works virtually impossible, for
their denunciation of the social order was
unlikely to be encouraged by its
beneficiaries and upholders . . .

I rest not from my great task!  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.
 
 The real question here is what did Blake think of Christ.

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