Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Jung developed a technique he called 'active imagination' which put him in touch with facets of his inner world.

You might say that Blake had experienced altered states of consciousness by exploring his inner world. Blake seems to be applying an understanding of various states of consciousness when describing Milton's entry into multiple levels of awareness of inner and outer realities.

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."

Blake talks about the dream state, the waking state, consciousness of the Shadow, awareness of the inner guide or protector, and becoming conscious of the 'immortal Self' (which Jung call the Self). Finally there is recognition of the Emanations or Jung's Anima.
Wikipedia CommonsIllustrations to the Book of Job
Linnell Set, Page 11
Job's Evil Dreams
Blake portrays another dream state in the Book of Job, Plate 11.

According to Edinger in Encounter with the Self, this picture illustrates Job's remark in the Book of Job, 7:13-14:

"If I say, 'My bed will comfort me,
my couch will soothe my pain,'
you frighten me with dreams
and terrify me with visions."

Aspects of Job's unconscious of which he was previously unaware have been activated. Likewise the scene in Milton portrays the activation of facets of his unconscious which will play a role in Milton's exploration of his psychic depths as the poem unfolds.

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