Thursday, April 08, 2010


This is one of several accounts of the fall from Eternity which caused or resulted from the division of the psyche (or of the Eternal Man.)

Four Zoas, Page 21, (E 311)
"Luvah & Urizen contend in war around the holy tent

So spoke the Ambassadors from Beulah & with solemn mourning
They were introducd to the divine presence & they kneeled down
In Conways Vale thus recounting the Wars of Death Eternal

The Eternal Man wept in the holy tent Our Brother in Eternity
Even Albion whom thou lovest wept in pain his family
Slept round on hills & valleys in the regions of his love
But Urizen awoke & Luvah woke & thus conferrd

Thou Luvah said the Prince of Light behold our sons & daughters
Reposd on beds. let them sleep on. do thou alone depart
Into thy wished Kingdom where in Majesty & Power
We may erect a throne. deep in the North I place my lot
Thou in the South listen attentive. In silent of this night
I will infold the Eternal tent in clouds opake while thou
Siezing the chariots of the morning. Go outfleeting ride
Afar into the Zenith high bending thy furious course
Southward with half the tents of men inclosd in cloudsÔ
Will lay my scepter on Jerusalem the Emanation
On all her sons & on thy sons O Luvah & on mine t
Till dawn was wont to wake them then my trumpet sounding loud
Ravishd away in night my strong command shall be obeyd
For I have placd my centinels in stations each tenth man
Is bought & sold & in dim night my Word shall be their law

Luvah replied Dictate to thy Equals. am not I
The Prince of all the hosts of Men nor Equal know in Heaven
If I arise into the Zenith leaving thee to watch
The Emanation & her Sons the Satan & the Anak
Sihon and Og. wilt thou not rebel to my laws remain
In darkness building thy strong throne & in my ancient night
Daring my power wilt arm my sons against me in the Atlantic t
My deep My night which thou assuming hast assumed my Crown
I will remain as well as thou & here with hands of blood
Smite this dark sleeper in his tent then try my strength with
While thus he spoke his fires reddend oer the holy tent t
Urizen cast deep darkness round him silent brooding death
Eternal death to Luvah. raging Luvah pourd
The Lances of Urizen from chariots. round the holy tent
Discord began & yells & cries shook the wide firmament

Beside his anvil stood Urthona dark. a mass of iron
Glowd furious on the anvil prepard for spades & coulters All
His sons fled from his side to join the conflict pale he heard
The Eternal voice he stood the sweat chilld on his mighty limbs
He dropd his hammer. dividing from his aking bosom fled
A portion of his life shrieking upon the wind she fled
And Tharmas took her in pitying Then Enion in jealous fear
Murderd her & hid her in her bosom embalming her for fear
She should arise again to life Embalmd in Enions bosom
Enitharmon remains a corse such thing was never known
In Eden that one died a death never to be revivd
Urthona stood in terror but not long his spectre fled
To Enion & his body fell. Tharmas beheld him fall
Endlong a raging serpent rolling round the holy tent
The sons of war astonishd at the Glittring monster drove
Him far into the world of Tharmas into a cavernd rock

But Urizen with darkness overspreading all the armies
Sent round his heralds secretly commanding to depart
Into the north Sudden with thunders sound his multitudes
Retreat from the fierce conflict all the sons of Urizen at once
Mustring together in thick clouds leaving the rage of Luvah
To pour its fury on himself & on the Eternal Man"

In this account by the messengers of Beulah, the fall or division is initiated by Urizen who attempts to negotiate with Luvah. The proposal is that Urizen and Luvah take over the kingdom in the north which belonged to Urthona. Urizen proposes that he would occupy the throne in the north and Luvah would occupy Urizen's former territory in the south. Urizen has already made plans. Luvah would seize the chariots of morn and while Urizen provided cover, depart for the south. The sons of Jerusalem, the sons of Urizen and the sons of Luvah would revolt under Urizen's leadership.

Luvah objects to the plan because it allows the possibility that Urizen will dominate him. Discord begins between the fire of Luvah and Urizen - the prince of light, who withdrew his light leaving deep darkness. Urthona becomes involved as the dissension mounts and his sons leave him to join the conflict. Urthona experiences internal division with a portion of his life, becoming Enitharmon and fleeing to Tharmas. Tharmas' emanation, Enion, murders Enitharmon and keeps her embalmed body within her bosom. Urthona splits again with his specter fleeing to Enion; his body changed to a serpent plunges into the world of Tharmas and into a caverned rock.

Urizen takes advantage of Urthona's disintegration by occupying the north. Luvah is left with his fury. But this is an unstable situation.

Continuing the Four Zoas:

"Sudden down fell they all together into an unknown Space
Deep horrible without End. Separated from Beulah far beneath
The Mans exteriors are become indefinite opend to pain
In a fierce hungring void & none can visit his regions"

The Eternal world is left behind; the divided man, with contending factions, enters the world of time and space to work out the ramifications of his division and fall.

What has been accomplished? Man is isolated in an unwelcoming world. His reason and emotions are at odds poised to struggle for dominance. His imagination has been broken into pieces with the main portion forced underground (into the unconscious). His body has been opened into an unknown world through the senses. Blake is asking us to see ourselves in this broken man in need of self-awareness in order to be restored to a functioning whole - the Eternal Man.

Image from Edward Young's Night Thoughts, (click to enlarge)

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