Monday, April 26, 2010

IS THIS HEAVEN?

We've posted on each of Blake's four major cities: London, Galgoonoza, Babylon and Jerusalem but there is more to be said. London was Blake's outward experience, with all its errors and contradictions; Golgonooza, the city within London (which through imagination may correct errors through vision, forgiveness and spiritual gifts), was created to provide an escape from the merely physical; Babylon was the expression of the soulless, self-centered, mercenary city which grows when man fails to develop his inner riches; and Jerusalem was the spiritual city, the potential for the inner and outer realization of Eternal values.

Although we have already posted four time on subjects related to Golgonooza, more needs to be said.

Blake speaks frequently of Golgonooza:

Milton, PLATE 6, (E 99)
"From Golgonooza the spiritual Four-fold London eternal
In immense labours & sorrows, ever building, ever falling,
Thro Albions four Forests which overspread all the Earth,"
__________
Milton, Plate 17,(E 111)
"For travellers from Eternity. pass outward to Satans seat,
But travellers to Eternity. pass inward to Golgonooza."
__________
Milton, Plate 20, (E 113)
"for in brain and heart and loins
Gates open behind Satans Seat to the City of Golgonooza
Which is the spiritual fourfold London, in the loins of Albion"
__________
Milton, Plate 24, E( 119)
"I the Fourth Zoa am also set
The Watchman of Eternity, the Three are not! & I am preserved
Still my four mighty ones are left to me in Golgonooza
Still Rintrah fierce, and Palamabron mild & piteous
Theotormon filld with care, Bromion loving Science"

You O my Sons still guard round Los. O wander not & leave me
__________
Milton, Plate 24, (E 120)
"But Golgonooza is namd Art & Manufacture by mortal men."
__________
Milton, Plate 29, (E 128)
"Then Los conducts the Spirits to be Vegetated, into
Great Golgonooza, free from the four iron pillars of Satans
Throne
(Temperance, Prudence, justice, Fortitude, the four pillars of
tyranny)
That Satans Watch-Fiends, touch them not before they Vegetate."
__________
Milton, Plate 35, (E 135)
"So spake Ololon in reminiscence astonishd, but they
Could not behold Golgonooza without passing the Polypus
A wondrous journey not passable by Immortal feet, & none
But the Divine Saviour can pass it without annihilation.
For Golgonooza cannot be seen till having passd the Polypus
It is viewed on all sides round by a Four-fold Vision
Or till you become Mortal & Vegetable in Sexuality
Then you behold its mighty Spires & Domes of ivory & gold"
__________
Jerusalem, Plate 10, (E 153)
"Therefore Los stands in London building Golgonooza
Compelling his Spectre to labours mighty; trembling in fear
The Spectre weeps, but Los unmovd by tears or threats remains

I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Mans
I will not Reason & Compare: my business is to Create"
__________
Jerusalem, Plate 12, (E 156)
"Go on, builders in hope: tho Jerusalem wanders far away,
Without the gate of Los: among the dark Satanic wheels.

Fourfold the Sons of Los in their divisions: and fourfold,
The great City of Golgonooza: fourfold toward the north
And toward the south fourfold, & fourfold toward the east & west
Each within other toward the four points: that toward
Eden, and that toward the World of Generation,
And that toward Beulah, and that toward Ulro:
Ulro is the space of the terrible starry wheels of Albions sons:
But that toward Eden is walled up, till time of renovation:
Yet it is perfect in its building, ornaments & perfection.

And the Four Points are thus beheld in Great Eternity
West, the Circumference: South, the Zenith: North,
The Nadir: East, the Center, unapproachable for ever."
__________
Jerusalem, Plate 14, (E 157)
"Around Golgonooza lies the land of death eternal; a Land
Of pain and misery and despair and ever brooding melancholy:"
__________
Jerusalem, Page 87, (E 368)
"Los performd Wonders of labour
They Builded Golgonooza Los labouring builded pillars high
And Domes terrific in the nether heavens for beneath
Was opend new heavens & a new Earth beneath & within
Threefold within the brain within the heart within the loins
A Threefold Atmosphere Sublime continuous from Urthonas world
But yet having a Limit Twofold named Satan & Adam"
__________
Jerusalem, Page 100, (E 372)
"And upon Enitharmon & the Divine Countenance shone
In Golgonooza Looking down the Daughters of Beulah saw
With joy the bright Light & in it a Human form
And knew he was the Saviour Even Jesus & they worshipped

Astonishd Comforted Delighted in notes of Rapturous Extacy
All Beulah stood astonishd Looking down to Eternal Death
They saw the Saviour beyond the Pit of death & destruction
For whether they lookd upward they saw the Divine Vision
Or whether they lookd downward still they saw the Divine Vision
Surrounding them on all sides beyond sin & death & hell"
__________
Four Zoas, Page 103, (E 376)
"In Golgonoozas Furnaces among the Anvils of time & space
Thus forming a Vast family wondrous in beauty & love
And they appeard a Universal female form created
From those who were dead in Ulro from the in Spectres of the dead"
__________

In Golgoonooza: City of Imagination, Kathleen Raine sees Golgonooza as an attempt to make visible the archetypal city of Eternity by those who remember Eternal things. Lovers of wisdom, poets, painters, architects - those with imagination - are the agents (Los and his sons) for building Golgonooza. Within London the the spiritual Four-fold eternal city is to take form as multiple pathways or gates into Great Eternity.

Kathleen Raine: "Jerusalem can never, in the very nature of time and change be fully realized on earth , yet Jerusalem has in Golgoonoza, her refugees, her 'secret chambers' in the houses of London's inhabitants, and among these Blake's own house in 'lovely Lambeth', where he and Catherine lived in the early years of their
marriage, where a vine grew unpruned in their small garden."

Image from the British Museum
____________
Milton, Plate 1, (E 95)
"I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land."

Footnote: Field of Dreams; "Is this heaven?", "No, it's Iowa".

7 comments:

Susan J. said...

Is this heaven?

No, it's Florida.

:-)

ellie said...

Finding Friends who share the journey makes Florida even more of a heaven.

Jerusalem (E 179)

"Displaying the Eternal Vision! the Divine Similitude!
In loves and tears of brothers, sisters, sons, fathers, and
FRIENDS
Which if Man ceases to behold, he ceases to exist:

Saying. Albion! Our wars are wars of life, & wounds of love,
With intellectual spears, & long winged arrows of thought:
Mutual in one anothers love and wrath all renewing
We live as One Man; for contracting our infinite senses
We behold multitude; or expanding: we behold as one,
As One Man all the Universal Family; and that One Man
We call Jesus the Christ: and he in us, and we in him,
Live in perfect harmony in Eden the land of life,
Giving, recieving, and forgiving each others trespasses.
He is the Good shepherd, he is the Lord and master:
He is the Shepherd of Albion, he is all in all,
In Eden: in the garden of God: and in heavenly Jerusalem.
If we have offended, forgive us, take not vengeance against us.

Thus speaking; the Divine Family follow Albion:
I see them in the Vision of God upon my pleasant valleys."

Thanks for the comments,
Ellie

Larry said...

Beulah is said to be a suburb of Heaven. We called our little farm in SC Beulah,but now in FL we're closer in, like Lewis was in The Last Battle.

Susan J. said...

I'm finding the various references to Blake's "christology" fascinating, and quite resonant with my own experiences/beliefs --

And these images of Golgonooza are also quite enticing. e.g.

"... Golgonooza as an attempt to make visible the archetypal city of Eternity by those who remember Eternal things."

But then I bump my head against the privileging of those deemed holy: "Lovers of wisdom, poets, painters, architects - those with imagination - are the agents (Los and his sons) for building Golgonooza."

My experience and belief is that we all (humans/sentient beings) have the capacity and the call to "build Golgonooza" which manifests in human hearts and interactions and love and sorrow, not just in the artifacts (however delightful) of those known outwardly as artists.

We all choose, moment to moment, whether to live and work and play in Golgonooza or in Babylon.

At least if I'm understanding the role of these two cities... or maybe my Golgonooza might not be the same as Blake's, imagination being a pretty personal thing :-)

Larry said...

Susan wrote:
"My experience and belief is that we all (humans/sentient beings) have the capacity and the call to "build Golgonooza" which manifests in human hearts and interactions and love and sorrow, not just in the artifacts (however delightful) of those known outwardly as artists."

Right! Blake was capable of the most extreme statements, which, if taken factually, are grossly off the mark; this is one.
The grain of truth lies in how we define these artists. Blake meant to say that everyone who has imagination is an artist. You can paint a picture without using paint or brush. Most of us paint pictures daily going through life-- if we have imagination. To make his statement factual Blake should have said "only people with imagination can build Golgonooza.

Well there it is; he wrote extreme exaggerations which may have sounded ridiculous.

I used to use "ministerial exaggerations" that drove Ellie up the wall. I often wish Blake were more precise.

You might say that Blake (and I) sometimes allow our intuition to completely overshadow common sense.

Susan J. said...

thanks, Larry -- "only people with imagination can build Golgonooza" sits a lot better. How about "only when one uses one's imagination can one build Golgonooza"? I bump my head on the implication that only some people have imagination... :-)

In particular, I resist statements* that might thwart someone from using his or her imagination, e.g. if they feel like others think they have none.

I want Blake to be working my agenda, which of course he may not be doing... :-)

* even if they might be true. if they might be true, I should look at them despite my resistance.

Larry said...

Susan wrote:
"I bump my head on the implication that only some people have imagination... :-)

In particular, I resist statements* that might thwart someone from using his or her imagination, e.g. if they feel like others think they have none."

Well Susan it's impossible for me not to believe that a great many people have so little imagination that they continually look to somebody (anybody!) else to do their thinking for them.

I often try to shock people into trying to do some imaginative thinking.

For example people can only have a tremendous lack to imagination if they believe it when people tell them that the war is to preserve our democracy.