Sunday, April 04, 2010


Much of what Blake wrote shows a desire for reunion of the disparate aspects on the psyche. He worked to attain psychological balance in his life, but judging from worldly standards he was not altogether successful. He wasn't able to provide a steady income. He had falling outs with friends, acquaintances and supporters. He was misunderstood and ignored by his intellectual peers. You might say that he, like Jesus, assumed the role of the suffering servant on the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. He just never got that balanced expression of his psyche that would have allowed him to be understood and valued by more conventional people. His intuitive function was too overpowering to ignore. And he came to value his imagination too highly. He was too much like Van Gogh and Dostoevsky, extraordinarily gifted, but without the defense mechanisms necessary to fit in easily with those around him.

He found a way to be true to his own gifts, without letting the world destroy him. That was to allow as complete an expression of his imagination as possible without looking for much encouragement from others. He believed in the value of his output to the degree that he could continue to produce without the positive reinforcement of praise or reward. I think that he believed that if his work was of the quality he thought it was, that it would eventually be recognized. He knew that he was one to whom much had been given. His gratitude was expressed by giving as much to the intellectual, artistic and spiritual world as he possibly could.

Each individual's life is a thing unto itself, not meant to be compared with the lives of others. Success measured by worldly standards may be failure by Eternal standards. The Eternal standards were what Blake hoped to be measured by. If he has gained influence and respect in later times than his own, that is all to the good. But if all his work had been lost, and his name meant nothing to anyone, he would have been no less successful in seeking to be open to the Vision which God sent, and in devoting his heart, and mind and soul and strength to following the Vision.

Milton, PLATE 4, (E98)
"If you account it Wisdom when you are angry to be silent, and
Not to shew it: I do not account that Wisdom but Folly.
Every Mans Wisdom is peculiar to his own Individ[u]ality
O Satan my youngest born, art thou not Prince of the Starry Hosts
And of the Wheels of Heaven, to turn the Mills day & night?
Art thou not Newtons Pantocrator weaving the Woof of Locke
To Mortals thy Mills seem every thing & the Harrow of Shaddai
A scheme of Human conduct invisible & incomprehensible
Get to thy Labours at the Mills & leave me to my wrath,

Satan was going to reply, but Los roll'd his loud thunders."

Los Kept Watch

Book of Urizen, Plate 5, (E 73)
8. And Los round the dark globe of Urizen,
Kept watch for Eternals to confine,
The obscure separation alone;
For Eternity stood wide apart,

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