Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gates of Paradise Picture 13

(It's actuallly 15.) The inscription is Fear and Hope are--Vision. Digby (p 47) speaks of the relativity of everything, especially mental values. "Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence" (Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 3. Erdman 34). But before he wrote that here is this verse (a complete mystification to the novice!) "Now is the dominion of Edom, & the return of Adam into Paradise; see Isaiah XXXIV & XXXV Chap"; (It would certainly help to read Isaiah 34 and 35).

You could call 34 "the day of the Lord's vengeance" and 35 "the new Jerusalem" (Blake called it "the return of Adam (us) into Paradise"). In the picture Blake has called them Hope and Fear.

"Vision, or imagination gives insight into the positive and negative aspects of life... it sees the limits of things, and therefore it is the great unifier." Digby then refers us to Blake's Illustrations of the Book of Job (Plate 15) "Behold now Behemoth which I made with thee": Blake is quoting here Job 40:15, which goes on to say "he eateth grass as an ox."

This picture (15 of Gates of Paradise) kind of sums up all that has gone before. When we resort to (or achieve) Vision (which I identify as the intuitive faculty exemplified by Blake's Los), then Good and Evil, Love and Hate, Beautiful and Ghastly, White and Black, Heaven and Hell take on a New Light. The course of life, or the journey through life begin to hold greater meaning for us.

It also gives new insight into the meaning of what Blake was trying to say in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, which ends with the magnificent aphorism "Everything that lives is holy";
in The Four Zoas (Night the Second) he amplified it like this
"for the source of life Descends to be a weeping babe" (Oh Wow!)

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