Thursday, June 10, 2010

Job: Picture 2

This one resembles Picture 1 in its lower part, but now the well behaved children also have books or scrolls, obviously growing up to be Establishment types.

At the top the Establishment God has the BOOK that we're to go by; go by the book, and only good things will happen.
"God is in his Heaven, and all's right with the world." (Browning).

But between the righteous God and the righteous Job and family something strange is happening: look at that strange figure below God, arms and legs spread widely (in violent motion); he's enveloped in fire.

"Hast thou considered my servant Job" inscribed above the picture: the words of God. The picture concerns a conversation God had with Satan (on the left hand of God?) about Job. Back in MHH days the devil wasn't so bad (Blake said Milton "was of the devil's party without knowing it" (MHH plate six). For Blake at that time, in contrast to the passive Elect, Satan represented the satisfaction of Desire; he represented Revolution: anathema for the Established, longed for by the poor and needy.

Some people's identity rests on the opinion of others; without reflection, they're called outer directed. But the ability to reflect on yourself is required in order to become an individual, and through the 'dark night of the soul' Job will come to see the whole bit, not just the persona or ego, but the shadow side as well (Jung's terms).

The O.T. God was certainly not altogether good; according to Job's code when you behave all is well; when you misbehave there's hell to pay.

Throughout the Illustrations Job's (and our) Innocence are sacrificed by Experience, which is obligatory if you are to grow beyond Goody Two Shoes.

So the Devil is commissioned to test us; after he tested Job, he tested Jesus (in the wilderness), and he tests us. Job met the test; so did Jesus, and became our Savior; we may and become sons of God. That's Job's message for us today.

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