Sunday, June 20, 2010

Job Picture 7


Picture 7 celebrates the arrival of Job's friends, referred to with some irony as his three comforters; Job 2: 11 "When Job's three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. 13 Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was."

You may discern two ways of looking at this scene: the first (as above) shows three of Job 's buddies (business associates?) who heard he was sick and decided to pay him a visit (as we may often do under similar circumstances). In the second interpretation Job's three friends represent elements of his shadow side, objectionable facets of his psyche ordinarily confined to his Unconscious; they basically represent what Blake called his Spectre.

We all have attitudes, past actions, tendencies that we choose not to own (like 'I''m not prejudiced'). In the 'dark night of the soul' these things intrude into our minds willing or not. This is what Blake meant in his Vision of the Last Judgment ; this was Job's 'last judgment: "whenever any Individual Rejects Error & Embraces Truth a Last Judgment passes upon that Individual Over the Head of the Saviour & Redeemer" (VLJ; Erdman 562).

Blake had more than one such event; we may have many such events in our lives, the more the better; each one represents a rejection of evil (what Blake called error) and an embrace of Truth (the higher path, the better course); this is the stuff of Redemption.

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