Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Knowing, Love and Death

If you give some people your ear, they will gladly share with
you their life story. Other people conduct their daily
activities as if they were playing poker.  For the second
group secrecy is a high value.

A divine Image suggests that it was not one of Blake's values:
Cruelty has a human  heart,
And Jealousy a human face;
Terror the human form divine,
And Secrecy the human dress.

The human dress is forged iron,
The human form a fiery forge,
The human face a furnace sealed,
The human heart its hungry gorge."
I don't believe Blake had any secrets; his life was an open book; he wrote his story exhaustively. Keenly aware of the second commandment; he understood the meaning of spiritual life to be loving people as himself. He also understood that you cannot be loved by others or love them without being known. A few people in the 18th and 19th centuries (and a much larger group in the 20th) loved him; that growing number of people are coming to know him more and more. This movement of knowing and loving William Blake is thought by some to be of great importance in the development of the Unconscious which we all share.

Blake was keenly aware of the Second Commandment of Matthew
and equally aware that you must know the person to truly love him/her.
A little church of our acquaintance in Washington, D.C. required applicants for membership (after some other things) to give to the congregation their "spiritual autobiography". Over the years we heard a lot of people do that (and did it ourselves). I never heard one of those spiritual autobiographies without my heart going out in love and symphathy to the person speaking. (Incidently the same sort of thing happened (and probably happens) to people seeking help through Alcoholic Anonymous.) Or on the battlefield men often have given their lives for their fellows; they knew them!

(From Jerusalem 96 Erdman 255-6):
"Jesus replied Fear not Albion unless I die thou canst not live
But if I die I shall arise again & thou with me
This is Friendship & Brotherhood without it Man Is Not
So Jesus spoke! the Covering Cherub coming on in darkness
Overshadowd them & Jesus said Thus do Men in Eternity
One for another to put off by forgiveness, every sin

Albion replyd. Cannot Man exist without Mysterious Offering of
Self for Another, is this Friendship & Brotherhood
Jesus said. Wouldest thou love one who never died
For thee or ever die for one who had not died for thee
And if God dieth not for Man & giveth not himself Eternally for Man
Man could not exist. for Man is Love:
As God is Love: every kindness to another is a little Death
In the Divine Image nor can Man exist but by Brotherhood"


Susan J. said...

"If you give some people your ear, they will gladly share with you their life story."

Wait a minute! We resemble that remark... :-)

Larry said...

Ah,my dear, if we only knew you better, we could love you much, much better.