Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Northrup Frye has a good bit to say that adds to the picture of Golgoonoza which we have been developing. Here is a paragraph which clarifies the purpose and the eventual outcome for Blake's City of Imagination. Notice that he emphasizes that Golgonooza as it becomes the New Jerusalem, 'the total form of all culture and civilization', will make permanent (but not static) all the imaginative work which has been contributed to its building. It reminds me of a phrase which I picked up somewhere along the way: nothing lost, nothing wasted.

This is from page 91 of Fearful Symmetry:

"Inspiration is the artist's empirical proof of the divinity of his imagination; and all inspiration is divine in origin whether used, perverted, hidden or frittered away in reverie. All imaginative and creative arts, being eternal, go to build up a permanent structure, which Blake called Golgonooza, above time, and, when this structure is finished, nature, its scaffolding, will be knocked away and man will live in it. Golgonooza will be the city of God, the New Jerusalem which is the total form of all culture and civilization. Nothing that the heroes, martyrs, prophets and poets of the past have done for it has been wasted; no anonymous and unrecognized contribution to it has been overlooked. In it is conserved all the good man has done, and in it is completed all he hoped and intended to do. And the artist who uses the same energy and genius that Homer and Isaiah had will find that he not only lives in the same palace of art as Homer and Isaiah, but lives at the same time."
Perhaps Blake is even more inclusive in this passage about Los' work:

Jerusalem, Plate 13,(E 157)
"Golgonooza: Los walks round the walls night and day.    

He views the City of Golgonooza, & its smaller Cities:
The Looms & Mills & Prisons & Work-houses of Og & Anak:
The Amalekite: the Canaanite: the Moabite: the Egyptian:
And all that has existed in the space of six thousand years:
Permanent, & not lost not lost nor vanishd, & every little act,
Word, work, & wish, that has existed, all remaining still
In those Churches ever consuming & ever building by the Spectres
Of all the inhabitants of Earth wailing to be Created:
Shadowy to those who dwell not in them, meer possibilities:
But to those who enter into them they seem the only substances
For every thing exists & not one sigh nor smile nor tear,
Plate 14
One hair nor particle of dust, not one can pass away." 
Satan's Watch-fiends Never Find the Gate of Los

Jerusalem, Plate 35 [39], (E 181)
"this gate cannot be found
By Satans Watch-fiends tho' they search numbering every grain
Of sand on Earth every night, they never find this Gate.
It is the Gate of Los.
Withoutside is the Mill, intricate,  dreadful
And fill'd with cruel tortures; but no mortal man can find the Mill
Of Satan, in his mortal pilgrimage of seventy years" 


Susan J. said...

How inspiring! I read this post a couple of hours ago, and came back 2 more times to re-read. My computer is still out of commission so I don't have access to my usual search resources, but one thing that occurs to me is Blake's frequent allusion to various "gates" - e.g. the Gate of Los. Both the Bible and George Fox often speak of "openings" with or without a gate or door being mentioned explicitly: the idea that there is another reality into which one may enter... stunning...

Susan J. said...

living in the present time, we also have a metaphor not available to Blake, at least in the science-fictiony sense that we use the term: a parallel universe.

I picture George Fox and early Friends experiencing "many great openings" as they enter into vivid awareness of God.

ellie said...

You can go many directions from these ideas; it opens windows.

Larry went directly to the new testament in seeing that every cup of cold water offered is built into Golgoonoza.

You make me think of Star Trek's holodeck.

Golgoonoza may be an enhanced Kingdom of Heaven.

Larry said...

There is very definitely another reality than the materialistic culture that we call reality.

Blake thought the visions of Eternity are 1000 times more real than 'this world'. Plato also considered the true reality to be the idea, not something like table or a chair, or for that matter a door.

Many people have used a door to open up a vision beyond the purely materialistic one.

Most of the N.T. writers thought the greatest reality to be LOVE.