Thursday, June 03, 2010


Susan has commented on the post Jerusalem Speaks:
"my one stumbling block is Blake's apparent equating of 'Lord & Savior' with 'Human Imagination'" and
"When I pray 'help me help me help me Lord' I sure hope there's someone beyond myself (even my best self, my highest self, the image of Christ in me) there to answer...."

We are all making an effort to grasp the way Blake understands and presents God. His emphasis seems to focus on the Divine Humanity although there are numerous other names he uses. I choose these Biblical references to support the concept of the God within.

"God created man in his image."
1. God is Spirit, man is created a spirit.

"In the beginning was the word."
2. That possibility (for spiritual development) which can be manifest is Eternal.

"The word was made flesh and dwelt among us."
3. The Eternal possible becomes manifest in matter.

"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit."
4. God's activity expresses itself in man through the indwelling of His spirit.

"All who follow the leading of God's Spirit are God's own sons."
5. Our likeness with God is shown by our following in the spirit.

"you have been made whole in spirit; you have been justified before God in the name of the Lord Jesus and in his very Spirit."
6. Man is linked to God by the unity of his own spirit with God through Christ.

Here is one of Blake's statements about the Divine Humanity.
Jerusalem, Plate 38, (E 185)
" building Heavens Twenty-seven-fold.
Swelld & bloated General Forms, repugnant to the Divine-
Humanity, who is the Only General and Universal Form
To which all Lineaments tend & seek with love & sympathy
All broad & general principles belong to benevolence
Who protects minute particulars, every one in their own identity."

In these lines Blake names the Divine Humanity the only general and Universal Form. By this he may mean that the pattern in man which may be called spirit, is the image of God. Man in his inner being, is led to seek and follow this pattern. The general pattern and the expression in individuals belong together in the intended purpose which is good. God provides nurture and protection for the individual to develop in spirit.

Here are two earlier posts which deal with some special terminology which Blake uses in the quote.

Blog post on Lineaments
Blog post on Identity

To sum up my understanding; God makes himself known to us through the indwelling spirit but our knowledge of God is limited until we see him 'face to face'.

Jesus and Thomas

1 comment:

Susan J. said...

thanks, Ellie -- this is very helpful. In the "Identity" post to which you linked, this part from Vision of the Last Judgment seems to touch on what I'm looking for:

"It is not because Angels are Holier than Men or Devils that makes them Angels but because they do not Expect Holiness from one another but from God only."

I would add: "they do not expect holiness from themselves, but from God only." :-)

And I suppose Blake replies: Right! Holiness comes not from Self but from God, which is Identity!

I suppose in Blake's time, in his socio-cultural context with his particular gifts and calling, he focused on the need for each person to look inwardly for truth, rather than being badgered and abused by the truth-claims of others.

In my own time, in my socio-cultural context, it seems to me we've gone overboard with valuing our own individuality... yes, we still need to guard against undue influence from outside (e.g. propaganda) but when we look inward it's not just to find what's most deeply "me" but to hear the still small voice from More-Than-Me.

Thanks so much for bringing in the line from Till We Have Faces (in the Identity post) -- it's been a long time since I've read that book, but the final scene is indelibly etched on my soul.