Thursday, June 17, 2010

SPIRITUAL SENSATION

'If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is: infinite.' (Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 15) Among the doors of perception are the senses and cleaning them means learning to use them to see not only the finite but the infinite - the finite world is the world of matter the infinite is Eternity. Limiting ourselves to a perception of only the natural world forces to 'believe a lie'.

A dear friend, who spent a lot of time working with underprivileged girls once told us of a revealing dream. She found herself on a stage in a theater and discovered that she was not earthbound but could fly. To the rear of the stage was a scrim and she learned the she could pass through the scrim at will and experience the delights on the other side. She wanted to share the experience with her young friends who were on the stage with her, but found that although they could with effort become airborne, the scrim was a barrier through which they could not pass.

The experience of becoming able to see the Eternal in every event in our lives is analogous to becoming able to pass through the scrim. It is a skill to be recognized, sought, learned and practiced. It is also a gift which can't be mastered by the will. God seeks to give this gift to all who open themselves in receptiveness.

The Genius of Shakespeare

Blake has said the 'Imagination' is 'Spiritual Sensation': a sense like seeing or hearing, formed instead to perceive the non-material. The exercise of the Imagination is the 'perception of the infinite.' If we 'use our imagination' as a tool for our natural sensation directing it toward enhancing material experience, this is not the Imagination of which Blake spoke. 'Seek first the Kingdom of God' as Jesus says. Look for the Eternal Truth revealed within the external world and become a 'Man of Imagination.'

 
MHH, Plate 14, (E 39)
"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would
appear to man as it is: infinite."

Auguries of Innocence, (E 492)

"We are led to Believe a Lie
When we see not Thro the Eye"

MHH, Plate 13, (E 39)
"I then asked Ezekiel. why he eat dung, & lay so long on his
right & left side? he answerd. the desire of raising other men
into a perception of the infinite"

Letter to Truxler, (E 702)
"But to the Eyes of the Man of Imagination Nature is Imagination itself. As a man is So he Sees. As the Eye is formed such are its Powers You certainly Mistake when you say that the Visions of Fancy are not be found in This World. To Me This World is all One continued Vision of Fancy or Imagination & I feel Flatterd when I am told So. What is it sets Homer Virgil & Milton in so high a rank of Art. Why is the Bible more Entertaining & Instructive than any other book. Is it not because they are addressed to the Imagination which is Spiritual Sensation & but mediately to the Understanding or Reason Such is True Painting and such alone valued by the Greeks & the best modern Artists."

Matthew 6:33
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

1 comment:

Garth said...
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