Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Stuart Curran in his chapter in Sublime Allegory (page 341) says, "Except for the apocalyptic concluding plates there are few distinct events in Jerusalem, which is why the reader feels himself caught in a labyrinth, fated to return again and again to the same land marks without discovering an egress." It is not about truth and falsehood, good and evil, consistency and confusion. Curran states that, "Los's striving is for comprehension, and progression in Blake's epic derives from the slowly maturing consolidation of error by which Los defines the logic of man's fallen state. What Los consolidates, significantly enough, is archetypes, and the underlying structure of Jerusalem is a single archetypal pattern successively repeated until Los can fathom the symbolic meaning of its 'Universal Attributes' (90:32) and use it to transfigure the fallen into the regenerated. The mind expands within like a spiral that at last encompasses the universe."

Jerusalem, Chapter 1, Plate 5, (E 148)
"For the Male is a Furnace of beryll: the Female is a golden Loom

Los cries: No Individual ought to appropriate to Himself
Or to his Emanation, any of the Universal Characteristics
Of David or of Eve, of the Woman, or of the Lord.
Of Reuben or of Benjamin, of Joseph or Judah or Levi
Those who dare appropriate to themselves Universal Attributes
Are the Blasphemous Selfhoods & must be broken asunder
A Vegetated Christ & a Virgin Eve, are the Hermaphroditic
Blasphemy, by his Maternal Birth he is that Evil-One
And his Maternal Humanity must be put off Eternally
Lest the Sexual Generation swallow up Regeneration
Come Lord Jesus take on thee the Satanic Body of Holiness

So Los cried in the Valleys of Middlesex in the Spirit of
While in Selfhood Hand & Hyle & Bowen & Skofeld appropriate
The Divine Names: seeking to Vegetate the Divine Vision
In a corporeal & ever dying Vegetation & Corruption
Mingling with Luvah in One. they become One Great Satan

Loud scream the Daughters of Albion beneath the Tongs & Hammer
Dolorous are their lamentations in the burning Forge
They drink Reuben & Benjamin as the iron drinks the fire
They are red hot with cruelty: raving along the Banks of Thames
And on Tyburns Brook among the howling Victims in loveliness
While Hand & Hyle condense the Little-ones & erect them into
A mighty Temple even to the stars: but they Vegetate
Beneath Los's Hammer, that Life may not be blotted out.

For Los said: When the Individual appropriates Universality
He divides into Male & Female: & when the Male & Female,
Appropriate Individuality, they become an Eternal Death.
Hermaphroditic worshippers of a God of cruelty & law!
Your Slaves & Captives; you compell to worship a God of Mercy.
These are the Demonstrations of Los, & the blows of my mighty

Blake's goal was to transform the world and he relentlessly pursued that goal. He knew that he could not impose his vision on the world or reach enough ears with his message to convince mankind of his truth. He knew that man will transform his world through transforming himself. So Blake left his testimony of what went on is his own soul as he was transformed through the Imagination within him.

Blake invites us to enter the struggle he underwent knowing that each individual will undergo his own struggle not a repeat of that of Blake. That is why Blake left no recipe or set of instruction for developing spiritually. What ever speaks to your inner being from Blake's accounts is what Blake has to provide for your development. What can any of us do but be a witness to the truth that became manifest through our experience? Blake was gifted in seeing into his own depths, and in communicating in images. His message has been broadcast, we have receivers to acquire the signal and put it to use.

Looking Down or Looking Up

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