Continuation of July 1 post.
Through Los generation supplies belief in the Eternal values using reason and the senses, (although confined in the illusion of time and space). Beulah supplies knowledge of the Eternal through the imagination which can transcend material limits. Beulah like generation is a world of the sexes, but in Beulah the male and female are married, each plays a role and accepts the designed functions. Beulah is a place of rest and repose where the contraries are equally true. The active nature of the male is in abeyance and the female is obedient. The delicate balance of Beulah however is maintained through illusion which is not to be taken for reality. Reality is unified as in Eden; Beulah maintains the illusion of duality.
Page 86: "...so long as love remains self-sacrificing, man retains his faith in a spiritual reality beyond the world of appearance. When, however, love fails, faith is lost and the finite mind seeks for reality within the finite form."Percival
Man is not meant to remain in Beulah for it is a place of retreat and renewal. Upward to Eden or downward to Generation are the options offered. A desire to remain in Beulah destroys the beautiful balance and sends man backward. Beulah shares with Eden evanescence, fluidity the ability to escape time and space. Love and forgiveness are the methods of maintaining Beulah as the environs of Eden.
William Blake's personal goal was to spend as much time in Eden as possible. To transcend to fourfold vision, the ability to perceive the infinite, was his supreme delight. But Eden meant more than vision it also means creative energy, forgiveness, brotherhood and the oneness of wholeness. Beulah is the condition of rest and repose for a purpose - that of returning to the energetic activity of Eden.
Page 50: "In Eden 'there is no restraint from the greatest of all restraints on imaginative living - the selfhood. The self knows it, too, but fixes and makes manifest the energy which flows into it from God.'"
In this life the intensity and clarity of Eden is more than the soul can long endure. Thus the visionary world is fled for the worlds of appearance which have already been described.
Three Levels of Existence are pictured in Plate 9 of Jerusalem:
Pastoral world - Beulah
Dualistic world -Generation
Disintegrated World - Ulro.
A Descriptive Catalogue (E 541)
"The Prophets describe what they saw in Vision as real and existing men whom they saw with their imaginative and immortal organs; the Apostles the same; the clearer the organ the more distinct the object. A Spirit and a Vision are not, as the modern philosophy supposes, a cloudy vapour or a nothing: they are organized and minutely articulated beyond all that the mortal and perishing nature can produce. He who does not imagine in stronger and better lineaments, and in stronger and better light than his perishing mortal eye can see does not imagine at all. The painter of this work asserts that all his imaginations appear to him infinitely more perfect and more minutely organized than any thing seen by his mortal eye"