Monday, September 27, 2010

Blake's Words

A Friend pointed out that words may confuse more than enlighten us. Look at the thousands of words we hear on TV: are any of them true or enlightening? Just a few! What's true of TV is often true of social intercourse in general.

Among Blake's words let's choose Annihilat..:  he used it 40 times, all but 6 in Milton and Jerusalem. I associate the word with doing away with forever, but Blake's annihilation doesn't stick; it keeps coming back.  The labels for this blog show 14 posts, and I'm still trying to elucidate what it meant to Blake.

Milton, plate 32:

"Judge then of thy Own Self: thy Eternal Lineaments explore 
What is Eternal & what Changeable? & what Annihilable! 
The Imagination is not a State: 
It is the Human Existence itself 

Affection or Love becomes a State, when divided from 
The Memory is a State always, & the Reason is a State 
Created to be Annihilated & a new Ratio Created 
Whatever can be Created can be Annihilated Forms cannot 
The Oak is cut down by the Ax, the Lamb falls by the Knife 
 But their Forms Eternal Exist, For-ever. Amen Halle[l]ujah"   

And Plate 38 (Erdman 139):

"In the Eastern porch of Satans Universe Milton stood & said Satan! my Spectre! I know my power thee to annihilate And be a greater in thy place, & be thy Tabernacle 
A covering for thee to do thy will, till one greater comes And smites me as I smote thee & becomes my covering. 
Such are the Laws of thy false Heavns! 
But Laws of Eternity Are not such: know thou: 
I come to Self Annihilation Such are the Laws of Eternity that each shall mutually Annihilate himself for others good, as I for thee[.] 

Thy purpose & the purpose of thy Priests & of thy Churches Is to impress on men the fear of death; 
to teach Trembling & fear, terror, constriction; abject selfishness 
Mine is to teach Men to despise death & 
to go on In fearless majesty annihilating Self, 
laughing to scorn Thy Laws & terrors, 
shaking down thy Synagogues as webs 

I come to discover before Heavn & Hell the Self righteousness In all its Hypocritic turpitude, 
opening to every eye These wonders of Satans holiness shewing to the Earth 
The Idol Virtues of the Natural Heart, & 
Satans Seat Explore in all its Selfish Natural Virtue 
& put off In Self annihilation all that is not of God alone: 
To put off Self & all I have ever & ever Amen"   

The point is that as much as we may hate the Spectre it's  
the shape of the world we live in, our mortal life.  So the process of redemption seems to be to continuously "annihilate the  Spectre", which is to say that part of it that is  certainly less than God wants for us.

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