Sunday, September 12, 2010


The Mental Traveller

"He plants himself in all her nerves
Just as a husbandman his mould,
And she bcomes his dwelling-place

And garden, frutiful seventyfold."

Note: judging from the context, 'mould' is the rich, loose workable soil which farmers are fond of.

Much to the surprise of the old woman (parhaps Vala), the boy (perhaps now Los) is able to use what she has unintentionally provided to him. His delight is to create a productive garden in which he can multiply the seed which he has received in order to produce a harvest of abundant fruit.

The boy is not separate from the medium through which he gains expression; he dwells in it as it dwells in him.

Annotations to Lavater,
(E 599)
"Whoso dwelleth in love dwelleth in God &
God in him. & such an one cannot judge of any but in love."

John 6: 56 "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."

Going back to the civilization metaphor, the young spiritual ideas can feed on the substance which has been produced by the older weakening material civilization. Think of the houses we live in, the buildings we occupy, the roads we drive on, the books we read as being a legacy from the civilization which may be replaced by a more vigorous one.

The phrase, "
plants himself in all her nerves", if a metaphor for an event in a culture, may be seen as merely descriptive or as something more sinister. The culture which is being invaded by alien ideas is likely to see it as 'wrong'. Western and Muslim cultures are presently struggling against invasions from the ideas of the contrary culture and neither likes it.

"An aged shadow soon he fades,
Wandering round an earthly cot,
Full filled all with gems and gold
Which he by industry had got."

Our male child has grown through adolescence, and maturity and reached old age. He passed his zenith and is now on the decline. But his garden was planted and his crop harvested. His expansive purposeful traveling is now reduced to wandering and resting. But he is not destitute; his efforts have produced the things he values.

As the spiritual side of a civilization matures it produces arts and ideas. The cultural treasures accumulate. Think of the accumulation of treasures from the burst of intellectual and imaginative thought of Athens; or think of the manuscripts and music produced in the monasteries of the middle ages. These are the 'gems and gold' of the spirit.
Jerusalem, Plate 12, (E 154)
"What are those golden builders doing?...

Becoming a building of pity and compassion? Lo!
The stones are pity, and the bricks, well wrought affections:
Enameld with love & kindness, & the tiles engraven gold
Labour of merciful hands: the beams & rafters are forgiveness:
The mortar & cement of the work, tears of honesty: the nails,
And the screws & iron braces, are well wrought blandishments,
And well contrived words, firm fixing, never forgotten,
Always comforting the remembrance: the floors, humility,
The cielings, devotion: the hearths, thanksgiving:
Prepare the furniture O Lambeth in thy pitying looms!
The curtains, woven tears & sighs, wrought into lovely forms
For comfort. there the secret furniture of Jerusalems chamber
Is wrought: Lambeth! the Bride the Lambs Wife loveth thee:
Thou art one with her & knowest not of self in thy supreme joy.
Go on, builders in hope: tho Jerusalem wanders far away,
Without the gate of Los: among the dark Satanic wheels."

The Christ Child Riding on a Lamb
"And these are the gems of the human soul:
The rubies and pearls of a lovesick eye,
The countless gold of an aching heart,
The martyr’s groan, and the lover’s sigh."


The gold and gems of the human soul are not acquired through power and success but through understanding, suffering, sacrifice and love. These are the lasting things of which Jesus spoke and of which Paul spoke in Corinthians and Philippians. 

Matthew 6:

19 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:"

1 Corinthians 13:

13 "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

Philippians 4:

8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
Blake presented to us the idea of building Golgonooza a safe haven from the satanic activities of the fallen world. In Golgoonooza: City of Imagination, Kathleen Raine sees Golgonooza as an attempt to make visible the archetypal city of Eternity by those who remember Eternal things. Lovers of wisdom, poets, painters, architects - those with imagination - are the agents (Los and his sons) for building Golgonooza. Within London the the spiritual Four-fold eternal city is to take form as multiple pathways or gates into Great Eternity.

Verses 7-9 epitomize the productive aspects of the spiritual culture. Cooperation with the material rather than competition with it, allowed the accumulation of spiritual treasure even though the civilization created by a burst or spiritual insight was aging.

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