Thursday, September 02, 2010


The Biblical accounts tell us that the veil of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem was rent in two from top to bottom when Jesus died on the cross. The temple veil was the curtain that separated from the outer parts, the most holy part of the temple where God was present and into which only the high priest was allowed to go only once a year. The tearing was symbolic of removal of the barrier existing between man and God.

In the book of Hebrews we read:
"Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water" (NRSV).

The body, the flesh, of Jesus through the crucifixion and resurrection became the opening in the veil through which man was given direct access to God which he had been denied by the veil of the temple before it was rent.

Blake created his character Vala conscious of the complex symbols associated with the veil in Christianity. Vala in Blake's mythology carries many symbolic meanings including the Goddess Nature, symbol of a cruel unregenerate life. Another of Vala's names is Mystery which Percival says: "pretends to love, but practices hate. It pretends to forgiveness but practices envy, revenge and cruelty." Vala is further changed into Deism or Natural Religion which constructs a distant God who creates but does not interfere with the world he creates. Reason not revelation constitutes the deistic religion. Vala represents the concealment of the true relationship of God and man.

Blake believed that the removal of the obstruction between God and man accomplished by Christ had been reversed in the centuries following the establishment of the church. He used Vala and her veil to convey some of that meaning. For Blake there was no veil concealing God from his sight. Jesus the Imagination was the God in whom he 'lives and moves and has his being.' (Acts 17:28)

Jerusalem, Plate 23, (E 168)
My soul is melted away, inwoven within the Veil
Hast thou again knitted the Veil of Vala, which I for thee
Pitying rent in ancient times. I see it whole and more
Perfect, and shining with beauty!

Jerusalem Plate 60, (E 211)
"Babel mocks saying, there is no God nor Son of God
That thou O Human Imagination, O Divine Body art all
A delusion. but I know thee O Lord when thou arisest upon
My weary eyes even in this dungeon & this iron mill."

Jerusalem, Plate 4, (E 146)
"I am not a God afar off, I am a brother and friend;
Within your bosoms I reside, and you reside in me:
Lo! we are One; forgiving all Evil; Not seeking recompense!
Ye are my members O ye sleepers of Beulah, land of shades!"

The Laocoon (E 273)
"Adam is only The Natural Man & not the Soul or Imagination
The Eternal Body of Man is The IMAGINATION.
God himself |
that is |[Yeshua] JESUS We are his Members
The Divine Body|
It manifests itself in his Works of Art (In Eternity All is Vision)
All that we See is VISION from Generated Organs gone as soon as come
Permanent in The Imagination; considered as Nothing by the NATURAL MAN"

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