Tuesday, October 19, 2010


In 1933 John Middleton Murry published his book William Blake, which continued in print until 1977. Murry's book comes close to being a spiritual biography of Blake, although it is directed toward understanding his poetry. The poetry, letters and descriptive material themselves are such a revelation of the psychic and spiritual development of Blake that Murry finds ample material to describe the issues and outcomes of Blake's inner struggles. The evolution of the concept of the Selfhood grows from its first recognition to it eventual assimilation.

Murry summarizes Blake' Selfhood or Spectre on Page 235:
"Blake's experience of the Selfhood was very deep. He had seen it face to face; known it, so to speak, in essence. For the Selfhood had grown to power in him in pondering the mystery of that finite creation which he knew to be infinite. Out of the effort to exorcize the Selfhood in men, his Selfhood had grown. Once he could accept that mystery, in all humility, and know himself forgiven; once he could see that this was the inevitable destiny of the pilgrim towards Eternity, and that the process of Life itself, at its very acme of spiritual intensity and candour, created the Selfhood as the means by which it grew - the heart of 'the mystery of iniquity' lay open to him. Providence had begun indeed."

Four Zoas, Page 95, (E 367)
"Thou never canst embrace sweet Enitharmon terrible Demon. Till
Thou art united with thy Spectre Consummating by pains &
That mortal body & by Self annihilation back returning
To Life Eternal be assurd I am thy real Self
Tho thus divided from thee & the Slave of Every passion
Of thy fierce Soul Unbar the Gates of Memory look upon me
Not as another but as thy real Self I am thy Spectre
Thou didst subdue me in old times by thy Immortal Strength
When I was a ravning hungring & thirsting cruel lust & murder
Tho horrible & Ghastly to thine Eyes tho buried beneath
The ruins of the Universe. hear what inspird I speak & be silent

If we unite in one[,] another better world will be
Opend within your heart & loins & wondrous brain
Threefold as it was in Eternity & this the fourth Universe
Will be Renewd by the three & consummated in Mental fires
But if thou dost refuse Another body will be prepared"

Drawing for Thornton's Virgil

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