Friday, November 19, 2010

Blake's Forgiveness

At a certain point Jesus came into Blake's consciousness as a new experience. It came from Beyond. That is to say it was not an inward expression of Blake's psyche; it came like the Son of God who had joined the three friends in Nebuchadnezzar's furnace. It wasn't something he thought of; it was something that happened to him.

Blake, like all of us was in the Furnace when the experience of forgiveness and self-annihilation came; they are two sides of the same coin. No one forgives until he has found the grace to annihilate at least momentarily the law bound accusing spectre which is his Selfhood (J33 (29)18-19) And this is only possible as an act of the Imagination, which is eternal, which is Christ. Whenever you successfully annihilate your old self to the point of truly forgiving another, the eternal Christ is alive and at work in your soul. In fact it is he who does it. He is in you, and you are in him; that's eternal life.

Reduced to its barest essential that's what Jesus finally came to mean for Blake. The only unique thing about the man of Nazareth was that he taught forgiveness of one's enemies. In this sense he incarnated God. God is love, is forgiveness. "If Morality was Christianity, Socrates was the Saviour." Unlike Socrates Jesus was a man in whom God dwelt through his vision and his acts of forgiveness.

The significance of the resurrection lies in the coming to life of Forgiveness, Jesus, in you and me. In this way we defeat death.

"There is not one Moral Virtue that Jesus Inculcated but Plato
and Cicero did Inculcate before him; what then did Christ
Inculcate? Forgiveness of Sins. This alone is the Gospel,
and this is the Life and Immortality brought to light by Jesus,
Even the Covenant of Jehovah, which is This: If you forgive
one another your Trespasses, so shall Jehovah forgive you,
That he himself may dwell among you; but if you Avenge, you
Murder the Divine Image, and he cannot dwell among you; because
you Murder him he arises again, and you deny that he is Arisen,
and are blind to Spirit."
(Textual note for EG; E875)

It's quite a trick (or gift) to go from Time to Eternity. Blake showed how in several ways. (See also the Chapter on God.)

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