Monday, May 16, 2011


Thinking as I do that the Creator
of this world is a cruel being, and
being a worshipper of Christ, I have to
say: "the Son! oh how unlike the Father":
First God Almighty comes with a thump on
the head; then J.C. comes with a balm
to heal it.
(Comments on A Vision of the Last Judgment [Erdman 565])
       To put it shortly the epigraph says it all. An esoteric alternative Protestantism nurtured Blake as a child. But what he said above aptly expresses the feelings of enormous numbers of people in our society today. "I don't care for the O.T. The N.T. suits me better": there is the understated strong consensus of many today, so extravagantly stated here by William Blake.
       We might trace the development of 'God-thought' in the Thinker through the years of his spiritual growth.


       The materialistic psychology dominant in Blake's age as well as our own portrays the real and the imaginative as opposites. But in truth there are only images of reality; "Mental Things are alone Real" (from A Vision of the Last Judgment, that is, mediated into consciousness by the mind. Our immediate experience is a chaos of sense perception from which we all create our own visions of reality. Like Blake "[we] must create our own system or be enslaved by another man's" Jerusalem plate 10, line 21). An authentic person consciously creates his own vision of reality. He chooses to be who he is rather than to borrow his identity from a group or from a charismatic figure.      

Each person's ultimate reality is his God. There is no known objective God (the Russian cosmonauts assured us of that many years ago); there are only images of God. Some of the outstanding images of God that have shaped the life of the world came to us from Moses, Isaiah, Buddha, and Mohammed. Finally we have the vision of Jesus, whom Christians consider to be an incarnation of God. But perhaps equally influential upon the course of history have been the visions of Alexander, Napoleon, and Stalin. Their common vision of the dominion of power is near the opposite pole from that of the gentle Galilean. 

(Taken from the Blake Primer)


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