Satan. You can read one skirmish in the story of Jesus in the
Wilderness (Luke 4:1-13). Luke gave us a pattern for the story
of our lives.
Reading Blake's poetry it becomes evident that Blake's inner
life was turbulent and often violent; the inner war fills the pages
of his poetry. He described that best with these words, often
found in this blog. It's a dialogue between Blake's higher and lower
"My Spectre around me night & day
Like a Wild beast guards my way.
My Emanation far within
Weeps incessantly for my Sin
A Fathomless & boundless deep
There we wander there we weep
On the hungry craving wind
My Spectre follows thee behind
He scents thy footsteps in the snow
Wheresoever thou dost go
Thro the wintry hail & rain
When wilt thou return again
Dost thou not in Pride & scorn
Fill with tempests all my morn
And with jealousies & fears
Fill my pleasant nights with tears
Seven of my sweet loves thy knife
Has bereaved of their life
Their marble tombs I built with tears
And with cold & shuddering fears
Seven more loves weep night & day
Round the tombs where my loves lay
And seven more loves attend each night
Around my couch with torches bright
And seven more Loves in my bed
Crown with wine my mournful head
Pitying & forgiving all
my transgressions great & small
When wilt thou return & view
My loves & them to life renew
When wilt thou return & live
When wilt thou pity as I forgive
Never Never I return
Still for Victory I burn
Living thee alone Ill have
And when dead Ill be thy Grave
Thro the Heavn & Earth & Hell
Thou shalt never never quell
I will fly & thou pursue
Night & Morn the flight renew
Till I turn from Female Love
And root up the Infernal Grove
I shall never worthy be
To Step into Eternity
And to end thy cruel mocks
Annihilate thee on the rocks
And another form create
To be subservient to my Fate
Let us agree to give up Love
And root up the infernal grove
Then shall we return & see
The worlds of happy Eternity
& Throughout all Eternity
I forgive you you forgive me
As our dear Redeemer said
This the Wine & this the Bread".
Blake had read and certainly appreciated Romans 7,
where Paul described the war within him:
"19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"
So there we have Blake's war and Paul's war; neither is a corporeal war. They are both inner wars, written perhaps by both authors as a pattern for the shape of the life of everyman. Blake, Paul, and the rest of us have this same war within. Blake's solution was to annihilate the Spectre-- not a person, but our Selfhood. We might with well do likewise.
A good way to end this post might be to show something of the war of Jesus within: his temptation in the wilderness, described for us by three of the Evangelists (Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:9-13, and Luke 4:1-13). Here's Matthews version:
"1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
"11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him."
Illustration to Milton's Paradise Regained