Ellie suggested that I list some favorite aphorisms:
Before 1980 you might expect from me, in response to almost
anything, a verse of scripture. After 1983 it became a verse from Blake.
Some of them are listed here in bold, and the description perhaps seves to explicate what I take to be the meaning (you may very legitimately find other meanings).
Here are some most commonly quoted:
"I give you the end of a Golden String Only wind it into a ball: It will let you in at Heaven's Gate Built in Jerusalem's wall."
What is the Golden String? how about the Christ
Consciousness? That's something you must work at
assiduously; it involves continuously annihilating your
internal spectre. 'Winding the ball' is a lifelong project,
but the end of it is Heaven's Gate.
"My Spectre around me night and day Like a wild beast upon my way"
The devil in you never sleeps.
Give him a chance and he will rend your psyche
limb from limb.
But when your 'string' is fully wound you may meet this:
"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"
That's the shape of the Eternity that Blake
was always talking about. I call it UPSTAIRS.
Jesus was about Forgiveness of Sin.
He forgives and forgives and forgives.
But to enjoy his benefit we have to forgive
like [Blake] forgave his Spectre in the poem.
"Both read the Bible day & night But thou readst black where
I read white"
(The Everlasting Gospel; E517ff)
Way back some centuries ago the concept of 'The
Everlasting Gospel became current, generally
understood in this way:
The Trinity denotes epochs in three stages of
The Father is found in the Old Testament.
The Son is found in the New Testament.
The Holy Spirit includes all subsequent revelations,
including my vision and yours.
The poetry of Blake emphatically occurs in the
In 1810-12 Blake labored with The Everlasting Gospel:
"The Vision of Christ that thou dost see
Is my Visions Greatest Enemy
Thine has a great hook nose like thine
Mine has a snub nose like to mine
Thine is the Friend of All Mankind
Mine speaks in parables to the Blind
Thine loves the same world that mine hates
Thy Heaven doors are my Hell Gates
Both read the Bible day & night
But thou readst black where I read white"
In Plate 98 of Jerusalem Blake wrote:
"The Druid Spectre was Annihilate loud thundring
Fourfold Annihilation & at the clangor of the Arrows of
The innumerable Chariots of the Almighty appeard in
And Bacon & Newton & Locke, & Milton & Shakspear &
A Sun of blood red wrath surrounding heaven on all sides
Glorious incompreh[en]sible by Mortal Man"
So at the end Blake forgave his mortal enemies; here the term
Bacon and Newton and Locke is a metaphor for all Blake's
enemies. He has complied with the commandment:
"Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who
trespass against us."
"Know that after Christ's death he became Jehovah".
(MHH plate 6 ; E35)
What in the world does that mean?
In his natural life Jesus put forth the Father;
the epitome may well be the story of the Prodigal Son.
But after he died he became Jehovah?
He had told us to look to the Father, but after he died
orthodox Christian's looked to Jesus; he took the place of God.
They pray to him, not to the Father!
That's why Blake said that, speaking with heavy irony.
"Satan is the State of Death, & not a Human existence:"
(Jerusalem , Plate 49; E 198)
(This one from Ellie)
"I must create a system or be enslav'd by another Mans"
We must create our own belief structure and values or else
depend upon someone elses.
We will be conventional, dependent people or Individualists.
"Without contraries is no progression
Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy,
Love and Hate, are necessary to human existence.
From these contraries spring what the religious
call Good and Evil."