Friday, August 05, 2011

4z 60

In this blog the Four Zoas is labeled 59 times.

1. Ezekiel 1:4-10
4And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
5Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.
6And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.
7And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.
8And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings.
9Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.
10As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle."

2. Revelation 4:6-11:
  • The heavenly throne with a rainbow around it, having the One seated in it, is revealed.
  • Twenty-four surrounding thrones seated with twenty-four crowned elders appear.
  • The four living creatures present themselves; each having six wings full of eyes, one having the face of a lion, another as a calf, the third as a man, and the last as an eagle.
  • (From Wikipedia)
 These passages in the Bible must have made an enormous impression on the mind of the young William Blake, a Bible Soaked Protestant according to Northrup Frye.

A strong impulse to be an individual ('I must create a system') was fully present in his consciousness since the earliest days; he must do something like Homer had done, like Dante had done, especially what Milton had done; all three of them and many others were 'their own man'. Above all Blake was his own man.

His first large poem he would call Vala, but he soon replaced it with The Four Zoas ("the greatest unfinished masterpiece in British Literature" -Frye). It would be Nine Nights.

He hit upon The Four Zoas at an early age (How old was Jung when he came up with his Four Functions?)

It became his Notebook; he kept adding stuff to it until it became enormous. He hallowed it; it was his Kingdom. Day by day he added his daily bread to it. Something came to him; he added it; perhaps forgot it, and it reappeared in another form.

Time came when he realized that it wouldn't do (maybe after his Moment of Grace). He wrote Milton (full of his New Mind); then he started on his magnum opus and called it Jerusalem. The Preface to Milton was the beginning; the four zoas became the four chapters. In these later days he used the same procedures he had used in the un-regenerate times, but the structure was determined from the beginning: one chapter for each of the four levels of spiritual consciousness as he understood them.

In his early development Blake had been dominated by Urizen; he came to hate it and preferred Luvah. He made Jesus another name for Luvah: always suffering. After his awakening Luvah and Jesus became prominent as Forgiveness.

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