Monday, August 15, 2011

Blake's Jesus II

In Blake's Works Jesus appears many places with many meanings :

In MHH; (Erdman 43) he wrote this dialogue between a Devil
and an angel (The Devil of course was the 'good guy' and the Angel
the 'bad guy':

" A Memorable Fancy

Once I saw a Devil in a flame of fire. who arose before an
Angel that sat on a cloud. and the Devil utterd these words.
The worship of God is. Honouring his gifts in other men
each according to his genius. and loving the greatest men
best, those who envy or calumniate great men hate God, for there
is no other God.
The Angel hearing this became almost blue but mastering
himself he grew yellow, & at last white pink & smiling, and then
Thou Idolater, is not God One? & is not he visible in Jesus
Christ? and has not Jesus Christ given his sanction to the law of
ten commandments and are not all other men fools, sinners, &
The Devil answer'd; bray a fool in a morter with wheat. yet
shall not his folly be beaten out of him: if Jesus Christ is the
greatest man, you ought to love him in the greatest degree; now
hear how he has given his sanction to the law of ten
commandments: did he not mock at the sabbath, and so mock the
sabbaths God? murder those who were murderd because of him? turn
away the law from the woman taken in adultery? steal the labor of
others to support him? bear false witness when he omitted making
a defence before Pilate? covet when he pray'd for his disciples,
and when he bid them shake off the dust of their feet against
such as refused to lodge them? I tell you, no virtue can exist
without breaking these ten commandments: Jesus was all virtue,
and acted from impulse: not from rules."

Here we have the age old conflict between the
conventional religionist and the creative individual.

In MHH, Plate
16; Erdman 40: Jesus Christ did not wish to unite but to seperate them,
as in the Parable of sheep and goats! & he says I came not to send
Peace but a Sword."


In the Preface to Milton, immediately before the glorious
hymn, Jerusalem, he wrote: (Erdman 95)

"believe Christ & his Apostles that there is
A Class of Men whose whole delight is in Destroying. We do not
want either Greek or Roman Models if we are but just & true to
our own Imaginations, those Worlds of Eternity in which we shall
live for ever; in Jesus our Lord.

And did those feet in ancient time......"

In Plate 2 of Milton; (Erdman 92):
"Tell also of the False Tongue! vegetated
Beneath your land of shadows: of its sacrifices. and Its offerings;
even till Jesus, the image of the Invisible God Became its prey;
a curec, an offering, and an atonement,
For Death Eternal in the heavens of Albion, & before the
Gates Of Jerusalem his Emanation, in the heavens beneath Beulah"

In Plate 3 of Milton; (Erdman 96):
"Three Classes are Created by the Hammer of Los, & Woven
By Enitharmons Looms when Albion was slain upon his Mountains
And in his Tent, thro envy of Living Form, even of the Divine
Vision And of the sports of Wisdom in the Human Imagination
Which is the Divine Body of the Lord Jesus, blessed for ever."

The beginning of Jerusalem reads like this:
" Jerusalem
Chap: I
Of the Sleep of Ulro! and of the passage through
Eternal Death! and of the awaking to Eternal Life.
This theme calls me in sleep night after night, & ev'ry morn
Awakes me at sun-rise, then I see the Saviour over me
Spreading his beams of love, & dictating the words of this mild song.

Awake! awake O sleeper of the land of shadows, wake! expand!
I am in you and you in me, mutual in love divine:
Fibres of love from man to man thro Albions pleasant land.
In all the dark Atlantic vale down from the hills of Surrey
A black water accumulates, return Albion! return! "


Read finally in Plate 3 of Jerusalem (Erdman 145):
.......................I also hope the Reader will
be with me, wholly One in Jesus our Lord, who is the God [of
Fire] and Lord [of Love] to whom the Ancients
look'd and saw his day afar off, with trembling & amazement.
The Spirit of Jesus is continual forgiveness of Sin:"
We could site many other occurrences of these thoughts, but
in the light especially found in the beginning of Jerusalem it
must be clear to anyone who can see that Blake had experienced
a rebirth at that point.

The vulgar understanding perceives rebirth as a one-time event, but a rebirth may occur more than once in a lifetime. Ideally every day is a rebirth if you can see the Sun the way Blake saw it:

"it will be Questiond When the Sun rises do you not see a round
Disk of fire somewhat like a Guinea O no no I see an Innumerable
company of the Heavenly host crying Holy Holy Holy is the Lord
God Almighty I question not my Corporeal or Vegetative Eye any
more than I would Question a Window concerning a Sight I look
thro it & not with it."
(the end of Blake's Vision of the Last Judgment; E565-6)  

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