There are two of Everything: a pro and a con, a good and an evil. What about this creature? We've spent years whipping the Spectre; a long time ago I came to realize that everything unpleasant, distructive, horrid came from the Spectre.
The Spectre! is there such a thing as a good and a bad spectre? There you have it. What is good and bad? Spectrous distinctions! In the final resolution of our lives there's no longer a good and a bad.
To put it differently one dies, the other survives.
But how can we tell who's what? With 244 occurrences of the spectre in Blake how can we discriminate?
Studying the book of Milton is perhaps the best way. But The Four Zoas, a sort of preliminary to the larger Prophecies, may give a clue:
"The dread Sleep of Ulro is past. But Satan Og & Sihon Build Mills of resistless wheels to unwind the soft threads & reveal Naked of their clothing the poor
spectres before the accusing heavens" (4Z; Erdman 376)
What's this? the poor spectres. I thought they were all bad; but after "The dread Sleep of Ulro is past" things are very different.
Or look at 372:
"Then Enitharmon ..... wove the Spectres
Bodies of Vegetation Singing lulling Cadences to drive away
Despair from the poor wandering spectres and Los loved them
With a parental love for the Divine hand was upon him"
But in 367-8 we read
"But then the Spectre enterd Los's bosom ....
Obdurate Los felt Pity Enitharmon told the tale
Los embracd the Spectre first as a brother Then as another Self; astonishd humanizing & in tears
In Self abasement Giving up his Domineering lust
Thou never canst embrace sweet Enitharmon terrible Demon.
Till Thou art united with thy Spectre Consummating by pains & labours
That mortal body &, by Self annihilation back returning To Life Eternal be assurd I am thy real Self
Tho thus divided from thee & the Slave of Every passion Of thy fierce Soul Unbar the Gates of Memory look upon me
Not as another but as thy real Self I am thy Spectre Thou didst subdue me in old times by thy Immortal Strength When I was a ravning hungring & thirsting cruel lust & murder
Tho horrible & Ghastly to thine Eyes
tho buried beneath The ruins of the Universe.
hear what inspird I speak & be silent
If we unite in one[,] another better world will be Opend within your heart & loins & wondrous brain Threefold as it was in Eternity & this the fourth Universe Will be Renewd by the three & consummated in Mental fires..."
But this is not the critical Moment.
We might best look at MILTON:
Here is Milton at Erdman 139:
"In the Eastern porch of Satans Universe Milton stood & said
Satan! my Spectre! I know my power thee to annihilate And be a greater in thy place, & be thy Tabernacle
A covering for thee to do thy will, till one greater comes
And smites me as I smote thee & becomes my covering. Such are the Laws of thy false Heavns! but Laws of Eternity
Are not such: know thou: I come to Self Annihilation Such are the Laws of Eternity that each shall mutually Annihilate himself for others good, as I for thee".
That, my friends, is the secret of life, the Law of Love. Your Spectre is an idiot; but to truly live you have to 'kiss the idiot'. It's the worldly, materialistic selfish that you and I are, that makes up most of what we are or have become. When Blake had his life changing experience, he stopped hating and loved the poor feeble suffering spectre within.
The Sceptre is Satan; Satan is a State; our inner sceptre/satan are the things we do and then hate for doing.
The penultimate verse of My Spectre Around me Night and Day is:
"Let us agree to give up Love
And root up the infernal grove;
Then we shall return & see
The worlds of happy Eternity,"
The dumb barking dog is acting furiously hoping for some recognition, any attention; such is our spectre.