Sunday, March 18, 2012

Boehme and Blake

Disregarding Milton and Shakespeare, Blake may be considered a look-a-like of the man who had lived in an earlier century.

1. Both were raised in comfortable lower middle class families.
Blake in London,
Boehme in Goerlitz, Germany.

2. Neither had a formal academic education, but through voracious reading they became highly learned men, particularly in terms of the Perennial Philosophy.

3. Both became apprentices of a respectable trade:
Boehme of shoe-making,
Blake of engraving.

4. Both practically lived in the pages of the Bible and gave highly individualistic interpretations of it.

5. Both scorned the conventional religions of their land:
In Germany everyone automatically belonged to the state religion.
In England a multitude of ‘sects’ had risen; the young Blake had flirtations with some of them, but in adultood was committed to none.

6. Both depreciated Reason in favor of Vision.

7. Both married a girl named Catherine/Katarina and lived through periods of poverty.

From William Law's Boehm; this from The Teutonic Theosopher

"In this my earnest Christian seeking and desire, the gate was opened unto me, so that in one quarter of an hour I saw and knew more than if I had been many years together at an University; at which I did exceedingly admire, and I knew not how it happened to me; and thereupon I turned my heart to praise God for it.

"For I saw and knew the Being of all Beings, the Byss and Abyss; also the eternal generation of the Holy Trinity; the descent, and origin of this world, and of all creatures, through the divine Wisdom; I knew and saw in myself all the three Worlds; namely, the Divine, Angelical, and Paradisical World and then the Dark World, the original of the Nature to the fire; and then thirdly, the external, and visible World, being a Procreation, or External Birth; or as a substance expressed, or spoken forth, from both the internal and spiritual Worlds; and I saw, and knew the whole working Essence in the evil, and in the good; and the mutual origin, and existence of each of them; and likewise how the fruitful bearing Womb of Eternity brought forth, so that I did not only greatly wonder at it, but did also exceedingly rejoice."

William Law said of Boehme's writings,
"The true ground of every doctrine and article of Christian faith and practice is there opened in such a ravishing, amazing depth of clearness of truth and conviction as had never been seen or heard in any age of the Church."

Do you remember how often Blake's pictures had three levels, especially Illustrations of The Book of Job.

Blake used 'Gates' often in his poetry.

Both men used 'time' with great freedom.
For Blake there was a corresponding three fold category of Heaven, Hell and Beulah or of Eternity, Ulro, and regenerated Beulah.
Another corresponding triad was Jerusalem, Rahab, and Tirzah.

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