Tuesday, May 08, 2012


British Museum
Young's Night Thoughts
'I stand at the Door'

 In the prologue to the Gospel of John the author uses the word 'logos' to speak of truth which is eternal but inaccessible. The logos which became manifest was embodied in the flesh. By becoming expressed in human form the logos became mythos, and was able to speak to men through images, allegory, and anology. In a sense the Old Testament is logos because the eternal truth came to be expressed in the abstraction of the law. In the New Testament the truth became incarnate in Jesus which opened the way for man to experience God as internal: an ever present reality being forever born in his psyche.   

[1] In the beginning was the Word [Logos], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
[2] The same was in the beginning with God.
[3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
[4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
[5] And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
[6] There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
[7] The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
[8] He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
[9] That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
[10] He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
[11] He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
[12] But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
[13] Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
[14] And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Blake wrote not for the rational mind (associated with the logos), but for the intuitive mind. Dependence on reason, he felt, had led man away from his ability to understand his true nature and construct a reliable paradigm for viewing the world. Raine saw the same division between the rational and intuitive in Plato who addressed some his work to each type of mental processing. Blake applied himself to developing a means of awakening in men the ability to bypass rational or corporeal understanding and speak directly to the intuitive or spiritual sense.

Explaining the inconsistent attitude Blake had toward Plato and Greek culture, Kathleen Raine remarks in
Blake and Tradition

"...Blake read the Neoplatonists before he read Plato, and the
Phaperus, Cratylus, Phaedo, Parmenides, and Timaeus before he read the purely discursive works. Neoplatonism stems from one side of Plato - all that he inherited, through Pythagoras and the Orphic tradition, from the 'revealed' wisdom of antiquity. Blake was neither the first nor the last reader of Plato's works to have been bewildered by the presence of two, in many respects contradictory, aspects of his thought - logos and mythos; and he rejected the former with no less vigor than he continued to embrace the latter." (Page 73)

Blake was constantly in the process of refining his ability to restore the lost faculty of man to understand the infinite, eternal reality expressed in mythos.  

, 27, (E 730)
[To Thomas Butts] Felpham July 6. 1803

"Thus I hope that all our three years trouble Ends in
Good Luck at last & shall be forgot by my affections & only
rememberd by my Understanding to be a Memento in time to come &
to speak to future generations by a Sublime Allegory which is now
perfectly completed into a Grand Poem[.] I may praise it since I
dare not pretend to be any other than the Secretary the Authors
are in Eternity I consider it as the Grandest Poem that This
World Contains.  Allegory addressd to the Intellectual powers
while it is altogether hidden from the Corporeal Understanding is
My Definition of the Most Sublime Poetry. it is also somewhat in
the same manner defind by Plato."

Northrop Frye, in Fearful Symmetry, tells us:
"A visionary creates, or dwells in, a higher spiritual world in which the objects of perception in this one have become transfigured and charged with a new intensity of symbolism." (Page 8) 

Auguries of Innocence , (E 493)

"God Appears and God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell in Night,
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of day."

Annotations to Lavater (E 599)
"God is in the lowest effects as well as in the highest
causes for he is become a worm that he may nourish the weak
For let it be rememberd that creation is. God descending
according to the weakness of man for our Lord is the word of God
& every thing on earth is the word of God & in its essence is God"

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