Friday, July 06, 2012

AUGURIES OF INNOCENCE


You may have learned in an elementary physics class that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction; you may have balanced an equation to demonstrate that nothing may be lost or gained. Such is the calculation of Sir Isaac Newton; but it is not the calculation of William Blake. Blake adds into his equations factors which cannot be measured . Effects may be multiplied, divided, added, or subtracted  by spiritual forces which act from the hearts, minds and imaginations of men. For good or ill  there may be unintended consequences as a result of the status of the Soul. If a man is 'organized by Divine Providence for Spiritual communion' his choices will encourage the development of his spirit at the expense of self enhancement. If the Selfhood or false reasoning power dominates the mind, a man will 'not see spiritual agency' and will fail to recognise the connections among all things. 


Milton, Plate 26 [28], (E 124)
"And every Natural Effect has a Spiritual Cause, and Not
A Natural: for a Natural Cause only seems, it is a Delusion
Of Ulro: & a ratio of the perishing Vegetable Memory."

Letters
, To Butts, (E 724)
"But if we fear to do the dictates of our Angels & tremble at the 

Tasks set before us. if we refuse to do Spiritual Acts. because of Natural
Fears or Natural Desires! Who can describe the dismal torments of such a
state!--I too well remember the Threats I heard!--If you who are organized
by Divine Providence for Spiritual communion. Refuse & bury your Talent in
the Earth even tho you should want Natural Bread. Sorrow & Desperation
pursues you thro life! & after death shame & confusion of face to eternity--
Every one in Eternity will leave you aghast at the Man who was crownd with
glory & honour by his brethren & betrayd their cause to their enemies. You
will be calld the base Judas who betrayd his Friend!"

Descriptive Catalog, (E 544)
"Reasons and opinions concerning acts, are not history.
Acts themselves alone are history, and these are neither the exclusive
property of Hume, Gibbon nor Voltaire, Echard, Rapin, Plutarch, nor
Herodotus. Tell me the Acts, O historian, and leave me to reason
upon them as I please; away with your reasoning and your rubbish.
 All that is not action is not [P 45] worth reading. Tell me the What;
I do not want you to tell me the Why, and the How; I can find that
out myself, as well as you can, and I will not be fooled by you into
opinions, that you please to impose, to disbelieve what you think im-
probable or impossible. His opinions, who does not see spiritual
agency
, is not worth any man's reading; he who rejects a fact because
it is improbable, must reject all History and retain doubts only."

In Auguries of Innocence Blake is showing that nothing can be viewed in isolation. Even the most distant effects have causes not attributable to natural events.  Every act has consequences.
 
British Museum
Young's Night Thoughts 
 Pickering Manuscript, (E 490)
"Auguries of Innocence
...
A Robin Red breast in a Cage 
Puts all Heaven in a Rage
A Dove house filld with doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thro all its regions
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State 
A Horse misusd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear
A Skylark wounded in the wing 
A Cherubim does cease to sing
The Game Cock clipd & armd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright
Every Wolfs & Lions howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul 
The wild deer wandring here & there
Keeps the Human Soul from Care
The Lamb misusd breeds Public strife
And yet forgives the Butchers Knife
The Bat that flits at close of Eve 
Has left the Brain that wont Believe
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbelievers fright
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belovd by Men 
He who the Ox to wrath has movd
Shall never be by Woman lovd
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spiders enmity
He who torments the Chafers sprite 
Weaves a Bower in endless Night
The Catterpiller on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mothers grief
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly
For the Last judgment draweth nigh 
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar
The Beggers Dog & Widows Cat
Feed them & thou wilt grow fat
The Gnat that sings his Summers song 
Poison gets from Slanders tongue
The poison of the Snake & Newt
Is the sweat of Envys Foot
The Poison of the Honey Bee
Is the Artists jealousy 
The Princes Robes & Beggars Rags
Are Toadstools on the Misers Bags
A truth thats told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent
It is right it should be so 
Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Thro the World we safely go
Joy & Woe are woven fine
A Clothing for the soul divine 
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine
The Babe is more than swadling Bands
Throughout all these Human Lands
..." 
 Complete Auguries of Innocence. 
 
What is this spiritual agency other than connections among various happenings in this world and in the spiritual world. Acts performed in human lives influence the spiritual condition of the person who performs them and of others who are touched by them. Carelessness about the treatment of the weak and vulnerable is not innocent although the consequences may be unintended.
If we look only for natural causes and connect events only through what we can weigh and measure, we are not aware of the harm or good which results from ordinary or extraordinary acts. The outer and the inner are not distinct areas; what is done outwardly is a consequence of inner acts and affects the inner life as well as the outer life.

If a man choose to live according to outward considerations exclusively, his inner being will be starved and will atrophy.  
Gospel of John
Chapter 12
[35] Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light 
with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for
he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
[36] While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children 
of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself 
from them.  

No comments: