Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Plate 91


But still the thunder of Los peals loud & thus the thunder's
    cry                                                    

These beautiful Witchcrafts of Albion, are gratifyd by Cruelty

PLATE 91                                                    
It is easier to forgive an Enemy than to forgive a Friend:
The man who permits you to injure him, deserves your vengeance:
He also will recieve it;
go Spectre! obey my most secret desire:
Which thou knowest without my speaking: Go to these Fiends of
    Righteousness
Tell them to obey their Humanities, & not pretend Holiness;
When they are murderers: as far as my Hammer & Anvil permit
Go, tell them that the Worship of God, is honouring his gifts
In other men:
& loving the greatest men best, each according
To his Genius: which is the Holy Ghost in Man; there is no other
God, than that God who is the intellectual fountain of Humanity;
He who envies or calumniates: which is murder & cruelty,
Murders the Holy-one: Go tell them this & overthrow their cup,
Their bread, their altar-table, their incense & their oath:
Their marriage & their baptism, their burial & consecration:

I have tried to make friends by corporeal gifts but have only
Made enemies: I never made friends but by spiritual gifts;
By severe contentions of friendship & the burning fire of
    thought.
He who would see the Divinity must see him in his Children
One first, in friendship & love; then a Divine Family, & in the
    midst
Jesus will appear; so he who wishes to see a Vision; a perfect
    Whole    
Must see it in its Minute Particulars; Organized & not as thou
O Fiend of Righteousness pretendest; thine is a Disorganized
And snowy cloud: brooder of tempests & destructive War
You smile with pomp & rigor: you talk of benevolence & virtue!
I act with benevolence & virtue & get murderd time after time:
You accumulate Particulars, & murder by analyzing, that you
May take the aggregate; & you call the aggregate Moral Law:
And you call that Swelld & bloated Form; a Minute Particular.
But General Forms have their vitality in Particulars: & every
Particular is a Man; a Divine Member of the Divine Jesus.

So Los cried at his Anvil in the horrible darkness weeping!

The Spectre builded stupendous Works, taking the Starry Heavens
Like to a curtain & folding them according to his will
Repeating the Smaragdine Table of Hermes to draw Los down
Into the Indefinite, refusing to believe without demonstration[.]
Los reads the Stars of Albion! the Spectre reads the Voids
Between the Stars; among the arches of Albions Tomb sublime
Rolling the Sea in rocky paths: forming Leviathan
And Behemoth: the War by Sea enormous & the War
By Land astounding: erecting pillars in the deepest Hell,
To reach the heavenly arches; Los beheld undaunted furious
His heavd Hammer; he swung it round & at one blow,
In unpitying ruin driving down the pyramids of pride
Smiting the Spectre on his Anvil & the integuments of his Eye
And Ear unbinding in dire pain, with many blows,        
Of strict severity self-subduing, & with many tears labouring.

Then he sent forth the Spectre all his pyramids were grains
Of sand & his pillars: dust on the flys wing: & his starry
Heavens; a moth of gold & silver mocking his anxious grasp
Thus Los alterd his Spectre & every Ratio of his Reason   
He alterd time after time, with dire pain & many tears
Till he had completely divided him into a separate space.

Terrified Los sat to behold trembling & weeping & howling
I care not whether a Man is Good or Evil; all that I care
Is whether he is a Wise Man or a Fool. Go! put off Holiness
And put on Intellect: or my thundrous Hammer shall drive thee
To wrath which thou condemnest: till thou obey my voice

So Los terrified cries: trembling & weeping & howling!
    Beholding
(Erdman 251-52)  


Notes:  

The first paragraph is very rich and contains multiple important meaning; virtually every sentence lends itself to a paragraph of interpretation:
It is easier to forgive an Enemy than to forgive a Friend:
The man who permits you to injure him, deserves your vengeance:
He also will recieve it;
Certainly a meaningful idea; it may have been inspired by the fact that Blake had been deeply hurt by those he called ‘corporeal friends’: people who might want the best for him, their idea, but not his.  Outstanding among those was Hayley who seemed determined to make Blake a popular poet and told him more  or less not to waste his time on ‘visions’.In this plate he calls them ‘Fiends of Righteousness’.

Go, tell them that the Worship of God, is honouring his gifts
In other men: & loving the greatest men best, each according
To his Genius: which is the Holy Ghost in Man.

We can only see God in ‘other men’ and in our own Genius: following the Quaker doctrine God is immanent rather than transcendent.

He goes a step further: “there is no other God”; In Blake’s mind the transcendent God is used by churchmen (with other devices) to control the laity:
Their bread, their altar-table, their incense & their oath:
Their marriage & their baptism, their burial & consecration:
As this goes on you can see a high degree of subjectivity, a diatribe (likely to Hayley?)
                                              

3 comments:

Vincent said...

I never knew that the Quakers have this belief in the immanent rather than the transcendent God. I'm grateful to know it. In some incoherent way I believed the same too, but until you have words to say something, you can't really say that you think it.

I felt too that the words you have put in blod are the ones worthy of comment. You've pointed out a lot to think about. I'll be back and read the whole more carefully later.

Vincent said...

bold, not blood!

Larry said...

'There is that of God in everyone' was a word that George Fox used over and over. I don't know the theology of present day British theology, but the phrase is the central tenet in the Quaker thinking among the Quakers we've been associated with, a group called the Friends General Conference.

Our Friends have silent worship. The silence is broken occasionally when someone feels like the God in him/her has a message for the meeting.

They rarely invoke prayer, but more commonly ask that someone be held in the Light. For many Quakers the Light, more or less takes the place of Christ.

Vincent, wish you could be present at one of the Sunday Morning worship services at our house.

I still have something of the evengelical in me, enough to lead me to finish many emails with

Blessing.