Tuesday, August 21, 2012

JESUS THE IMAGINATION


The Ascension, c.1805-6


From Kathleen Raine's book, Golgonooza, City of Imagination, we can learn more of what Blake meant by 'Jesus the Imagination' and about the function of states in the journey through mortal life. Page 154-6

"But for Blake Jesus is something more specific: he is 'Jesus, the Imagination, the 'supreme state' of humanity which transcends, and releases from, all the states of good and evil through which human souls pass. The presence of Jesus the Imagination is with every man at all times present, born with every birth, accompanying every soul throughout life as the 'saviour' who releases the man from his present state. It is Satan, the Selfhood, who identifies the man with his present state; and who therefore is the Accuser who condemns; the Divine Humanity, Jesus the Imagination, is the ever-present way of release from the states. Imagination is called the 'savior' because the Person of the Divine Humanity is also able to:

'take away the imputation of Sin
By the Creation of States & the deliverance of Individuals
     Evermore Amen
 ...
But many doubted & despaird & imputed Sin & Righteousness       
To Individuals & not to States'
Jerusalem, Plate 25, (E 170)

'The Imagination is not a State: it is the Human Existence itself'
Milton Plate 33 [36],(E 132)

Both the heavens and the hells Blake saw as alike remote from this state, the heavens of the self-righteous condemning in in 'cruel holiness' the hells of the sinners; and he goes on to write:

'Yet they are blameless & Iniquity must be imputed only           
To the State they are enterd into that they may be deliverd:
Satan is the State of Death, & not a Human existence:
But Luvah is named Satan, because he has enterd that State.
A World where Man is by Nature the enemy of Man
Because the Evil is Created into a State. that Men               
May be deliverd time after time evermore.'

- and the passage concludes:

'Learn therefore O Sisters to distinguish the Eternal Human
That walks about among the stones of fire in bliss & woe
Alternate! from those States or Worlds in which the Spirit travels:
This is the only means to Forgiveness of Enemies'  
Jerusalem, Plate 49, (E 199) 
 
Human beings can be forgiven for they are not irrevocably 'evil' but can pass through many states, and the supreme state is the goal of all. ... Blake's own words best describe his vision of Jesus the Imagination as depicted in his Vision of the Last Judgement:
 
'Around the Throne Heaven is opend & the Nature of 
Eternal Things Displayd All Springing from the Divine Humanity 
All beams from him, as he himself has said, All 
dwells in him. He is the Bread & the Wine; he is the Water of 
Life.' 
Vision of Last Judgement,(E 561)"

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