Monday, September 17, 2012

Ahania

Ahania

Ahania represented Urizen's intuitive and visual self; he seems to have preferred reposing in Ahania
rather than continuing his activity spreading the seeds of Science in his golden chariot (or plow!). The
upshot of this was a level of doubt that caused him to cast Ahania out. Unfortunately when he did this,
his intuition failed and he resorted more and more to vindictive law rather than 'sweet reason'; his
creations thereafter were fallen (although the golden chain remained, even when it turned to iron).

"Am I not God said Urizen. Who is Equal to me
Do I not stretch the heavens abroad or fold them up like a garment
......
His visage changd to darkness & his strong right hand came forth
To cast Ahania to the Earth. He seizd her by the hair
And threw her from the steps of ice that froze around his throne.............
Saying Art thou also become like Vala? Thus I cast thee out.
Shall the feminine indolent bliss
Set herself up to give her laws to the active masculine virtue,
Thou little diminutive portion that darst be a counterpart
Thy passivity, thy laws of obedience & insincerity
Are my abhorrence.
And art thou also become like Vala? Thus I cast thee out."
(Four Zoas Night 3 42:19-43:22 [328-9]

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From Wikipedia:
"She is the representation of pleasure and the desire for intelligence. Although Urizen casts her out as 
being the manifestation of sin, she is actually an essential component in Blake's system to achieving 
Divine Wisdom. She is a figure of the goddess of wisdom. It is through her that the sons and daughters 
of Urizen are born. In the original myth, her son Fuzon rebels against his father and is responsible for 
separating Urizen and Ahania. In his later version, Ahania is separated from Urizen after he believes 
that she is sinful."

The Book of Ahania yields a lot of information about what Ahania meant to Blake:

"Fuzon, the fourth son of Urizen but first conceived, is the element fire. The other three elements are
represented by three other sons of Urizen: Grodna = earth, Thiriel = air, and Utha = water. As the four
elements, these four sons of Urizen form the material basis of Urizen's world. As the element of fire, the
element symbolizing the energy Urizen wishes to subdue, Fuzon rebels against Urizen, initially in The 
Book of Urizen, a Moses figure who leads his people in their flight out of Egypt, Urizen's world. In
The Book of Ahania, Fuzon comes into direct conflict with Urizen, battling with him for control of the
world. The representation of this battle draws on elements from Greek mythology: Cronos's castration
and overthrow of his father, Uranus; the battle between the Titans led by Cronos and Cronos's children,
the Olympians, led by Zeus; and the battle between Zeus and Typhon. However, as opposed to the
Greek mythos, Urizen defeats Fuzon and crucifies him. Thus Fuzon can also be seen as a Christ figure.
See UrizenPlate 24, for an illustration of the birth of the four elements and UrizenPlate 16, for an
illustration of the element fire."

It begins:
"1: Fuzon, on a chariot iron-wing'd
On spiked flames rose; his hot visage
Flam'd furious! sparkles his hair & beard
Shot down his wide bosom and shoulders.
On clouds of smoke rages his chariot
And his right hand burns red in its cloud
Moulding into a vast globe, his wrath
As the thunder-stone is moulded.
Son of Urizens silent burnings
2: Shall we worship this Demon of smoke,
Said Fuzon, this abstract non-entity
This cloudy God seated on waters
Now seen, now obscur'd; King of sorrow?

3: So he spoke, in a fiery flame,
On Urizen frowning indignant,
The Globe of wrath shaking on high
Roaring with fury, he threw
The howling Globe: burning it flew
Lengthning into a hungry beam."

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