Monday, September 03, 2012

God X

Perhaps the most basic feature of Blake's Jesus is the Oneness that he embodied. It's also
the most orthodox. Blake was in many ways an unorthodox thinker and theologian, as the 
preceding pages have shown, but the Oneness of Jesus comes straight out of the New 
Testament. A wealth of texts demonstrate this; those of the Bible and those of Blake 
show a profound simultaneity of intention:

The Evangelist John quotes Jesus in his starkest statement of his identity: "I and my 
Father are One" John 10:30. And later he recorded Jesus' great prayer of intercession for us:

"That they all may be one, as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be 
one is us." If any one verse in the Bible most clearly expresses Blake's fundamental faith, that's it. 
Look at Blake's first mention of Jesus in 4Z:

Then those in Great Eternity met in the Council of God
As One Man all the Universal family; and that One Man
They call Jesus the Christ, and they in him and he in them
Live in Perfect harmony, in Eden the land of life.

(The Four Zoas [Nt 1], 21.1-6; E310)
In the total structure of his theological vision Blake has imaginatively answered 
thoroughly and completely the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. According 
to his vision Jesus, the One, comprises the true nature of you and me when we are healed 
and whole. Once again nothing could be more biblical.
Long before his encounter with Jesus Blake's myth was thoroughly grounded in the 
Oneness of Man. Albion was One, the Universe. His division was the Fall, and his return 
to unity the ultimate good. Thus Blake describes Albion, the Universal Man at the very beginning of 4Z:

Daughter of Beulah, Sing,
His fall into Division and his Resurrection to Unity:
His fall into the Generation of decay and death, and his
Regeneration by the Resurrection from the dead.

That was the shape of the original myth. After Felpham Jesus became the One and 
Albion became one of his members--and so did Blake. 'Jerusalem' begins with a plate 
headed by the stark phrase in Greek, "Jesus only", and Blake reports hearing these words 
from the Saviour:

I am not a God afar off, I am a brother and friend;
Within your bosoms I reside, and you reside in me:
Lo! we are One, forgiving all Evil, Not seeking recompense.
Ye are my members...

And near the end of 'Jerusalem':
He who would see the Divinity must see him in his Children,
One first, in friendship and love, then a Divine Family, and in
midst Jesus will appear....
But General Forms have their vitality in Particulars, and every
Particular is a Man, a Divine Member of the Divine Jesus

Jesus claimed to be one with God and prayed that we might join him in the oneness. 
Blake's pilgrimage, with his successive visions of God, those he hated as well as those he 
loved, provides a fascinating example of how a man becomes one with God. 
To love the true God is to hate all false Gods.

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