Friday, October 19, 2012
This post is based on pages 6-10 of Percival's Circle of Destiny.
Our psyche is dualistic; everything is an either or. Blake understood
this as well as the next man.
From Plate 3 of the Marriage of Heaven and Earth:
"Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and
Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are
necessary to Human existence."
From these contraries spring what the religious
call Good & Evil.
Good is the passive that obeys Reason[.] Evil is the active
springing from Energy.
Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell."
(The work is ironic; it comes from an ’angry young man.' In
later years Blake used an entirely different language.)
Here are some of the commonplace contraries:
The Zoa,Urizen attempted to dominate the world, but made a
sorry mess of it.
The Zoa for Imagination was Los, the fallen name for Urthona;
he hammered into existence many attempts to fix the world, all
of them in some way fallen.
Down Up (This is sometimes reversed.)
The outer life is about things, facts,
thoughtless activity; the inner life is about reflection, spirit.
The Pebble demonstrated the Selfhood;
It must be annihilated to achieve the eternal immortality
Earth, Beulah Paradise, Heaven, Eden
Beulah is the dusty halfway station between Heaven and Ulro (Hell)
There are many others that you might hit upon
by using your imagination.
Blake's system, his myth, the fullest expression
of his values, is expressed through these
As Percival said, Blake's system, myth, etc is based upon
The Bible myth is Creation, Fall, Salvation, Apocalypse.
Blake's myth is Fall, Creation, Ulro (Hell), Redemption.
It was Man who created after the Fall of the Eternal Albion.
(Albion was Blake's term for Mankind.)
Urizen (Reason) 'created' a dismal world;
Los (Imagination) did somewhat better; he created
Golgonooza (like the Church bringing in the Kingdom
of God; but only God can do that).
Vala ('female love') represents fallen creation.
Jerusalem (the bride of Christ) represents the New
Age (for which we are all waiting).
(Pictures from LC Rare Books)
Study Jerusalem plate 81. A
nicer copy may be found at
Vala and Jerusalem are
As usual Jerusalem is naked;
Vala is veiled.
(Truth is naked, but men veil
themselves with lies.)
You may research the rest of the contraries in like manner.