Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chapter Ten 5

  And on the plate following Chapter Ten 4:

Then Jesus appeared.... And the Divine Appearance was the
likeness and similitude of Los. the poet states his theme:
Four Mighty Ones are in every Man; a Perfect Unity Cannot Exist
but   from the Universal Brotherhood of Eden, The Universal
Man, to Whom be Glory Evermore. Amen. .... Los was the fourth
immortal starry one, and in the Earth Of a bright niverse,Empery
attended day and night, Days and  nights of revolving joy.
Urthona was his name In Eden.... Daughters 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. (FZ1-3.9; E30

Here Blake has made the antecedent of 'his' deliberately  ambiguous:

Albion, the Ancient Man of course, but also Los.  It is Los's career that
we follow most intently.  Blake identified with Los, and so do we if we
read the poem with imagination.

     But "Begin with Tharmas, Parent power dark'ning in the West".
Tharmas represents the body, or in the psychic realm the instinct, and
in Eternity he's a glorious shepherd. But "darkening in the West"
beneath the jealous attack of his emanation, Enion, he sets in motion
the Circle of Destiny (The Four Zoas [Nt 1], 5.) and sinks into the sea
where he becomes an insane old man. From his "corse" arises the 

ravening spectre, a most gruesome embodiment of pure egocentricity.
A loveless embrace of Enion leads to the birth of Los and Enitharmon, 
the divided earthly form of Urthona.

 (Note that all this happens after the 'central event', although in the
poem we read about it first.)     

This first earthly family displays the ubiquitous dialectic of Blake (and
of universal experience): the angelic and demonic processes go on side by
side. Enion's intense mother love turns her daughter, Enitharmon, into a
teasing and heartless bitch and drives Enion to the abyss where she
becomes a disembodied voice of pure consciousness. We hear her voice at
the end of Nights i, ii, and viii sounding the purest prophetic judgment
on what has transpired. in a real sense Enion is Blake.

       When Enitharmon signs her Song of Death (quoted a few pages back),
Los strkes her down and then gives his own, more prophetic account of the
Fall. Enitharmon retaliates by calling down Urizen.

This precipitates the first encounter between these two adversaries in
one of the relationships that dominates the poem--and Blake's life as
well. In this initial confrontation Los weakens through his pity or
remorse over Enitharmon and joins the Nuptial Feast of fallenness
( FZ1-12.44; ff E307| .

In the New Testament the marriage of the Lamb inaugurates the Kingdom of Heaven;
this demonic parody of it announces the Kingdom of Satan. Enion responds with her 

first stirring prophetic utterance, concluding the first night in the earlier draft.

       At this point Blake, in a later revision of 4Z, made his first obvious attempt 

to Christianize his myth. The Daughters of Beulah in their "Wars of Eternal Death" give
what is probably the most straightforward, impartial account of the Fall.

       As Night ii begins, the Fallen Man, on the point of falling asleep, commissions
Urizen as his regent. Urizen soars with pride but immediately falls into the fearful
fantasies of the future which dominate all of his attempts at creation. He casts Luvah
into the furnaces of affliction and proceeds to build the Mundane Shell, giving Blake
a chance to expatiate at great length on how wrongly the world is made.

       Tharmas and Luvah are now thoroughly fallen and estranged from their
emanations, and Urizen's turn comes in Night iii. Ahania, Urizen's emanation,
reacts to his fearful aggressions with her own vision of the Fall, and the
infuriated Urizen casts her out and promptly falls himself like Humpty Dumpty,
an eloquent comment on the fate of all the 'strong' who in fear cast out the
'weak'. With the fall of Reason Tharmas rises to power from the depths of the
sea, although he is mentally incompetent in the extreme. He commissions Los to
create endlessly and futilly: "Renew these ruin'd souls of Men thro' Earth, Sea,
Air & Fire,/To waste in endless corruption, renew thou, I will destroy."

       Los proceeds to bind Urizen with the chains of time and space in the
parody of Creation which we have already studied from B.U ., but "terrified at
the shapes enslav'd humanity put on, he became what he beheld". ( The second
extended Christian interpolation occurs in the midst of this story.)

       Los begins Night v with a sort of St. Vitus Dance to "put on the shape of
enslaved humanity", a convulsion which Enitharmon shares, leading to the birth
of Orc, a manifestation of Luvah, who at this point represents fallen human
feeling. Immediately, "The Enormous Demons woke and howl'd around the new born
King,/Crying 'Luvah, King of Love, thou art the King of rage & death'".

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