|Yale Center for British
From Page 172 of Kathleen Raine's Blake and Tradition:
"Here we must return, yet again, to the figure of Vala. We have seen her mythological antecedents as the soul Psyche; and we have see how in Jerusalem she became an independent figure, the material shadow of the soul who has become 'animated' with a life of her own. This animation of 'nature' as an externalized shadow of the soul we can more perfectly understand in its relation to the sensible world. Blake in entitling his poem Vala, was indicating his central theme: man's lapse into a mistaken belief in the substantiality of the phenomena."
In the following account of the fall, told by the Spectre of Urthona, Albion succumbs to the appeal of Vala. From his union with her Urizen is born as the first to be born to the generated world - opening up the expression of the soul in material form. Albion perceives Vala now as half of split being: Luvah the Zoa, and Vala the Natural World which is the Zoa's reflection. Vala is given power to turn the emotions into destructive forces when she is seen as a function of matter and not of soul or spirit. Blake make it clear that what we see as Vala - natural phenomena - is a 'sweet delusion', covering and hiding from sight the real and Eternal world.
Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 82, (E 358) [Spectre of Urthona to Shadow of Enitharmon] "But the next joy of thine shall be in sweet delusion And its birth in fainting & sleep & Sweet delusions of Vala The Shadow of Enitharmon answerd Art thou terrible Shade Set over this sweet boy of mine to guard him lest he rend PAGE 83 His mother to the winds of heaven Intoxicated with The fruit of this delightful tree. I cannot flee away From thy embrace else be assurd so horrible a form Should never in my arms repose. now listen I will tell Thee Secrets of Eternity which neer before unlockd My golden lips nor took the bar from Enitharmons breast Among the Flowers of Beulah walkd the Eternal Man & Saw Vala the lilly of the desart. melting in high noon Upon her bosom in sweet bliss he fainted Wonder siezd All heaven they saw him dark. they built a golden wall Round Beulah There he reveld in delight among the Flowers Vala was pregnant & brought forth Urizen Prince of Light First born of Generation. Then behold a wonder to the Eyes Of the now fallen Man a double form Vala appeard. A Male And female shuddring pale the Fallen Man recoild From the Enormity & calld them Luvah & Vala. turning down The vales to find his way back into Heaven but found none For his frail eyes were faded & his ears heavy & dull Urizen grew up in the plains of Beulah Many Sons And many daughters flourishd round the holy Tent of Man Till he forgot Eternity delighted in his sweet joy Among his family his flocks & herds & tents & pastures But Luvah close conferrd with Urizen in darksom night To bind the father & enslave the brethren Nought he knew Of sweet Eternity the blood flowd round the holy tent & rivn From its hinges uttering its final groan all Beulah fell In dark confusion mean time Los was born & Enitharmon But how I know not then forgetfulness quite wrapd me up A period nor do I more remember till I stood Beside Los in the Cavern dark enslavd to vegetative forms According to the Will of Luvah who assumed the Place Of the Eternal Man & smote him."