British Museum Songs of Innocence & of Experience Plate 18 Copy A
Songs of Innocence & of Experience, Song 18, (E 12) "The Divine Image. To Mercy Pity Peace and Love, All pray in their distress: And to these virtues of delight Return their thankfulness. For Mercy Pity Peace and Love, Is God our father dear: And Mercy Pity Peace and Love, Is Man his child and care. For Mercy has a human heart Pity, a human face: And Love, the human form divine, And Peace, the human dress. Then every man of every clime, That prays in his distress, Prays to the human form divine Love Mercy Pity Peace. And all must love the human form, In heathen, turk or jew. Where Mercy, Love & Pity dwell, There God is dwelling too"
The Divine Image presents the idea that the gifts of the spirit are a reflection of qualities which can be found in God. Mercy, Pity, Peace & Love in their pure and innocent forms, are attributes of the God to whom man turns for the care and guidance so characteristic of man's relationship to God in Songs of Innocence. The individual who knows inwardly that he receives benevolence from God, adopts benevolence as his means of relating in the outer world with his brothers.
British Museum Songs of Innocence & of Experience Plate 41 Copy A
Songs of Innocence & of Experience, Song 47, (E 27) "The Human Abstract. Pity would be no more, If we did not make somebody Poor: And Mercy no more could be, If all were as happy as we; And mutual fear brings peace; Till the selfish loves increase. Then Cruelty knits a snare, And spreads his baits with care. He sits down with holy fears, And waters the ground with tears: Then Humility takes its root Underneath his foot. Soon spreads the dismal shade Of Mystery over his head; And the Catterpiller and Fly, Feed on the Mystery. And it bears the fruit of Deceit, Ruddy and sweet to eat; And the Raven his nest has made In its thickest shade. The Gods of the earth and sea, Sought thro' Nature to find this Tree But their search was all in vain: There grows one in the Human Brain"
The misunderstandings and distortions about the nature of God are attributable to false assumptions and unfounded conclusions as man builds the paradigm of reasoning which controls behavior. Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love when understood to be weapons which justify the Selfhood's promotion of poverty, unhappiness, fear and cruelty begin a chain reaction.
When man looks at the society in which he lives he is inclined to ask what is the source of the suffering, hatred and ignorance which surrounds him. Blake's response to such a question is that we build our world with our own errors. Mystery is the labyrinth of accumulated incorrect decisions in the lives of individuals which are added and multiplied and raised to the nth power as multiple individuals contribute their mistakes. The solutions to the pain and suffering of the world lie in the Human Brain. The knots and nets which hold the head of man trapped in Mystery grew from the false reasoning which failed to assimilate the God of Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love dwelling within.
The answer to The Human Abstract lies in the The Divine Image:
"And all must love the human form,
In heathen, turk or jew.
Where Mercy, Love & Pity dwell,
There God is dwelling too"
Blake's advice is to trust in Love, not in Reason. To extract himself from the labyrinth created by the complexities of experience into which man enters to initiate a spiritual journey of return to the Source, he must annihilate the Spectre through embracing him in forgiveness.
Book of Urizen, Plate 3, (E 86) 3: For when Urizen shrunk away From Eternals, he sat on a rock Barren; a rock which himself From redounding fancies had petrified Many tears fell on the rock, Many sparks of vegetation; Soon shot the pained root Of Mystery, under his heel: It grew a thick tree; he wrote In silence his book of iron: Till the horrid plant bending its boughs Grew to roots when it felt the earth And again sprung to many a tree. 4: Amaz'd started Urizen! when He beheld himself compassed round And high roofed over with trees He arose but the stems stood so thick He with difficulty and great pain Brought his Books, all but the Book PLATE 4 Of iron, from the dismal shade 5: The Tree still grows over the Void Enrooting itself all around An endless labyrinth of woe! 6: The corse of his first begotten On the accursed Tree of MYSTERY: On the topmost stem of this Tree Urizen nail'd Fuzons corse." Jerusalem, Plate 2, (E 96) "Come into my hand By your mild power; descending down the Nerves of my right arm From out the Portals of my Brain, where by your ministry The Eternal Great Humanity Divine. planted his Paradise, And in it caus'd the Spectres of the Dead to take sweet forms In likeness of himself. Tell also of the False Tongue! vegetated Beneath your land of shadows: of its sacrifices. and Its offerings; even till Jesus, the image of the Invisible God Became its prey; a curec, an offering, and an atonement, For Death Eternal in the heavens of Albion, & before the Gates Of Jerusalem his Emanation, in the heavens beneath Beulah"