Tuesday, November 12, 2013


British Museum
  For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise
Plate 1
For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise, Plate 3, (E 260) 
"1 I found him beneath a Tree"  

For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise, Plate 19, (E 268)
1    My Eternal Man set in Repose
     The Female from his darkness rose
     And She found me beneath a Tree                     
     A Mandrake & in her Veil hid me
     Serpent Reasonings us entice
     Of Good & Evil: Virtue & Vice"

The undivided man is neither male nor female. He becomes divided when the female is separated by becoming exteriorized. The unified individual is the goal toward which the journey leads as well as the starting point from which it begins. The first of the series of plates in For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise represents the first of the divisions the Eternal Man undergoes which starts him on the return Journey. Higher levels of consciousness develop through the breaking down of the paradigm which is in control of the current level of development. Blake follows the thought pattern which asserts that we behold externally what we need to deal with internally. 

The divided man becomes a babe emerging from the earth which represents a darker region of the unconscious. The female assumes care and control of the infant. The outer world becomes more real to the man than the inner world which had been his whole world before he divided.

The first division leads to another. Eve who has split from Adam eats of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The knowledge is passed on to Adam and the internal reasoning power becomes dualistic rather the monistic.  

The man taken from the earth assumes the garment of mortality; he is hidden in the veil of flesh. 
The serpent is said to represent the infinite confined by the finite. The ability to see everything as holy has become the desire to cling to what we call good, and reject what we call evil. Integrating the contraries becomes a major task of continuing on the Journey.
Jerusalem, Plate 30 [34], (E 176)
"What may Man be? who can tell! but what may Woman be?            
To have power over Man from Cradle to corruptible Grave.
There is a Throne in every Man, it is the Throne of God
This Woman has claimd as her own & Man is no more!" 
 Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 133, (E 401)
"And Many Eternal Men sat at the golden feast to see 
The female form now separate They shudderd at the horrible thing
Not born for the sport and amusement of Man but born to drink up all his powers
They wept to see their shadows they said to one another this is Sin  
This is the Generative world" 
 Milton, Plate 3, (E 97)  
"Enraged & stifled without & within: in terror & woe, he threw his
Right Arm to the north, his left Arm to the south, & his Feet  
Stampd the nether Abyss in trembling & howling & dismay
And a seventh Age passed over & a State of dismal woe

Terrified Los stood in the Abyss & his immortal limbs
Grew deadly pale; he became what he beheld: for a red
Round Globe sunk down from his Bosom into the Deep in pangs  
He hoverd over it trembling & weeping. suspended it shook
The nether Abyss in temblings. he wept over it, he cherish'd it
In deadly sickening pain: till separated into a Female pale
As the cloud that brings the snow: all the while from his Back
A blue fluid exuded in Sinews hardening in the Abyss       
Till it separated into a Male Form howling in Jealousy

Within labouring. beholding Without: from Particulars to Generals
Subduing his Spectre, they Builded the Looms of Generation
They Builded Great Golgonooza Times on Times Ages on Ages
First Orc was Born then the Shadowy Female: then All Los's Family
At last Enitharmon brought forth Satan Refusing Form, in vain
The Miller of Eternity made subservient to the Great Harvest
That he may go to his own Place Prince of the Starry Wheels"
First Corinthians 11
[11] (Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman;
[12] for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.)

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