Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blake's God

This is taken from Notes to the Blake's Primer.

Blake's God

       Some understanding of Berkeley's thought is a good preliminary to understanding the shape of Blake's mature vision of God, which came to him definitively about 1800.
       You can say nothing other than the products of your mind, which means that an objective God is a complete unknown; Blake would say there's no such thing:
    Mental Things are alone Real what is Calld Corporeal Nobody Knows of its Dwelling Place it is in Fallacy & its Existence an Imposture Where is the Existence Out of Mind or Thought Where is it but in the Mind of a Fool.
           (From, A Vision of The Last Judgment)
       In Blakean theology Jesus is the only God; not the man named Jesus: he's only a man. No! Blake's Jesus is the indwelling spirit within the psyche- the fount of imagination and forgiveness. Jesus is One.
       Thus, when the two Great Commandments meld together, the neighbor we're exhorted to love is the God within the other. So to love God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength involves loving God in all the particulars-- not just your neighbor, but his animals, insects, sticks and stones. Nature thus becomes what is groaning in travail; to love and care for it is to love God. "God only Acts & Is, in existing beings or Men" (MHH plate 

Thinking as I do that the Creator
of this world is a cruel being, and
being a worshipper of Christ, I have to
say: "the Son! oh how unlike the Father":
First God Almighty comes with a thump on
the head; then J.C. comes with a balm
to heal it.
(Comments on A Vision of the Last Judgment [Erdman 565])
       To put it shortly the epigraph says it all. An esoteric alternative Protestantism nurtured Blake as a child. But what he said above aptly expresses the feelings of enormous numbers of people in our society today. "I don't care for the O.T. The N.T. suits me better": there is the understated strong consensus of many today, so extravagantly stated here by William Blake.

wiki common
Europe Plate 11

People think of God as a bearded old gentlemen sitting up in Heaven, The Quakers think of 'that of God in every man' (George Fox). Blake came to see that God is an image in a person's mind.  So do Kate and Jane have the same God? by no means.  Each one has his or her image of God.

From Blake's Good and Evil:
Good and Evil are a polarity, and a contrary of the pristine oneness of the original Garden. We may see it as the first contrary, from which all others sprang. We live in a dualistic world, and people in general can only see things in black and white (like infants do). To perceive things as a spectrum, such as 'Good, less good, still less good,' etc. is a step away from the fatal tree, but still a long way from the primeval oneness from which we came and to which we are destined to return."

Jesus said, and Blake would agree, that 'we are all one':
John 17:
[20] Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
[21] That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
[22] And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
[23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Here is an earlier post with the same name.

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