British Museum Small Book of Designs Plate 7, Copy A From Plate 22, Book of Urizen
Urizen continues to carry his globe of fire after his fall into the dark abyss. His fate is to explore with a dim light which leads him into erroneous pathways. He substitutes his books of descriptions and laws for his faith in the ever expanding light.
It was Blake's belief that if man's ability to reason led him to depend on his own powers to give structure and meaning to the world, he was sorely deceived. Reason is capable of discerning and manipulating the finite and material; Intuition or Imagination sees the Infinite and Eternal
There is No Natural Religion, (E 2) "I Mans perceptions are not bounded by organs of perception. he percieves more than sense (tho' ever so acute) can discover. II Reason or the ratio of all we have already known. is not the same that it shall be when we know more. ... Application. He who sees the Infinite in all things sees God. He who sees the Ratio only sees himself only. Therefore God becomes as we are, that we may be as he is" Book of Urizen, Plate 20, (E 81) "1. Urizen explor'd his dens Mountain, moor, & wilderness, With a globe of fire lighting his journey A fearful journey, annoy'd By cruel enormities: forms Plate 23 Of life on his forsaken mountains" Four Zoas, Night II, Page 23,(E 313) "Rising upon his Couch of Death Albion beheld his Sons Turning his Eyes outward to Self. losing the Divine Vision Albion calld Urizen & said. Behold these sickning Spheres Whence is this Voice of Enion that soundeth in my Porches Take thou possession! take this Scepter! go forth in my might For I am weary, & must sleep in the dark sleep of Death Thy brother Luvah hath smitten me but pity thou his youth Tho thou hast not pitid my Age O Urizen Prince of Light" Four Zoas, Night VI, Page 70, (E 346) "Los brooded on the darkness. nor saw Urizen with a Globe of fire Lighting his dismal journey thro the pathless world of death Writing in bitter tears & groans in books of iron & brass The enormous wonders of the Abysses once his brightest joy For Urizen beheld the terrors of the Abyss wandring among The ruind spirits once his children & the children of Luvah Scard at the sound of their own sigh that seems to shake the immense They wander Moping in their heart a Sun a Dreary moon A Universe of fiery constellations in their brain An Earth of wintry woe beneath their feet & round their loins Waters or winds or clouds or brooding lightnings & pestilential plagues Beyond the bounds of their own self their senses cannot penetrate As the tree knows not what is outside of its leaves & bark And yet it drinks the summer joy & fears the winter sorrow So in the regions of the grave none knows his dark compeer Tho he partakes of his dire woes & mutual returns the pang The throb the dolor the convulsion in soul sickening woes"
Brian Wilke and Mary Lynn Johnson comment on Urizen's Globe of Fire in their book Blake's Four Zoas, The Design of a Dream:
" By the light of his 'Globe of Fire' - common daylight, which is all that remains of his brilliant intelligence - Urizen surveys his accursed universe, an 'Abyss' of dissociated entities, and he methodically records his observations in books of iron and brass." (Page 128)