Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sources Boehme

Once again we should remember Blake's letter to Flaxman where he 
"Now my lot in the Heavens is this; Milton lovd me in 
childhood & shewd me his face Ezra came with Isaiah the 
Prophet, but Shakespeare in riper years gave me his 
hand Paracelsus & Behmen appeard to me. terrors appeard 
in the Heavens above."
(Behmen is the British name for Boehme.) 

On pp 19-20 Percival quoted Boehme's Threefold Life as follows:
"122. For the Principle of the outward world passes away again;
for it has a limit, so that it goes into its ether again, and the four
elements into one again, and then God is manifested, and the virtue
and power of God springs up, as a paradise again in the [one,
eternal] only element; and there the multiplicity or variety of things
come into one again; but the figure of everything remains standing
in the [one] only element."

This of course has close proximity to what Jesus said in the 17th
chapter of the Gospel of John.

Blake began the Four Zoas with this:
"Los was the fourth immortal starry one, & in the Earth
Of a bright Universe Empery attended day & night                 
Days & nights of revolving joy, Urthona was his name
, Daughter of Beulah Sing 
His fall into Division & his Resurrection to Unity
His fall into the Generation of Decay & Death & his 
Regeneration by the Resurrection from the dead"

In The Marriage of Heaven and Hell we learn that the Jews
identified the 'Poetic Genius' with the 'First Principle'.

Boehme had much also to say about the First Principle
(This from Percival 36)

Speaking of Light and Darkness:
"Now thus the eternal light, and the virtue of the light, or the heavenly paradise, moveth in the eternal darkness; and the darkness cannot comprehend the light; for they are two several Principles; and the darkness longeth after the light, because that the spirit beholdeth itself therein, and because the divine virtue is manifested in it. But though it hath not comprehended the divine virtue and light, yet it hath continually with great lust lifted up itself towards it, till it hath kindled the root of the fire in itself, from the beams of the light of God; and there arose the third Principle: And it hath its original out of the first Principle, out of the dark matrix, by the speculating of the virtue [or power] of God."

This is only on or two of a great many references to Boehme that we find in the Circle of Destiny.



(Repost of an earlier post by Ellie)
Sea of Unconsciousness
Book of Urizen, Plate 6

The aspect of the psyche which is hidden, buried and unknown is spoken of as the unconscious. It is unknown but not unknowable. Although the gate is closed to enter the unconscious; the gate for unconscious content to come out is not entirely closed. Much of what Blake has written about in his poetry has come from his unconscious.

One of the Four Zoas is mentioned less frequently than the others - Urthona - and when he is mentioned his name is frequently prefixed by the word dark. He has a manifestation in the outer world who is named Los, but as an Eternal he seems to play a lessor role. He is dark for Blake because he is in the unconscious. As he enters consciousness his forms and activities become a part of the world of consciousness.

Jung called Reason and Feeling the rational functions; Sensation and Intuition were called irrational. Blake has Tharmas and Urthona working together to repel the advances of Urizen into Urthona's territory. I have spoken of Tharmas (Blake's image for the physical body or senses) functioning as the Id, Urthona can be seen as functioning as the Intuition. Both reside in man's unconscious.

Here is an account of Urizen's attempt to invade the territory of Urthona, Four Zoas :

Night VI
, Page 74, (E 350):
"And now he came into the Abhorred world of Dark Urthona
By Providence divine conducted not bent from his own will
Lest death Eternal should be the result for the Will cannot be
Into the doleful vales where no tree grew nor river flowd
Nor man nor beast nor creeping thing nor sun nor cloud nor star
Still he with his globe of fire immense in his venturous hand
Bore on thro the Affrighted vales ascending & descending
Oerwearied or in cumbrous flight he venturd oer dark rifts
Or down dark precipices or climbd with pain and labour huge
Till he beheld the world of Los from the Peaked rock of Urthona
And heard the howling of red Orc distincter & distincter"

Urizen fails to occupy Urthona's territory. Later near the end of the Four Zoas, Urthona resumes his work which had been interrupted as he fell from Eternity with Urizen and Luvah. The association between Urthona and Tharmas continues.
Four Zoas: Night IX, PAGE 138 (E 405)

"Then Dark Urthona took the Corn out of the Stores of Urizen'
He ground it in his rumbling Mills Terrible the distress
Of all the Nations
 of Earth ground in the Mills of Urthona
In his hand Tharmas takes the Storms. he turns the whirlwind
Upon the wheels the stormy seas howl at his dread command
And Eddying fierce rejoice in the fierce agitation of the wheels
Of Dark Urthona Thunders Earthquakes Fires Water floods
Rejoice to one another loud their voices shake the Abyss
Their dread forms tending the dire mills The grey hoar frost
was there
And his pale wife the aged Snow they watch over the fires
They build the Ovens of Urthona Nature in darkness groans
And Men are bound to sullen contemplations in the night
Restless they turn on beds of sorrow. in their inmost brain
Feeling the crushing Wheels they rise they write the bitter words
Of Stern Philosophy & knead the bread of knowledge with
tears & groans

Such are the works of Dark Urthona Tharmas sifted the corn
Urthona made the Bread of Ages & he placed it
In golden & in silver baskets in heavens of precious stone
And then took his repose in Winter in the night of Time"
As the Four Zoas ends it is Urthona who is the image of the restored and unified psyche. He is strong and undivided residing as always in man's 'inmost brain' after providing 'bread for the ages' from the 'distress of the nations.'

PAGE 139 
"Urthona is arisen in his strength no longer now
Divided from Enitharmon no longer the Spectre Los
Where is the Spectre of Prophecy where the delusive Phantom
Departed & Urthona rises from the ruinous walls
In all his ancient strength to form the golden armour of science
For intellectual War The war of swords departed now
The dark Religions are departed & sweet Science reigns.

Friday, May 30, 2014


The controversy of the Bard's Song in Milton originates with the desire of Satan to exchange his task at the mill for Palamabron's task at the harrow. Blake uses three sons of Los - Palamabron, Rintrah and Satan - to demonstrate three aspects of the prophetic character.
Northrop Frye, in Fearful Symmetry, provides this insight into the youngest son Satan:
"Satan, on the other hand, is the prince of this world: he is the spirit of inertia which incarnates itself in compromise. The worshipers of Satan accept established religions, philosophies, and social conditions because they are established; they observe all the commandments of the law from their youth upwards, and their days are long and peaceful in the lands they possess. They, therefore, are 'The Elect from before the foundation of the World,' and their worldly prosperity is a sign of their inward grace." (Page 333)

Library of Congress
Copy D, Plate 18
So Satan's task is to create the structure of the conventional mechanics which will keep the system operating. In the Freudian psyche this function is performed by the ego; in Jungian psychology it is performed by the function Reason. In much of Blake's mythology Urizen is the agency of attempting to provide this framework.

Palamabron whose role is to hold the prophetic vision has pity for the flock he tries to nurture. His work is to teach, to encourage and to bind up the wounds of the downtrodden. Frye states: "...the business of the visionary [is] to proclaim the Word of God to a society under the domination of Satan: and that the visionary's social position is typically that of an isolated voice crying in the wilderness against the injustice and hypocrisy of the society from which he has sprung." (Page 336) 

In the Bard's Song we have a blatant attempt of Satan to trade the task of providing a structure in which the imagination may reside, for the agency which feeds the imagination: vision. In the Bard's Song it is Palamabron who is the visionary torn between the desire to communicate his vision and the demands of society to conform to the ordinary regulations of his culture. Palamabron agrees to allow Satan to open himself to receiving and transmitting visions from Eternity, but Satan has no faculty for accessing the intuitive. Likewise Palamabron lacks the organizational skills to keep society's machinery working.   

Milton, Plate 4, (E 98)
"Satan was going to reply, but Los roll'd his loud thunders.   

Anger me not! thou canst not drive the Harrow in pitys paths.
Thy Work is Eternal Death, with Mills & Ovens & Cauldrons.
Trouble me no more. thou canst not have Eternal Life

So Los spoke! Satan trembling obeyd weeping along the way."

Milton, Plate 7, (E 100)
"The first, The Elect from before the foundation of the World:  
The second, The Redeem'd. The Third, The Reprobate & form'd
To destruction from the mothers womb: follow with me my plow!

Of the first class was Satan: with incomparable mildness;
His primitive tyrannical attempts on Los: with most endearing love    
He soft intreated Los to give to him Palamabrons station;
For Palamabron returnd with labour wearied every evening
Palamabron oft refus'd; and as often Satan offer'd
His service till by repeated offers and repeated intreaties
Los gave to him the Harrow of the Almighty; alas blamable      
Palamabron. fear'd to be angry lest Satan should accuse him of
Ingratitude, & Los believe the accusation thro Satans extreme
Mildness. Satan labour'd all day. it was a thousand years
In the evening returning terrified overlabourd & astonish'd
Embrac'd soft with a brothers tears Palamabron, who also wept  

Mark well my words! they are of your eternal salvation

Next morning Palamabron rose: the horses of the Harrow
Were maddend with tormenting fury, & the servants of the Harrow
The Gnomes, accus'd Satan, with indignation fury and fire.
Then Palamabron reddening like the Moon in an eclipse,        
Spoke saying, You know Satans mildness and his self-imposition,
Seeming a brother, being a tyrant, even thinking himself a brother
While he is murdering the just; prophetic I behold

His future course thro' darkness and despair to eternal death
But we must not be tyrants also! he hath assum'd my place      
For one whole day, under pretence of pity and love to me:
My horses hath he maddend! and my fellow servants injur'd:
How should he[,] he[,] know the duties of another? O foolish forbearance 
Would I had told Los, all my heart! but patience O my friends.
All may be well: silent remain, while I call Los and Satan."   

Luke 10
[30] And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
[31] And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
[32] And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
[33] But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
[34] And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Origin 4

  • And these are the Sons of Los & Enitharmon. Rintrah Palamabron
  • Theotormon Bromion Antamon Ananton Ozoth Ohana
  • Sotha Mydon Ellayol Natho Gon Harhath Satan
  • Har Ochim Ijim Adam Reuben Simeon Levi Judah Dan Naphtali
  • Gad Asher Issachar Zebulun Joseph Benjamin David Solomon
  • Paul Constantine Charlemaine Luther Milton
   (FZ8-107.6 Erdman 380)

   One might think here that Blake has descended to obscurity; but wait a minute: many of these early 'sons' are characters in other works (and 4Z is really more a notebook than a finished poem. Reuben-Benjamin are of course the 12 sons of Israel (and the 12 tribes). Then he names the leading lights of our faith from David to Milton.

  And from Dr. Ed Friedlander, in his classic William Blake's Milton had this to say about the sons of Los and Enitharmon:
"Twelve of the Sons of Los and Enitharmon were lost to Urizenism. These remaining Four embrace all humanistic endeavor. All are forms of Orc, but unlike the terrible child, the drive of the Four toward a comfortable and happy world is controlled and directed by Los, prime agent of regeneration. Because Milton is a poem about people as we know them rather than a cosmic chronicle, the Four are very important in our epic. In particular, Rintrah, Palamabron, Theotormon, and Bromion are the enlightened, socially conscious people of Blake's age."


   The first three zoas have a lot more coverage than Tharmas; they describe attitudes, activities, and changes of Humankind. Tharmas represents the body; his emanation Enion represents Nature.
   In particular Tharmas is said to be body's energy (Percival 42). In Night i of The Four Zoas Blake referred to him as the "parent power":
  • Begin with Tharmas Parent power, darkning in the West. 
             (Four Zoas Night 1 page 4:6 301)
   Damon (122) tells us that Blake used the separation of Thamas and Enion to depict the struggles of the growing lad when he discovers for the first time the power of his awakening sex, and tries "in agonized despair to suppress or control it" page 4 (of Night 1). This likely may not be the issue in our day that it was in Blake's (or in mine). The lad (Tharmas in this case) has learned from his emanation that it is sin:
  • Lost! Lost! Lost! are my Emanations Enion O Enion
  • We are become a Victim to the
  • Living We hide in secret (Four Zoas 1:4:7-8 301)
  • Enion said--Thy fear has made me tremble thy terrors have surrounded me
  • All Love is lost Terror succeeds & Hatred instead of Love
  • And stern demands of Right & Duty instead of Liberty.
  • Once thou wast to Me the loveliest son of heaven--But now Why art thou Terrible 
  • (Four Zoas 4.17-21 301)

  • I have lookd into the secret soul of him I lovd
  • And in the Dark recesses found Sin & cannot return
  • (Four Zoas 1.4:26-7)
   Here is the birth of the concept of sexuality as sin which has cursed Western culture for 2000 years. Blake called it Mystery Religion and throughout his works he expressed inveterate hostility again the control of sexual mores by the priest.
 In the Four Zoas there follows a loveless embrace of the Spectre from which comes forth Enitharmon (who is the emanation of Los). (This is one of several ways Blake described the appearance of the emanations as the zoas divided into their contraries.)

  "As bodily energy Tharmas is the regent of sex" (Percival 42), but much more than that in Eden. There he is the poetic genius and "the symbol of the united world", a "portion of soul":
  • Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that calld Body is a portion of Soul discernd by the five Senses. the chief inlets of Soul in this age 
             (MHH4; 34)
   With the disasters precipitated by Urizen and Luvah Tharmas became a raging storm (in fact he became the deluge). Blake believed that the ante-diluvian age was closer to Eden; with the deluge of Tharmas man is put down into Ulro.

Blake wrote less about Ahania, Urizen's emanation, than the other three emanations. She dropped out early in The Four Zoas and dosen't appear in later works.

   Ahania represented Urizen's intuitive and visual self; he seems to have preferred reposing in Ahania rather than continuing his activity spreading the seeds of Science in his golden chariot (or plow!). The upshot of this was a level of doubt that caused him to cast Ahania out. Unfortunately when he did this, his intuition failed and he resorted more and more to vindictive law rather than 'sweet reason'; his creations thereafter were fallen (although the golden chain remained, even when it turned to iron).
  • Am I not God said Urizen. Who is Equal to me
  • Do I not stretch the heavens abroad or fold them up like a garment
  • ......
  • His visage changd to darkness & his strong right hand came forth
  • To cast Ahania to the Earth. He seizd her by the hair
  • And threw her from the steps of ice that froze around his throne.............
  • Saying Art thou also become like Vala? Thus I cast thee out.
  • Shall the feminine indolent bliss
  • Set herself up to give her laws to the active masculine virtue,
  • Thou little diminutive portion that darst be a counterpart
  • Thy passivity, thy laws of obedience & insincerity
  • Are my abhorrence.
  • And art thou also become like Vala? Thus I cast thee out.
      (Four Zoas Night 3 42:19-43:22 [328]

Blake called The Four Zoas Vala in the beginning. The emanation of Luvah, she has a checkered career. In Eternity she is Jerusalem; fallen she became Vala, somewhat comparable to Eve in the garden. She carries all creation, all love, but in Ulro love is totally bad (not so in regeneration and in Eternity).
   Vala was the contrary (opposite) of Jerusalem (the bride of Christ). She represents all the negativity of the feminine character. She also goes by the names of Rahab and Tirzah.
  • 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.
      (Four Zoas 7a:83:8-18; [E358])

   So we can see that in Blake's myth Vala occupied the same symbolic role that Eve did in the Garden.

   The fallen emanation of Los, Enitharmon, behaving like a frustrated and restrained housewife, gives a condensed account of the central calamity in Night One in her Song of Death:
  • Hear! I will sing a Song of Death! it is a Song of Vala!
  • The Fallen Man takes his repose: Urizen sleeps in the porch
  • Luvah and Vala woke & flew up from the Human Heart
  • Into the Brain; from thence upon the pillow Vala slumber'd.
  • And Luvah seiz'd the Horses of Light, & rose into the Chariot of Day
  • Sweet laughter siezd me in my sleep! silent & close I laughd
  • For in the visions of Vala I walkd with the mighty Fallen One
  • I heard his voice among the branches, & among sweet flowers.
   (Four Zoas 1:10-16, 305)

   In even fewer words The Fall can be described as

Love gone bad!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


In the threefold world in which we live, there are three mental states which Blake calls the three Classes of Men. The state of Rintrah whose instrument is the plow, of Palamabron whose instrument is the harrow, and of Satan whose instrument is the mill. The three states are designed to move man through the passage of life to the great harvest in which everything which was dispersed is reassembled according to the great design. 

In their commentary in Milton: A Poem by William Blake, Kay Parkhurst Easson and Roger R. Easson write of the effort Blake made to correct the error Milton made in constructing his character Satan in Paradise lost:

"The first thematic division is the Bard's Song. The Bard shows Milton his error, recognition of which is the first step Milton must take on his journey. Since Milton's error is especially evident within the first division of Paradise Lost, where sin is created from Satan's revolt and subsequent fall from Heaven, the Bard revises Milton's narrative. He transforms sin into error. As the Bard tells it, Satan's error is a misunderstanding of his role in the divine plan. In the divine plan Satan is the agent of fragmentation and death; he is the miller of Eternity, and his mills regulate and make distinct the duration of human life, separating birth from death, youth from age, body from soul. He is therefore 'made subservient to the Great Harvest,' which is Blake's paradoxical metaphor for the continual cultivation of living form within the duration of human life. Satan, however, thinks he can improve on the plan; he thinks he can assume Palamabron's task, the wielding of the Harrow of the Almighty. The Harrow, 'a scheme of Human conduct invisible & incomprehensible' to mortals, also connotes death. This death is a death of the selfhood - part of the spiritual journey - not the death of the body - the result of vengeance as depicted in Paradise Lost. The Harrow represents death as mercy; death as the eternal prerequisite for spiritual growth. When Satan takes over the Harrow, he threatens to replace love and mercy with his false pity and 'officious brotherhood.' Satan, thereby, threatens the destruction of the harvest. He disrupts the eternal labors - the planting and plowing of the fields and the milling of the crops - those labors of mental cultivation which lead to the perception of the infinite in everything, and the corresponding creation of prophecy."  (Page 163)
Milton, Plate 25 [27], 122
 "The Elect is one Class: You
Shall bind them separate: they cannot Believe in Eternal Life
Except by Miracle & a New Birth. The other two Classes;
The Reprobate who never cease to Believe, and the Redeemd,       
Who live in doubts & fears perpetually tormented by the Elect
These you shall bind in a twin-bundle for the Consummation--
But the Elect must be saved [from] fires of Eternal Death,
To be formed into the Churches of Beulah that they destroy not the Earth"
British Museum
Plate 70, Copy A
 Milton, Plate 6, (E 100) 
"And the Three Classes of Men regulated by Los's hammer. 

Plate 7 
The first, The Elect from before the foundation of the World: 
The second, The Redeem'd. The Third, The Reprobate & form'd 
To destruction from the mothers womb: follow with me my plow! 
Of the first class was Satan: with incomparable mildness; 
His primitive tyrannical attempts on Los: with most endearing love 
He soft intreated Los to give to him Palamabrons station;"
 Milton, Plate 3, (E 97)     
"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
Plate 4                      
Beneath the Plow of Rintrah & the harrow of the Almighty
In the hands of Palamabron. Where the Starry Mills of Satan
Are built beneath the Earth & Waters of the Mundane Shell
Here the Three Classes of Men take their Sexual texture Woven
The Sexual is Threefold: the Human is Fourfold     

If you account it Wisdom when you are angry to be silent, and
Not to shew it: I do not account that Wisdom but Folly.
Every Mans Wisdom is peculiar to his own Individ[u]ality
O Satan my youngest born, art thou not Prince of the Starry Hosts
And of the Wheels of Heaven, to turn the Mills day & night?  
Art thou not Newtons Pantocrator weaving the Woof of Locke
To Mortals thy Mills seem every thing & the Harrow of Shaddai
A scheme of Human conduct invisible & incomprehensible
Get to thy Labours at the Mills & leave me to my wrath,"

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

origin 3 Urthona/Los


   "Earth owner": the creative imagination of the individual is the Damon first describes Urthona. He is the contrary of Urizen: In Blake's generation students of Kant and of other philosophers postulated "a form of intelligence superior to the rational mind" (Percival page 37), which eventually went by the name of the unconscious. Blake referred to it as the poetic genius and ascribed it to Urthona.
   Urthona is dark, but it isn't the darkness of fallenness; it's a creative darkness--the kind of darkness we find in The Cloud of Unknowing. The dark Urthona and Urizen are a pair: the dark (unconscious) superior intelligence and the light plodding, legalistic mind. With the initial Fall Urizen took control of the universe, but he soon made a mess and was succeeded by Los, Urthona's earthly manifestation.

   It might be appropriate to define Urthona as intuition. Blake used the word only once, in Annotations to the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds (whom he disliked), but the quotation is juicy:
  • Demonstration Similitude & Harmony are Objects of Reasoning
  • Invention Identity & Melody are Objects of Intuition. 
       (Annotations to Reynolds page 200, 659)
   You might also say that Urthona brought whatever we have of Eternity to Earth. His creative work took place in his earthly manifestation, Los.
  • In the Fourth region of Humanity, Urthona namd,
  • Mortality begins to roll the billows of Eternal Death
  • Before the Gate of Los. Urthona here is named Los. 
       (Jerusalem 35: 7-9 181)
   Urthona's fall brought forth a triad:
      Enitharmon, Los' emanation,
         the Spectre: (Pure negativity, totally commited to absolute materialism negating any spiritual reality. Inventing good and evil the Spectre reveled in the evil (of others) and saw none in himself.)     
Blake saw, and hated the continually intrusive spectre in himself, who doubted, who judged, who forgot Eternity. The spectre condemns us to Ulro where Eden and Beulah are alike forgotten and acting as 'realists', we evaluate life as dismal. There is a spectre in every man, and his unwelcome presence is most acutely suffered (night and day) by men of discernment.


  • Los was the fourth immortal starry one, & in the Earth
  • Of a bright Universe Empery attended day & night
  • Days & nights of revolving joy, Urthona was his name 
       (Four Zoas 1-3:9-11; 301)
   Los is "the expression in this world of the creative imagination" (Damon, 246), and in Beulah his name reverts to Urthona.

   A master smith, worker in metal, Los worked at the furnaces, hopefully changing iron to gold; this happens, but it's realized only at the end of time. Los, master of time, is trying to work himself out of a job, and at the end he is in fact reabsorbed into Urthona, the poetic genius. (For that we're still waiting.)

   In Ulro Urizen's sun has virtually gone out; Los labors to create a worldly sun (Sun is Los backward).
  • Then wondrously the Starry Wheels felt the divine hand.
  • Limit Was put to Eternal Death Los felt the Limit & saw
  • The Finger of God touch the Seventh furnace in terror
  • And Los beheld the hand of God over his furnaces
    Beneath the Deeps in dismal Darkness beneath immensity 
               (Four Zoas 4-56:23-26 338)

    The paradoxical significance of the furnace is borne out in the Bible with Shadrach, Meshach. and Abednego.
  Once escaped from Ulro Los, the master builder, proceeded to build Golgonooza, representing material progress. Los builded it and builded it 'time on time'; each time a society went into eclipse, Golgonooza must be built again. This of course is a figure for worldly progress, all very good, but not in the same dimension as the City of God.
   However Blake wrote to Hayley: "The Ruins of Time builds Mansions in Eternity." (Letter 9), referring to the final transformation of the best of Golgonooza into Jerusalem, which is the meaning of the Last Judgment.

Children of Los and Enitharmon

  Their first born was called Orc; he represented Revolution. We can surmise that Blake was much attached to Revolution in his early years, but with the debacle of the French Revolution his attitude changed.

   Blake had important 'prophecies' re America and The French Revolution.
   The Book of Urizen, especially chapters vi and vii, gives much insight into the mythical identity of Orc. (This little prophecy in fact is an excellent introduction to some of the important threads of 4Z.)

Monday, May 26, 2014


British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
Envy is like an infection not easily contained. A person not confident of his own abilities may envy one who receives more praise or respect. He reacts by attempting to denigrate the other in the eyes of his peers or superiors. Resentments may develop in the person who is envied. Envy prevents men from being woven into one fabric of brotherhood and love.

The source of envy is claiming for oneself what is a gift from God. If a person is able to recognize that whatever abilities he has do not belong to him but to the God who made him, he will be humble and grateful. If one knows himself as a member of the one body which is God manifest in the world, he will see his gifts and those of others as meant to serve the whole. God's love is distributed to all in equal measure, but each man's abilities differ according to the needs of the one body.
It was of concern to Blake that men competed for recognition and honor. It disturbed him that men might depreciate the work of others with greater gifts to increase their earnings or there renown. To Blake envy was a blight which degraded the development of wisdom, joy and brotherhood which would benefit all.
1ST Corinthians 2
[10] God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
[11] For what person knows a man's thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
[12] Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.
[13] And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit.
[14] The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
[15] The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.

Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 21, (E 43)
                   "A Memorable Fancy

  Once I saw a Devil in a flame of fire. who arose before an
Angel that sat on a cloud. and the Devil utterd these words.
  The worship of God is.  Honouring his gifts in other men
each according to his genius. and loving the [PL 23] greatest men
best, those who envy or calumniate great men hate God, for there
is no other God.
  The Angel hearing this became almost blue but mastering
himself he grew yellow, & at last white pink & smiling, and then
  Thou Idolater, is not God One? & is not he visible in Jesus
Christ? and has not Jesus Christ given his sanction to the law of
ten commandments and are not all other men fools, sinners, &
 The Devil answer'd; bray a fool in a morter with wheat. yet
shall not his folly be beaten out of him:"

Milton, Plate 41 [48], (E 142)  
"To cast off the idiot Questioner who is always questioning,
But never capable of answering; who sits with a sly grin
Silent plotting when to question, like a thief in a cave;
Who publishes doubt & calls it knowledge; whose Science is Despair   
Whose pretence to knowledge is Envy, whose whole Science is
To destroy the wisdom of ages to gratify ravenous Envy;
That rages round him like a Wolf day & night without rest"

Jerusalem, Plate 17, (E 162)
"If thou separate from me, thou art a Negation: a meer
Reasoning & Derogation from Me, an Objecting & cruel Spite
And Malice & Envy: but my Emanation, Alas! will become
My Contrary: O thou Negation, I will continually compell
Thee to be invisible to any but whom I please, & when            
And where & how I please, and never! never! shalt thou be Organized"

Jerusalem, Plate 86, (E 245)
"She separated stood before him a lovely Female weeping
Even Enitharmon separated outside, & his Loins closed
And heal'd after the separation: his pains he soon forgot:
Lured by her beauty outside of himself in shadowy grief.      
Two Wills they had; Two Intellects: & not as in times of old.

Silent they wanderd hand in hand like two Infants wandring
From Enion in the desarts, terrified at each others beauty
Envying each other yet desiring, in all devouring Love,"

Letters, (E 706)
[To] Mr [George] Cumberland, Bishopsgate,
Windsor Great Park

13 Hercules  Buildings, Lambeth, 2 July 1800
 I have been too little among
friends which I fear they will not Excuse & I know not how to
[gi] apologize for.  Poor Fuseli sore from the lash of
Envious tongues praises you & dispraises with the same breath he
is not naturally good natured but he is artificially very ill
natured yet even from him I learn the Estimation you are held in
among artists & connoisseurs."

Letters, (E 733)
[To] Mr Butts, Gr Marlborough St, London
Felpham August 16. 1803

   "Give me your advice in my perilous adventure. burn what I
have peevishly written about any friend.  I have been very much
degraded & injuriously treated. but if it all arise from my own
fault I ought to blame myself

     O why was I born with a different face  
     Why was I not born like the rest of my race
     When I look each one starts! when I speak I offend
     Then I'm silent & passive & lose every Friend

     Then my verse I dishonour. My pictures despise
     My person degrade & my temper chastise
     And the pen is my terror. the pencil my shame
     All my Talents I bury, and Dead is my Fame

     I am either too low or too highly prizd
     When Elate I am Envy'd, When Meek I'm despisd 

     This is but too just a Picture of my Present state I pray
God to keep you & all men from it & to deliver me in his own good
Songs & Ballads, The Pickering Manuscript, (E 487)

Sweet Mary the first time she ever was there
Came into the Ball room among the Fair
The young Men & Maidens around her throng
And these are the words upon every tongue

An Angel is here from the heavenly Climes
Or again does return the Golden times   
Her eyes outshine every brilliant ray
She opens her lips tis the Month of May

Mary moves in soft beauty & conscious delight
To augment with sweet smiles all the joys of the Night  
Nor once blushes to own to the rest of the Fair
That sweet Love & Beauty are worthy our care

In the Morning the Villagers rose with delight
And repeated with pleasure the joys of the night
And Mary arose among Friends to be free      
But no Friend from henceforward thou Mary shalt see

Some said she was proud some calld her a whore
And some when she passed by shut to the door
A damp cold came oer her her blushes all fled
Her lillies & roses are blighted & shed       

O why was I born with a different Face
Why was I not born like this Envious Race 
Why did Heaven adorn me with bountiful hand
And then set me down in an envious Land

To be weak as a Lamb & smooth as a Dove     
And not to raise Envy is calld Christian Love
But if you raise Envy your Merits to blame
For planting such spite in the weak & the tame

I will humble my Beauty I will not dress fine
I will keep from the Ball & my Eyes shall not shine   
And if any Girls Lover forsakes her for me
I'll refuse him my hand & from Envy be free 

She went out in Morning attird plain & neat
Proud Marys gone Mad said the Child in the Street
She went out in Morning in plain neat attire  
And came home in Evening bespatterd with mire

She trembled & wept sitting on the Bed side
She forgot it was Night & she trembled & cried
She forgot it was Night she forgot it was Morn
Her soft Memory imprinted with Faces of Scorn   

With Faces of Scorn & with Eyes of disdain
Like foul Fiends inhabiting Marys mild Brain
She remembers no Face like the Human Divine
All Faces have Envy sweet Mary but thine

And thine is a Face of sweet Love in Despair   
And thine is a Face of mild sorrow & care
And thine is a Face of wild terror & fear
That shall never be quiet till laid on its bier"
Romans 12
[3] For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.
[4] For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
[5] so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
[6] Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;
[7] if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching;
[8] he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
[9] Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
[10] love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Origin 2-Luvah

  Urizen symbolized the demiurge, used by gnostic and other philosophers as the lesser god who created this sorry mess, our world. Urizen often shaded into a Moses like figure, constantly looking at and working on his books of the law, the vengeful Old Testament God, and other uncomplimentary names. In the fallen condition he shades into Satan:
  • Urizen calld together the Synagogue of Satan in dire Sanhedrin
    To Judge the Lamb of God to Death as a murderer & robber.     
    (FZ 8-109:6-7) [378])
   Urizen lost prominence in the later epics

If Urizen suggested reason, then Luvah likewise suggests love (and in the fallen state it's contrary). So Luvah in Eternity is Albion's quality of love, joy, forgiveness, all the positive feelings. But when Luvah crashes (like the other parts of Albion), the contrary comes to the fore: hate, which too often goes by the name of love, especially as in "the torments of love and desire". (It's not just the zoa who fell; the word he points to also fell!) Milton Percival said of Luvah "at the summit he is Christ; at the nadir he is Satan" (page 29).
   Luvah's first appearance in Beulah includes his emanation, Vala. They spend idyllic time in her garden of shadows. But this is interrupted when Luvah gives to Urizen the forbidden Wine of the Almighty.
   The Fall began when Luvah stole (or was given, lent) the horses of light (the Sun); you might say that Luvah, like Icarus got too close to the Sun. In Night 5 Urizen tells us about it in The Woes of Urizen:
  • Then in my ivory pavilions I slumberd in the noon
  • And walked in the silent night among sweet smelling flowers
  • Till on my silver bed I slept & sweet dreams round me hoverd.
  • But now my land is darkend & my wise men are departed.
  • My songs are turned to cries of Lamentation
  • Heard on my Mountains & deep sighs under my palace roofs,
  • Because the Steeds of Urizen once swifter than the light
  • Were kept back from my Lord & from his chariot of mercies
  • O did I keep the horses of the day in silver pastures
  • I refusd the Lord of day the horses of his prince
  • O Fool could I forget the light that filled my bright spheres
  • Was a reflection of his face who calld me from the deep
    (Four Zoas 5th Night; Erdman 343-4)
   This is a central event in Blake's myth; in fact we read about it at least three times in The Four Zoas.

Stop a minute! Think about it. Translate Blake's poetic symbols into (shall we say) psychology: Has Reason become subjective? or anthropological;? Our thinly veiled rationalizations, which we call Reason, have certainly contributed to our fallenness. We believe what we want to and call it truth. We even believe what all sorts of knaves tell us is truth--- because we want to! Straight thinking is in short supply-- here as it was in early 19th century England.

When Luvah sunk to the perversion of hate, he caused the Incarnation:
  • Lest the state calld Luvah should cease, the Divine Vision
  • Walked in robes of blood till he who slept should awake.
  • Thus were the stars of heaven created like a golden chain.
  •       (FZ 2-33:14-16 [E322])
   Luvah, and Christ with him, spend the ages in the Furnaces of Affliction, but we must know that a happy outcome will come (just as the Sun puts an end to the dark night).