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Sunday, May 25, 2014
Urizen symbolized the demiurge, used by gnostic and other philosophers as the lessergod 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. (FZ8-109:6-7) )
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 Icarusgot 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
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.
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).