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!

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