Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
Perception in Eternity is not limited or distorted as it is in our present condition of being enclosed in bodies of flesh, bones and blood. The Book of Urizen describes the fearful process of tearing apart the unity, and confining the functions to the operation of our internal organs, and to the senses which provide a restricted ability to allow the outside in. The reversal of this process is contained in Blake's epics Milton and Jerusalem.
Consciousness is won through a struggle which Blake calls the 'severe contentions of friendship.' In the brain of man are the furnaces which burn away the errors of his thought, which melt away the contentions of worldly 'love and jealousy' and which remove the filters which distort his ability to perceive reality. The fourfold nature of man has not been lost in the process, but has been redeemed. To be fully conscious to Blake is to be Human: to reach a point in one's journey when the four divided functions, the heart, mind, soul and body have become one.
Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 14, (E 39) "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is: infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern."
Book of Los, Plate 5, (E 94) "9: Till his Brain in a rock, & his Heart In a fleshy slough formed four rivers Obscuring the immense Orb of fire Flowing down into night: till a Form Was completed, a Human Illusion In darkness and deep clouds involvd."
Milton, Plate 34 , (E 135) "Those Visions of Human Life & Shadows of Wisdom & Knowledge Plate 35  Are here frozen to unexpansive deadly destroying terrors[.] And War & Hunting: the Two Fountains of the River of Life Are become Fountains of bitter Death & of corroding Hell Till Brotherhood is changd into a Curse & a Flattery By Differences between Ideas, that Ideas themselves, (which are The Divine Members) may be slain in offerings for sin O dreadful Loom of Death! " Visions of Daughters of Albion, Plate 2, (E 47) " Arise my Theotormon I am pure. Because the night is gone that clos'd me in its deadly black. They told me that the night & day were all that I could see; They told me that I had five senses to inclose me up. And they inclos'd my infinite brain into a narrow circle, And sunk my heart into the Abyss, a red round globe hot burning Till all from life I was obliterated and erased." Milton, Plate 21 , (E 115) "But Milton entering my Foot; I saw in the nether Regions of the Imagination; also all men on Earth, And all in Heaven, saw in the nether regions of the Imagination In Ulro beneath Beulah, the vast breach of Miltons descent. But I knew not that it was Milton, for man cannot know What passes in his members till periods of Space & Time Reveal the secrets of Eternity: for more extensive Than any other earthly things, are Mans earthly lineaments. And all this Vegetable World appeard on my left Foot, As a bright sandal formd immortal of precious stones & gold: I stooped down & bound it on to walk forward thro' Eternity. ... But all the Family Divine collected as Four Suns In the Four Points of heaven East, West & North & South Enlarging and enlarging till their Disks approachd each other; And when they touch'd closed together Southward in One Sun Over Ololon: and as One Man, who weeps over his brother, In a dark tomb, so all the Family Divine. wept over Ololon. Saying, Milton goes to Eternal Death! so saying, they groan'd in spirit And were troubled! and again the Divine Family groaned in spirit!" Jerusalem, Plate 34 , (E 179) "Displaying the Eternal Vision! the Divine Similitude! In loves and tears of brothers, sisters, sons, fathers, and friends Which if Man ceases to behold, he ceases to exist: Saying. Albion! Our wars are wars of life, & wounds of love, With intellectual spears, & long winged arrows of thought: Mutual in one anothers love and wrath all renewing We live as One Man; for contracting our infinite senses We behold multitude; or expanding: we behold as one, As One Man all the Universal Family; and that One Man We call Jesus the Christ: and he in us, and we in him, Live in perfect harmony in Eden the land of life, Giving, recieving, and forgiving each others trespasses. He is the Good shepherd, he is the Lord and master: He is the Shepherd of Albion, he is all in all, In Eden: in the garden of God: and in heavenly Jerusalem. If we have offended, forgive us, take not vengeance against us. Thus speaking; the Divine Family follow Albion: I see them in the Vision of God upon my pleasant valleys."
Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 126, (E 395) "then in stern repentance They must renew their brightness & their disorganizd functions Again reorganize till they resume the image of the human Cooperating in the bliss of Man obeying his Will Servants to the infinite & Eternal of the Human form"