Illustrations to Milton's Paradise Lost, Butts Set
Satan, Sin & Death
Satan is a master state, the state of error which manifests in multiple ways. Milton and Blake called Sin and Death the children of Satan. Satan is a state, not an individual, an angel or a god. Satan was never allowed to take a human form. His influence comes from manipulating the minds of men.
Milton Percival in William Blake's Circle of Destiny tells us this about states as means of transformation:
"All those whose hearts are given over to malice, hatred and vengeance traverse the wheel of Ulro. It may be escaped in true Gnostic fashion, by the birth of Christ in the soul. The doctrine of states is witness to such a birth. It is itself nothing less than a changed interpretation of spiritual experience. It is in that sense the immediate avenue of escape, but the real escape is in the regeneration by which a change in outlook is made possible."
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 556) "it ought to be understood that the Persons Moses & Abraham are not here meant but the States Signified by those Names the Individuals being representatives or Visions of those States as they were reveald to Mortal Man in the Series of Divine Revelations. as they are written in the Bible these various States I have seen in my Imagination when distant they appear as One Man but as you approach they appear Multitudes of Nations."
Jerusalem, Plate 25, (E 170) "For not one sparrow can suffer, & the whole Universe not suffer also, In all its Regions, & its Father & Saviour not pity and weep. But Vengeance is the destroyer of Grace & Repentance in the bosom Of the Injurer: in which the Divine Lamb is cruelly slain: Descend O Lamb of God & take away the imputation of Sin By the Creation of States & the deliverance of Individuals Evermore Amen Thus wept they in Beulah over the Four Regions of Albion But many doubted & despaird & imputed Sin & Righteousness To Individuals & not to States, and these Slept in Ulro." Milton, Plate 32 , (E 132) "Distinguish therefore States from Individuals in those States. States Change: but Individual Identities never change nor cease: You cannot go to Eternal Death in that which can never Die. Satan & Adam are States Created into Twenty-seven Churches And thou O Milton art a State about to be Created Called Eternal Annihilation that none but the Living shall Dare to enter: & they shall enter triumphant over Death And Hell & the Grave! States that are not, but ah! Seem to be. Judge then of thy Own Self: thy Eternal Lineaments explore What is Eternal & what Changeable? & what Annihilable! The Imagination is not a State: it is the Human Existence itself Affection or Love becomes a State, when divided from Imagination The Memory is a State always, & the Reason is a State Created to be Annihilated & a new Ratio Created Whatever can be Created can be Annihilated Forms cannot The Oak is cut down by the Ax, the Lamb falls by the Knife But their Forms Eternal Exist, For-ever. Amen Halle[l]ujah" Jerusalem, Plate 20, (E 165) "Jerusalem answer'd with soft tears over the valleys. O Vala what is Sin? that thou shudderest and weepest At sight of thy once lov'd Jerusalem! What is Sin but a little Error & fault that is soon forgiven; but mercy is not a Sin Nor pity nor love nor kind forgiveness!" Milton, Plate 29 , (E 127) "But in the Optic vegetative Nerves Sleep was transformed To Death in old time by Satan the father of Sin & Death And Satan is the Spectre of Orc & Orc is the generate Luvah But in the Nerves of the Nostrils, Accident being formed Into Substance & Principle, by the cruelties of Demonstration It became Opake & Indefinite; but the Divine Saviour, Formed it into a Solid by Los's Mathematic power. He named the Opake Satan: he named the Solid Adam" Jerusalem, Plate 31 , (E 177) "Then the Divine hand found the Two Limits, Satan and Adam, In Albions bosom: for in every Human bosom those Limits stand. And the Divine voice came from the Furnaces, as multitudes without Number! the voices of the innumerable multitudes of Eternity. And the appearance of a Man was seen in the Furnaces; Saving those who have sinned from the punishment of the Law, (In pity of the punisher whose state is eternal death,) And keeping them from Sin by the mild counsels of his love. Albion goes to Eternal Death: In Me all Eternity. Must pass thro' condemnation, and awake beyond the Grave! No individual can keep these Laws, for they are death To every energy of man, and forbid the springs of life; Albion hath enterd the State Satan! Be permanent O State! And be thou for ever accursed! that Albion may arise again: And be thou created into a State! I go forth to Create States: to deliver Individuals evermore! Amen."