Thursday, September 18, 2014

Jerusalem Plate 92

The image found at Fourfold Human requires close attention with features often missed by 
those of us with limited vision (or simply not visually oriented).  It seems worthy of another 
post:

I've tried to make it clear with this image from the Library of Congress; if you blow it up as 
much as you can and focus on the lower part of the image you may discern four faces
perhaps seeming to be coming up out of the earth.


The one on the left (Under the woman's right arm) seems clearest.  You might surmise he  
represents the Zoa, Los.

On the right, very close together, might represent the two Zoas Urizen and Luvah.

At the bottom, larger than the others but perhaps in the water, would be Tharmas.


The Four Zoas 

Tharmas
In the mythological writings of William BlakeTharmas is one of the four Zoas, who were created when Albion, the primordial man, was divided fourfold. He represents sensation, and his female counterpart is Enion, who represents sexual urges. He is connected to the God the Father aspect of the Christian Trinity and is the begetter of Los. Tharmas is mostly peaceful, and flees during most of his fights with Urizen. He is depicted in various ways ranging from a youth with wings to an old bearded man.
(from Wiki)
   
Urizen
       The word strongly suggests reason, the primary quality of Urizen. Blake felt that the hegemony of rational thinking since The Enlightenment had had a stultifying and destructive influence on the British culture. He chose BaconNewton and Locke to epitomize that destructive influence. He chose Urizen to exemplify it in his myth.
      
       In Night II of The Four Zoas Urizen lost his faith and in vision saw the world collapsing into darkness:
    Urizen rose from the bright Feast like a star thro' the evening sky.
    First he beheld the body of Man pale, cold; the horrors of death
    Beneath his feet shot thro' him as he stood in the Human Brain,
    Pale he beheld futurity; pale he beheld the Abyss
    ......[he said:]
    Build we a Bower for heavens darling in the grizzly deep,
    Build we the Mundane Shell around the Rock of Albion.
                  FZ2: 23:9-24.8; (314)
Luvah
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!)
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:
           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.
                  (FZ2-33:14-16 [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.

Urthona

       "Earth owner": the creative imagination of the individual is how 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 mess and was suceeded by Los, Urthona's earthly manifestation.
           Urthona's fall brought forth a triad:
              Los
              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, like Blake. 

Los

    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.
       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.

Another picture of  the four appear in The Four Faces of Man.

No comments: