Book of Urizen: full page images of the Four Elements.
For the Sexes: Gates of Paradise, THE KEYS, (E 268)
"2 Doubt Self Jealous Watry folly
3 Struggling thro Earths Melancholy
4 Naked in Air in Shame & Fear
5 Blind in Fire with shield & spear"
Urizen's contribution was to 'divide the elements in finite bonds': to take the infinite archetypes and divide them into finite discrete entities which could be set against each other in warring factions.
Four Zoas, Night II, Page 30, (E 319) "Then rose the Builders; First the Architect divine his plan Unfolds, The wondrous scaffold reard all round the infinite Quadrangular the building rose the heavens squared by a line. Trigon & cubes divide the elements in finite bonds Multitudes without number work incessant: the hewn stone Is placd in beds of mortar mingled with the ashes of Vala Severe the labour, female slaves the mortar trod oppressed Twelve halls after the names of his twelve sons composd The wondrous building & three Central Domes after the Names Of his three daughters were encompassd by the twelve bright halls Every hall surrounded by bright Paradises of Delight In which are towns & Cities Nations Seas Mountains & Rivers Each Dome opend toward four halls & the Three Domes Encompassd The Golden Hall of Urizen whose western side glowd bright With ever streaming fires beaming from his awful limbsTharmas realized the the infinite elements which served the living would be left 'a formless unmeasurable Death' if he departed and they were left without the spirits which animated them.
Four Zoas, Night IV, Page 52, (E 334) "I will compell thee to rebuild by these my furious waves Death choose or life thou strugglest in my waters, now choose life And all the Elements shall serve thee to their soothing flutes Their sweet inspiriting lyres thy labours shall administer And they to thee only remit not faint not thou my son Now thou dost know what tis to strive against the God of waters So saying Tharmas on his furious chariots of the Deep Departed far into the Unknown & left a wondrous void Round Los. afar his waters bore on all sides round. with noise Of wheels & horses hoofs & Trumpets Horns & Clarions Terrified Los beheld the ruins of Urizen beneath A horrible Chaos to his eyes. a formless unmeasurable Death"The 'shadowy semblance' of the detached elements seek existence in matter although they will suffer the pains of affliction common in the natural world.
Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 136, (E 404) "Forsaken of their Elements they vanish & are no more No more but a desire of Being a distracted ravening desire Desiring like the hungry worm & like the gaping grave They plunge into the Elements the Elements cast them forth Or else consume their shadowy semblance Yet they obstinate Tho pained to distraction Cry O let us Exist for This dreadful Non Existence is worse than pains of Eternal Birth Eternal Death who can Endure. let us consume in fires In waters stifling or in air corroding or in earth shut up The Pangs of Eternal birth are better than the Pangs of Eternal Death Milton, Plate 31 , (E 130) "And all the Living Creatures of the Four Elements, wail'd With bitter wailing: these in the aggregate are named Satan. And Rahab: they know not of Regeneration, but only of Generation The Fairies, Nymphs, Gnomes & Genii of the Four Elements Unforgiving & unalterable: these cannot be Regenerated But must be Created, for they know only of Generation These are the Gods of the Kingdoms of the Earth: in contrarious And cruel opposition: Element against Element, opposed in War Not Mental, as the Wars of Eternity, but a Corporeal Strife In Los's Halls continual labouring in the Furnaces of Golgonooza"Blake states that the Four Zoas are the 'Four Eternal Senses of Man.' At the Eternal level Albion incorporates all of the created world; his senses are the Zoas. When Albion splits and falls the Eternal Senses become the Elements which are expressed as forces which are active in defining the natural world. The raw power of the elements breaks forth in the destruction of the Whirlwind, Flood, Earthquake and Fire. Milder but no less insidious formulations of the Elements are the Fairies, Nymphs, Gnomes & Genii, unconscious instruments which instigate strife and war among political entities, whether they be families, religions, political parties, or nations. The elements have become the masters of man rather than his servants.
Mankind would like to be free from subjugation to the results of the conflicts manifesting in nature and politics, but the powers that sustain them go unrecognized. If we knew that we have Eternal Senses capable of enjoying the infinite and eternal panoply of the universe, we would relinquish our grip on the partial to perceive the whole.
Jerusalem, Plate 32 , (E 178) "And the Four Zoa's clouded rage East & West & North & South They change their situations, in the Universal Man. Albion groans, he sees the Elements divide before his face. And England who is Brittannia divided into Jerusalem & Vala And Urizen assumes the East, Luvah assumes the South In his dark Spectre ravening from his open Sepulcher And the Four Zoa's who are the Four Eternal Senses of Man Became Four Elements separating from the Limbs of Albion These are their names in the Vegetative Generation [West Weighing East & North dividing Generation South bounding] And Accident & Chance were found hidden in Length Bredth & Highth And they divided into Four ravening deathlike Forms Fairies & Genii & Nymphs & Gnomes of the Elements. These are States Permanently Fixed by the Divine Power The Atlantic Continent sunk round Albions cliffy shore And the Sea poured in amain upon the Giants of Albion As Los bended the Senses of Reuben Reuben is Merlin Exploring the Three States of Ulro; Creation; Redemption. & Judgment And many of the Eternal Ones laughed after their manner"