Illustrations to Poems of Thomas Gray
John Middleton Murry in his biographical commentary William Blake, gives this explanation on Page 164:
"But the psychological meaning is, that by being reconciled to the Spectre within himself, by recognizing and receiving Urizen as a part of his own self, Los-Blake attains a new understanding, a new synthesis (as we might call it today). Not of course an intellectual synthesis; but a real and decisive act of new spiritual understanding, involving a revolution of the whole man, - an act of Self-annihilation which is Imagination. Blake understands that Urizen is not a separate, demonic power, from whose dominion Blake alone is free; he is Blake himself, a necessary element of Blake's being. Hence Los's task 'to destroy the body he created'. He was to destroy the figure of Urizen as he had formerly created him; he has, by the same compulsion to destroy the figure of Los as he had formerly created him. For the Los of the past is essentially the enemy and opposite of the former Urizen. He belongs to the same order of spiritual blindness; as Blake puts it simply, in looking on Urizen with the eyes of separateness and hatred and contempt, Los 'became what he beheld.' Thus, while the Spectre describes himself as having been 'a ravening, hungering & thirsting cruel lust & murder' in 'old times' when Los subdued him (which is story told in The First Book of Urizen) Los reciprocates by discovering in his former self fury and cruelty and 'the soul of dark revenge'."
Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 95, (E 367) "Los embracd the Spectre first as a brother Then as another Self; astonishd humanizing & in tears In Self abasement Giving up his Domineering lust Thou never canst embrace sweet Enitharmon terrible Demon. Till Thou art united with thy Spectre Consummating by pains & labours That mortal body & by Self annihilation back returning To Life Eternal be assurd I am thy real Self Tho thus divided from thee & the Slave of Every passion Of thy fierce Soul Unbar the Gates of Memory look upon me Not as another but as thy real Self I am thy Spectre Thou didst subdue me in old times by thy Immortal Strength When I was a ravning hungring & thirsting cruel lust & murder Tho horrible & Ghastly to thine Eyes tho buried beneath The ruins of the Universe. hear what inspird I speak & be silent If we unite in one[,] another better world will be Opend within your heart & loins & wondrous brain Threefold as it was in Eternity & this the fourth Universe Will be Renewd by the three & consummated in Mental fires But if thou dost refuse Another body will be prepared PAGE 86 For me & thou annihilate evaporate & be no more For thou art but a form & organ of life & of thyself Art nothing being Created Continually by Mercy & Love divine Los furious answerd. Spectre horrible thy words astound my Ear With irresistible conviction I feel I am not one of those Who when convincd can still persist. tho furious.controllable By Reasons power. Even I already feel a World within Opening its gates & in it all the real substances Of which these in the outward World are shadows which pass away Come then into my Bosom & in thy shadowy arms bring with thee My lovely Enitharmon. I will quell my fury & teach Peace to the Soul of dark revenge & repentance to Cruelty So spoke Los & Embracing Enitharmon & the Spectre Clouds would have folded round in Extacy & Love uniting"