British Museum Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
But what if words were pointers to ideas which were too big to be contained in words. What if each word opened the mind to ever expanding vistas of movement and activity. What if there were gates through which you could pass to enter unknown worlds. What if the world to which imagination can take us were all around us and inside us as well. What if we traveled through images of reality in a body which belongs to Eternity. Such a world would be the environs in which William Blake lived.
Blake's life can be thought of as a metaphor which he was using to describe the world which senses cannot access. He lived the joy and woe which permeates his poetic and visual images. He lived the death and the resurrection, and the journey of experience which connects the two. It was not enough to him to portray the Eternal, Infinite, Invisible world, he wanted to give access to that world to the brotherhood of man.
You are given the opportunity of viewing your own life as metaphor. You can become conscious that what we call reality is a mask which covers an "an immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses five". Your imagination will be expanded as was Blake's by exercising your "immortal Eyes ... inward into the Worlds of Thought".
Jerusalem, Plate 5, (E 147) "Trembling I sit day and night, my friends are astonish'd at me. Yet they forgive my wanderings, I rest not from my great task! To open the Eternal Worlds, to open the immortal Eyes Of Man inwards into the Worlds of Thought: into Eternity Ever expanding in the Bosom of God. the Human Imagination O Saviour pour upon me thy Spirit of meekness & love: Annihilate the Selfhood in me, be thou all my life!"
Four Zoas, Night VIII, Page 114, (E 385) "he [Man] rises to the Sun And to the Planets of the Night & to the stars that gild The Zodiac & the stars that sullen stand to north & south He touches the remotest pole & in the Center weeps That Man should Labour & sorrow & learn & forget & return To the dark valley whence he came to begin his labours anew In pain he sighs in pain he labours in his universe Screaming in birds over the deep & howling in the Wolf Over the slain & moaning in the cattle & in the winds And weeping over Orc & Urizen in clouds & flaming fires And in the cries of birth & in the groans of death his voice Is heard throughout the Universe whereever a grass grows Or a leaf buds The Eternal Man is seen is heard is felt And all his Sorrows till he reassumes his ancient bliss Such are the words of Ahania & Enion. Los hears & weeps And Los & Enitharmon took the Body of the Lamb Down from the Cross & placd it in a Sepulcher which Los had hewn For himself in the Rock of Eternity trembling & in despair Jerusalem wept over the Sepulcher two thousand Years"
Songs of Innocence & of Experience, Plate 9, (E 9) "And we are put on earth a little space, we may learn to bear the beams of love, ... SONGS 10 For when our souls have learn'd the heat to bear The cloud will vanish we shall hear his voice. Saying: come out from the grove my love & care, And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice."