Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Notes 1

Some notes on Blake
Albion The Eternal Man; the fallen man; due to rise.

    God appears, and God is light
    To those poor souls who dwell in night,
    But does a human form display
    To those who dwell in realms of day.
    &nnbsp;             (End of Auguries of Innocence)

Beulah in the Bible was the name Isaiah gave to the Holy Land, when it was to be redeemed. It means married. Blake used it as the place of rest from the fierce contentions of Eternity.
"Both read the same Bible day and night
But you read black where I read white."
(from The Everlasting Gospel by William Blake)
       We have Blake's Annotations on Bacon's Essays (erd 620-32), part of which you may read at this review of Bacon's thought.

Blake's God
       Some understanding of Berkeley's thought is a good preliminary to understanding the shape of Blake's mature vision of God, which came to him definitively about 1800.
       You can say nothing other than the products of your mind, which means that an objective God is a complete unknown; Blake would say there's no such thing:
    Mental Things are alone Real what is Calld Corporeal Nobody Knows of its Dwelling Place it is in Fallacy & its Existence an Imposture Where is the Existence Out of Mind or Thought Where is it but in the Mind of a Fool.
           (From, A Vision of The Last Judgment)
       In Blakean theology Jesus is the only God; not the man named Jesus: he's only a man. No! Blake's Jesus is the indwelling spirit within the psyche- the fount of imagination and forgiveness. Jesus is one.
       Thus, when the two Great Commandments meld together, the neighbor we're exhorted to love is the God within the other. So to love God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength involves loving God in all the particulars-- not just your neighbor, but his animals, insects, sticks and stones. Nature thus becomes what is groaning in travail; to love and care for it is to love God. "God only Acts & Is, in existing beings or Men" (MHH plate 16).

       This from Blake's Design of the Last Judgment 
    Many suppose that before the Creation All was Solitude and Chaos. This is the most pernicious Idea that can enter the Mind as it takes away all sublimity from the Bible and Limits All Existence to Creation and to Chaos-- to the Time and Space fixed by the Corporeal Vegetative Eye, and leaves the Man who entertains such an Idea the habitation of Unbelieving Demons. Eternity Exists and All things in Eternity Independent of Creation which was an act of Mercy. I have represented those who are in Eternity by some in a Cloud within the Rainbow that Surrounds the Throne. They merely appear as in a Cloud when any thing of Creation, Redemption, or Judgment are the Subjects of Contemplation tho their Whole Contemplation is Concerning these things. The Reason they so appear is The Humiliation of the Reasoning and Doubting Selfhood and the Giving all up to Inspiration. By this it will be seen that I do not consider either the Just or the Wicked to be in a Supreme State but to be every one of them States of the Sleep which the Soul may fall into in its Deadly Dreams of Good and Evil when it leaves Paradise following the Serpent.

Daughters of Beulah

In the upper left corner of the Arlington Tempera, behind the sleeping god, nymphs are playing upon musical instruments. To Digby in Symbol and Image in William Blake these were the daughters of Beulah.
The picture here accurately represents their role - to attend the couches (like nurses in ICU); with their music they empower man's perception of the archetypal symbols which address the unconscious more directly than words might. The archetypal symbols are the oxygen, the medicines meant to heal the sufferer in Ulro from the 'mind forg'd manacles' of gross materialism; the unconscious offers us better things.
(The daughters are mentioned 29 times in Blake's poetry.):

Four Zoas Night 1 Page 5 line 33-5:
"On all sides within & without the Universal Man The Daughters of Beulah follow sleepers in all their Dreams Creating Spaces lest they fall into Eternal Death."

Or this one: Four Zoas Night 8 Page 113 line 32-6:
But thou O Universal Humanity who is One Man blessed for Ever
Receivest the Integuments woven Rahab beholds the Lamb of God
She smites with her knife of flint She destroys her own work
Times upon times thinking to destroy the Lamb blessed for Ever
He puts off the clothing of blood he redeems the spectres from their bonds
He awakes the sleepers in Ulro the Daughters of Beulah praise him
They anoint his feet with ointment they wipe them with
the hair of their head."

Or this, Milton plate 34.20-21 E134:
"And the Couches of the Martyrs: & many Daughters of Beulah Accompany them down to the Ulro with soft melodious tears."



Susan J. said...

thank you, Larry - I feel like I'm finally reaching "critical mass" in "getting" a bit of what Blake is all about - and it's only taken me, what, 6 years now???

I got "Blake's Dante" through Interlibrary Loan -- what a find! -- and liked it so much I just now ordered my own copy.

Amazing what life Dante-through-Blake sheds on the Four Zoas --

Much love to you and Ellie,


ellie said...

I'm glad you are pleased with Blake's Dante. Blake is hard enough for me without adding Dante on top. Although I've posted on Blake's illustrations to Dante, it has been without enthusiasm. Blake had the happy faculty of giving all he could to any project he took on. Likewise he got from the authors he illustrated as much as (or more than) they may have intended.

We hope you will make it to Florida soon.

There is so much we need to discuss.