Thursday, March 19, 2015

Notes 2

       The term, Death Eternal, means something far different from the conventional intonation. To Blake it meant captivity to the Material for someone completely oblivious to the realm of Spirit.
Entering the Door of Death (Frontspiece of Jerusalem): 

The word die is carefully avoided by most of us; when a loved one dies, we say he/she passed away. The question is-- what dies? The Roman Empire died; the British Empire died? But those were not people per se; they were states, conglomerates of materiality. So death is relative-- from what to what? Ellie asked a workmate if he considered himself a body or a spirit; "a body", he said; "a spirit", she said.
So what dies? A body or a spirit or both? (In mortal life our bodies are said to actually die (cell by cell) and be renewed every 7 years.)

So at the end of mortal life what dies? the body of course, the garment that we acquired when we descended into the Sea of Time and Space and the 'daughters of Enitharmon' began to cut and splice it.
When Odysseus (or Luvah) threw the garment back to the sea goddess, he was on his way back to Eternity, where we all go sooner or later.

In the French Quarter in N.O. a black friend told me about her dead son; he had had an incurable and painful disease; he came to her and asked her permission to die, which she of course granted. In one of Charles Williams' delightful metaphysical thrillers two characters are especially memorable: a saintly lady fully in tune with the life of the Spirit, and a man who generations before had been hanged; his spirit still hanged around that locale, which happened to be outside her window. She met him there and gave him permission to depart in peace.

In the series called William Blake Meets Thomas Paine we witness a conversation that Bill Blake had with his brother, Robert (long deceased), and we're led to believe that this was commonplace in Blake's life.

"But when once I did descry
The Immortal Man that cannot die,
Thro' evening shades I haste away
To close the labours of my day."(From Gates of Paradise)

"Every Death is an improvement in the State of the Departed." (Letter 74 - to Linnell; Erdman 774)
By Death Eternal Blake implied descent into mortal life.
By Life Eternal he meant return to our Eternal Origin.
"But what have you and I learned here in our mortal life?
(One Post can do no more than introduce this subject; it has other major ramifications.)
       The Divine Vision represented the radiance of the spiritual realm in its ascendance over the material. In the Christian world its primary appearance of course is Jesus.

       The term appears 48 times in Blake's major poems (The Four Zoas and Jerusalem) according to the   Blake concordance. Here is one instance:
"For the Divine Lamb Even Jesus who is the Divine Vision.." (Four Zoas [Nt 2], 33.11; E321.

Blake used the word 'divine' in many other senses, for example:
"For the Divine Lamb Even Jesus who is the Divine Vision" (FZ night ii 33:11)

the Divine Family for the communion of saints, the bride of Christ; close in they are a multitude; from afar they are One, Christ. (For this idea Blake leaned heavily on John 17.)

       Blake developed a vividly graphic image of the priestly cocoon in his major work called Milton (See plate 33). His poetry here is almost invincibly opaque, but the meaning has extreme significance in regard to his pscyhology, his world view, his religious outlook. The Mundane Shell represents fallen man, and particularly the worship of materiality rather than spirit. And more particularly the encrustation of organized religion (and law) over the spirit of humanity. Viewed individually it represents the psyche of a person whose consciousness has not yet evolved form the purely material. Or to look at this from another viewpoint: a child who has lost his innocence.
       In "Proverbs of Hell" of the Marriage of Heaven and Hell Blake wrote:
    "Till a system was formed, which some took
    advantage of and enslav'd the vulgar by
    attempting to realize or abstract the mental
    deities from their objects: thus began
    Priesthood; Choosing forms of worship from
    poetic tales. And at length they pronounc'd
    that the Gods had order'd such things. Thus
    men forgot that All deities reside in the
    human breast."
       Enion was the consort of the 4th Zoa, Tharmas. He represented the basic physical aspect of Albion. In relation to Carl Jung's four functions Tharmas would be sensation (however among scholars there is some disagreement about that, borne out by a passage found in Milton and again in Jerusalem:
"For Four Universes round the Mundane Egg remain Chaotic
One to the North; Urthona: One to the South; Urizen:
One to the East: Luvah: One to the West, Tharmas;
They are the Four Zoas that stood around the Throne Divine".
Tharmas and Enion were the parents of Los and Enitharmon. In his larger mythological works, especially The Four Zoas, Blake gave to Enion some of the most intense poetry that he wrote.
       For an introduction to Tharmas and Enion go to Characters


Female love did not mean for Blake what one might think. Female love is love of materiality, nature, beauty, anything to keep you from spirit.
       Note that in My Spectre Blake has us agree to give up female love, and a few lines on agree to give up love (means the same thing).
"There is not one Moral Virtue that Jesus Inculcated but Plato & Cicero did Inculcate before him what then did Christ Inculcate. Forgiveness of Sins This alone is the Gospel & this is the Life & Immortality brought to light by Jesus." (Blake's textual notes to The Everlasting Gospel, Erdman 875)

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