Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Characters

Oct 28, 2010

The Characters

The Four Zoas
       When Albion fell asleep, he divided into the four zoas:
              Sons of Los and Enitharmon
The Emanations: (Each zoa has an emanation: his feminine, passive half, his wife, lover, consort, whatever it seems like she is at the moment):
Other Characters

The Spectre 
The Council of God (Eternals)
       Albion has a composite character second to none. It means (originally) England, but at a deeper level it means the cosmos, which is a man!. (In this Blake agrees with the Adam Kadmon of the Kabbalah, the Heavenly Man of Philo, St. Paul's heavenly man, the second Adam, and the cosmic man of Gnostic mythology, and the Hindu god,Krishna.)
       Albion, the eternal man, fell asleep into mortality in Beulah. We read at the beginning of Night 2 these ominous words:
    Rising upon his Couch of Death Albion beheld his Sons
    Turning his Eyes outward to Self, losing the Divine Vision. Albion called Urizen & said:
    "Take thou possession! take this Scepter! go forth in my might
    For I am weary, & must sleep in the dark sleep of Death.
He divides and divides into four parts, the four zoas (strangely similar to the four functions promulgated a hundred years later by Carl Jung).
       This dissolution of the cosmic man, described at the beginning of The Four Zoas, passes through the Circle of Destiny, and at the end of The Four Zoas he awakens from his mortal sleep and resumes his place in Eternity. That in essence is a thumbnail account of Blake's myth: descent from Eternity, struggle, and eventually return.

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