Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Notes 8

    Urthona rises from the ruinous walls
    In all his ancient strength to form the golden armour of science
    For intellectual War, the war of swords is departed now,
    the dark Religions are departed and sweet Science reigns.               (Four Zoas Night ix 139:8-10 407)
Thus The Four Zoas end.

In Blake's conception (as in the Bible) we come into the world with innocence, lose it (See 'Songs of Innocence' and hopefully evolve to a higher level of consciousness. Blake and the Bible refer to these two developments as fall and return.
       The 'mundane shell' and the 'covering cherub' are two ways Blake described the fallen condition, and organized religion has a prominent place in both myths.
       Two (relatively) contemporary authors deserve mention:
Joseph Chilton Pearce's Crack in the Cosmic Egg deserves study. It looks like an elaborate expansion of Blake's ideas here. I haven't recently determined what if any recognition he gave to Blake, although I found the mundane shell mentioned on page xiv of the 1988 edition.
Marcus Borg, on page 114 of his The God We Never Knew, speaks of 'the hatching of the heart', i.e. the conversion of the hard heart to the open heart: "If what is within is to live, the egg must hatch, the shell must break, the heart must open." In Blake's long poem, Milton, the older poet, Milton, imitating his friend, Jesus, comes down from Heaven, and cracks the mundane egg on his way to the center.
This last verse quotes John 2:4 with Jesus speaking as a spiritual rather than a material person.
       I find it very interesting that at the age of four C.G.Jung is reported to have had a dream in which a gigantic turd fell from the sky and landed on the local cathedral.

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