Thursday, October 29, 2015


British Library  
Four Zoas Manuscript
Page 119
Four Zoas, Night IX, PAGE 119, (E 388) 
"In the fierce flames the limbs of Mystery lay consuming with howling     
And deep despair. Rattling go up the flames around the Synagogue
Of Satan   Loud the Serpent Orc ragd thro his twenty Seven
Folds. The tree of Mystery went up in folding flames
Blood issud out in mighty volumes pouring in whirlpools fierce 
From out the flood gates of the Sky The Gates are burst down pour
The torrents black upon the Earth the blood pours down incessant
Kings in their palaces lie drownd Shepherds their flocks their tents
Roll down the mountains in black torrents Cities Villages
High spires & Castles drownd in the black deluge Shoal on Shoal 
Float the dead carcases of Men & Beasts driven to & fro on waves
Of foaming blood beneath the black incessant Sky till all
Mysterys tyrants are cut off & not one left on Earth

And when all Tyranny was cut off from the face of Earth
Around the Dragon form of Urizen & round his stony form 
The flames rolling intense thro the wide Universe
Began to Enter the Holy City   Entring the dismal clouds 
In furrowd lightnings break their way the wild flames licking up
The Bloody Deluge living flames winged with intellect
And Reason round the Earth they march in order flame by flame 
From the clotted gore & from the hollow den
Start forth the trembling Millions into flames of mental fire
Bathing their Limbs in the bright visions of Eternity

Beyond this Universal Confusion beyond the remotest Pole  

Where their vortexes begin to operate there stands 
A Horrible rock far in the South   it was forsaken when
Urizen gave the horses of Light into the hands of Luvah
On this rock lay the faded head of the Eternal Man
Enwrapped round with weeds of death pale cold in sorrow & woe
He lifts the blue lamps of his Eyes & cries with heavenly voice 
Bowing his head over the consuming Universe he cried

O weakness & O weariness   O war within my members
My sons exiled from my breast pass to & fro before me
My birds are silent on my hills flocks die beneath my branches
My tents are fallen my trumpets & the sweet sounds of my harp 
Is silent on my clouded hills that belch forth storms & fires
My milk of cows & honey of bees & fruit of golden harvest
Are gatherd in the scorching heat & in the driving rain
My robe is turned to confusion & my bright gold to stones
Where once I sat   I weary walk in misery & pain 
For from within my witherd breast grown narrow with my woes  
The Corn is turnd to thistles & the apples into poison
The birds of song to murderous crows My joys to bitter groans"

Wiki Commons
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
The theme of Night IX is a restatement of the biblical Book of Revelation, the final book of the New Testament. Both works aim to present both an ending and a new beginning. Blake draws on the imagery of Revelation to reinforce his concept of the dissolving of the bonds which have held Albion is his stupor during the first eight Nights of the poem. On Page 119 Albion develops awareness of the double oppression of false religion and tyrannical government.

Albion, however, realizes that the chains from which he is seeking to be freed are not exclusively the restraints of religion and politics but also result from the inner 'war within my members.' He acknowledges that he has lost the clarity of perception which once brought joy and comfort to his life. In this portion of Night IX Blake is clearing the deck in preparation for establishing the new order.

Although Albion is conscious of only his misery and pain, the Divine Hand is reaching down in response to his 'bitter groans.'

Jerusalem, Plate 15, (E 158)
"I see Albion sitting upon his Rock in the first Winter           
And thence I see the Chaos of Satan & the World of Adam
When the Divine Hand went forth on Albion in the mid Winter
And at the place of Death when Albion sat in Eternal Death
Among the Furnaces of Los in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom"

Revelation 3
[8] I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
[9] Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
[10] Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 

Revelation 17
[3] So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
[4] And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
[6] And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
[7] And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
[8] The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.


Monday, October 26, 2015


British Library
Four Zoas Manuscript
Page 117

Four Zoas, Night IX, PAGE 117, (E 386) 
"               VALA
          Night the Ninth
          The Last Judgment

And Los & Enitharmon builded Jerusalem weeping    
Over the Sepulcher & over the Crucified body
Which to their Phantom Eyes appear'd still in the Sepulcher
But Jesus stood beside them in the Spirit Separating
Their Spirit from their body. Terrified at Non Existence 
For such they deemd the death of the body. Los his vegetable hands
Outstretchd his right hand branching out in fibrous Strength
Siezd the Sun. His left hand like dark roots coverd the Moon
And tore them down cracking the heavens across from immense to immense
Then fell the fires of Eternity with loud & shrill 
Sound of Loud Trumpet thundering along from heaven to heaven
A mighty sound articulate Awake ye dead & come
To judgment from the four winds Awake & Come away
Folding like scrolls of the Enormous volume of Heaven & Earth 

With thunderous noise & dreadful shakings rocking to & fro 
The heavens are shaken & the Earth removed from its place
The foundations of the Eternal hills discoverd
The thrones of Kings are shaken they have lost their robes & crowns
The poor smite their opressors they awake up to the harvest
The naked warriors rush together down to the sea shore 
Trembling before the multitudes of slaves now set at liberty
They are become like wintry flocks like forests stripd of leaves
The opressed pursue like the wind there is no room for escape
The Spectre of Enitharmon let loose on the troubled deep
Waild shrill in the confusion & the Spectre of Urthona
PAGE 118 
Recievd her in the darkning South their bodies lost they stood
Trembling & weak a faint embrace a fierce desire as when
Two shadows mingle on a wall they wail & shadowy tears
Fell down & shadowy forms of joy mixd with despair & grief
Their bodies buried in the ruins of the Universe 
Mingled with the confusion. Who shall call them from the Grave

Rahab & Tirzah wail aloud in the wild flames they give up themselves to Consummation
The books of Urizen unroll with dreadful noise the folding Serpent
Of Orc began to Consume in fierce raving fire his fierce flames"

Wiki Commons
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
Blake announced the beginning of Night IX with a decisive event. In spite of the fear of the consequences, Los acts in a dramatic way: he tears down the sun and the moon. He freed himself from the control of the sun or reason, and the moon or emotion. 

The image on this page gives once again the perspective of Eternity on the events in time which are portrayed in the text. Los freed from the error of being dominated by his reason or emotions escapes from time and space into the heaven of vision. Shedding his body Los is left without definition until the outer manifestations (Rahab, Tirzah, Urizen and Orc) are consumed in the renewing fire.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


British Library
Four Zoas Manuscript
Page 115
 Four Zoas, Night VIII, PAGE 107 [115], (E 380) 
"And these are the Sons of Los & Enitharmon. Rintrah Palamabron 
Theotormon Bromion Antamon Ananton Ozoth Ohana
Sotha Mydon Ellayol Natho Gon Harhath Satan
Har Ochim Ijim Adam Reuben Simeon Levi Judah Dan Naphtali
Gad Asher Issachar Zebulun Joseph Benjamin David Solomon 
Paul Constantine Charlemaine Luther Milton
These are our daughters Ocalythron Elynittria Oothoon Leutha    
Elythiria Enanto Manathu Vorcyon Ethinthus Moab Midian
Adah Zillah Caina Naamah Tamar Rahab Tirzah Mary
And myriads more of Sons & Daughters to whom our love increasd 
To each according to the multiplication of their multitudes
But Satan accusd Palamabron before his brethren also he maddend 
The horses of palambrons harrow wherefore Rintrah & Palamabron
Cut him off from Golgonooza. But Enitharmon in tears
Wept over him Created him a Space closd with a tender moon 
And he rolld down beneath the fires of Orc a Globe immense
Crusted with snow in a dim void. here by the Arts of Urizen
He tempted many of the Sons & Daughters of Los to flee
Away from Me first Reuben fled then Simeon then Levi then Judah
Then Dan then Naphtali then Gad then Asher then Issachar 
Then Zebulun then Joseph then Benjamin twelve sons of Los
And this is the manner in which Satan became the Tempter

There is a State namd Satan learn distinct to know O Rahab   
The Difference between States & Individuals of those States
The State namd Satan never can be redeemd in all Eternity 
But when Luvah in Orc became a Serpent he des[c]ended into
That State calld Satan Enitharmon breathd forth on the Winds
Of Golgonooza her well beloved knowing he was Orc's human remains
She tenderly lovd him above all his brethren he grew up
In mothers tenderness The Enormous worlds rolling in Urizens power
Must have given Satan by these mild arts Dominion over all
Wherefore Palamabron being accusd by Satan to Los      
Calld down a Great Solemn assembly Rintrah in fury & fire
Defended Palamabron & rage filld the Universal Tent

Because Palamabron was good naturd Satan supposd he feard him 
And Satan not having the Science of Wrath but only of Pity
Was soon condemnd & wrath was left to wrath & Pity to Pity
Rintrah & Palamabron Cut sheer off from Golgonooza
Enitharmons Moony space & in it Satan & his companions
They rolld down a dim world Crusted with Snow deadly & dark 

Jerusalem pitying them wove them mantles of life & death
Times after times And those in Eden sent Lucifer for their Guard
Lucifer refusd to die for Satan & in pride he forsook his charge
Then they sent Molech Molech was impatient They sent
Molech impatient They Sent Elohim who created Adam
To die for Satan Adam refusd but was compelld to die
By Satans arts. Then the Eternals Sent Shaddai
Shaddai was angry Pachad descended Pachad was terrified
And then they Sent Jehovah who leprous stretchd his hand to Eternity
Then Jesus Came & Died willing beneath Tirzah & Rahab 
Thou art that Rahab Lo the Tomb what can we purpose more   

PAGE 108 [116] 
Lo Enitharmon terrible & beautiful in Eternal youth
Bow down before her you her children & set Jerusalem free

Rahab burning with pride & revenge departed from Los
Los dropd a tear at her departure but he wipd it away in hope
She went to Urizen in pride the Prince of Light beheld
Reveald before the face of heaven his secret holiness."    
Wiki Commons
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
This is another instance in which Blake brings together various threads which are being woven into the fabric of his text. The long lists of sons and daughters of Los & Enitharmon derive primarily from the Old Testament and from history. Blake did not include individuals of particularly noble character but men and women who had moved forward the development of human history for good or ill.

Blake's next section is a recapitulation of the Bards song from Milton. Blake presents an explanation of the drawing away of many of Los's sons through the arts of Urizen. Satan's role as the Tempter is developed in this passage. Blake introduced states as opposed to individuals in those states. Then he listed the seven 'eyes' or states through which society developed as it acquired spiritual consciousness.

This statement is given to Rahab by the Eternals attempting to gain the release of Jerusalem by explaining how the present circumstances came about, but Rahab rebuffs Los and returns to Urizen.

For Blake the image of the suffering Christ offering himself for the salvation of mankind was sufficient to encompass the whole history of the world as it passed through stages of trying and failing, learning and forgetting, falling asleep and reawakening.  

In the manuscript for the Four Zoas, pages 111 and 115 have similar images. Both images are engraved, indicating that they were produced as finished products intended for inclusion in the project on which Blake was working - Illustrations for Young's Night Thoughts. The watercolors in the British Museum include a painting of the image used on page 111 in which Jesus' head is seen in profile. Of the 537 watercolors (now in the British Museum) which Blake painted to illustrate Night Thoughts, only those which were selected to be included in the first volume issued for publication were ever engraved. Apparently after Blake had engraved the image he was dissatisfied with the expression on the face of Jesus. It was worth the time and effort to him, to reengrave the image in order better to show Jesus expressing compassionate concern for the world he suffered to redeem. As was his practice he reused proofs from pages engraved for Night Thoughts to furnish paper for the composition of the Four Zoas. Thus we can compare two engraved versions of a single composition.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


British Library
Four Zoas Manuscript
Page 113

Four Zoas, Night VIII, PAGE 104 (FIRST PORTION) (E 376)
"Then sang the Sons of Eden round the Lamb of God & said
Glory Glory Glory to the holy Lamb of God 
Who now beginneth to put off the dark Satanic body
Now we behold redemption Now we know that life Eternal
Depends alone upon the Universal hand & not in us
Is aught but death In individual weakness sorrow & pain 
We behold with wonder Enitharmons Looms & Los's Forges    
And the Spindles of Tirzah & Rahab and the Mills of Satan & Beelzeboul  
In Golgonooza Los's anvils stand & his Furnaces rage        
Ten thousand demons labour at the forges Creating Continually
The times & spaces of Mortal Life the Sun the Moon the Stars 
In periods of Pulsative furor beating into wedges & bars   
Then drawing into wires the terrific Passions & Affections
Of Spectrous dead. Thence to the Looms of Cathedron conveyd
The Daughters of Enitharmon weave the ovarium & the integument
In soft silk drawn from their own bowels in lascivious delight 
With songs of sweetest cadence to the turning spindle & reel
Lulling the weeping spectres of the dead. Clothing their limbs
With gifts & gold of Eden. Astonishd stupefied with delight
The terrors put on their sweet clothing on the banks of Arnon 
Whence they plunge into the river of space for a period till 
The dread Sleep of Ulro is past. But Satan Og & Sihon         
Build Mills of resistless wheels to unwind the soft threads & reveal
Naked of their clothing the poor spectres before the accusing heavens
While Rahab & Tirzah far different mantles prepare webs of torture

Mantles of despair girdles of bitter compunction shoes of indolence
Veils of ignorance covering from head to feet with a cold web

We look down into Ulro we behold the Wonders of the Grave
Eastward of Golgonooza stands the Lake of Udan Adan In
Entuthon Benithon a Lake not of Waters but of Spaces   
Perturbd black & deadly on its Islands & its Margins 
The Mills of Satan and Beelzeboul stand round the roots of Urizens tree
For this Lake is formd from the tears & sighs & death sweat of the Victims
Of Urizens laws. to irrigate the roots of the tree of Mystery
They unweave the soft threads then they weave them anew in the forms
Of dark death & despair & none from Eternity to Eternity could Escape    
But thou O Universal Humanity who is One Man blessed for Ever
Recievest 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

But when Rahab had cut off the Mantle of Luvah from    
The Lamb of God it rolld apart, revealing to all in heaven
And all on Earth the Temple & the Synagogue of Satan & Mystery
Even Rahab in all her turpitude Rahab divided herself
She stood before Los in her Pride among the Furnaces   
Dividing & uniting in Delusive feminine pomp questioning him

He answerd her with tenderness & love not uninspird    
Los sat upon his anvil stock they sat beside the forge 
Los wipd the sweat from his red brow & thus began
To the delusive female forms shining among his furnaces

I am that shadowy Prophet who six thousand years ago
Fell from my station in the Eternal bosom. I divided
To multitude & my multitudes are children of Care & Labour 
O Rahab I behold thee I was once like thee a Son
Of Pride and I also have piercd the Lamb of God in pride & wrath
Hear me repeat my Generations that thou mayst also repent

We now behold the Ends of Beulah & we now behold
Where Death Eternal is put off Eternally
Assume the dark Satanic body in the Virgins womb
O Lamb divin[e] it cannot thee annoy O pitying one
Thy pity is from the foundation of the World & thy Redemption
Begun Already in Eternity   Come then O Lamb of God 
Come Lord Jesus come quickly

So sang they in Eternity looking down into Beulah." 

Blake included no illustration on this page. We are reminded here of the work of Enitharmon who wove on her looms the bodies that clothed the specters of the dead. But the benevolent work of Enitharmon was assailed by forces which tore down the delicate structures of innocence by exposing them to the harsh conditions of experience.  Man's sojourn in the world of time and space related from the perspective of Eternity is the topic this passage. The Eternals observe the suffering of humanity knowing that their condition is temporary: that the suffering they endure will be shared by the Lamb of God who will put on the mantle of life and death.

There is no immediate transition as a result of the incarnation because the systems of oppression are ingrained in human minds. The presence of the Lamb exposes Rahab and Satan as delusions but they still must be dealt with. It takes Los - the Imagination, the Prophet, the Holy Spirit - to confront error in love in order to put it off Eternally.

In this context we may think of Rahab as the system of moral law externally, or as the Superego internally. Satan may be related to the Id as the source of energy and desire masquerading as the true man.  
Yale Center for British Art
Plate 100

Friday, October 16, 2015


Urizen is the primary of the four zoas, standing for reason.  Blake feels that  anyone under Urizen's dominion is restricted by his limitations.

The word strongly suggests reason, the primary quality of Urizen. Blake felt that the hegemony of rational thinking since The Enlightenment had had a stultifying and destructive influence on the British culture. He chose Bacon, Newton and Locke to epitomize that destructive influence. He chose Urizen to exemplify it in his myth.
At the final consummation Blake rehabilitated Bacon, Newton and Locke. They appeared counterbalancing Blake's three great poets.

The Druid Spectre was Annihilate loud thundring rejoicing terrific vanishing J98.7; E257| 

Fourfold Annihilation & at the clangor of the Arrows of Intellect J98.8; E257| The 

innumerable Chariots of the Almighty appeard in Heaven J98.9; E257| And Bacon & Newton & Locke, & Milton & Shakspear & Chaucer (Jerusalem 98: 6-9 [257])

In Night II of The Four Zoas Urizen lost his faith and in vision saw the world collapsing into darkness:
FZ2: 23:9-24.8; (314)
Urizen rose from the bright Feast like a star thro' the evening sky.
First he beheld the body of Man pale, cold; the horrors of death
Beneath his feet shot thro' him as he stood in the Human Brain,
Pale he beheld futurity; pale he beheld the Abyss
......[he said:]
Build we a Bower for heavens darling in the grizzly deep,
Build we the Mundane Shell around the Rock of Albion.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


British Library
Four Zoas Manuscript

Four Zoas, Night VIII, PAGE 115 [111], (E 385) 
"Rahab triumphs over all she took Jerusalem
Captive A Willing Captive by delusive arts impelld
To worship Urizens Dragon form to offer her own Children
Upon the bloody Altar. John Saw these things Reveald in Heaven
On Patmos Isle & heard the Souls cry out to be deliverd 

He saw the Harlot of the Kings of Earth & saw her Cup
Of fornication food of Orc & Satan pressd from the fruit of Mystery
But when she saw the form of Ahania weeping on the Void
And heard Enions voice sound from the caverns of the Grave
No more spirit remained in her She secretly left the Synagogue of Satan
She commund with Orc in secret She hid him with the flax
That Enitharmon had numberd away from the Heavens   
She gatherd it together to consume her Harlot Robes 
In bitterest Contrition sometimes Self condemning repentant
And Sometimes kissing her Robes & jewels & weeping over them 
Sometimes returning to the Synagogue of Satan in Pride
And Sometimes weeping before Orc in humility & trembling
The Synagogue of Satan therefore uniting against Mystery
Satan divided against Satan resolvd in open Sanhedrim
To burn Mystery with fire & form another from her ashes 
For God put it into their heart to fulfill all his will

The Ashes of Mystery began to animate they calld it Deism
And Natural Religion as of old so now anew began
Babylon again in Infancy Calld Natural Religion"

British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts 
Blake was asking us to associate the images of Rahab, Babylon, Deism, Mystery, the Synagogue of Satan, crucifixion, and consuming flames. All were connected to error and the process of replacing error with truth. It is never easy to overthrow existing processes. Nor is it possible to predict the consequences of overturning current philosophies and methods. Splendid as Deism, the new sanitized religion of the rationalists, seemed to the intellectuals, Blake found it wanting in providing an environment in which man could flourish in his full humanity. 

Blake felt that Christianity as it was practiced by organized religion, was mistaken in its understanding of Christ's mission. Instead of enabling man to experience the risen Christ within one's own being, the organized church substituted rituals, doctrines and morality and a hierarchy of clergy. Not knowing Christ Within, they preached Christ on the cross or Christ in the tomb. The Christ who transforms the world through loving inclusiveness was forgotten as the church supported greed, war, empire and oppression by the wealthy.

On page 111 Blake used an image of Christ consumed in fire, pierced with nails and wearing the crown of thorns. But Christ in his suffering was offering himself for mankind's salvation.

From page 264 of Blake's Apocalypse by Harold Bloom:

"These lines, which end Night VIII, present in very condensed form Blake's sardonic analysis of 'the Ashes of Mystery,' or eighteenth-century natural religion. Deism tries to prove 'Christianity Not Mysterious,' replacing supernatural revelation by natural reason. But the Deists replace the Mystery of revelation with the Mystery of nature, and their trinity of reason, nature and society is another triple-headed manifestation of Female Will. The fire of Critical Deism burns up Mystery, and then the spectral reasoning of Constructive Deism form another Rahab from her ashes, a new Babylon in its infancy. Blake's imagination could no more accept the universe of Newton than it could the god of the churches. Blake's God was human in the clear light of creative vision, and so was Blake's cosmos, if the eye could only see everything it was capable of seeing. What makes this polemic so sardonic is the Blakean conviction that Deism is providential: 'For God put it in their heart to fulfill all his will.' Deism, to Blake, is absolute error; the ultimate negation of the truth. Such negation, to Blake, must compel a vision of the last Judgment:"

A Vision of The Last Judgment, (E 554)             
       "The Last Judgment when all those are Cast away who trouble
Religion with Questions concerning Good & Evil or Eating of the
Tree of those Knowledges or Reasonings which hinder the Vision of
God turning all into a Consuming fire. When Imaginative Art &
Science & all Intellectual Gifts all the Gifts of the Holy Ghost
are despis'd lookd upon as of no use & only Contention
remains to Man then the Last Judgment begins & its Vision is seen
by the Imaginative Eye of Every one according to the
situation he holds."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tree of Mystery

Genesis 2:7-17

[7] And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
[8] And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
[9] And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
[10] And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
[11] The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
[12] And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
[13] And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
[14] And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
[15] And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
[16] And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
[17] But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

This is the biblical source of the Tree of Mystery and of many other things in 'Blake'.


The Tree of Mystery occurs once in the Book of Ahania and nowhere else except in the Four Zoas.
This extract comes from 'Ahania':

"3: For when Urizen shrunk away                      
From Eternals, he sat on a rock
Barren; a rock which himself
From redounding fancies had petrified
Many tears fell on the rock,
Many sparks of vegetation;                             
Soon shot the pained root
Of Mystery, under his heel:
It grew a thick tree; he wrote
In silence his book of iron:

- 86 -(of Erdman's book)

Till the horrid plant bending its boughs    
Grew to roots when it felt the earth
And again sprung to many a tree.

4: Amaz'd started Urizen! when
He  beheld  himself compassed round
And high roofed over with trees             
He arose but the stems stood so thick
He with difficulty and great pain
Brought his Books, all but the Book

Of iron, from the dismal shade

5: The Tree still grows over the Void
Enrooting itself all around
An endless labyrinth of woe!

6: The corse of his first begotten          
On the accursed Tree of MYSTERY:
On the topmost stem of this Tree

Watercolor Illustration to Milton's Paradise Lost by William Blake

Look also at this 'Good and Evil'

Monday, October 12, 2015


British Library
Four Zoas Manuscript
Page 109
Four Zoas, Night VIII, Page 108, (E 384)
"O how the horrors of Eternal Death take hold on Man   
His faint groans shake the caves & issue thro the desolate rocks 
PAGE 113 [109]
"And the Strong Eagle now with num[m]ing cold blighted of feathers
Once like the pride of the sun now flagging in cold night
Hovers with blasted wings aloft watching with Eager Eye
Till Man shall leave a corruptible body he famishd hears him groan
And now he fixes his strong talons in the pointed rock 
And now he beats the heavy air with his enormous wings
Beside him lies the Lion dead & in his belly worms
Feast on his death till universal death devours all
And the pale horse seeks for the pool to lie him down & die
But finds the pools filled with serpents devouring one another
He droops his head & trembling stands & his bright eyes decay
These are the Visions of My Eyes the Visions of Ahania

Thus cries Ahania Enion replies from the Caverns of the Grave

Fear not O poor forsaken one O land of briars & thorns
Where once the Olive flourishd & the Cedar spread his wings 
Once I waild desolate like thee my fallow fields in fear
Cried to the Churchyards & the Earthworm came in dismal state
I found him in my bosom & I said the time of Love
Appears upon the rocks & hills in silent shades but soon
A voice came in the night a midnight cry upon the mountains 
Awake the bridegroom cometh I awoke to sleep no more
But an Eternal Consummation is dark Enion
The watry Grave. O thou Corn field O thou Vegetater happy
More happy is the dark consumer hope drowns all my torment
For I am now surrounded by a shadowy vortex drawing 
The Spectre quite away from Enion that I die a death
Of bitter hope altho I consume in these raging waters
The furrowd field replies to the grave I hear her reply to me
Behold the time approaches fast that thou shalt be as a thing
Forgotten when one speaks of thee he will not be believd 
When the man gently fades away in his immortality 

When the mortal disappears in improved knowledge cast away
The former things so shall the Mortal gently fade away
And so become invisible to those who still remain
Listen I will tell thee what is done in the caverns of the grave" 

Wiki Commons
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
Enion is being drawn away from the role she has played as the epitome of the natural world dissociated from integrating spirit. The cycle of life living on death will not continue when physical life is recognized as the portal to spiritual life. Enion saw that it was the Spectre which had drawn her away into the 'raging waters'. Her unexpressed hope is to be returned to Tharmas so that body and soul may function as one - acting as the human instinct.

Death in the material world plunges the corruptible body into decay and disintegration. 

Death to the material world releases the spirit to a new awakening.

Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 4, (E 34)

                 "The voice of the Devil

  All Bibles or sacred codes. have been the causes of the
following Errors.
  1. That Man has two real existing principles Viz: a Body & a
  2. That Energy. calld Evil. is alone from the Body. & that
Reason. calld Good. is alone from the Soul.
  3. That God will torment Man in Eternity for following his
  But the following Contraries to these are True
  1 Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that calld Body is
a portion of Soul discernd by the five Senses. the chief inlets
of Soul in this age
  2. Energy is the only life and is from the Body and Reason is
the bound or outward circumference of Energy.
  3 Energy is Eternal Delight"

Saturday, October 10, 2015


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.

Jerusalem plate 76

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the archaic name for Great Britain. For other uses, see Albion (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Alban.

The White Cliffs of Dover may have given rise to the name Albion
Albion (Ancient GreekἈλβίων) is the oldest known name of the island of Great Britain. Today, it is still sometimes used poetically to refer to the island. The name for Scotland in the Celtic languages is related to Albion: Alba in Scottish Gaelic,Alba (genitive Alban, dative Albain) in IrishNalbin in Manx and Alban in Welsh,Cornish and Breton. These names were later Latinised as Albania and Anglicised as Albany, which were once alternative names for Scotland.
New Albion and Albionoria ("Albion of the North") were briefly suggested as names of Canada during the period of the Canadian Confederation.[1][2] CaptainArthur Phillip originally named the Sydney Cove "New Albion", but for uncertain reasons the colony acquired the name "Sydne

Friday, October 09, 2015


British Library
Four Zoas Manuscript
Page 107

Four Zoas, Night VIII, Page 106, (E 382)
"No longer now Erect the King of Light outstretchd in fury
Lashes his tail in the wild deep his Eyelids like the Sun 
Arising in his pride enlighten all the Grizly deeps
His scales transparent give forth light like windows of the morning
His neck flames with wrath & majesty he lashes the Abyss 
Beating the Desarts & the rocks the desarts feel his power
They shake their slumbers off. They wave in awful fear
Calling the Lion & the Tyger the horse & the wild Stag
PAGE 111 [107] 
The Elephant the wolf the Bear the Lamia the Satyr
His Eyelids give their light around his folding tail aspires
Among the stars the Earth & all the Abysses feel h[i]s fury  
When as the snow covers the mountain oft petrific hardness
Covers the deeps at his vast fury mo[a]ning in his rock      
Hardens the Lion & the Bear trembling in the Solid mountain
They view the light & wonder crying out in terrible existence
Up bound the wild stag & the horse behold the King of Pride

Oft doth his Eye emerge from the Abyss into the realms
Of his Eternal day & memory strives to augment his ruthfulness 
Then weeping he descends in wrath drawing all things in his fury
Into obedience to his will & now he finds in vain
That not of his own power he bore the human form erect
Nor of his own will gave his Laws in times of Everlasting
For now fierce Orc in wrath & fury rises into the heavens 
A King of wrath & fury a dark enraged horror
And Urizen repentant forgets his wisdom in the abyss      
In forms of priesthood in the dark delusions of repentance
Repining in his heart & spirit that Orc reignd over all
And that his wisdom servd but to augment the indefinite lust 

Then Tharmas & Urthona felt the stony stupor rise
Into their limbs Urthona shot forth a Vast Fibrous form
Tharmas like a pillar of sand rolld round by the whirlwind
An animated Pillar rolling round & round in incessant rage

Los felt the stony stupor & his head rolld down beneath 
Into the Abysses of his bosom the vessels of his blood
Dart forth upon the wind in pipes writhing about in the Abyss
And Enitharmon pale & cold in milky juices flowd
Into a form of Vegetation living having a voice
Moving in rootlike fibres trembling in fear upon the Earth 

And Tharmas gave his Power to Los Urthona gave his strength
Into the youthful prophet for the Love of Enitharmon
And of the nameless Shadowy female in the nether deep
And for the dread of the dark terrors of Orc & Urizen

Thus in a living Death the nameless shadow all things bound 
All mortal things made permanent that they may be put off
Time after time by the Divine Lamb who died for all
And all in him died. & he put off all mortality
PAGE 122 [108] 
Tharmas on high rode furious thro the afflicted worlds 
Pursuing the Vain Shadow of Hope fleeing from identity
In abstract false Expanses that he may not hear the Voice
Of Ahania wailing on the winds in vain he flies for still
The voice incessant calls on all the children of Men" 

Wiki Commons
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
Poetry is written not in words but in images: the evanescent thread that moves through the words from mind to mind. Blake, on page 107, is allowing us to witness the collapse of Urizen. The sleeping man dreamt of the rise and fall of entities which inhabit his mind and are projected outward onto a world which he called real. Blake saw the process of solidifying things into mortal forms as essential to casting off mistaken perceptions. The example of Christ who put off mortality to assume immortality is the paradigm for dying to error in order to live in truth.

To be born again is to put off mortality: to be born not to flesh or blood or self-will but to consciousness of the Word of God being with you, dwelling in you and acting through you. Although at this point Urizen had not been born again, he had come to the realization:

"That not of his own power he bore the human form erect 
Nor of his own will gave his Laws in times of Everlasting".

The transformation of Urizen became possible when he knew that it was not his own strength and wisdom that sustained him.      

John 1
[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
[2] The same was in the beginning with God.
[3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
[4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
[5] And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
[12] But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
[13] Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.


Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Blake and Dante

You may read in Milton O. Percival's Circle of Destiny  page 1:

"I predict then, that when the evidence is in, it will be found that in the use
of tradition Blake exceeded Milton and was second, if to anyone, only to Dante."

In the concordance Blake mentioned Dante 27 times; many could be searched,
but I show here only 2:

Look at the Marriage of Heaven and Hell (Plate 22):
Have now another plain fact. Any man of mechanical talents may, from the writings of Paracelsus or Jacob Behmen, produce ten thousand volumes of equal value with Swedenborg's, and from those of Dante or Shakespear an infinite number.
But when he has done this, let him not say that he knows better than his master, for he only holds a candle in sunshine.

In Letter 62:|       
 Mr. Fuseli's Count Ugolino is the father of sons of feeling |        
and dignity, who would not sit looking in their parent's face in 
the moment of his agony, but would rather retire and die in 
secret, while they suffer him to indulge his passionate and         
innocent grief, his innocent and venerable madness, and insanity, 
and fury, and whatever paltry cold hearted critics cannot, 
because they dare not, look upon. Fuseli's Count Ugolino is a 
man of wonder and admiration, of resentment against man and 
devil, and of humilitation before God; prayer and parental 
affection fills the figure from head to foot. The child in his 
arms, whether boy or girl signifies not, (but the critic must be 
a fool who has not read Dante, and who does not know a boy from a         
girl); I say, the child is as beautifully drawn as it is       
coloured--in both, inimitable! and the effect of the whole is 
truly sublime, on account of that very colouring which our critic 
calls black and heavy. 

Tuesday, October 06, 2015


[3] And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
[4] Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
[5] Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
[12] Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
[13] And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
[14] And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

British Library 
Four Zoas Manuscript 
Page 105 

Four Zoas, Night VIII, PAGE 109 [105], (E 378)
"The Lamb of God stood before Satan opposite    
In Entuthon Benithon in the shadows of torments & woe
Upon the heights of Amalek taking refuge in his arms 
The Victims fled from punishment for all his words were peace 

Urizen calld together the Synagogue of Satan in dire Sanhedrim 
To Judge the Lamb of God to Death as a murderer & robber
As it is written he was numberd among the transgressors

Cold dark opake the Assembly met twelvefold in Amalek
Twelve rocky unshapd forms terrific forms of torture & woe
Such seemd the Synagogue to distant view amidst them beamd     
A False Feminine Counterpart Lovely of Delusive Beauty         
Dividing & Uniting at will in the Cruelties of Holiness
Vala drawn down into a Vegetated body now triumphant
The Synagogue of Satan Clothed her with Scarlet robes & Gems
And on her forehead was her Dame written in blood   Mystery 
When viewd remote She is One when viewd near she divides
To multitude as it is in Eden so permitted because
It was the best possible in the State called Satan to Save
From Death Eternal & to put off Satan Eternally

The Synagogue Created her from Fruit of Urizens tree 
By devilish arts abominable unlawful unutterable
Perpetually vegetating in detestable births
Of Female forms beautiful thro poisons hidden in secret
Which give a tincture to false beauty then was hidden within  
The bosom of Satan The false Female as in an ark & veil 
Which christ must rend & her reveal Her Daughters are Calld
Tirzah She is namd Rahab their various divisions are calld    
The Daughters of Amalek Canaan & Moab binding on the Stones   
Their victims & with knives tormenting them singing with tears
Over their victims Hear ye the song of the Females of Amalek 

O thou poor human form O thou poor child of woe
Why dost thou wander away from Tirzah why me compell to bind thee 
If thou dost go away from me I shall consume upon the rocks
These fibres of thine eyes that used to wander in distant heavens
Away from me I have bound down with a hot iron   
These nostrils that Expanded with delight in morning skies
I have bent downward with lead molten in my roaring furnaces
My soul is seven furnaces incessant roars the bellows
Upon my terribly flaming heart the molten metal runs
In channels thro my fiery limbs O love O pity O pain 
O the pangs the bitter pangs of love forsaken
Ephraim was a wilderness of joy where all my wild beasts ran
The river Kanah wanderd by my sweet Manassehs side       
Go Noah fetch the girdle of strong brass heat it red hot 
Press it around the loins of this expanding cruelty 
Shriek not so my only love
Bind him down Sisters bind him down on Ebal mount of Cursing
Malah come forth from Lebanon & Hoglah from Mount sinai
Come circumscribe this tongue of sweets & with a Screw of iron
Fasten this Ear into the Rock Milcah the task is thine 
Weep not so sisters weep not so our life depends on this
Or mercy & truth are fled away from Shechem & Mount Gilead
Unless my beloved is bound upon the Stems of Vegetation

Such are the songs of Tirzah such the loves of Amalek
The Lamb of God descended thro the twelve portions of Luvah 
Bearing his sorrows & rec[iev]ing all his cruel wounds
Thus was the Lamb of God condemnd to Death      
They naild him upon the tree of Mystery weeping over him
And then mocking & then worshipping calling him Lord & King"

Jerusalem, Plate 96, (E 255)
"Jesus replied Fear not Albion unless I die thou canst not live
But if I die I shall arise again & thou with me            
This is Friendship & Brotherhood without it Man Is Not

So Jesus spoke!"

Wiki Commons
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
The more starkly truth is revealed, the more strident becomes the resistance to reformation. The appearance of the Lamb of God stimulates the development of additional forms of external manifestations. Vala, drawn down into a vegetated body, becomes Rahab and Tirzah. The cruelties of a loveless world are expressed by the Females of Amalek who, as a group, are the forces who oppose Jerusalem's appearence.  

Only the intervention of the Lamb of God entering the Gates of Death can reverse the movement into the depths of the abyss.

Matthew 23
[33] Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
[34] Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
[35] That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
[36] Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
[37] O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
[38] Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
[39] For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.