Book of Ahania
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Urizen did not make an ideal husband. In the beginning, however, Urizen and Ahania were compatible. Urizen engaged in strenuous work and Ahania provided relaxation and rest. Gradually Urizen's work became more burdensome to him and Ahania noticed his darker side. Ahania had been treated by Urizen as a part of himself with no mind or will of her own. When she began to see Urizen's depression about the present and fears about the future, Urizen recognized that she had a life of her own. Rather than listen to Ahania's observations reflected back to him, he threw her out. Of course, the irony is that the changes Urizen saw taking place in Ahania were taking place in himself.
Book of Ahania
Book of Ahania, Plate 2, (E 84) 7: Dire shriek'd his invisible Lust Deep groan'd Urizen! stretching his awful hand Ahania (so name his parted soul) He siez'd on his mountains of jealousy. He groand anguishd & called her Sin, Kissing her and weeping over her; Then hid her in darkness in silence; Jealous tho' she was invisible. 8: She fell down a faint shadow wandring In chaos and circling dark Urizen, As the moon anguishd circles the earth; Hopeless! abhorrd! a death-shadow, Unseen, unbodied, unknown, The mother of Pestilence.
Book of Ahania, Plate 5, (E 89) "13: The sweat poured down thy temples To Ahania return'd in evening The moisture awoke to birth My mothers-joys, sleeping in bliss. 14: But now alone over rocks, mountains Cast out from thy lovely bosom: Cruel jealousy! selfish fear! Self-destroying: how can delight, Renew in these chains of darkness Where bones of beasts are strown On the bleak and snowy mountains Where bones from the birth are buried Before they see the light. FINIS"Ahania was meant to be the mind's delight in the embodiment of ideas in the outer world. Without Urizen to supply the ideas which fed the blissful images of her world, she was sucked toward the void and lamented on the borders of nonentity. Contrarily, without Ahania, Urizen's work was futile and sterile, never bringing to life his spontaneous outpouring of thought. He focused instead on limiting creativity, emotion, and enjoyment of the present moment.
Four Zoas, Night II, Page 36, (E 325)
Sketch for Book of Ahania
"It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity
Thus could I sing & thus rejoice, but it is not so with me!
Ahania heard the Lamentation & a swift Vibration Spread thro her Golden frame. She rose up eer the dawn of day
When Urizen slept on his couch. drawn thro unbounded space
Onto the margin of Non Entity the bright Female came
There she beheld the Spectrous form of Enion in the Void
And never from that moment could she rest upon her pillow End of the Second Night"
Four Zoas, Night III, Page 42, (E 328) "She ended. for [from] his wrathful throne burst forth the black hail storm Am I not God said Urizen. Who is Equal to me Do I not stretch the heavens abroad or fold them up like a garment He spoke mustering his heavy clouds around him black opake Page 43 Then thunders rolld around & lightnings darted to & fro His visage changd to darkness & his strong right hand came forth To cast Ahania to the Earth be siezd her by the hair And threw her from the steps of ice that froze around his throne Saying Art thou also become like Vala. thus I cast thee out Shall the feminine indolent bliss. the indulgent self of weariness The passive idle sleep the enormous night & darkness of Death Set herself up to give her laws to the active masculine virtue Thou little diminutive portion that darst be a counterpart Thy passivity thy laws of obedience & insincerity Are my abhorrence. Wherefore hast thou taken that fair form Whence is this power given to thee! once thou wast in my breast A sluggish current of dim waters. on whose verdant margin A cavern shaggd with horrid shades. dark cool & deadly. where I laid my head in the hot noon after the broken clods Had wearied me. there I laid my plow & there my horses fed And thou hast risen with thy moist locks into a watry image Reflecting all my indolence my weakness & my death To weigh me down beneath the grave into non Entity Where Luvah strives scorned by Vala age after age wandering Shrinking & shrinking from her Lord & calling him the Tempter And art thou also become like Vala thus I cast thee out."