Saturday, January 09, 2016


Wikimedia Commons
Marriage of Heaven & Hell
Plate 1, Copy I
Associated with each of the Zoas is an Emanation, the female counterpart of the male. Ahania is the feminine nature of Urizen, Enion of Tharmas, Vala of Luvah, and Enitharmon of Los who stands in for Urthona. Blake is not reluctant to picture the Emanations as they appear in the natural world but their appearance in Eternity is beyond even Blake.

Blake was indebted to the heterodox tradition for his development of the concept of emanation. A Christian Gnostic theologian of the third century presented the idea of emanation descending from God into lower forms of existence. The emanations were "not separate existencies so much as personified agencies." However, like Blake, Valentinius saw the the emanative portions falling into "only a partial knowledge of the hidden God."

As we read in Frye's
Fearful Symmetry, "The word "emanation" in Blake means the object-world; creature in Eden, female in Beulah, object or nature in Generation, abstraction in Ulro." (Page 127). We follow in Blake the descent of the emanation through the four levels of spiritual consciousness as she attempts to reascend to "depth which the understanding cannot fathom."   

Brief Analysis of the Sects, Heresies, and Writers of the First Three Centuries PRINTED FOR JAMES COOPER, TRINITY STREET, in 1857 elucidates the concept of emanations:
Page 29
To read the Greek words go to the website.
"The theory of emanations, which was in some measure 
adopted by all Gnostics, received considerable increase 
from the fertility of his speculative powers. He supposed 
a Supreme Being, infinite, invisible, incomprehensible, 
and therefore called Bv0o^, the depth which the under- 
standing cannot fathom, who, having spent numberless 
ages in repose, resolved to reveal himself, and for this 
purpose employed his thought, Evvota, also called 2t^, 
silence, who alone had dwelt with, or within him. The 
first manifestations, or ^ons, produced, were NoO?^ in- 
telligence, and *A\i]0€ia, truth. 

These ^ons are to be considered only as revealed forms 
of the Supreme Being ; not separate existencies so much 
as personified agencies, whose combination constituted the 
Plenoma, or fulness, of the attributes and perfections 
of the Godhead. They comprised altogether thirty ^ons, 
of whom half were supposed to be males, «.6., active 
agencies, and the other half females, t.e., passive principles. 

In proportion as these -^ons were removed from the 
Supreme God, they decreased in knowledge and perfection. 
The lower ^ons had, therefore, only a partial knowledge 
of the hidden God, and the desire of one of them in 
particular, 'Siorjyiaj to know more of him produced a con- 
cision in the Pleroma, one result of which was that Jio(f>ia 
gave birth to an imperfect being, who was incapable of 
remaining in the Pleroma, and was cast out into Chaos, i 
This being, called Achamoth, formed the Demiurgos, by ] 
whom the world was made, and reduced tVva wvia «a.^ 
Bbapeless mass of matter to some degr^^ oi ot'^ax* ^^Q^"

Jerusalem, Plate 92, (E 252)
"Los answerd swift as the shuttle of gold. Sexes must vanish & cease
To be, when Albion arises from his dread repose O lovely Enitharmon:
When all their Crimes, their Punishments their Accusations of Sin: 
All their Jealousies Revenges. Murders. hidings of Cruelty in Deceit
Appear only in the Outward Spheres of Visionary Space and Time.
In the shadows of Possibility by Mutual Forgiveness forevermore
And in the Vision & in the Prophecy, that we may Foresee & Avoid
The terrors of Creation & Redemption & Judgment. Beholding them 
Displayd in the Emanative Visions of Canaan in Jerusalem & in Shiloh
And in the Shadows of Remembrance, & in the Chaos of the Spectre"

Vision of Last Judgment, (E 562)
"Jesus is surrounded by Beams of Glory in which are
seen all around him Infants emanating from him   these represent
the Eternal Births of Intellect from the divine Humanity   A
Rainbow surrounds the throne & the Glory in which youthful
Nuptials recieve the infants in their hands In Eternity Woman is
the Emanation of Man she has No Will of her own There is no such
thing in Eternity as a Female Will"   

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