Monday, February 01, 2016

ENITHARMON

British Museum
Small Book of Designs
'Is the Female death/Become new Life
'
Since we have considered each of the Zoas individually and have looked at three of the Emanations, we have some familiarity with Enitharmon from her associations. She and Los have been described as the twin children of Enion. She, like Los is physically active in the world we know, the world of generation. She and Los, as Space and Time, provide the conditions, in fact, which allow the world of matter to exist. Although they are the framework of the generated world they are also participants in its development and play essential roles in bringing about redemption of fallen mankind.
Jerusalem, Plate 14, (E 158)
"Los also views the Four Females:
Ahania, and Enion, and Vala, and Enitharmon lovely.              
And from them all the lovely beaming Daughters of Albion,
Ahania & Enion & Vala, are three evanescent shades:
Enitharmon is a vegetated mortal Wife of Los:
His Emanation, yet his Wife till the sleep of death is past."
Enitharmon and Los are the parents of a fiery, rebellious child named Orc, whose inclination is to bring about change by aggressive means. More will be said about this in a post about Orc.
 
Two events involving Enitharmon are decisive in determining the course of Blake's myth. Both events fracture the relationship between Los and Enitharmon and both have implications for man's fall from Eternity. 

Yale Center for British Art
Jerusalem
Plate 85, Copy E
The first event is the striking of Enitharmon by Los. The blow which Los struck was not unprovoked but it was decisive. It fractured the possibility of Enitharmon trusting Los completely. Although Los regretted his action and tried to make amends it remained with him as a source of self-contempt. The labels of terror and woe for these two characters can be seen to originate in this incident.

Blake attributed to Enitharmon's reaction the 18 hundred year of dominance of Christianity by the feminine, outward and material from the time of the crucifixion to Blake's day. Los or Prophecy forced his outer manifestation into a false premise in the material world. Enitharmon turned away from Los and toward Urizen adopting the mistaken ideas that 'woman's love is sin', that Eternity is only experienced after life on earth, and that all joy is forbidden.





Wikimedia Commons
Europe
Plate 9
The second decisive event is the breaking of Enitharmon's heart over the jealousy of and punishment of her son Orc by Los. Enitharmon reacted to her heartbreak by asserting her independence and influencing the development of the world according to principles which maintained the separations which Los struggled to mend. 

Pictured is Enitharmon awaking Orc at the end of her night of joy.
Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 87, (E 369) 
"Los trembling answerd Now I feel the weight of stern repentance
Tremble not so my Enitharmon at the awful gates    
Of thy poor broken Heart I see thee like a shadow withering
As on the outside of Existence but look! behold! take comfort!
Turn inwardly thine Eyes & there behold the Lamb of God
Clothed in Luvahs robes of blood descending to redeem
O Spectre of Urthona take comfort O Enitharmon   
Couldst thou but cease from terror & trembling & affright
When I appear before thee in forgiveness of ancient injuries  
Why shouldst thou remember & be afraid. I surely have died in pain
Often enough to convince thy jealousy & fear & terror
Come hither be patient let us converse together because  
I also tremble at myself & at all my former life

Enitharmon answerd I behold the Lamb of God descending
To Meet these Spectres of the Dead I therefore fear that he
Will give us to Eternal Death fit punishment for such
Hideous offenders Uttermost extinction in eternal pain    
An ever dying life of stifling & obstruction shut out
Of existence to be a sign & terror to all who behold
Lest any should in futurity do as we have done in heaven
Such is our state nor will the Son of God redeem us but destroy

PAGE 98 [90] 
So Enitharmon spoke trembling & in torrents of tears"

1 comment:

Larry Clayton said...

Good post, Ellie.