Monday, March 07, 2016


Yale Center for British Art
Laocoon Drawing
Although an Immortal soul may fall from Eden and enter the state of Ulro by a failure of his faith in the Divine Vision, he still has the ability to return from the chaos of unbelief by passing through the stage of Generation. The Souls in Ulro are unembodied: fragments of unorganized spirit without a centering motif (Vision.) In Blake's system, if bodies (or emanative portions) are provided for the Souls seeking existence, they may enter the field of time and space, which to us is the material world or Generation.


It is informative to think of the material world as having come into existence in order to provide a place and period to acquire experience. There is a process we learn by living in the sea of time and space: we learn to see the unity as multiplicity, and the multiplicity as unity. The contribution of time and space to the process is that we actually experience in our own bodies and minds the breaking apart and coming together.

But the experience must occur on multiple levels. It is not enough to become mentally aware of conflict in the material world, we need to become spiritually aware that Souls are being shaped through enduring and resolving conflict, and confronting adversity.

Four Zoas, Night VIII, Page 98 [90], (E 370) 
"So Enitharmon spoke trembling & in torrents of tears

Los sat in Golgonooza in the Gate of Luban where
He had erected many porches where branchd the Mysterious Tree
Where the Spectrous dead wail & sighing thus he spoke to Enitharmon

Lovely delight of Men Enitharmon shady refuge from furious war
Thy bosom translucent is a soft repose for the weeping souls
Of those piteous victims of battle there they sleep in happy obscurity
They feed upon our life we are their victims. Stern desire
I feel to fabricate embodied semblances in which the dead
May live before us in our palaces & in our gardens of labour 
Which now opend within the Center we behold spread abroad
To form a world of Sacrifice of brothers & sons & daughters  
To comfort Orc in his dire sufferings[;] look[!] my fires enlume afresh
Before my face ascending with delight as in ancient times

Enitharmon spread her beaming locks upon the wind & said   
O Lovely terrible Los wonder of Eternity O Los my defence & guide 
Thy works are all my joy. & in thy fires my soul delights
If mild they burn in just proportion & in secret night
And silence build their day in shadow of soft clouds & dews
Then I can sigh forth on the winds of Golgonooza piteous forms  
That vanish again into my bosom   but if thou my Los
Wilt in sweet moderated fury. fabricate forms sublime      
Such as the piteous spectres may assimilate themselves into
They shall be ransoms for our Souls that we may live" 
Descriptive Catalogue, (E 541)
"The connoisseurs and artists who have made objections to
Mr. B.'s mode of representing spirits with real bodies, would do
well to consider that the Venus, the Minerva, the Jupiter, the
Apollo, which they admire in Greek statues, are all of them
representations of spiritual existences of God's immortal, to
the mortal perishing organ of sight; and yet they are embodied
and organized in solid marble.  Mr. B. requires the same latitude
and all is well.  The Prophets describe what they saw in Vision
as real and existing men whom they saw with their imaginative and
immortal organs; the Apostles the same; the clearer the organ the
more distinct the object.  A Spirit and a Vision are not, as the 
modern philosophy supposes, a cloudy vapour or a
nothing: they are organized and minutely articulated beyond all
that the mortal and perishing nature can produce.  He who does
not imagine in stronger and better lineaments, and in stronger
and better light than his perishing mortal eye can see does not
imagine at all.  The painter of this work asserts that all his
imaginations appear to him infinitely more perfect and more
minutely organized than any thing seen by his 
mortal eye.  Spirits are organized men: Moderns wish to 
draw figures without lines, and with great and heavy shadows; 
are not shadows more unmeaning than lines, and more heavy? O 
who can doubt this!"

No Natural Religion, [a], (E 2)
 IV  None could have other than natural or organic thoughts if
he had none but organic perceptions

Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 14, (E 39)
 "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would
appear  to man as it is: infinite.
   For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro'
narrow chinks of his cavern."

Book of Urizen, Plate 25, (E 82)
"2. Till the shrunken eyes clouded over
Discernd not the woven hipocrisy
But the streaky slime in their heavens
Brought together by narrowing perceptions
Appeard transparent air; for their eyes                    
Grew small like the eyes of a man
And in reptile forms shrinking together
Of seven feet stature they remaind"

Jerusalem, PLATE 30 [34], (E 177)
"If Perceptive Organs vary: Objects of Perception seem to vary:  
If the Perceptive Organs close: their Objects seem to close also:"

Jerusalem, Plate 49, (E 198)
"The Visions of Eternity, by reason of narrowed perceptions,
Are become weak Visions of Time & Space, fix'd into furrows of death;
Till deep dissimulation is the only defence an honest man has left"

Annotations to Berkley, (E 664)
  "Knowledge is not by deduction but Immediate by Perception or
Sense at once    Christ addresses himself to the Man not to his
Reason   Plato did not bring Life & Immortality to Light  Jesus
only did this"  

Second Timothy 1
[5] When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
[6] Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
[7] For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
[8] Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
[9] Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Second Timothy
1:5-7 - I often think of that genuine faith of yours - a faith that first appeared in your grandmother Lois, then in Eunice your mother, and is now, I am convinced, in you as well. Because you have this faith, I now remind you to stir up that inner fire which God gave you at your ordination. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and a sound mind.

1:8-12 - So never be ashamed of bearing witness to our Lord, nor of me, his prisoner. Accept, as I do, all the hardship that faithfulness to the Gospel entails in the strength that God gives you. For he has rescued us from all that is really evil and called us to a life of holiness - not because of any of our achievements but for his own purpose.

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