Tuesday, March 01, 2016

LIFE ETERNAL

For The Sexes: THE GATES of PARADISE, Plate, (E 269)
"The Keys of the Gates
...
13   But when once I did descry 
     The Immortal Man that cannot Die
14   Thro evening shades I haste away 
     To close the Labours of my Day
15   The Door of Death I open found                             
     And the Worm Weaving in the Ground
16   Thou'rt my Mother from the Womb 
     Wife, Sister, Daughter to the Tomb 
     Weaving to Dreams the Sexual strife
     And weeping over the Web of Life"

Yale Center for British Art
Illustrations for Young's Night Thoughts
The immortal life is not the life after death alone; it is the essential life of the Divine within us which is ever present and Eternal. No words can capture its essence. Neither can words adequately describe a rainbow. We can speak of its colors, calculate its arc mathematically, describe the refraction of light by ice crystals, or study its symbolic meaning. But we must see it to appreciate it. So we must open the doors of our souls to be flooded by the living waters of Life Eternal.


Nothing makes immortality real except experiencing it directly as an activating force which lives within and without. Because Blake, through his visionary sight, knew the reality of Eternal Life, he incorporated in his poetry allusions to immortality attempting to stimulate others to recognize their own connection with the Eternal.

When Blake writes:  

Milton, Plate 35 [39], (E 136) 
"There is a Moment in each Day that Satan cannot find 
Nor can his Watch Fiends find it, but the Industrious find 
This Moment & it multiply. & when it once is found 
It renovates every Moment of the Day if rightly placed", 

he is expressing a truth about connecting with immortality. Awareness of Eternity once it is perceived colors every moment of the day. Once the infinite is perceived, the finite loses its claim to predominance.
Milton, Plate 15 [17], (E 109)
"They saw his Shadow vegetated underneath the Couch
Of death: for when he enterd into his Shadow: Himself:           
His real and immortal Self: was as appeard to those
Who dwell in immortality, as One sleeping on a couch
Of gold; and those in immortality gave forth their Emanations
Like Females of sweet beauty, to guard round him & to feed
His lips with food of Eden in his cold and dim repose!           

But to himself he seemd a wanderer lost in dreary night."

Jerusalem, PLATE 99, (E 258)   
"All Human Forms identified even Tree Metal Earth & Stone. all
Human Forms identified, living going forth & returning wearied
Into the Planetary lives of Years Months Days & Hours reposing
And then Awaking into his Bosom in the Life of Immortality.

And I heard the Name of their Emanations they are named Jerusalem

                  The End of The Song
                     of Jerusalem"

 Songs of Innocence, SONG 21 (2), (E 14)
"When wolves and tygers howl for prey  
They pitying stand and weep;
Seeking to drive their thirst away,
And keep them from the sheep.
But if they rush dreadful;
The angels most heedful,    
Recieve each mild spirit,
New worlds to inherit.

And there the lions ruddy eyes,
Shall flow with tears of gold:
And pitying the tender cries, 
And walking round the fold:
Saying: wrath by his meekness
And by his health, sickness,
Is driven away,
From our immortal day. 
    
And now beside thee bleating lamb,
I can lie down and sleep;
Or think on him who bore thy name,
Graze after thee and weep.   
For wash'd in lifes river,   
My bright mane for ever,
Shall shine like the gold,
As I guard o'er the fold."  
RSV
2ND Corinthians 4
[15] For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 
[16] For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 
[17] For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 
[18] While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 

Phillips Translation
2ND Corinthians 4
15-18
We wish you could see how all this is working out for your benefit, and how the more grace God gives, the more thanksgiving will redound to his glory. This is the reason why we never collapse. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength. These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain. For we are looking all the time not at the visible things but at the invisible. The visible things are transitory: it is the invisible things that are really permanent.



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