|Library of Congress|
Plate 32, Copy D
Thurs, Feb 1, 1984
Sitting in little park beside the Washington Ship Channel. Lovely sunshine, not much wind. Hope for tennis this afternoon. I've put in two hours on the spreadsheet for Hannah House. Its fun. Still a few little refinements, and I can start formatting the monthly report. It's a learning experience.
'War & Hunting' could be translated as struggle and discovery. Those are certainly the things that give meaning to life; hence Blake called them the 'twin fountains of the river of life.' Eternal death, of which our political leaders are archetypes, is characterized by paranoia and deceit.
The struggle of the extrovert may be to change people's values - the 'war for men's minds.' The introvert may pit himself against impersonal problems - like mastering the computer. I'm thoroughly enjoying the struggle to master the computer, and find it glorified by the use for a worthy cause - namely succoring the homeless (by keeping books for Hannah House.) How fortunate and blessed I am.
It is ironic that Blake could be so opposed to corporeal war, and use the term war to symbolize the activity of life which is most appropriate to describe one of the life-giving pursuits of Eternity. But the symbol 'war' grew out of Blake own internal struggles between the forces which often raged within his brain. Just as corporeal war produced appalling suffering and destruction, the war within could lead to frightening results. Perhaps 'war' could he harnessed if its energies were applied to constructive endeavors. Paul of Tarsus wrote of the struggle to be free of the grip of his willful disobedience to the best of which he was capable. Larry found that he could use the energy of struggle to pit himself against problems which may be amenable to solutions. In directing his warlike inclinations productively he gained access to war as a 'Fountain of Life.'
The Eternal dimension is available even in this world if we seek the Brotherhood of Mankind.
 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Milton, Plate 34 , (E 134) "And Ololon looked down into the Heavens of Ulro in fear They said. How are the Wars of Man which in Great Eternity Appear around, in the External Spheres of Visionary Life Here renderd Deadly within the Life & Interior Vision How are the Beasts & Birds & Fishes, & Plants & Minerals Here fixd into a frozen bulk subject to decay & death[?] Those Visions of Human Life & Shadows of Wisdom & Knowledge Plate 35  Are here frozen to unexpansive deadly destroying terrors[.] And War & Hunting: the Two Fountains of the River of Life Are become Fountains of bitter Death & of corroding Hell Till Brotherhood is changd into a Curse & a Flattery By Differences between Ideas, that Ideas themselves, (which are The Divine Members) may be slain in offerings for sin O dreadful Loom of Death! O piteous Female forms compelld To weave the Woof of Death,"
Milton, Plate 27 , (E 124) "But the Wine-press of Los is eastward of Golgonooza, before the Seat Of Satan. Luvah laid the foundation & Urizen finish'd it in howling Woe. How red the sons & daughters of Luvah! here they tread the grapes. Laughing & shouting drunk with odours many fall oerwearied Drownd in the wine is many a youth & maiden: those around Lay them on skins of Tygers & of the spotted Leopard & the Wild Ass Till they revive, or bury them in cool grots, making lamentation. This Wine-press is call'd War on Earth, it is the Printing-Press Of Los; and here he lays his words in order above the mortal brain As cogs are formd in a wheel to turn the cogs of the adverse wheel." Milton, Plate 31 , (E 130) "The Fairies, Nymphs, Gnomes & Genii of the Four Elements Unforgiving & unalterable: these cannot be Regenerated But must be Created, for they know only of Generation These are the Gods of the Kingdoms of the Earth: in contrarious And cruel opposition: Element against Element, opposed in War Not Mental, as the Wars of Eternity, but a Corporeal Strife In Los's Halls continual labouring in the Furnaces of Golgonooza Orc howls on the Atlantic: Enitharmon trembles: All Beulah weeps" Jerusalem, Plate 38 , (E 185) "And the soft smile of friendship & the open dawn of benevolence Become a net & a trap, & every energy renderd cruel, Till the existence of friendship & benevolence is denied: The wine of the Spirit & the vineyards of the Holy-One. Here: turn into poisonous stupor & deadly intoxication: That they may be condemnd by Law & the Lamb of God be slain! And the two Sources of Life in Eternity, Hunting and War, Are become the Sources of dark & bitter Death & of corroding Hell: The open heart is shut up in integuments of frozen silence That the spear that lights it forth may shatter the ribs & bosom A pretence of Art, to destroy Art: a pretence of Liberty To destroy Liberty. a pretence of Religion to destroy Religion Annotations to Reynolds, (E 635) "Degrade first the Arts if you'd Mankind degrade, Hire Idiots to Paint with cold light & hot shade: Give high Price for the worst, leave the best in disgrace, And with Labours of Ignorance fill every place." Song of Los, Plate 3, (E 67) "(Night spoke to the Cloud! Lo these Human form'd spirits in smiling hipocrisy War Against one another; so let them War on; slaves to the eternal Elements)"