Yale center for British Art Illustrations for Poems by Thomas Gray Title Page
Jeremy Campbell, the author of Grammatical Man, attributes to Aristotle ideas that bear striking similarity to statements made by Blake. Accepted by both Blake and Aristotle is the dictum that body and soul, or form and substance are inseparable principles . The act of becoming is the process and purpose of substance taking form. The possibility of manifestation is actualized when form and substance meet. Humanity stands at the intersection of the material and the non-material. The milieu is provided by the matrix of time and space which generates change - the evidence of energy.
Grammatical Man, Page 268-9:
"Aristotle's 'information theory' went off in quite another direction. He refused to separate form from substance. He took a more intrinsic view of being, accepting the reality of the form, or idea, but making it implicit in matter, so that things in the world of experience exist independently of our own experience, in their own right, and not as shadows cast by sublime entities. Like Plato, Aristotle assumed that worldly things are neither perfect nor complete, but he saw reality as a process by which things may become less imperfect.
Change is the essence of his system, and, along with change - time, movement, and becoming. For him the physical world is above all dynamic. Matter is possibility, the potential for becoming, in time, something other and different. Change is a process of of realizing this potential, of making the possible actual.
Form is an active, inherent principle of change and takes part in the becoming of things. Matter is not dead stuff, but a means of transformation, without which change would be impossible. Having a certain form, matter may be free to assume other and different forms. Having not form at all, it contains within itself unlimited possibilities to receive or become any and every kind of form."
Annotations to Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, (E 656) "Blake: Reynolds Thinks that Man Learns all that he Knows I say on the Contrary That Man Brings All that he has or Can have Into the World with him. Man is Born Like a Garden ready Planted & Sown This World is too poor to produce one Seed Reynolds: The mind is but a barren soil; a soil which is soon exhausted, and will produce no crop, . . . Blake: The Mind that could have produced this Sentence must have been Pitiful a Pitiable Imbecillity. I always thought that the Human Mind was the most Prolific of All Things & Inexhaustible I certainly do Thank God that I am not like Reynolds Reynolds : . . . or only one, unless it be continually fertilized and enriched with foreign matter. Blake: Nonsense" There is No Natural Religion, (E 2) "I Mans perceptions are not bounded by organs of perception. he percieves more than sense (tho' ever so acute) can discover. II Reason or the ratio of all we have already known. is not the same that it shall be when we know more. [III lacking] IV The bounded is loathed by its possessor. The same dull round even of a univer[s]e would soon become a mill with complicated wheels. V If the many become the same as the few, when possess'd, More! More! is the cry of a mistaken soul, less than All cannot satisfy Man. VI If any could desire what he is incapable of possessing, despair must be his eternal lot. VII The desire of Man being Infinite the possession is Infinite & himself Infinite Conclusion, If it were not for the Poetic or Prophetic character. the Philosophic & Experimental would soon be at the ratio of all things & stand still, unable to do other than repeat the same dull round over again Application. He who sees the Infinite in all things sees God. He who sees the Ratio only sees himself only. Therefore God becomes as we are, that we may be as he is" Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 4, (E 34) All Bibles or sacred codes. have been the causes of the following Errors. 1. That Man has two real existing principles Viz: a Body & a Soul. 2. That Energy. calld Evil. is alone from the Body. & that Reason. calld Good. is alone from the Soul. 3. That God will torment Man in Eternity for following his Energies. But the following Contraries to these are True 1 Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that calld Body is a portion of Soul discernd by the five Senses. the chief inlets of Soul in this age 2. Energy is the only life and is from the Body and Reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy. 3 Energy is Eternal Delight" Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 14, (E 39) "But first the notion that man has a body distinct from his soul, is to be expunged;