Illustration to Young's Night Thoughts
If there are limits to man's Expansion and Translucence they are self-imposed. If Man sees himself as a child of Adam, as living in a body which determines what he can sense, what he can understand, where he can go and what he can do, he is limited. But if he sees himself as a spirit temporarily associated with a particular body, material limitations lose their power. As the writer of the First Letter of John tells us:
"it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
Blake took John's statement seriously and admonished his reader to refuse to accept the limitations placed on his Eternal Spirit imposed by a physical body.
Blake perceived another limitation below which man would not fall; this was the Limit of Opacity named Satan. The salient characteristic of Blake's Satan is his inability to perceive the truth of the Spiritual dimension. Man's ability to recognize the reality of the non-material world, which Blake calls Translucence, opens him to the Infinite, Eternal world beyond our sense-perceived world within time and space. Blake uses the term Imagination to describe the ability of Man to connect with the ever-expanding consciousness of being united with Eternity.
In the beginning of Jerusalem Blake packed into a few words the purpose of all of his attempts to communicate:
"I rest not from my great task!
To open the Eternal Worlds, to open the immortal Eyes
Of Man inwards into the Worlds of Thought: into Eternity
Ever expanding in the Bosom of God. the Human Imagination"
Book of Urizen, Plate 3, (E 71) "1. Earth was not: nor globes of attraction The will of the Immortal expanded Or contracted his all flexible senses. Death was not, but eternal life sprung" Book of Urizen, Plate 15, (E 78) "Thus the Eternal Prophet was divided Before the death-image of Urizen For in changeable clouds and darkness In a winterly night beneath, The Abyss of Los stretch'd immense: And now seen, now obscur'd, to the eyes Of Eternals, the visions remote Of the dark seperation appear'd. As glasses discover Worlds In the endless Abyss of space, So the expanding eyes of Immortals Beheld the dark visions of Los, And the globe of life blood trembling" Jerusalem, Plate 13,(E 157) "Around Golgonooza lies the land of death eternal; a Land Of pain and misery and despair and ever brooding melancholy: In all the Twenty-seven Heavens, numberd from Adam to Luther; From the blue Mundane Shell, reaching to the Vegetative Earth. The Vegetative Universe, opens like a flower from the Earths center: In which is Eternity. It expands in Stars to the Mundane Shell And there it meets Eternity again, both within and without, And the abstract Voids between the Stars are the Satanic Wheels. There is the Cave; the Rock; the Tree; the Lake of Udan Adan; The Forest, and the Marsh, and the Pits of bitumen deadly: The Rocks of solid fire: the Ice valleys: the Plains Of burning sand: the rivers, cataract & Lakes of Fire: The Islands of the fiery Lakes: the Trees of Malice: Revenge: And black Anxiety; and the Cities of the Salamandrine men: (But whatever is visible to the Generated Man, Is a Creation of mercy & love, from the Satanic Void.)" Jerusalem, Plate 34 ,(E 180) "Saying. Albion! Our wars are wars of life, & wounds of love, With intellectual spears, & long winged arrows of thought: Mutual in one anothers love and wrath all renewing We live as One Man; for contracting our infinite senses We behold multitude; or expanding: we behold as one, As One Man all the Universal Family; and that One Man We call Jesus the Christ: and he in us, and we in him, Live in perfect harmony in Eden the land of life, Giving, recieving, and forgiving each others trespasses." Jerusalem, Plate 34 ,(E 180) "for Cities Are Men, fathers of multitudes, and Rivers & Mountains Are also Men; every thing is Human, mighty! sublime! In every bosom a Universe expands, as wings Let down at will around, and call'd the Universal Tent." Jerusalem, Plate 42, (E 189) "There is a limit of Opakeness, and a limit of Contraction; In every Individual Man, and the limit of Opakeness, Is named Satan: and the limit of Contraction is named Adam. But when Man sleeps in Beulah, the Saviour in mercy takes Contractions Limit, and of the Limit he forms Woman: That Himself may in process of time be born Man to redeem But there is no Limit of Expansion! there is no Limit of Translucence. In the bosom of Man for ever from eternity to eternity. Therefore I break thy bonds of righteousness; I crush thy messengers! That they may not crush me and mine: do thou be righteous, And I will return it; otherwise I defy thy worst revenge: Consider me as thine enemy: on me turn all thy fury But destroy not these little ones, nor mock the Lords anointed: Destroy not by Moral Virtue, the little ones whom he hath chosen! The little ones whom he hath chosen in preference to thee. He hath cast thee off for ever; the little ones he hath anointed! Thy Selfhood is for ever accursed from the Divine presence So Los spoke: then turn'd his face & wept for Albion." Jerusalem, Plate 55, (E 205) "Let the Human Organs be kept in their perfect Integrity At will Contracting into Worms, or Expanding into Gods And then behold! what are these Ulro Visions of Chastity! Or as the sweat upon the labouring shoulder: or as the chaff Of the wheat-floor or as the dregs of the sweet wine-press Such are these Ulro Visions, for tho we sit down within The plowed furrow, listning to the weeping clods till we Contract or Expand Space at will: or if we raise ourselves Upon the chariots of the morning. Contracting or Expanding Time! Every one knows, we are One Family! One Man blessed for ever Silence remaind & every one resumd his Human Majesty" Jerusalem, Plate 71, (E 224) "And above Albions Land was seen the Heavenly Canaan As the Substance is to the Shadow: and above Albions Twelve Sons Were seen Jerusalems Sons: and all the Twelve Tribes spreading Over Albion. As the Soul is to the Body, so Jerusalems Sons, Are to the Sons of Albion: and Jerusalem is Albions Emanation What is Above is Within, for every-thing in Eternity is translucent: The Circumference is Within: Without, is formed the Selfish Center And the Circumference still expands going forward to Eternity. And the Center has Eternal States! these States we now explore." Four Zoas, Night II, Page 34, (E 322) "For Los & Enitharmon walkd forth on the dewy Earth Contracting or expanding their all flexible senses At will to murmur in the flowers small as the honey bee At will to stretch across the heavens & step from star to star Or standing on the Earth erect, or on the stormy waves Driving the storms before them or delighting in sunny beams While round their heads the Elemental Gods kept harmony" Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 138, (E 406) "The Sun has left his blackness & has found a fresher morning And the mild moon rejoices in the clear & cloudless night And Man walks forth from midst of the fires the evil is all consumd His eyes behold the Angelic spheres arising night & day The stars consumd like a lamp blown out & in their stead behold The Expanding Eyes of Man behold the depths of wondrous worlds One Earth one sea beneath nor Erring Globes wander but Stars Of fire rise up nightly from the Ocean & one Sun Each morning like a New born Man issues with songs & Joy Calling the Plowman to his Labour & the Shepherd to his rest He walks upon the Eternal Mountains raising his heavenly voice Conversing with the Animal forms of wisdom night & day That risen from the Sea of fire renewd walk oer the Earth"
1 John 3
 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.