Thursday, November 09, 2017

POETIC GENIUS


All Religions are One, (E 1)
"Principle 1st 
That the Poetic Genius is
the True Man, and that
the body or outward form
of Man is derived from the
Poetic Genius."

A message delivered many years ago by a friend at a Quaker Meeting was essentially that what divides us is language and labels; what unites us is values and principles. The import of this statement is that divisions are created among us when we name someone or something as falling into the category of good or evil, acceptable or unacceptable. Avoiding giving an act or a person a label prevents it from being put it in a category which removes the necessity of responding from a personal evaluation. The object or activity is rejected or accepted without considering the context in which it occurs because it has previously been allocated its worth. If one looks deeper from the perspective of a structure of values and principles which are shared as common to humanity, the divisions can be overcome in order to conserve the fundamental universal truths. 

The Poetic Genius is the early terminology which Blake used to refer to the underlying truth which is shared because it is
common to all mankind. It is as if it were in the DNA.
   
This passage from Grammatical Man by Jeremy Campbell echos in scientific language something of the process which Blake envisioned in spiritual language:
 

"The message of DNA is intrinsic. If we speak in metaphor of the 'ideas' contained in it, then those ideas are innate. They do not come from outside, from the environment, even though external chemical messages certainly play a role in the development of the living system. The original script of the DNA message, the organism's lifelong store of information, specifying its structure and growth, is placed for safekeeping in the nucleus, at the quiet center of the cell, and is housed in long, thin strands called chromosomes. There is no direct traffic with the world outside. Its symbol systems are communicated to the chemical factories in the outer, working domain of the cell by another kind of nucleic acid molecule called messenger RNA, which carries a copy of sections of the DNA message to a place where proteins are assembled." (Page 93)
 

Blake saw that man's outer actions are determined by his inner proclivities which are derived from the Poetic Genius buried deep within his being. The Poetic Genius does not interact with the external world but depends upon expressing itself through ideas which arise in the minds of beings who act as vehicles for carrying them. The Poetic Genius, like the individual amino acids of a strand of DNA, is the shared heritage of all humanity. The individual humans are bodies woven from particles of spirit separated from the Poetic Genius. Separation without communication, or breakdowns of linkages, lead to the finely woven web of life collapsing to a web of death.      
 

Awareness that there are hidden links which bind together the images of truth which inhabit our brains, releases a new stage of development which Blake calls the Babe. Whether we see our oneness as a function of our DNA, or the Poetic Genius, or the Holy Spirit, we can recognize that there is a transforming power in being linked in unseen ways that are active below the surface of ordinary consciousness.

Could we practice compassion, integrity and inclusiveness if love, honesty and connectivity were not dwelling within our Souls?

Milton, Plate 26 [28], (E 123)
"And these the Labours of the Sons of Los in Allamanda:
And in the City of Golgonooza: & in Luban: & around
The Lake of Udan-Adan, in the Forests of Entuthon Benython       
Where Souls incessant wail, being piteous Passions & Desires
With neither lineament nor form but like to watry clouds
The Passions & Desires descend upon the hungry winds
For such alone Sleepers remain meer passion & appetite;
The Sons of Los clothe them & feed & provide houses & fields     

And every Generated Body in its inward form,
Is a garden of delight & a building of magnificence,
Built by the Sons of Los in Bowlahoola & Allamanda
And the herbs & flowers & furniture & beds & chambers
Continually woven in the Looms of Enitharmons Daughters          
In bright Cathedrons golden Dome with care & love & tears
For the various Classes of Men are all markd out determinate

In Bowlahoola; & as the Spectres choose their affinities
So they are born on Earth, & every Class is determinate
But not by Natural but by Spiritual power alone, Because         
The Natural power continually seeks & tends to Destruction
Ending in Death: which would of itself be Eternal Death
And all are Class'd by Spiritual, & not by Natural power.

And every Natural Effect has a Spiritual Cause, and Not
A Natural: for a Natural Cause only seems, it is a Delusion      
Of Ulro: & a ratio of the perishing Vegetable Memory."

Jerusalem, Plate 20, (E 165)
"Jerusalem answer'd with soft tears over the valleys.

O Vala what is Sin? that thou shudderest and weepest
At sight of thy once lov'd Jerusalem! What is Sin but a little
Error & fault that is soon forgiven; but mercy is not a Sin
Nor pity nor love nor kind forgiveness! O! if I have Sinned      
Forgive & pity me! O! unfold thy Veil in mercy & love!
Slay not my little ones, beloved Virgin daughter of Babylon
Slay not my infant loves & graces, beautiful daughter of Moab
I cannot put off the human form I strive but strive in vain
When Albion rent thy beautiful net of gold and silver twine;
Thou hadst woven it with art, thou hadst caught me in the bands
Of love; thou refusedst to let me go: Albion beheld thy beauty
Beautiful thro' our Love's comeliness, beautiful thro' pity.
The Veil shone with thy brightness in the eyes of Albion,
Because it inclosd pity & love; because we lov'd one-another!
Albion lov'd thee! he rent thy Veil! he embrac'd thee! he lov'd thee!
Astonish'd at his beauty & perfection, thou forgavest his furious love:
I redounded from Albions bosom in my virgin loveliness.
The Lamb of God reciev'd me in his arms he smil'd upon us:

He made me his Bride & Wife: he gave thee to Albion.             
Then was a time of love: O why is it passed away!" 
Jerusalem, Plate 34 [38], (E 180)
"for Cities
Are Men, fathers of multitudes, and Rivers & Mount[a]ins
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.          
York, crown'd with loving kindness. Edinburgh, cloth'd
With fortitude as with a garment of immortal texture
Woven in looms of Eden, in spiritual deaths of mighty men

Who give themselves, in Golgotha, Victims to Justice; where
There is in Albion a Gate of precious stones and gold            
Seen only by Emanations, by vegetations viewless,
Bending across the road of Oxford Street; it from Hyde Park
To Tyburns deathful shades, admits the wandering souls
Of multitudes who die from Earth: this Gate cannot be found
PLATE 35 [39]
By Satans Watch-fiends tho' they search numbering every grain
Of sand on Earth every night, they never find this Gate.
It is the Gate of Los. Withoutside is the Mill, intricate, dreadful
And fill'd with cruel tortures; but no mortal man can find the Mill
Of Satan, in his mortal pilgrimage of seventy years              

For Human beauty knows it not: nor can Mercy find it!"

Four Zoas, Night VIII, PAGE 100 (FIRST PORTION), (E 372) 
"From out the War of Urizen & Tharmas recieving them   
Into his hands. Then Enitharmon erected Looms in Lubans Gate
And calld the Looms Cathedron in these Looms She wove the Spectres
Bodies of Vegetation Singing lulling Cadences to drive away
Despair from the poor wandering spectres and Los loved them 
With a parental love for the Divine hand was upon him
And upon Enitharmon & the Divine Countenance shone
In Golgonooza Looking down the Daughters of Beulah saw
With joy the bright Light & in it a Human form
And knew he was the Saviour Even Jesus & they worshipped 

Astonishd Comforted Delighted in notes of Rapturous Extacy  
All Beulah stood astonishd Looking down to Eternal Death
They saw the Saviour beyond the Pit of death & destruction
For whether they lookd upward they saw the Divine Vision
Or whether they lookd downward still they saw the Divine Vision 
Surrounding them on all sides beyond sin & death & hell

Enitharmon wove in tears singing Songs of Lamentation
And pitying comfort as she sighd forth on the wind the Spectres
Also the Vegetated bodies which Enitharmon wove  -

Opend within their hearts & in their loins & in their brain 
To Beulah & the Dead in Ulro descended from the War
Of Urizen & Tharmas & from the Shadowy females clouds
And some were woven single & some two fold & some three fold 
In Head or Heart or Reins according to the fittest order
Of most merciful pity & compassion to the Spectrous dead"
 Auguries of Innocence, (E 491)
"It is right it should be so 
Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Thro the World we safely go
Joy & Woe are woven fine 
A Clothing for the soul divine 
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine
The Babe is more than swadling Bands
Throughout all these Human Lands
Tools were made & Born were hands 
Every Farmer Understands
Every Tear from Every Eye
Becomes a Babe in Eternity
This is caught by Females bright
And returnd to its own delight" 
There is more to the image from Plate 57 of Jerusalem than three lovely ladies extruding fibers that create links outside their bodies. Less noticeable than the figures is the globe of the earth which is mostly covered by text. The upper section bears the image of St. Paul's Cathedral (which Blake associated with the established church), and the words York and London which Blake saw as attempts to build God's kingdom in the natural world through material means. The lower section of the globe shows the image of a Gothic cathedral and the word Jerusalem, both symbols in Blake's lexicon for the unseen world of spirit. Thus the image represents outer and inner activities attempting to articulate and integrate the world of spirit and the world of matter, and to bring them together in cooperation.  

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