|The Grave - Page 7|
|University of Adelaide|
The Grave - Page 7
Blake presents the incarnation as the act of the Soul becoming immersed in the body. Pictured here is the Soul entering mortal life or Eternal Death as Blake calls it. Blake's mind had the agility to shift perspectives in order to present the truth he perceived. He envisioned here man's soul leaving behind the vehicle which has been its home, in order to expose itself to states which must be explored in order to apprehend truth. Blake gives us an image to contemplate with our conscious minds for the purpose of inviting us to explore the Recesses of the Grave which are present in the unconscious mind.
The idea that man is created with a mind which is capable of apprehending the numinous is not original with Blake. The ancients expressed this idea in terms of their own cultures and religions although they lacked the terminology of of depth psychology. Blake was clear in his idea that the Soul is the Eternal aspect of the individual. Since Blake was adept at distinguishing the material world (the world of time and space), from the spiritual world (the world of the eternal and infinite), he focused attention on relating the one to the other.
The natural world and the spiritual world are linked by the Soul's activity in both places. There is an analog to what appears outside the body to what occurs within. If spiritual truth is quashed in the outer world, the work of the Soul within the psyche is diminished. The outer world cannot be healed of hatred, vengeance, accusation, and self-aggrandizing if these attitudes maintain control in the inner world. The work goes on simultaneously: mending the external links which join mankind in mutual respect and assistance, and knitting together the internal divisions which set off competitions for the control of our inner attitudes. If we are consumed with protecting our prejudices, defenses, and personal righteousness, the battle for truth, justice and compassion is already lost.
Fuseli - VII. THE SOUL EXPLORING THE RECESSES OF THE GRAVE
Book -7 The Death of The Good Old Man
Jerusalem, Plate 4, (E 146) "Of the Sleep of Ulro! and of the passage through Eternal Death! and of the awaking to Eternal Life. This theme calls me in sleep night after night, & ev'ry morn Awakes me at sun-rise, then I see the Saviour over me Spreading his beams of love, & dictating the words of this mild song. Awake! awake O sleeper of the land of shadows, wake! expand! I am in you and you in me, mutual in love divine:"
Milton, Plate 32 , (E 132) "And thou O Milton art a State about to be Created Called Eternal Annihilation that none but the Living shall Dare to enter: & they shall enter triumphant over Death And Hell & the Grave! States that are not, but ah! Seem to be. Judge then of thy Own Self: thy Eternal Lineaments explore What is Eternal & what Changeable? & what Annihilable! The Imagination is not a State: it is the Human Existence itself Affection or Love becomes a State, when divided from Imagination The Memory is a State always, & the Reason is a State Created to be Annihilated & a new Ratio Created Whatever can be Created can be Annihilated Forms cannot The Oak is cut down by the Ax, the Lamb falls by the Knife But their Forms Eternal Exist, For-ever. Amen Halle[l]ujah Thus they converse with the Dead watching round the Couch of Death. For God himself enters Death's Door always with those that enter And lays down in the Grave with them, in Visions of Eternity Till they awake & see Jesus & the Linen Clothes lying That the Females had Woven for them, & the Gates of their Fathers House"
Milton, Plate 14 , (E 109) "The Seven Angels of the Presence wept over Miltons Shadow! Plate 15  As when a man dreams, he reflects not that his body sleeps, Else he would wake; so seem'd he entering his Shadow: but With him the Spirits of the Seven Angels of the Presence Entering; they gave him still perceptions of his Sleeping Body; Which now arose and walk'd with them in Eden, as an Eighth Image Divine tho' darken'd; and tho walking as one walks In sleep; and the Seven comforted and supported him. Like as a Polypus that vegetates beneath the deep! 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. Onwards his Shadow kept its course among the Spectres; call'd Satan, but swift as lightning passing them, startled the shades Of Hell beheld him in a trail of light as of a comet That travels into Chaos: so Milton went guarded within."
Milton, Plate 40 , (E 141) "Obey thou the Words of the Inspired Man All that can be annihilated must be annihilated That the Children of Jerusalem may be saved from slavery There is a Negation, & there is a Contrary The Negation must be destroyd to redeem the Contraries The Negation is the Spectre; the Reasoning Power in Man This is a false Body: an Incrustation over my Immortal Spirit; a Selfhood, which must be put off & annihilated alway To cleanse the Face of my Spirit by Self-examination."
 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
For under the Law I "died", and now I am dead to the Law's demands so that I may live for God. As far as the Law is concerned I may consider that I died on the cross with Christ. And my present life is not that of the old "I", but the living Christ within me. The bodily life I now live, I live believing in the Son of God, who loved me and sacrificed himself for me. Consequently I refuse to stultify the grace of God by reverting to the Law. For if righteousness were possible under the Law then Christ died for nothing!