Saturday, February 03, 2018


University of Adelaide
The Grave
- Page 12
Fuseli's arrangement
Blake's Watercolor
Wikimedia Commons
The Grave - Page 12
Fuseli's arrangement
Blake's Watercolor


Book - 12 The Reunion of the Soul & the Body

The cycle of journeying through time has been told at the micro level by following the travels of an individual in Blake's illustrations to Blair's The Grave. The macro level of journeying through time is told through the twelfth illustration, Vision of the Last Judgment. The culture starts off in Eden a garden where man's needs are met, his Soul is nourished, and his growth is assured. The final act in the journey in order to return to Eden is either to renew the Circle of Destiny which ties man to the recurring pattern of trusting whatever appealing offer appears before him, or instead to follow his own divine humanity through which he may break free of error and embrace truth.

The Vision of the Last Judgment seen as a pattern of descent and accent is a picture of the same dull round. Unless man can find that moment between the pulsations of the artery when the work of imagination is done, he continues the recurring cycle. If he were to find the Gate of los there would be laid before a man or a society a choice between trying once again to create a better world according to specifications following flawed reasoning, or discarding the finite for the infinite, the temporal for the eternal. If the man or society passes through he finds it opens into to Eden. But the choice is between the known and the unknown. Only a New Man with a new consciousness can pass through the gate and survive in the New World.

Matthew 18
[2] And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
[3] And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
[4] Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

In Fearful Symmetry Northrop Frey expresses these concepts in far richer and more incisive language:

Page 389
"We reach final understanding of the Bible when he our imaginations become possessed by the Jesus of the resurrection, the pure community of the divine Man, the absolute civilization of the City of God. This Jesus stands just outside the Bible, and to reach him we must crawl through the narrow gap between the end of Revelation and the beginning of Genesis, and then we see the entire vision of the Bible below us a a vast cycle of existence from the creation of a fallen world to the recreation of an unfallen one. If we remain inside the gap with the Jesus of history, we are still within the cycle, which thereby becomes the circumference of our vision. The gap  or place of final break-through, where the cosmic of the mundane shell is chipped, the opening of the womb of nature, is the upper limit or south (zenith) door of Beulah..."

Page 391
"The England Blake is addressing is Albion in a fallen and sleeping state in the world of Generation which is Luvah's world: that is, Albion is present in Luvah. The function of Jerusalem is to recreate the vision of the Jesus of action, the divine man whose impact miraculously increased the bodily and mental powers of those who saw what he was, in order to bring that impact on the English public. This occurs at a time when both English civilization and one of its artists have reached the point we have described as imaginative puberty. England has to choose whether to turn its green and pleasant land into Jerusalem or a howling waste of Satanic mills, and Blake is practically the only Englishman who can express the fact that that choice is now before England, and is still a choice. Jerusalem is Blake's contribution to the struggle between the prophet and the profiteer for the soul of England which is England's Armageddon: it is a burning-glass focusing the rays of a fiery city on London in the hope of kindling an answering flame."

Page 394
"But if, at the crisis of a historical cycle, when the fiery city and the fallen city come into a direct line of opposition to one another, the pure burning glass of a work of art is interposed between instead of the usual opaque mystery of nature, there would be not the natural eclipse, but the kindling of the world's last fire. Once society can catch the knack of pressing the social will into the service of a vision, as the artist does, it will start building Jerusalem, and this response to art is the final miracle which the miraculous powers of Jesus symbolize. In Jerusalem this is expressed by the separation of the Spectre of Urthona from Los, the artist's renunciation of an individual will which takes place at the end of linear time." 

There Is No Natural Religion, (E 3)
"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"

Jerusalem, Plate 12, (E 155)
"Lambeth! the Bride the Lambs Wife loveth thee:
Thou art one with her & knowest not of self in thy supreme joy.
Go on, builders in hope: tho Jerusalem wanders far away,
Without the gate of Los: among the dark Satanic wheels."

Milton, Plate 28 [30], (E 127)
"Each has its Guard. each Moment Minute Hour Day Month & Year.
All are the work of Fairy hands of the Four Elements             
The Guard are Angels of Providence on duty evermore
Every Time less than a pulsation of the artery
Is equal in its period & value to Six Thousand Years.
Plate 29 [31]
For in this Period the Poets Work is Done: and all the Great
Events of Time start forth & are concievd in such a Period
Within a Moment: a Pulsation of the Artery."

Jerusalem, Plate 91, ( E 251)
"Los beheld undaunted furious

His heavd Hammer; he swung it round & at one blow,
In unpitying ruin driving down the pyramids of pride
Smiting the Spectre on his Anvil & the integuments of his Eye
And Ear unbinding in dire pain, with many blows,            
Of strict severity self-subduing, & with many tears labouring.

Then he sent forth the Spectre all his pyramids were grains
Of sand & his pillars: dust on the flys wing: & his starry
Heavens; a moth of gold & silver mocking his anxious grasp
Thus Los alterd his Spectre & every Ratio of his Reason       
He alterd time after time, with dire pain & many tears
Till he had completely divided him into a separate space.

Terrified Los sat to behold trembling & weeping & howling
I care not whether a Man is Good or Evil; all that I care
Is whether he is a Wise Man or a Fool. Go! put off Holiness    
And put on Intellect: or my thundrous Hammer shall drive thee
To wrath which thou condemnest: till thou obey my voice

So Los terrified cries: trembling & weeping & howling! Beholding" 
Vision of the Last Judgment, (E 565)
 "The Last Judgment is an Overwhelming of Bad Art & Science. 
Mental Things are alone Real what is Calld Corporeal Nobody Knows
of its Dwelling Place it is in Fallacy & its Existence an
Imposture  Where is the Existence Out of Mind or Thought Where is
it but in the Mind of a Fool.  Some People flatter themselves
that there will be No Last Judgment & that Bad Art will be
adopted & mixed with Good Art That Error or Experiment will make
a Part of Truth & they Boast that it is its Foundation these
People flatter themselves   I will not Flatter them Error is
Created Truth is Eternal Error or Creation will be Burned Up &
then & not till then Truth or Eternity will appear It is Burnt up
the Moment Men cease to behold it" 

Milton, Plate 25 [27], (E 121)
"They sang at the Vintage. 
Fellow Labourers! The Great Vintage & Harvest is now upon Earth
The whole extent of the Globe is explored: Every scatterd Atom
Of Human Intellect now is flocking to the sound of the Trumpet
All the Wisdom which was hidden in caves & dens, from ancient    
Time; is now sought out from Animal & Vegetable & Mineral
The Awakener is come. outstretchd over Europe! the Vision of God is fulfilled"

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 131, (E 400)
"Then Urizen arose & took his Sickle in his hand
There is a brazen sickle & a scythe of iron hid
Deep in the South guarded by a few solitary stars
This sickle Urizen took the scythe his sons embracd 
And went forth & began to reap & all his joyful sons
Reapd the wide Universe & bound in Sheaves a wondrous harvest
They took them into the wide barns with loud rejoicings & triumph 
Of flute & harp & drum & trumpet horn & clarion

The feast was spread in the bright South & the Regenerate Man 
Sat at the feast rejoicing & the wine of Eternity
Was servd round by the flames of Luvah all Day & all the Night
And when Morning began to dawn upon the distant hills
a whirlwind rose up in the Center & in the Whirlwind a shriek 
And in the Shriek a rattling of bones & in the rattling of bones 
A dolorous groan & from the dolorous groan in tears
Rose Enion like a gentle light & Enion spoke saying
O Dreams of Death the human form dissolving companied
By beasts & worms & creeping things & darkness & despair 
The clouds fall off from my wet brow the dust from my cold limbs
Into the Sea of Tharmas Soon renewd a Golden Moth
I shall cast off my death clothes & Embrace Tharmas again"

Songs of Innocence & of Experience, SONGS 54, (E 31)
"Youth of delight come hither:
And see the opening morn,
Image of truth new born.
Doubt is fled & clouds of reason.
Dark disputes & artful teazing.
Folly is an endless maze,
Tangled roots perplex her ways,"

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 133, (E 402)
"Not for ourselves but for the Eternal family we live
Man liveth not by Self alone but in his brothers face            
Each shall behold the Eternal Father & love & joy abound

So spoke the Eternal at the Feast they embracd the New born Man
Calling him Brother image of the Eternal Father. they sat down
At the immortal tables sounding loud their instruments of joy
Calling the Morning into Beulah the Eternal Man rejoicd" 

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