Sunday, April 01, 2018


British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
When you look in a mirror a reflection of your own exterior greets your eyes. It is fascinating to see a young child seeing himself in a mirror for the first time. He first perceives the image as other than himself and reaches for it. Perhaps next he looks into the eyes of the other and sees it looking back. Eventually he may realize that the baby in the mirror is no other than himself. He is attracted to the baby he can't touch, but who, unlike a picture, moves and smiles and seems alive.

Blake sees man looking into his own Bosom with his spiritual eyes and having a similar experience of discovery. What he sees is not the persona or image which he presents to the outside world. He sees his Heaven, his idealized image of himself and his world as it would appear if his doors of perception were cleansed. His Earth is also visible to him: the ruin of a man in a ruined world. 

Jerusalem, Plate 71, (E 225)
"as in your own Bosom you bear your Heaven
And Earth, & all you behold, tho it appears Without it is Within
In your Imagination of which this World of Mortality is but a Shadow."

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