Friday, May 25, 2018

SHADOW OF MILTON

New York Public Library
Milton
Plate 36
In the first book of Milton, Blake had encountered Los and become one with him. On Plate 36 Blake reentered his poem. Ololon descended to Blake's garden with the appearance of a twelve year old virgin. Blake's response when he perceived her in his garden was a question, "What am I to do?" Ololon's interest was in Milton whose shadow she encountered as the Covering Cherub - the summation of all of the religious errors which plagued humanity. Ololon was shown the total range of errors which Blake lumped together as false attempts to follow God by using rituals, rules, fear and force.

One  particular error which Blake saw in Milton was his adherence to the Puritan faith which was based on a system of law and punishment. To the Puritan, man was by nature sinful and whatever adversity he experienced was God's justified punishment. Blake saw the tenets of Milton's religious faith expressed in his Paradise Lost.

It was Ololon who had been sent to complete the redemption of Milton. Blake was to be the witness to the process and to be redeemed in Milton's redemption.

Milton, Plate 36 [40], (E 137)
"Walking in my Cottage Garden, sudden I beheld
The Virgin Ololon & address'd her as a Daughter of Beulah[:]

Virgin of Providence fear not to enter into my Cottage
What is thy message to thy friend: What am I now to do
Is it again to plunge into deeper affliction? behold me          
Ready to obey, but pity thou my Shadow of Delight
Enter my Cottage, comfort her, for she is sick with fatigue
Plate 37 [41]
The Virgin answerd. Knowest thou of Milton who descended
Driven from Eternity; him I seek! terrified at my Act
In Great Eternity which thou  knowest!  I come him to seek

So Ololon utterd in words distinct the anxious thought
Mild was the voice, but more distinct than any earthly           
That Miltons Shadow heard & condensing all his Fibres
Into a strength impregnable of majesty & beauty infinite
I saw he was the Covering Cherub & within him Satan
And Rahab, in an outside which is fallacious! within
Beyond the outline of Identity, in the Selfhood deadly           
And he appeard the Wicker Man of Scandinavia in whom
Jerusalems children consume in flames among the Stars
Descending down into my Garden, a Human Wonder of God
Reaching from heaven to earth a Cloud & Human Form
I beheld Milton with astonishment & in him beheld            
The Monstrous Churches of Beulah, the Gods of Ulro dark
Twelve monstrous dishumanizd terrors Synagogues of Satan.
A Double Twelve & Thrice Nine: such their divisions.

And these their Names & their Places within the Mundane Shell"

Plate 37 [41], (E 138)
"All these are seen in Miltons Shadow who is the Covering Cherub
The Spectre of Albion in which the Spectre of Luvah inhabits     
In the Newtonian Voids between the Substances of Creation"

Phillips Translation
Corinthians II
5:16-19
        This means that our knowledge of men can no longer be
        based on their outward lives (indeed, even though we knew
        Christ as a man we do not know him like that any longer).
        For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new person
        altogether - the past is finished and gone, everything
        has become fresh and new. All this is God's doing, for he
        has reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ; and he
        has made us agents of the reconciliation. God was in
        Christ personally reconciling the world to himself - not
        counting their sins against them - and has commissioned
        us with the message of reconciliation. 

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