Friday, July 13, 2018

Blake's Urizen

First posted Feb 2011.

Wikimedia Commons
Plate 10


Blake's Urizen!

Yes, Blake had one-- the Urizen within; we all have one: the thinking component of our psyche. We can only begin to understand Blake when we realize that his IQ had to be frightening. You and I might have a sudden thought; Blake had an Explosion-- of Urizen or Luvah, either one and sometimes all together. The average person wants nothing to do with such an individual (that means of course that if you read this, you are Not average.

Blake's mind was infinitely expansible-- and contractable, as in Plate 55 of Jerusalem (E205):
"Let the Human Organs be kept in their perfect Integrity
At will Contracting into Worms, or
Expanding into Gods
"Such are these Ulro Visions, for tho we sit down within
The plowed furrow, listning to the weeping clods till we
Contract or Expand Space at will: or if we raise ourselves
Upon the chariots of the morning. Contracting or Expanding Time!
Every one knows, we are One Family! One Man blessed for ever"

(But the Heavenly Visions know nothing of time or space; those are artifacts of the World.)

"Damn braces Bless relaxes." (MHH plate 9; Erdman 37)

In MHH Blake's Energy and Creativity ran away with him; he despised restraints: turn out all the stops; put the volume pedal on the floor. MHH is shocking in the Nth degree, frightening! All his life his problem was self-control (the last of the Gifts of the Spirit). He had no desire for Self-control.

Galations (Phillips Translation)
5:22-25 - The Spirit however, produces in human life fruits such as these: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, fidelity, tolerance and self-control - and no law exists against any of them.

Lucky for Blake he had a wife, a good and faithful wife: indulgent, but she had a limit. (If Nietzsche and Van Gogh had achieved a successful marriage, they might have flamed out so early.)

So as we see Blake had a Urizen within. Urizen believed in Control; he gave the Law, and Blake fought him. He also had a Luvah within. Blake fought the first battle with the struggle between Urizen and Luvah; it was a power struggle between the two inner 'gods', and eventually they made
a deal: Urizen, the Light Bearer, gave the Sun to Luvah (Luvah took over the South, while Urizen moved to the North (For a while Blake seemed free from the Law and gave himself up to Feeling).
"When man lives by Urizen's 'beast-formed science' he is in nonexistence. The change from nonexistence to existence - the change from Satan to Christ" (William Blake's Circle of Destiny, Percival, Page 231) 
It was a fragile arrangement; Luvah, like Icarus, got too close to the Sun and crashed. Meanwhile Urizen continued his (false) Creation. He went from bad to worse. In his rocky creation he look ahead; Futurity terrified him, took all his ego and left him a quivering failure. Los came in and subdued him (which seems to represent Blake's Imagination getting the best of his fears).

Once Los had won the battle he found his hatred of Urizen melting away; he found he loved him; he rehabilitated him, so that Urizen was now able to recognize and accept a New Lord.

In Jerusalem 98 Blake told of the final reconciliation of Urizen, Luvah, Urthona, and Tharmas. It is the Apocalypse, the End of Eternal Death leading to Eternal Life, when we graduate from Mortal Life, all is United into the One Man (
as in John 17:21).

Jerusalem, Plate 97, (E 256)
 "So spake the Vision of Albion & in him so spake in my hearing   
The Universal Father. Then Albion stretchd his hand into Infinitude.
And took his Bow. Fourfold the Vision for bright beaming Urizen
Layd his hand on the South & took a breathing Bow of carved Gold
Luvah his hand stretch'd to the East & bore a Silver Bow bright shining
Tharmas Westward a Bow of Brass pure flaming richly wrought   
Urthona Northward in thick storms a Bow of Iron terrible thundering.
And the Bow is a Male & Female & the Quiver of the Arrows of Love,
Are the Children of this Bow: a Bow of Mercy & Loving-kindness:  laying
Open the hidden Heart in Wars of mutual Benevolence Wars of Love
And the Hand of Man grasps firm between the Male & Female Loves  
And he Clothed himself in Bow & Arrows in awful state Fourfold"
Jerusalem, Plate 98, (E 257) 
"The Four Living Creatures Chariots of Humanity Divine Incomprehensible
In beautiful Paradises expand These are the Four Rivers of Paradise 
And the Four Faces of Humanity fronting the Four Cardinal Points
Of Heaven going forward forward irresistible from Eternity to Eternity

And they conversed together in Visionary forms dramatic which bright
Redounded from their Tongues in thunderous majesty, in Visions
In new Expanses, creating exemplars of Memory and of Intellect  
Creating Space, Creating Time according to the wonders Divine
Of Human Imagination," 

John 17
[22] And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
[23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.  .

1 comment:

dc and mh said...

reminiscent of J.D. Salinger, this marvellous and loving synopsis might easily have been written by Seymour Glass...thank you for this.