Thursday, August 30, 2018

BLAKE'S PRAYER


Huntington Library
Book of Los
Plate 1, Copy E

Dr Robert John Thornton for whom Blake had engraved woodcuts to illustrate his book translating Virgil for use with children, later tried his hand at translating the Lord's Prayer from the original Greek. Thornton published a booklet in 1827 which he titled The Lord's Prayer, Newly Translated from the Original Greek, with Critical and Explanatory Notes. Perhaps with encouragement from his friend John Linnell Blake annotated a copy of Thornton's translation. The flavor of Blake's comments is indicated by his comment on the title page:  

 "I look upon this as a Most Malignant & Artful attack upon
the Kingdom of Jesus By the Classical Learned thro the
Instrumentality of Dr Thornton   The Greek & Roman Classics is
the Antichrist   I say Is & not Are as most expressive & correct
too" (E 667) 

Annotations to Thornton, (E 668)
THE LORD'S PRAYER, (Translated from the Greek,) by Dr. Thornton.

Thornton: "Come let us worship, and bow down, and kneel, before the LORD, OUR MAKER   Psalm xcv.

O FATHER OF MANKIND, THOU, who dwellest in the highest of the HEAVENS, Reverenc'd be THY Name!
May THY REIGN be, every where, proclaim'd so that
THY Will may, be done  upon the 
Earth, as it is in the MANSIONS of HEAVEN:

Grant unto me, and the whole world, day by
day, an abundant supply of spiritual and
corporeal FOOD:

FORGIVE US OUR TRANSGRESSIONS against THEE, AS WE extend OUR
Kindness, and Forgiveness, TO ALL: 

O GOD! ABANDON us not, when surrounded, by TRIALS; 

But PRESERVE us from the Dominion of SATAN: For THINE
only, is THE SOVEREIGNTY, THE POWER, and THE GLORY, throughout
ETERNITY!!!
     AMEN."

A Comment from Thornton:
"Men from their childhood have been so accustomed to
mouth the LORD'S PRAYER, that they continue this through
life, and call it .'Saying their Prayers.'"

Some of Blake’s Comments:
     "It is the learned that Mouth & not the Vulgar" 

     "Lawful Bread Bought with Lawful Money & a Lawful Heaven seen
thro a Lawful Telescope by means of Lawful Window Light The Holy
Ghost cannot be Taxed is Unlawful &
Witchcraft."
     
"Spirits are Lawful but not Ghosts  especially Royal Gin is
Lawful Spirit  No Smuggling British Spirit & Truth"

"His Accusation shall be Forgiveness that he may be consumd in his own Shame"
  
"Thus we see that the Real God is the Goddess Nature & that
God Creates nothing but what can be Touchd & Weighed & Taxed &
Measured   all else is Heresy & Rebellion against Caesar - Virgils
Only God" 

 "So you See That God is just such a Tyrant as Augustus Caesar
& is not this Good & Learned & Wise & Classical"

 "Give us the Bread that is our due & Right by taking away
Money or a Price or Tax upon what is Common to all in thy Kingdom" 

Blake's Prayer:
     "Jesus our Father who art in Heaven calld by thy
Name the Holy Ghost   
      
      Thy Kingdom on Earth is Not  nor thy Will
done but Satans Will who is the God of this World   The Accuser 

     Give us This Eternal Day our
own right Bread & take away Money or Debt or
Tax  as we have all things common among us   
Every Thing has as much right to Eternal Life as God who is the
Servant of Man

     Leave us not in Parsimony
but liberate us from the
Natural Man & want or Jobs Kingdom

     For thine is the Kingdom & the Power & the Glory & not
Caesars or Satans Amen."

Morton Paley in his book Traveller in the Evening: The Last Works of William Blake, included a section on Blake's reaction to Thornton's Lord's Prayer.
He states:
"Blake, who could read New Testament Greek and at least some Hebrew, regarded the meaning of the Bible not as the province of scholars but rather as something to be intuited. In Thornton's proposal for an entire new translation, he saw only an opportunity for priest and king to subject the Bible, and especially the most uncompromising doctrines of the New Testament, to the language of accommodation. For Blake the life of the spiritual and earthly kingdoms were distinct, though linked, and projects like Thornton's were an attempt to blur the distinction."
Paley points to this passage in Blake's letter to Cumberland as expressing Blake's attitude toward entering one's 'own Eternal House' by 'Leaving the Delusive Goddess Nature.' This Blake sees to be God's will which will be done 'on earth as it is in Heaven.' 

Letters, To Cumberland, (E 92)
"Flaxman is Gone & we must All soon follow every one to his
Own Eternal House Leaving the Delusive Goddess Nature & her Laws
to get into Freedom from all Law of the Members into The Mind in
which every one is King & Priest in his own House God Send it so
on Earth as it is in Heaven
I am Dear Sir Yours Affectionately
WILLIAM BLAKE"

Monday, August 27, 2018

THEL'S DECISION

British Museum
The Book of Thel
Plate 8
Blake wrote small books but the ideas contained in them are invariably large. The Book of Thel was one of the earliest illuminated books. It contained only 8 pages including Thel's Motto. The illuminations occupied almost as much space as the poetry and displayed pleasant scenes in a gentle world.

There are striking differences in what is said in the poetry and what is shown in the pictures. The paradoxical nature of human experience is one of the messages Blake conveys in this supposedly simple production. The pictures show Thel's world to be a lovely place but the questions she asks point to difficult issues to be solved.

It is possible to be accepting of whatever status befalls one. It is also possible to observe the options which are presented by alternate modes of existence. One may attempt to adopt the choices which seem to work for others. However if one choose to follow one's own path, she must strike out into the unknown seeking one's own destiny.

Thel found herself in a state of limbo: she was not in Eternity nor in the material world of time and space. She wanted to develop past the innocent world of her companions: the Clod of Clay, the Lilly, the Cloud and the Worm. She fearfully stepped into the world of generation but drew back when she gazed into her own grave which spoke to her of the vicissitudes of living in a mortal body with access through the five senses. She was faint of heart; she lacked the desire which would have induced her to accept life as a human, uniting body and soul, the mortal with the immortal.

The final illustration shows the ups and downs of mortal life as three children playfully enjoy riding a serpent which is no threat to them.

Book of Thel, Plate 6, (E 6)
"The eternal gates terrific porter lifted the northern bar:
Thel enter'd in & saw the secrets of the land unknown;
She saw the couches of the dead, & where the fibrous roots
Of every heart on earth infixes deep its restless twists:
A land of sorrows & of tears where never smile was seen.

She wanderd in the land of clouds thro' valleys dark, listning
Dolours & lamentations: waiting oft beside a dewy grave
She stood in silence. listning to the voices of the ground,
Till to her own grave plot she came, & there she sat down.
And heard this voice of sorrow breathed from the hollow pit.    

Why cannot the Ear be closed to its own destruction?
Or the glistning Eye to the poison of a smile!
Why are Eyelids stord with arrows ready drawn,
Where a thousand fighting men in ambush lie?
Or an Eye of gifts & graces, show'ring fruits & coined gold! 
Why a Tongue impress'd with honey from every wind?
Why an Ear, a whirlpool fierce to draw creations in?
Why a Nostril wide inhaling terror trembling & affright.
Why a tender curb upon the youthful burning boy!
Why a little curtain of flesh on the bed of our desire?         

The Virgin started from her seat, & with a shriek.
Fled back unhinderd till she came into the vales of Har
                                   
                  The End"

Psalms 27
[11] Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
[12] Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
[13] I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
[14] Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

ETERNITY'S SUN RISE

Wikimedia Commons
Europe
Plate 11
Appearances are deceiving. Beneath the surface is the reality which determines the import of what appears to be. For this reason we are responsible for knowing how to act in whatever circumstance is presented. We learn to act in accordance not with the appearance but with the underlying reality. The Angel perceives one reality and responds accordingly. To the Devil the situation appears opposite because his mind processes what he sees differently.

Blake could see from the perspective of both that of the Angel and the Devil and so avoided being trapped in either the Night or the Day. In his mind he discerned the fluctuations which brought together the knowledge which came from his unconscious and his conscious mind. He knew that Reason, Emotion, Sensation and Imagination contributed to understanding.

In the poem Joy & Woe Blake indicated that both perspectives are valid if they are rightly known and integrated into one fabric.
Songs and Ballads, from Notebook, (E 470)
         "Eternity

He who binds to himself a joy           
Does the winged life destroy
But he who kisses the joy as it flies    
Lives in eternity's sun rise            
               *                        
I heard an Angel singing
When the day was springing                                      
Mercy Pity Peace                        
Is the worlds release

Thus he sung all day                         
Over the new mown hay
Till the sun went down
And haycocks looked brown

I heard a Devil curse
Over the heath & the furze                
Mercy could be no more
If there was nobody poor

And pity no more could be
If all were as happy as we
At his curse the sun went down          
And the heavens gave a frown

Down pourd the heavy rain               
Over the new reapd grain
And Miseries increase                   
Is Mercy Pity Peace               
               *
Silent Silent Night
Quench the holy light
Of thy torches bright

For possessd of Day
Thousand spirits stray         
That sweet joys betray

Why should joys be sweet
Used with deceit
Nor with sorrows meet

But an honest joy               
Does itself destroy
For a harlot coy"

Auguries on Innocence, (E 491)
"It is right it should be so 
Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Thro the World we safely go
Joy & Woe are woven fine
A Clothing for the soul divine 
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine
The Babe is more than swadling Bands
Throughout all these Human Lands"

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

SISTINE CHAPEL

Wikimedia Commons
Michelangelo
Sistine Chapel
The Creation of Adam shows God giving life to the first man, while Eve, the first woman, watches from beneath his cloak.
 
A total of eight posts have been published based on the sketches Blake made of figures included in the frescoes Michelangelo painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. From the posts we can see that Blake was making the drawings to study Michelangelo's mastery of depicting the human form. But more than that he was learning from Michelangelo an understanding of humanity encountering circumstances which contributed to the psychic and spiritual development of human beings and their culture which evolved through time.

RECOGNIZE ERROR

BLAKE'S SIBYL

BLAKE & DANIEL

BLAKE'S REPOSE

PASSING THRU STATES

BLAKE'S WISDOM
 
PIT OF DESPAIR

CHAIN OF JEALOUSY

Sunday, August 19, 2018

PIT OF DESPAIR

Wikipedia Commons
Sistine Chapel Ceiling 
Michelangelo
Roboam Abias
Matthew 1
[6] And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;
[7] And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;
[8] And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias


British Museum
Copy after Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling
Abias
When problems are overwhelming and the answers that occur to the conscious mind are unacceptable, the reaction is despair. But despair need not be an end; it can be a beginning. The problems can be redefined; new answers from other sources can be considered. Carl Jung searched for answers to some fundamental issues which led men to despair. His answers included looking within one's own psyche for solutions and connecting to archetypal realities through dreams, myths, and symbolic occurrences.

Here is a C.G. Jung quotation available on Wikipedia. It is from Jung's Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle:

"This grasping of the whole is obviously the aim of science as well, but it is a goal that necessarily lies very far off because science, whenever possible, proceeds experimentally and in all cases statistically. Experiment, however, consists in asking a definite question which excludes as far as possible anything disturbing and irrelevant. *It makes conditions, imposes them on Nature, and in this way forces her to give an answer to a question devised by man. She is prevented from answering out of the fullness of her possibilities since these possibilities are restricted as far as practible.* For this purpose there is created in the laboratory a situation which is artificially restricted to the question which compels Nature to give an unequivocal answer. The workings of Nature in her unrestricted wholeness are completely excluded. If we want to know what these workings are, we need a method of inquiry which imposes the fewest possible conditions, or if possible no conditions at all, and then leave Nature to answer out of her fullness. (Page 35) 

Visions of Daughters of Albion, Plate 2, (E 47)
"Why does my Theotormon sit weeping upon the threshold;
And Oothoon hovers by his side, perswading him in vain:
I cry arise O Theotormon for the village dog
Barks at the breaking day. the nightingale has done lamenting.
The lark does rustle in the ripe corn, and the Eagle returns     
From nightly prey, and lifts his golden beak to the pure east;
Shaking the dust from his immortal pinions to awake
The sun that sleeps too long. Arise my Theotormon I am pure.
Because the night is gone that clos'd me in its deadly black.
They told me that the night & day were all that I could see;     
They told me that I had five senses to inclose me up.
And they inclos'd my infinite brain into a narrow circle,
And sunk my heart into the Abyss, a red round globe hot burning
Till all from life I was obliterated and erased.
Instead of morn arises a bright shadow, like an eye              
In the eastern cloud: instead of night a sickly charnel house;
That Theotormon hears me not! to him the night and morn
Are both alike: a night of sighs, a morning of fresh tears;" 
Songs of Experience, SONGS 31, (E 18) 
"EARTH'S Answer.

Earth rais'd up her head,From the darkness dread & drear.
Her light fled:   
Stony dread!
And her locks cover'd with grey despair.

Prison'd on watry shore
Starry jealousy does keep my tent
Cold and hoar
Weeping o'er
I hear the Father of the ancient men

Selfish father of men
Cruel jealous selfish fear
Can delight
Chain'd in night      
The virgins of youth and morning bear.

Does spring hide its joy   
When buds and blossoms grow?
Does the sower?
Sow by night?
Or the plowman in darkness plow?

Break this heavy chain,
That does freeze my bones around
Selfish! vain!
Eternal bane!                                 
That free Love with bondage bound."

Milton, Plate 41 [48], (E 142)
"To cast off the idiot Questioner who is always questioning,
But never capable of answering; who sits with a sly grin
Silent plotting when to question, like a thief in a cave;
Who publishes doubt & calls it knowledge; whose Science is Despair
Whose pretence to knowledge is Envy, whose whole Science is
To destroy the wisdom of ages to gratify ravenous Envy;"

Jerusalem, Plate 12, (E 155)
"What shall I do! or how exist, divided from Enitharmon?
Yet why despair! I saw the finger of God go forth                
Upon my Furnaces, from within the Wheels of Albions Sons:
Fixing their Systems, permanent: by mathematic power
Giving a body to Falshood that it may be cast off for ever.
With Demonstrative Science piercing Apollyon with his own bow!
God is within, & without! he is even in the depths of Hell!

 Such were the lamentations of the Labourers in the Furnaces!"

Poetical Sketches, (E 415)
          SONG.

"Memory, hither come,
  And tune your merry notes;
And, while upon the wind,
  Your music floats,
I'll pore upon the stream,
Where sighing lovers dream,    
And fish for fancies as they pass
Within the watery glass.

I'll drink of the clear stream,
  And hear the linnet's song;    
And there I'll lie and dream
  The day along:
And, when night comes, I'll go
  To places fit for woe;
Walking along the darken'd valley,   
  With silent Melancholy."

Letters, To Cumberland, (E 706)
"I begin to
Emerge from a Deep pit of Melancholy, Melancholy without any real
reason for it, a Disease which God keep you from & all good men."

Friday, August 17, 2018

CHAIN OF JEALOUSY

Wikipedia Commons   Sistine Chapel Ceiling      Michelangelo      Abiud
Matthew 1
[12] And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;
[13] And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;
[14] And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; 
 
British Museum
Copy after Michelangelo's Sistine ceiling
Abiud
Another of the drawings which Blake made from copies of individuals from the Michelangelo frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel is an ancestor of Jesus named Abiud. We see pictured in this the bond between a mother and her infant. It was an innocent scene but Blake may have related it to the tensions which grow in a family if the parents are possessive of each other, or if the love of a mate is withdrawn and transferred to the child they produced.
 
Fathers and sons do not always get along with one another. A mother who becomes over-attached to a son may force the child's father to become resentful and jealous. Blake describes this situation in conjunction with Los, Enitharmon and their first-born Orc. Blake's Chain of Jealousy, which developed out of Los' fears, contained many links including hostility, depression, withdrawal, secrecy and plotting revenge. Blake subtitled the Four Zoas:  "The torments of Love & Jealousy in The Death and Judgement of Albion the Ancient Man."
Four Zoas, Night V, Page 59, (E 340)
"Enitharmon nursd her fiery child in the dark deeps              
Sitting in darkness. over her Los mournd in anguish fierce
Coverd with gloom. the fiery boy grew fed by the milk
Of Enitharmon. Los around her builded pillars of iron
Page 60 
And brass & silver & gold fourfold in dark prophetic fear
For now he feard Eternal Death & uttermost Extinction       
He builded Golgonooza on the Lake of Udan Adan
Upon the Limit of Translucence then he builded Luban
Tharmas laid the Foundations & Los finishd it in howling woe     

But when fourteen summers & winters had revolved over
Their solemn habitation Los beheld the ruddy boy
Embracing his bright mother & beheld malignant fires
In his young eyes discerning plain that Orc plotted his death
Grief rose upon his ruddy brows. a tightening girdle grew        
Around his bosom like a bloody cord. in secret sobs
He burst it, but next morn another girdle succeeds
Around his bosom. Every day he viewd the fiery youth
With silent fear & his immortal cheeks grew deadly pale
Till many a morn & many a night passd over in dire woe          
Forming a girdle in the day & bursting it at night
The girdle was formd by day by night was burst in twain
Falling down on the rock an iron chain link by link lockd

Enitharmon beheld the bloody chain of nights & days
Depending from the bosom of Los & how with griding pain  
He went each morning to his labours. with the spectre dark
Calld it the chain of jealousy. Now Los began to speak   
His woes aloud to Enitharmon. since he could not hide
His uncouth plague. He siezd the boy in his immortal hands
While Enitharmon followd him weeping in dismal woe              
Up to the iron mountains top & there the Jealous chain
Fell from his bosom on the mountain. The Spectre dark
Held the fierce boy Los naild him down binding around his limbs
The accursed chain O how bright Enitharmon howld & cried 
Over her son. Obdurate Los bound down her loved joy"            

Book of Ahania, Plate 5, (E 90)
"14: But now alone over rocks, mountains
Cast out from thy lovely bosom:                          
Cruel jealousy! selfish fear!
Self-destroying: how can delight,
Renew in these chains of darkness
Where bones of beasts are strown
On the bleak and snowy mountains
Where bones from the birth are buried
Before they see the light."

Milton, Plate 20 [22], (E 115)
"He recollected an old Prophecy in Eden recorded,
And often sung to the loud harp at the immortal feasts
That Milton of the Land of Albion should up ascend
Forwards from Ulro from the Vale of Felpham; and set free        
Orc from his Chain of Jealousy, he started at the thought"

Friday, August 10, 2018

BLAKE'S JERUSALEM 2

Yale Center for British Art
Jerusalem
Plate 92
Jerusalem, Plate 20, (E 165)
[Jerusalem to Vala]
"When Albion rent thy beautiful net of gold and silver twine;
Thou hadst woven it with art, thou hadst caught me in the bands
Of love; thou refusedst to let me go: Albion beheld thy beauty
Beautiful thro' our Love's comeliness, beautiful thro' pity.
The Veil shone with thy brightness in the eyes of Albion,
Because it inclosd pity & love; because we lov'd one-another!
Albion lov'd thee! he rent thy Veil! he embrac'd thee! he lov'd thee!
Astonish'd at his beauty & perfection, thou forgavest his furious love:
I redounded from Albions bosom in my virgin loveliness.
The Lamb of God reciev'd me in his arms he smil'd upon us:
He made me his Bride & Wife: he gave thee to Albion.             
Then was a time of love: O why is it passed away!

Then Albion broke silence and with groans reply'd
Plate 21
O Vala! O Jerusalem! do you delight in my groans
You O lovely forms, you have prepared my death-cup"  
The God of Eternity may manifest as light or some abstract principle of benevolence, but the mind refuses to see the transcendent God as an object or material entity (the old man in the sky.) Jesus took on the image of God as a physical man who lived and worked and loved in the world which we experience. Blake developed the image of Jerusalem to represent the spiritual nature of God which is accessible to man in this world. Blake saw Jerusalem as the Emanation of Albion (all of mankind). She is the ethereal but active force which takes on the pain and suffering which results from the divisions within the Divine Body. At one point in the book named for her, she became the bride of Jesus, indicating that the reconciling of the contraries had been accomplished. The mind had become capable of being aware of contrary entities without assigning value: without eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Albion could not awake without incorporating Jerusalem, his emanation, into his total being. When Albion retired into his long sleep, Jerusalem wandered the streets expressing compassionate self-sacrifice. The awakened Albion called upon Jerusalem to awake and resume her Eternal form which integrated and unified 'all nations' in a shared consciousness.
Jerusalem, Plate 96, (E 256)
"Do I sleep amidst danger to Friends! O my Cities & Counties
Do you sleep! rouze up! rouze up. Eternal Death is abroad

So Albion spoke & threw himself into the Furnaces of affliction 
All was a Vision, all a Dream: the Furnaces became
Fountains of Living Waters Howing from the Humanity Divine
And all the Cities of Albion rose from their Slumbers, and All
The Sons & Daughters of Albion on soft clouds Waking from Sleep
Soon all around remote the Heavens burnt with flaming fires    
And Urizen & Luvah & Tharmas & Urthona arose into
Albions Bosom: Then Albion stood before Jesus in the Clouds
Of Heaven Fourfold among the Visions of God in Eternity
Plate 97
Awake! Awake Jerusalem! O lovely Emanation of Albion
Awake and overspread all Nations as in Ancient Time
For lo! the Night of Death is past and the Eternal Day
Appears upon our Hills: Awake Jerusalem, and come away

So spake the Vision of Albion & in him so spake in my hearing   
The Universal Father." 
The wisdom of Jerusalem is forgiveness and compassion; it is tolerance and inclusion. Los held before himself a vision of Jerusalem as he walked among his furnaces attempting to open the return path to Eternity for mankind. His vision included a reflection of all the beauty and love of Eternity as well as the history of God's relationship with humanity. 

Jerusalem, Plate 86, (E 244)
"I see thy Form O lovely mild Jerusalem, Wingd with Six Wings
In the opacous Bosom of the Sleeper, lovely Three-fold
In Head & Heart & Reins, three Universes of love & beauty
Thy forehead bright: Holiness to the Lord, with Gates of pearl
Reflects Eternity beneath thy azure wings of feathery down     
Ribbd delicate & clothd with featherd gold & azure & purple
From thy white shoulders shadowing, purity in holiness!
Thence featherd with soft crimson of the ruby bright as fire
Spreading into the azure Wings which like a canopy
Bends over thy immortal Head in which Eternity dwells        
Albion beloved Land; I see thy mountains & thy hills
And valleys & thy pleasant Cities Holiness to the Lord
I see the Spectres of thy Dead O Emanation of Albion.

Thy Bosom white, translucent coverd with immortal gems
A sublime ornament not obscuring the outlines of beauty       
Terrible to behold for thy extreme beauty & perfection
Twelve-fold here all the Tribes of Israel I behold
Upon the Holy Land: I see the River of Life & Tree of Life
I see the New Jerusalem descending out of Heaven
Between thy Wings of gold & silver featherd immortal         
Clear as the rainbow, as the cloud of the Suns tabernacle

Thy Reins coverd with Wings translucent sometimes covering
And sometimes spread abroad reveal the flames of holiness
Which like a robe covers: & like a Veil of Seraphim
In flaming fire unceasing burns from Eternity to Eternity     
Twelvefold I there behold Israel in her Tents
A Pillar of a Cloud by day: a Pillar of fire by night
Guides them: there I behold Moab & Ammon & Amalek
There Bells of silver round thy knees living articulate
Comforting sounds of love & harmony & on thy feet           
Sandals of gold & pearl, & Egypt & Assyria before me
The Isles of Javan, Philistea, Tyre and Lebanon

Thus Los sings upon his Watch walking from Furnace to Furnace." 
William Blake's Circle of Destiny, by Milton O Percival, provides a succinct statement of the Emanation's contribution to wholeness:

"His Emanations are the fine flowering of life, the 'loves and graces' of the unfallen Albion. They are the sum total of the spirit's manifestation.
In union with her masculine source - the proper relation of the contraries undisturbed - the Emanation provides a 'con-centering vision,' whereby faith in the unity of all life is maintained. The mind, having in this state a sympathetic and intuitive understanding of the Emanation (the life of the world of manifestation), accepts the body and its energies - all of them - and knows them to be good. Enion and Jerusalem remain intact. God is seen in his works. Man and his universe are one." (Page  98) 


Wednesday, August 08, 2018

BLAKE'S JERUSALEM

To understand Blake's figure of Jerusalem it is helpful to consider the personification of wisdom in other traditions.

Arlington Tempera
Detail of Ulysses & Athena
The goddess Athena envisioned wisdom in the mythology of ancient Greece. She became the patron goddess of Athens, the city which exercised a powerful influence on the development of western civilization. Her birth took place from the head (or brain) of Zeus from whom all creation originated.  Athena played multiple roles in the Greek world. She assisted Gods and men by providing implements for them to accomplish their tasks. She provided counsel and protection to those under her guidance. Ulysses relied on her as he returned to Ithaca following the Trojan war. Her wisdom was not rational or intellectual thought, but relational and intuitive insight. 

William Blake's Circle of Destiny, by Milton O Percival gives this insight into Jerusalem:
 

"A sharer in Albion's fortunes is Jerusalem, the feminine half of the mystical union of contraries which is Albion. Upon her rests the ineffable grace and glory that distinguish others of her line - the kabbalistic Shekinah, the Gnostic Sophia, Dante's Blessed Virgin, the Celestial Virgin of Boehme. She is like Albion, an inclusive figure, the personification of his spiritual well-being, the result of the harmonious functioning of all his powers. She is designated as the sum of Albion's Emanations, the mother of his little ones, the aggregate of the Daughters of Inspiration, a tent and tabernacle of mutual forgiveness. She exists because in Eternity error is forgiven, nothing condemned. Among the children of Albion her name is 'Liberty' - the liberty of regenerated souls." (Page 17)
Milton, Plate 4, (E 98)
"If you account it Wisdom when you are angry to be silent, and
Not to shew it: I do not account that Wisdom but Folly.
Every Mans Wisdom is peculiar to his own Individuality"

Milton, Plate 25 [27],(E 122)
"And Los stood & cried to the Labourers of the Vintage in voice of awe.

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
The Ancient Man upon the Rock of Albion Awakes"

Milton,Plate 34 [38], (E 134)
"And Ololon looked down into the Heavens of Ulro in fear
They said. How are the Wars of Man which in Great Eternity 
Appear around, in the External Spheres of Visionary Life
Here renderd Deadly within the Life & Interior Vision
How are the Beasts & Birds & Fishes, & Plants & Minerals
Here fixd into a frozen bulk subject to decay & death?
Those Visions of Human Life & Shadows of Wisdom & Knowledge      
Plate 35 [39]
Are here frozen to unexpansive deadly destroying terrors.
And War & Hunting: the Two Fountains of the River of Life
Are become Fountains of bitter Death & of corroding Hell"

Four Zoas, Night II, Page 35, (E 325)
"What is the price of Experience do men buy it for a song
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath his house his wife his children
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy
And in the witherd field where the farmer plows for bread in vain

It is an easy thing to triumph in the summers sun
And in the vintage & to sing on the waggon loaded with corn
It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted
To speak the laws of prudence to the houseless wanderer
...
It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity
Thus could I sing & thus rejoice, but it is not so with me!"

Four Zoas, Night III, Page 39, (E 326) 
[Advice to Urizen] 
"Leave all futurity to him Resume thy fields of Light 
Why didst thou listen to the voice of Luvah that dread morn
To give the immortal steeds of light to his deceitful hands
No longer now obedient to thy will thou art compell'd
To forge the curbs of iron & brass to build the iron mangers
To feed them with intoxication from the wine presses of Luvah

Till the Divine Vision & Fruition is quite obliterated
They call thy lions to the fields of blood, they rowze thy tygers
Out of the halls of justice, till these dens thy wisdom framd
Golden & beautiful but O how unlike those sweet fields of bliss  
Where liberty was justice & eternal science was mercy"

Four Zoas, Night VII, PAGE 80,(E 355)
"And Urizen Read in his book of brass in sounding tones 

Listen O Daughters to my voice Listen to the Words of Wisdom
So shall [ye] govern over all let Moral Duty tune your tongue 
But be your hearts harder than the nether millstone
To bring the shadow of Enitharmon beneath our wondrous tree   
That Los may Evaporate like smoke & be no more
Draw down Enitharmon to the Spectre of Urthona
And let him have dominion over Los the terrible shade
...
Reduce all to our will as spaniels are taught with art"

Vision of Last Judgment, (E 560)
 "General
Knowledge is Remote Knowledge it is in Particulars that Wisdom
consists & Happiness too.  Both in Art & in Life General Masses
are as Much Art as a Pasteboard Man is Human Every Man has Eyes
Nose & Mouth this Every Idiot knows but he who enters into &
discriminates most minutely the Manners & Intentions the
Characters in all their branches is the
alone Wise or Sensible Man & on this discrimination All Art is
founded.  I intreat then that the Spectator will attend to the
Hands & Feet to the Lineaments of the Countenances they are all
descriptive of Character & not a line is drawn without intention
& that most discriminate & particular" 

Annotations to Swedenborg, (E 603)
"He who Loves feels love descend into him & if he has wisdom
may percieve it is from the Poetic Genius which is the Lord"

Annotations to Swedenborg, (E 603)
   "Thought without affection makes a distinction between Love
& Wisdom as it does between body & Spirit"
In the New Testament we can see that wisdom was apparent in the one mind which we share with Christ and one another.

Phillipians 2
[1] So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,
[2] complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
[3] Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves.
[4] Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
[5] Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
[6] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
[7] but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

In the Old Testament wisdom which was with God from the beginning, was a source of delight among men.

Proverbs 8
[1] Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
...
[22] The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
[23] I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
[24] When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
[25] Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
[26] While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
[27] When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
[28] When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
[29] When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
[30] Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
[31] Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
[32] Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
[33] Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

Monday, August 06, 2018

LABYRINTH

The labyrinth in Blake's poetry impedes humanity as it seeks to return to its Eternal origin. Any of the facets of the mind may be involved in situations which trap man in confusion which obstructs progress. Urizen, Tharmus, Luvah and Urthona all build worlds which can become labyrinths because they seek to be exclusive methods of reaching unification of the mind. If the Selfhood, that erroneous reasoning which prevents the vision of the Eternal unified existence, is the Minotaur which must be overcome, the seeker must find his way into and out of the Labyrinth whose center he occupies.

When one encounters a Labyrinth, progress on the journey will reach a standstill unless the maze is entered and successfully navigated. When there is a conundrum which is a threat to solving a dilemma, it must be removed or continue as a destructive force. When Blake uses the term labyrinth in his myth he signals the necessity of solving a problem of importance before movement can continue.

The psychological implication of encountering a labyrinth is apparent in our own experience. Everything comes to a standstill if we encounter an unsolvable problem. It takes effort to reach the essence of the situation which produces the troublesome symptoms. Dealing with the Minotaur is taking action which fixes what can be fixed, and annihilating what can be annihilated. We still need the thread to find our way back to the path which leads to the destination we choose to pursue.


Wikipedia Commons 
Illustrations to Dante
In Blake's illustrations to Dante's Divine Comedy he shows Dante and Virgil escaping from the Minotaur, not by direct attack, but by arousing his anger which consumes the energy which would have directed toward toward his opponents. Dante's characters were seeking a way through the underworld; they needed to pass the Minotaur's 'primitive instinctual energies' (Edinger, Page 74) as a stage in the journey toward paradise.

Milton, Plate 13 [14], (E 107)
"But Elynittria met Leutha in the place where she was hidden.
And threw aside her arrows, and laid down her sounding Bow;
She sooth'd her with soft words & brought her to Palamabrons bed
In moments new created for delusion, interwoven round about,
In dreams she bore the shadowy Spectre of Sleep, & namd him Death.     
In dreams she bore Rahab the mother of Tirzah & her sisters
In Lambeths vales; in Cambridge & in Oxford, places of Thought
Intricate labyrinths of Times and Spaces unknown, that Leutha lived
In Palamabrons Tent, and Oothoon was her charming guard."

Jerusalem, Plate 13, (E 157)
"The Vegetative Universe, opens like a flower from the Earths center:
In which is Eternity. It expands in Stars to the Mundane Shell   
And there it meets Eternity again, both within and without,
And the abstract Voids between the Stars are the Satanic Wheels.

There is the Cave; the Rock; the Tree; the Lake of Udan Adan;
The Forest, and the Marsh, and the Pits of bitumen deadly:
The Rocks of solid fire: the Ice valleys: the Plains             
Of burning sand: the rivers, cataract & Lakes of Fire:
The Islands of the fiery Lakes: the Trees of Malice: Revenge:
And black Anxiety; and the Cities of the Salamandrine men:
(But whatever is visible to the Generated Man,
Is a Creation of mercy & love, from the Satanic Void.)           
The land of darkness flamed but no light, & no repose:
The land of snows of trembling, & of iron hail incessant:
The land of earthquakes: and the land of woven labyrinths:
The land of snares & traps & wheels & pit-falls & dire mills:
The Voids, the Solids, & the land of clouds & regions of waters:
With their inhabitants: in the Twenty-seven Heavens beneath Beulah:
Self-righteousnesses conglomerating against the Divine Vision:
A Concave Earth wondrous, Chasmal, Abyssal, Incoherent!
Forming the Mundane Shell: above; beneath: on all sides surrounding
Golgonooza: Los walks round the walls night and day."             

Jerusalem, Plate 66, (E 218)
"In awful pomp & gold, in all the precious unhewn stones of Eden
They build a stupendous Building on the Plain of Salisbury; with chains
Of rocks round London Stone: of Reasonings: of unhewn Demonstrations
In labyrinthine arches. (Mighty Urizen the Architect.) thro which
The Heavens might revolve & Eternity be bound in their chain.
Labour unparallelld! a wondrous rocky World of cruel destiny
Rocks piled on rocks reaching the stars: stretching from pole to pole.
The Building is Natural Religion & its Altars Natural Morality
A building of eternal death: whose proportions are eternal despair
Here Vala stood turning the iron Spindle of destruction          
From heaven to earth: howling! invisible! but not invisible
Her Two Covering Cherubs afterwards named Voltaire & Rousseau:
Two frowning Rocks: on each side of the Cove & Stone of Torture"

Jerusalem, Plate 86, (E 246)
Silent they wanderd hand in hand like two Infants wandring
From Enion in the desarts, terrified at each others beauty
Envying each other yet desiring, in all devouring Love,
Plate 87
Repelling weeping Enion blind & age-bent into the fourfold
Desarts. Los first broke silence & began to utter his love

O lovely Enitharmon: I behold thy graceful forms
Moving beside me till intoxicated with the woven labyrinth
Of beauty & perfection my wild fibres shoot in veins         
Of blood thro all my nervous limbs. soon overgrown in roots
I shall be closed from thy sight. sieze therefore in thy hand
The small fibres as they shoot around me draw out in pity
And let them run on the winds of thy bosom: I will fix them
With pulsations. we will divide them into Sons & Daughters   
To live in thy Bosoms translucence as in an eternal morning

Enitharmon answerd. No! I will sieze thy Fibres & weave
Them: not as thou wilt but as I will, for I will Create
A round Womb beneath my bosom lest I also be overwoven
With Love; be thou assured I never will be thy slave          
Let Mans delight be Love; but Womans delight be Pride
In Eden our loves were the same here they are opposite"

Four Zoas, Night I, Page 3,(E 301)
"Begin with Tharmas Parent power. darkning in the West

Lost! Lost! Lost! are my Emanations      Enion O Enion    
We are become a Victim to the Living We hide in secret    
I have hidden Jerusalem in Silent Contrition    O Pity Me
I will build thee a Labyrinth also O pity me    O Enion  
Why hast thou taken sweet Jerusalem from my inmost Soul  
Let her Lay secret in the Soft recess of darkness & silence
It is not Love I bear to [Jerusalem] It is Pity          
She hath taken refuge in my bosom & I cannot cast her out.

The Men have recieved their death wounds & their Emanations are fled 
To me for refuge & I cannot turn them out for Pitys sake"

Four Zoas, Night II, Page 26, (E 317)
"Hear ye the voice of Luvah from the furnaces of Urizen

If I indeed am Valas King & ye O sons of Men            
The workmanship of Luvahs hands; in times of Everlasting
When I calld forth the Earth-worm from the cold & dark obscure
I nurturd her I fed her with my rains & dews, she grew
A scaled Serpent, yet I fed her tho' she hated me
Day after day she fed upon the mountains in Luvahs sight         
I brought her thro' the Wilderness, a dry & thirsty land
And I commanded springs to rise for her in the black desart
Till she became a Dragon winged bright & poisonous      
I opend all the floodgates of the heavens to quench her thirst
Page 27 
And I commanded the Great deep to hide her in his hand
Till she became a little weeping Infant a span long
I carried her in my bosom as a man carries a lamb
I loved her I gave her all my soul & my delight
I hid her in soft gardens & in secret bowers of Summer           
Weaving mazes of delight along the sunny Paradise
Inextricable labyrinths, She bore me sons & daughters
And they have taken her away & hid her from my sight"

Four Zoas, Night V, Page 61, (E 341) 
"The hammer of Urthona smote the rivets in terror. of brass
Tenfold. the Demons rage flamd tenfold forth rending
Roaring redounding. Loud Loud Louder & Louder & fird
The darkness warring With the waves of Tharmas & Snows of Urizen
Crackling the flames went up with fury from the immortal demon   
Surrounded with flames the Demon grew loud howling in his fires
Los folded Enitharmon in a cold white cloud in fear
Then led her down into the deeps & into his labyrinth
Giving the Spectre sternest charge over the howling fiend

Concenterd into Love of Parent Storgous Appetite Craving         
His limbs bound down mock at his chains for over them a flame
Of circling fire unceasing plays to feed them with life & bring
The virtues of the Eternal worlds ten thousand thousand spirits
Of life lament around the Demon going forth & returning   
At his enormous call they flee into the heavens of heavens       
And back return with wine & food. Or dive into the deeps
To bring the thrilling joys of sense to quell his ceaseless rage
His eyes the lights of his large soul contract or else expand
Contracted they behold the secrets of the infinite mountains
The veins of gold & silver & the hidden things of Vala          
Whatever grows from its pure bud or breathes a fragrant soul
Expanded they behold the terrors of the Sun & Moon
The Elemental Planets & the orbs of eccentric fire" 

Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 78, (E 353)
"For Urizen fixd in Envy sat brooding & coverd with snow
His book of iron on his knees he tracd the dreadful letters
While his snows fell & his storms beat to cool the flames of Orc
Age after Age till underneath his heel a deadly root
Struck thro the rock the root of Mystery accursed shooting up   
Branches into the heaven of Los they pipe formd bending down
Take root again whereever they touch again branching forth
In intricate labyrinths oerspreading many a grizly deep

Amazd started Urizen when he found himself compassd round
And high roofed over with trees. he arose but the stems          
Stood so thick he with difficulty & great pain brought
His books out of the dismal shade. all but the book of iron
Again he took his seat & rangd his Books around            
On a rock of iron frowning over the foaming fires of Orc"

Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 84,(E 359)
"Listen O vision of Delight One dread morn of goary blood
The manhood was divided for the gentle passions making way   
Thro the infinite labyrinths of the heart & thro the nostrils issuing
In odorous stupefaction stood before the Eyes of Man   
A female bright. I stood beside my anvil dark a mass
Of iron glowd bright prepard for spades & plowshares. sudden down
I sunk with cries of blood issuing downward in the veins
Which now my rivers were become rolling in tubelike forms    
Shut up within themselves descending down I sunk along,   
The goary tide even to the place of seed & there dividing
I was divided in darkness & oblivion thou an infant woe
And I an infant terror in the womb of Enion
My masculine spirit scorning the frail body issud forth
From Enions brain In this deformed form leaving thee there   
Till times passd over thee but still my spirit returning hoverd 
And formd a Male to be a counterpart to thee O Love
Darkend & Lost In due time issuing forth from Enions womb
Thou & that demon Los wert born Ah jealousy & woe               
Ah poor divided dark Urthona now a Spectre wandering    
The deeps of Los the Slave of that Creation I created"

Four Zoas, Night VII, Page 95 [87] (SECOND PORTION), (E 367)
"Then took the tree of Mystery root in the World of Los
Its topmost boughs shooting a fibre beneath Enitharmons couch   
The double rooted Labyrinth soon wavd around their heads  

But then the Spectre enterd Los's bosom Every sigh & groan
Of Enitharmon bore Urthonas Spectre on its wings
Obdurate Los felt Pity Enitharmon told the tale
Of Urthona. Los embracd the Spectre first as a brother
Then as another Self; astonishd humanizing & in tears    
In Self abasement Giving up his Domineering lust

Four Zoas, Night VIII, Page 99, (E 372)
"For nothing could restrain the dead in Beulah from descending
Unto Ulros night tempted by the Shadowy females sweet    
Delusive cruelty they descend away from the Daughters of Beulah
And Enter Urizens temple Enitharmon pitying & her heart
Gates broken down. they descend thro the Gate of Pity
The broken heart Gate of Enitharmon She sighs them forth upon the wind                                                   t
Of Golgonooza Los stood recieving them                          
For Los could enter into Enitharmons bosom & explore
Its intricate Labyrinths now the Obdurate heart was broken"

Mental Traveller, (485)
"Like the wild Stag she flees away
Her fear plants many a thicket wild
While he pursues her night & day
By various arts of Love beguild    

By various arts of Love & Hate
Till the wide desart planted oer
With Labyrinths of wayward Love
Where roams the Lion Wolf & Boar        

Till he becomes a wayward Babe          
And she a weeping Woman Old             
Then many a Lover wanders here          
The Sun & Stars are nearer rolld"

Vision of Last Judgment,(E 562)
"The Temple stands on the Mount of God from it flows on each
side the River of Life on whose banks Grows the tree of Life
among whose branches temples & Pinnacles tents & pavilions
Gardens & Groves Display Paradise with its Inhabitants walking up
& down in Conversations concerning Mental Delights 
   Here they are no longer talking of what is Good &
Evil or of what is Right or Wrong & puzzling themselves in Satans
[Maze] Labyrinth But are Conversing with Eternal
Realities as they Exist in the Human Imagination   We are in a
World of Generation & death & this world we must cast off"

Songs of Experience, SONG 54, (E 31)
"The Voice of the Ancient Bard
    
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,

How many have fallen there!
They stumble all night over bones of the dead,
And feel they know not what but care
And wish to lead others, when they should be led."

Milton, Plate 2, (E 96)
"Say first! what mov'd Milton, who walkd about in Eternity
One hundred years, pondring the intricate mazes of Providence
Unhappy tho in heav'n, he obey'd, he murmur'd not. he was silent
Viewing his Sixfold Emanation scatter'd thro' the deep
In torment! To go into the deep her to redeem & himself perish?"
Here is a short psychological interpretation of meaning that can be found in the myth of the Labyrinth and Minotaur. Notice that 'the center' has lost the negative connotation of the threat and danger of encountering the Minotaur in Greek mythology. In Blake a positive outcome resulted from encounters with dark forces because what had been rejected as the Selfhood was brought into a larger experience of the total psyche.

Stephen A. Diamond, Ph.D.:

"What is the psychospiritual significance of the mythical labyrinth? The labyrinth can be seen as an archetypal symbol of the psyche and of what C.G. Jung called the individuation process: that twisty, unpredictable, tortuous, serpentine path toward wholeness and authenticity. The goal is to reach the center, the Self, the core of our being. But this is only half the journey. For having discovered the inner center with it's treasure, the "pearl of great price," is not sufficient: One must then find a way out of the labyrinth and back to the outer world--forever transformed by this experience. And this inward and outward expedition is repeated over and over, each time yielding new riches. But there are real dangers lying in the labyrinth that can block the way--or worse. Psychosis, major depression, and other severely debilitating mental disorders can be likened to hopelessly losing one's way in the horrifying, hellish underworld of the labyrinth."

Another Answer.

Friday, August 03, 2018

VEHICULAR FORM



Yale Center for British Art
Jerusalem
Plate 73



Perhaps we can get a better grasp of Urthona and Los by reading of the Greek god Hephaestus in The Eternal Drama; The Inner Meaning of Greek Mythology by Edward F Edinger. You will notice both similarities and differences in the two beings who left heaven to become blacksmiths on earth. Edinger was speaking as a Jungian analyst and as a student of Greek mythology, without reference to Blake's poetry. Blake, of course, had absorbed quantities of mythology - Greek, Norse - Hindu - native American - before his own original mythopoeic poetry took form.
 
The Eternal Drams:The Inner Meaning of Greek Mythology, Page 34-36:
"Hephaestus, the blacksmith of the gods, was the master of fire and its operations - a metallurgist, a craftsman. He was the son of a single parent, as was Athena, and he was rejected at birth by his mother, Hera, because of his ugliness and lameness, and was thrown out of heaven, down to earth.
...
Hephaestus if the only god who has a major relation to earth which became his realm, and he thus signifies the divine power that has descended to earth and become connected with earthly reality...Hephaestus is a worker in concrete reality, since he is earthbound, and stands for the archetypal factor which operates within the personal and concrete. He is the inventor of useful, cunning and beautiful devices, and a creative artist.
...
Hephaestus represents creativity that develops out of defect or out of need; he is the only manifestation of imperfection in this whole Olympian realm of perfect beings. This makes him particularly precious, at least to man, since it gives him a partner in the divine realm, a partner related to creativity. Psychologically this indicates that an archetypal power has entered into personal reality and has brought the creative principle to the earthly realm. It suggests that creativity is born out of defectiveness or inadequacy that requires extraordinary effort as a consequence...Although he was married to Aphrodite, she had a love affair with Ares, so Hephaestus is the archetypal cuckold.
...
As we look over the masculine side of the Pantheon, setting aside Zeus and his brothers, we can see Apollo, Hermes, Ares, and Hephaestus as the four principles of masculine psychological functioning."
 
In this passage we learn that Urthona leaned on Tharmas as a consequence of his fall, recalling Hephaestus' ejection from heaven and his lameness.
Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 137, (E 405)
"The Eternal Man darkend with Sorrow & a wintry mantle   
Coverd the Hills   He said O Tharmas rise & O Urthona

Then Tharmas & Urthona rose from the Golden feast satiated
With Mirth & joy Urthona limping from his fall on Tharmas leand
In his right hand his hammer Tharmas held his Shepherds crook
Beset with gold gold were the ornaments formed by the sons of Urizen 
Then Enion & Ahania & Vala & the wife of Dark Urthona
Rose from the feast in joy ascending to their Golden Looms
There the wingd shuttle Sang the spindle & the distaff & the Reel
Rang sweet the praise of industry. Thro all the golden rooms
Heaven rang with winged Exultation" 
We learn from Wikipedia of some of Hephaestus' craftsmanship and the distinctly essential role he played among the gods:
"Hephaestus made all the weapons of the gods in Olympus. Hephaestus had his own palace on Olympus, containing his workshop with anvil and twenty bellows that worked at his bidding. Hephaestus crafted much of the magnificent equipment of the gods, and almost any finely wrought metalwork imbued with powers that appears in Greek myth is said to have been forged by Hephaestus. He designed Hermes' winged helmet and sandals, the Aegis breastplate, Aphrodite's famed girdle, Agamemnon's staff of office, Achilles' armor, Heracles' bronze clappers, Helios's chariot, the shoulder of Pelops, and Eros's bow and arrows."  

Los too forged weapons of war in the hope that they may be beaten into plowshares as was Isaiah's hope.
 
Isaiah 2
[4] And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 

Jerusalem Plate 8, (E 151)
"Hand has absorbd all his Brethren in his might
All the infant Loves & Graces were lost, for the mighty Hand
Plate 9
Condens'd his Emanations into hard opake substances;
And his infant thoughts & desires, into cold, dark, cliffs of death.
His hammer of gold he siezd; and his anvil of adamant.
He siez'd the bars of condens'd thoughts, to forge them:
Into the sword of war: into the bow and arrow:                   
Into the thundering cannon and into the murdering gun

I saw the limbs form'd for exercise, contemn'd: & the beauty of
Eternity, look'd upon as deformity & loveliness as a dry tree:
I saw disease forming a Body of Death around the Lamb
Of God, to destroy Jerusalem, & to devour the body of Albion     
By war and stratagem to win the labour of the husbandman:
Awkwardness arm'd in steel: folly in a helmet of gold:
Weakness with horns & talons: ignorance with a rav'ning beak!
Every Emanative joy forbidden as a Crime:
And the Emanations buried alive in the earth with pomp of religion:          
Inspiration deny'd; Genius forbidden by laws of punishment:
I saw terrified; I took the sighs & tears, & bitter groans:
I lifted them into my Furnaces; to form the spiritual sword.
That lays open the hidden heart: I drew forth the pang
Of sorrow red hot: I workd it on my resolute anvil:              
I heated it in the flames of Hand, & Hyle, & Coban
Nine times; Gwendolen & Cambel & Gwineverra
Are melted into the gold, the silver, the liquid ruby,
The crysolite, the topaz, the jacinth, & every precious stone,
Loud roar my Furnaces and loud my hammer is heard:               
I labour day and night, I behold the soft affections
Condense beneath my hammer into forms of cruelty
But still I labour in hope, tho' still my tears flow down.
That he who will not defend Truth, may be compelld to defend
A Lie: that he may be snared and caught and snared and taken     
That Enthusiasm and Life may not cease: arise Spectre arise!

Thus they contended among the Furnaces with groans & tears;
Groaning the Spectre heavd the bellows, obeying Los's frowns;
Till the Spaces of Erin were perfected in the furnaces
Of affliction, and Los drew them forth, compelling the harsh Spectre.         
Plate 10                          
Into the Furnaces & into the valleys of the Anvils of Death
And into the mountains of the Anvils & of the heavy Hammers
Till he should bring the Sons & Daughters of Jerusalem to be
The Sons & Daughters of Los that he might protect them from
Albions dread Spectres; storming, loud, thunderous & mighty      
The Bellows & the Hammers move compell'd by Los's hand." 
In these passages Los is called the Vehicular Form of Urthona or the Vehicular Terror. He engages in building Golgonooza which when viewed externally is a city but when seen within is the operation of the bodily functions. 
Milton, Plate 17 [19], (E 110)
"It is a cavernous Earth 
Of labyrinthine intricacy, twenty-seven folds of opakeness
And finishes where the lark mounts; here Milton journeyed
In that Region calld Midian among the Rocks of Horeb
For travellers from Eternity. pass outward to Satans seat,
But travellers to Eternity. pass inward to Golgonooza.           

Los the Vehicular terror beheld him, & divine Enitharmon
Call'd all her daughters, Saying. Surely to unloose my bond
Is this Man come! Satan shall be unloosd upon Albion
Los heard in terror Enitharmons words: in fibrous strength
His limbs shot forth like roots of trees against the forward path
Of Miltons journey. Urizen beheld the immortal Man,
Plate 18 [20]                               
And Tharmas Demon of the Waters, & Orc, who is Luvah"      

Jerusalem, Plate 53, (E 202)
"But Los, who is the Vehicular Form of strong Urthona
Wept vehemently over Albion where Thames currents spring
From the rivers of Beulah; pleasant river! soft, mild, parent stream
And the roots of Albions Tree enterd the Soul of Los
As he sat before his Furnaces clothed in sackcloth of hair       
In gnawing pain dividing him from his Emanation;
Inclosing all the Children of Los time after time.
Their Giant forms condensing into Nations & Peoples & Tongues 
Translucent the Furnaces, of Beryll & Emerald immortal:
And Seven-fold each within other: incomprehensible               
To the Vegetated Mortal Eye's perverted & single vision
The Bellows are the Animal Lungs. the hammers, the Animal Heart
The Furnaces, the Stomach for Digestion; terrible their fury
Like seven burning heavens rang'd from South to North
Here on the banks of the Thames, Los builded Golgonooza,   
Outside of the Gates of the Human Heart, beneath Beulah
In the midst of the rocks of the Altars of Albion."

Milton, Plate 24 [26], (120)
"So Los spoke. Furious they descended to Bowlahoola & Allamanda
Indignant. unconvincd by Los's arguments & thun[d]ers rolling    
They saw that wrath now swayd and now pity absorbd him
As it was, so it remaind & no hope of an end.

Bowlahoola is namd Law. by mortals, Tharmas founded it:
Because of Satan, before Luban in the City of Golgonooza.
But Golgonooza is namd Art & Manufacture by mortal men.          

In Bowlahoola Los's Anvils stand & his Furnaces rage;
Thundering the Hammers beat & the Bellows blow loud
Living self moving mourning lamenting & howling incessantly
Bowlahoola thro all its porches feels tho' too fast founded
Its pillars & porticoes to tremble at the force                  

Of mortal or immortal arm: and softly lilling flutes
Accordant with the horrid labours make sweet melody
The Bellows are the Animal Lungs: the hammers the Animal Heart
The Furnaces the Stomach for digestion. terrible their fury"