Gates of Paradise
"Rebirth is not a process that we can in any way observe. We can neither measure, weigh or photograph it. It is entirely beyond sense perception. We have to do here with a purely psychic reality.
Rebirth is an affirmation that must be counted among the primordial affirmations of mankind...There must be psychic events underlying these affirmations which it is the business of psychology to discuss...Two main groups of experience may be distinguished: that of the transcendence of life, and that of one's own transformation."
Blake did not use the term rebirth for the transformation of consciousness he advocated. He preferred to write of 'annihilation of the selfhood' or 'awaking' or 'regeneration' as his metaphors for the renovation of perception which transforms the individual. Images of rebirth permeate Blake's writing and although he seldom used the terminology of traditional religion, the transformation he sought was synonymous with that sought by Jesus as he taught and demonstrated in his ministry.
The alteration of the mind of man may come as sudden insight, but the actual transformation is the process which begins with preparation and continues with restructuring relationships and patterns of behavior. Blake wrote of fundamental activities taking place deep within that oriented man to be ready to grasp the truth which was offered when he was ready to receive. Blake saw the position in which man found himself, however dreadful, as opportunity to invite the transforming power to enter and renovate every moment - past, present and future - because it is recognized as Eternal.
Milton, Plate 35 , (E 136) "There is a Moment in each Day that Satan cannot find Nor can his Watch Fiends find it, but the Industrious find This Moment & it multiply. & when it once is found It renovates every Moment of the Day if rightly placed. In this Moment Ololon descended to Los & Enitharmon Unseen beyond the Mundane Shell Southward in Miltons track"
Four Zoas, Night I, Page 3, (E 301) "His fall into Division & his Resurrection to Unity His fall into the Generation of Decay & Death & his Regeneration by the Resurrection from the dead"
Four Zoas, Night IV, Page 55, (E 338) "And first he found the Limit of Opacity & namd it Satan In Albions bosom for in every human bosom these limits stand And next he found the Limit of Contraction & namd it Adam While yet those beings were not born nor knew of good or Evil Then wondrously the Starry Wheels felt the divine hand. Limit Was put to Eternal Death Los felt the Limit & saw The Finger of God touch the Seventh furnace in terror And Los beheld the hand of God over his furnaces Beneath the Deeps in dismal Darkness beneath immensity PAGE 55 (SECOND PORTION) In terrors Los shrunk from his task. his great hammer Fell from his hand his fires hid their strong limbs in smoke For with noises ruinous hurtlings & clashings & groans The immortal endur'd. tho bound in a deadly sleep Pale terror siezd the Eyes of Los as he beat round The hurtling Demon. terrifid at the shapes Enslavd humanity put on he became what he beheld He became what he was doing he was himself transformd" Jerusalem, Plate 39 , (E 186) "From Hyde Park spread their vegetating roots beneath Albion In dreadful pain the Spectrous Uncircumcised Vegetation Forming a Sexual Machine: an Aged Virgin Form, In Erins Land toward the north, joint after joint & burning In love & jealousy immingled & calling it Religion And feeling the damps of death they with one accord delegated Los Conjuring him by the Highest that he should Watch over them Till Jesus shall appear: & they gave their power to Los Naming him the Spirit of Prophecy, calling him Elijah" Milton, Plate 25 , (E 122) "The Awakener is come. outstretchd over Europe! the Vision of God is fulfilled The Ancient Man upon the Rock of Albion Awakes, He listens to the sounds of War astonishd & ashamed; He sees his Children mock at Faith and deny Providence Therefore you must bind the Sheaves not by Nations or Families You shall bind them in Three Classes; according to their Classes So shall you bind them. Separating What has been Mixed Since Men began to be Wove into Nations by Rahab & Tirzah Since Albions Death & Satans Cutting-off from our awful Fields; When under pretence to benevolence the Elect Subdud All From the Foundation of the World." Jerusalem, Plate 94, (E 254) "Time was Finished! The Breath Divine Breathed over Albion Beneath the Furnaces & starry Wheels and in the Immortal Tomb And England who is Brittannia awoke from Death on Albions bosom She awoke pale & cold she fainted seven times on the Body of Albion" Songs of Innocence and 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." Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 132, (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." Jerusalem, Plate 7, (E 150) "O that I could abstain from wrath! O that the Lamb Of God would look upon me and pity me in my fury. In anguish of regeneration! in terrors of self annihilation: Pity must join together those whom wrath has torn in sunder, And the Religion of Generation which was meant for the destruction Of Jerusalem, become her covering, till the time of the End. O holy Generation! [Image] of regeneration! O point of mutual forgiveness between Enemies! Birthplace of the Lamb of God incomprehensible!" Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 137, (E 405) "Then Los who is Urthona rose in all his regenerate power"