Sunday, January 20, 2019


Wikipedia Commons Jerusalem Plate 84

In Four Archetypes, Carl Jung provides some of his insights into his understanding of the operation of opposite polarities in psycho dynamics. Blake and Jung were both exploring the inner realities for which we use the term psyche. For this reason they tended to use a common terminology but with either glaring or subtle differences. Neither expected to be able to describe the workings of the psyche in rational terms.
Blake might agree with Jung's statement on page 150 of Four Archetypes:
"The concepts of complex Psychology are, in essence, not intellectual formulations but names for certain areas of experience, and though they can be described they remain dead and irrepresentable to anyone who has not experienced them."

On page 40 Jung speaks of the origin of 'paired opposites' as a result of getting in touch with the 'secret fear' hidden in the unconscious. He associates the process with an experience of resolution which is so personal that words cannot capture it.
Page 40
"one identifies whenever there is a secret fear to be exorcised. What is feared is the unconscious and its magical influence. ...It is a psychological fact that a soon as we touch on these identifications we enter the realm of the syzgies, the paired opposites, where the One is never separated from the Other, its antithesis. It is field of personal experience which leads directly to the experience of individuation, the attainment of the self...This realm is so entirely one of immediate experience that it cannot be captured by any formula, but can only be hinted at to one who already knows."
Jung states that the fundamental organization of the psyche is based on polarity. Opposites form the poles in the energy system which drives the psyche. We cannot say anything about the psyche other than what the psyche is saying about itself. What we learn from the psyche is true even if to the reason it contradicts itself.
Page 149
 "The conflict between the two dimensions of consciousness is simply an expression of the polaristic structure of the psyche, which like any other energy system is dependent on the tension of opposites. That is why there is no general psychological propositions which could not just as well be reversed: indeed reversibility proves their validity. We should remember that in any psychological discussion we are not saying anything about the psyche, but the psyche is speaking about itself."
We are familiar with Blake's contrary states as characteristic of the level of existence called Beulah which is basically the domain of Luvah and Vala. Damon tell us that it is "the realm of the Subconscious ... the source of poetic inspiration and dreams."
These passages from Blake indicate the fundamental position which he perceived to indicate the work of contraries. Like Jung he thinks that working out the relationships between contraries is necessary in order to understand the dynamics of the human psyche. The work goes on in the depths of the mind as well as in the place where life is experienced externally. 'Love Pity and Sweet Compassion' form the milieu in which the reconciliation of contraries is accomplished. The contraries must be brought together in order that additional battles within the psyche can be undertaken and resolved. Beulah is provided as a protected place of repose until the Soul awakes to further realizations.
Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 3, (E 34)
"Without Contraries is no progression.  Attraction and
Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to
Human existence.
  From these contraries spring what the religious call Good &
Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason[.] Evil is the active 
springing from Energy.
  Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell."
Milton, Plate 30 [33], (E 129)  
"There is a place where Contrarieties are equally True
This place is called Beulah, It is a pleasant lovely Shadow
Where no dispute can come. Because of those who Sleep.
Into this place the Sons & Daughters of Ololon descended
With solemn mourning into Beulahs moony shades & hills           
Weeping for Milton: mute wonder held the Daughters of Beulah
Enrapturd with affection sweet and mild benevolence

Beulah is evermore Created around Eternity; appearing
To the Inhabitants of Eden, around them on all sides.
But Beulah to its Inhabitants appears within each district       
As the beloved infant in his mothers bosom round incircled
With arms of love & pity & sweet compassion. But to
The Sons of Eden the moony habitations of Beulah,
Are from Great Eternity a mild & pleasant Rest."

Milton, Plate 48, (E 196)
"Eternity groan'd. & was troubled, at the image of Eternal Death!

Beneath the bottoms of the Graves, which is Earths central joint,
There is a place where Contrarieties are equally true:
(To protect from the Giant blows in the sports of intellect,     
Thunder in the midst of kindness, & love that kills its beloved:
Because Death is for a period, and they renew tenfold.)
From this sweet Place Maternal Love awoke Jerusalem 
With pangs she forsook Beulah's pleasant lovely shadowy Universe
Where no dispute can come; created for those who Sleep."  

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