Thursday, May 30, 2019


Wikipedia Commons
Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Plate 16
Marriage of Heaven & Hell, PLATE 16, (E 40)
   "The Giants who formed this world into its sensual existence
and  now seem to live in it in chains; are in truth. the causes
of its life & the sources of all activity, but the chains are,
the cunning of weak  and tame minds. which have power to resist
energy. according to the proverb, the weak in courage is strong
in cunning.
   Thus one portion of being, is the Prolific. the other, the
Devouring:  to the devourer it seems as if the producer was in
his chains, but it is not so, he only takes portions of existence
and fancies that the whole.
   But the Prolific would cease to be Prolific unless the
Devourer as a sea recieved the excess of his delights.
   Some will say, Is not God alone the Prolific? I answer, God
only   Acts & Is, in existing beings or Men.
   These two classes of men are always upon earth, & they should
be enemies; whoever tries [PL 17] to reconcile them seeks to
destroy existence.   
   Religion is an endeavour to reconcile the two.
   Note.  Jesus Christ did not wish to unite but to seperate
them, as in  the Parable of sheep and goats! & he says I came not
to send Peace  but a Sword.
   Messiah or Satan or Tempter was formerly thought to be one of
the  Antediluvians who are our Energies."

Annotations to Reynolds, (E 656)
"Reynolds: The mind is but a barren soil; a soil which is soon
exhausted, and will produce no crop, . . . 
Blake:The Mind that could have produced this Sentence must have
been Pitiful a Pitiable Imbecillity.  I always thought that the
Human Mind was the most Prolific of All Things & Inexhaustible  I
certainly do Thank God that I am not like Reynolds" 

June Singer, in The Unholy Bible, made this statement:
"What Blake seems to be saying here is that with the development of ego consciousness, a sense of identity as 'I,' man takes the place of the giant. Man differs from the giant in that the prolific and devouring aspects in man are separated, whereas in the giant they were combined as two portions of one being. The two aspects are expressed, according to Blake's thinking, in two types of men, in whom either one or the other of these aspects predominates." (Page 141)

Singer saw the Prolific as the poet, and the Devourer as the conventional or reasonable man. In the New Testament book of Matthew we see a division between two irreconcilable beings. There is final resolution in which the sheep are divided from the goats. It is the sheep who inherit and receive the Father's blessing while the goats are cast out. 

Matthew 25
[31] When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
[32] And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
[33] And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
[34] Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

[41] Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Singer observed that Blake was involved in a lifelong struggle taking place in himself between his 'freely flowing energies' which welled up from his imagination, and the 'binding restraints' required by society. Singer asks us to consider if Blake may have done well to resolve these two sides of himself in order to make his productive side more acceptable to conventional norms. Apparently Blake found that a compromise he was unwilling to make.

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