Monday, January 06, 2020


Blake used Six Thousand years to represent the Time that had elapsed since creation. Before creation there was no time, only Eternity. The six thousand year period as it relates to Eternity is a moment where there is the appearance of occurrences outside of Eternity. In Time 'all things vanish and are seen no more.' In Eternity the productions of Time leave 'lineaments permanent for ever & ever.'  

To Blake inspiration occurs at the intersection between Time and Eternity. The moment of inspiration seems to have no duration because it moves outside of Time and within Eternity. We may create the image of an exchange between Time and Eternity at these pregnant points which allows a flow in either or both directions. We may invite Eternity into the Time through which we are flowing, or we may exit Time and leave behind its restraints to enjoy the expanded perception of Eternity. 

Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 7, (E 35) 
"Eternity is in love with the productions of time." 

Milton, PLATE 22 [24], (E 117)
"I am that Shadowy Prophet who Six Thousand Years ago    
Fell from my station in the Eternal bosom. Six Thousand Years
Are finishd. I return! both Time & Space obey my will.
I in Six Thousand Years walk up and down: for not one Moment
Of Time is lost, nor one Event of Space unpermanent
But all remain: every fabric of Six Thousand Years               
Remains permanent: tho' on the Earth where Satan
Fell, and was cut off all things vanish & are seen no more
They vanish not from me & mine, we guard them first & last
The generations of men run on in the tide of Time
But leave their destind lineaments permanent for ever & ever.    

So spoke Los as we went along to his supreme abode."

Milton, PLATE 28 [30],(E 126)
"And every Moment has a Couch of gold for soft repose,
(A Moment equals a pulsation of the artery) 
And between every two Moments stands a Daughter of Beulah
To feed the Sleepers on their Couches with maternal care."

Milton, Plate 28 [30], (E 127)
"Every Time less than a pulsation of the artery
Is equal in its period & value to Six Thousand Years.
PLATE 29 [31]
For in this Period the Poets Work is Done: and all the Great
Events of Time start forth & are concievd in such a Period
Within a Moment: a Pulsation of the Artery."

Milton, PLATE 35 [39], (E 139) 
"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

Just in this Moment when the morning odours rise abroad
And first from the Wild Thyme, stands a Fountain in a rock
Of crystal flowing into two Streams, one flows thro Golgonooza   

And thro Beulah to Eden beneath Los's western Wall
The other flows thro the Aerial Void & all the Churches
Meeting again in Golgonooza beyond Satans Seat

The Wild Thyme is Los's Messenger to Eden, a mighty Demon" 
In Jerusalem we read of an opposite flow in which Eternity enters Time. We get in this passage a sense of the cost incurred when a occupant of Eternity endures the separation of entering the time/space continuum.
Jerusalem, Plate 48, (E 197)
"And this the manner of the terrible Separation
The Emanations of the grievously afflicted Friends of Albion
Concenter in one Female form an Aged pensive Woman.
Astonish'd! lovely! embracing the sublime shade: the Daughters of Beulah
Beheld her with wonder! With awful hands she took                
A Moment of Time, drawing it out with many tears & afflictions
And many sorrows: oblique across the Atlantic Vale
Which is the Vale of Rephaim dreadful from East to West,
Where the Human Harvest waves abundant in the beams of Eden
Into a Rainbow of jewels and gold, a mild Reflection from        
Albions dread Tomb. Eight thousand and five hundred years
In its extension. Every two hundred years has a door to Eden
She also took an Atom of Space, with dire pain opening it a Center
Into Beulah: trembling the Daughters of Beulah dried
Her tears. she ardent embrac'd her sorrows. occupied in labours  
Of sublime mercy in Rephaims Vale. Perusing Albions Tomb
She sat: she walk'd among the ornaments solemn mourning.
The Daughters attended her shudderings, wiping the death sweat
Los also saw her in his seventh Furnace, he also terrified
Saw the finger of God go forth upon his seventh Furnace:         
Away from the Starry Wheels to prepare Jerusalem a place.
When with a dreadful groan the Emanation mild of Albion.
Burst from his bosom in the Tomb like a pale snowy cloud,
Female and lovely, struggling to put off the Human form
Writhing in pain. The Daughters of Beulah in kind arms reciev'd  
Jerusalem: weeping over her among the Spaces of Erin,
In the Ends of Beulah, where the Dead wail night & day.

And thus Erin spoke to the Daughters of Beulah, in soft tears" 
In the image we see Los, representing time, as he crosses the boundary between Time and Eternity. He faces the expanse of the bright unknown carrying with him the illumination, the spiritual sun, which enlightened his sojourn in Time. Left behind are the moon (Luvah) which reflects what light it receives, and the star which sheds the dim light of fallen intellect (Urizen). 

Yale Center for British Art
Plate 97

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