Wednesday, February 21, 2018

DINNER PARTY

Wikimedia Commons
Self Portrait
1802

There seem to be no other first hand accounts of William Blake being in the company of society members and the artistic community than this one by Lady Charlotte Bury. What is impressive to me about this account is Lady Charlotte's ability to recognize in Blake what made him distinctive and worthy of recognition. She knew nothing of Blake before they met at the dinner party and didn't follow his career after their encounter, but she saw that his absence of worldly acumen bespoke of inner radiance, a powerful mind, superior feelings, and beautiful imaginations. 





"Diary illustrative of the times of George the Fourth, interspersed with original letters from the late Queen Caroline, and from various other distinguished persons" 

Bury, Charlotte (Campbell) Lady, 1775-1861
Wikimedia Commons
Notebook, Page 67
Self Portrait

Page 345 -349
"Tuesday, the 20th of January, 1818. I dined at Lady C. L 's [Caroline Lamb]. She had collected a strange party of artists and literati, and one or two fine folks, who were very ill assorted with the rest of the company, and appeared neither to give nor receive pleasure from the society among whom they were mingled. Sir. T. Lawrence, next whom I sat at dinner, is as courtly as ever. His conversation is agreeable, but I never feel as if he was saying 346 what he really thought. He made some reference to the Princess of Wales, and inquired if I had heard lately from her Royal Highness. I replied that I had not; and, to say the truth, I did not feel much induced to talk to him upon the subject ; for I do not think he behaved well to her. After having, at one time of his life, paid her the greatest court, (so much so even as to have given rise to various ill-natured reports at the period of the first secret investigation about the Princess's conduct,) he completely cut her Royal Highness... 

Besides Sir T., there were also present of this profession Mrs. M., the miniature painter, a modest, pleasing person; like the pictures she executes, soft and sweet.Then there was another eccentric little artist, by name Blake; not a regular professional painter, but one of those persons who follow the art for its own sweet sake, and derive their happiness from its pursuit. He appeared to me full of beautiful imaginations and genius; but how far the execution of his designs is equal to the conceptions of his mental vision, I know not, never having seen them. Main d'aeovre is frequently wanting where the mind is most powerful. Mr. Blake appears unlearned in all that concerns this world, and, from what he said, I should fear he was one of those whose feelings are far superior to his situation in life. He looks care-worn and subdued ; but his countenance radiated as be spoke of bis favorite pursuit, and be appeared gratified by talking to a person who comprehended his feelings. I can easily imagine that he seldom meets with any one who, enters into his views ; for they are peculiar, and exalted above the common level of received opinions. I could not help contrasting this humble artist with the great and powerful Sir Thomas Lawrence, and thinking that the one was fully if not more worthy of the distinction and the fame to which the other has attained, but from which he is far removed. Mr. Blake, however, though he may have as much right, from talent and merit, to the advantages of which Sir Thomas is possessed, evidently lacks that worldly wisdom and that grace of manner which make a man gain an eminence in his profession, and succeed in society. Every word he uttered spoke the perfect simplicity of bis mind, and his total ignorance of all worldly matters. He told me that Lady C L had been very kind to him. "Ah !" said be, "there is a deal of kindness in that lady." I agreed with him, and though it was impossible not to laugh at the strange manner in which she had arranged this party, I could not help admiring the goodness of heart and discrimination of talent which had made her patronize this unknown artist. Sir T. Lawrence looked at me several times whilst I was talking with Mr. B., and I saw his lips curl with a sneer, as if he despised me for conversing with so insignificant a person. It was very evident Sir Thomas did not like the company he found himself in, though he was too well-bred and too prudent to hazard a remark upon the subject.
 
The literati were also of various degrees of eminence, beginning with Lord B , and ending with __. The grandees were Lord L , who appreciates talent, and therefore was not so ill assorted with the party as was Mrs. G and Lady C., (who did nothing but yawn the whole evening,) and Mrs. A , who all looked with evident contempt upon the surrounding company. I was much amused by observing this curious assemblage of blues and pinks, and still more so with Lady C L 's remarks, which she whispered every now and then into my ear. Her criticisms were frequently very clever, and many of them very true, but so imprudent, it was difficult to understand how anybody in their senses could hazard such opinions aloud, or relate such stories." 


Miscellaneous Prose, Autograph in Album of William Upcott, (E 698)
     "WILLIAM BLAKE one who is very much delighted with being in
good Company
                                  Born 28 Novr 1757 in London 
                                  & has died several times since
January 16 
  1826
     The above was written & the drawing annexed by the desire of
Mr Leigh how far it is an Autograph is a Question   I do not
think an Artist can write an Autograph especially one who has
Studied in the Florentine & Roman Schools as such an one will
Consider what he is doing   but an Autograph as I understand it, is
Writ helter skelter like a hog upon a rope or a Man who walks
without Considering whether he shall run against a Post or a
House or a Horse or a Man & I am apt to believe that what is done
without meaning is very different from that which a Man Does with
his Thought & Mind & ought not to be Calld by the Same Name.
     I consider the Autograph of Mr Cruikshank which very justly
stands first in the Book & that Beautiful Specimen of Writing by
Mr Comfield & my own; as standing in the same Predicament they
are in some measure Works of Art & not of Nature or Chance
  
     Heaven born the Soul a Heavenward Course must hold 
     For what delights the Sense is False & Weak 
     Beyond the Visible World she soars to Seek 
     Ideal Form, The Universal Mold

 Michael Angelo.  Sonnet as Translated by Mr Wordsworth"
.

Monday, February 19, 2018

WATER & STONE 2


Philadelphia Museum of Art
Moses striking the Rock
Biblical stories of water being provided to satisfy thirst are found in the Old and New Testaments. Blake painted a picture for Thomas Butts to illustrate Chapter 20 in Numbers in which the Israelites pled with Moses to provide water to save them from perishing in the desert.  When Moses struck the rock with his rod rock water gushed forth. The children of Israel had forgotten that they were in the wilderness because they had escaped from slavery in Egypt and were seeking a new home. They regretted that commodities were scarce and turned to Moses for a remedy. Moses presented their complaint to God who instructed Moses to strike the rock in the presence of the people. The rock gushed forth water to supply the needs.

In the esoteric tradition water is frequently a symbol of transition. In order to achieve a higher level of consciousness one must first have an inkling that such an order of development may be possible. Before one is prepared to enter a new life one goes through a process of discarding the remnants of the old life. One must bring his empty bucket to the well in the hope that there will be water and that there will be a way to access it.

Jerusalem, Plate 60, (E 210)
"I gave thee liberty and life O lovely Jerusalem                
And thou hast bound me down upon the Stems of Vegetation
I gave thee Sheep-walks upon the Spanish Mountains Jerusalem
I gave thee Priams City and the Isles of Grecia lovely!
I gave thee Hand & Scofield & the Counties of Albion:
They spread forth like a lovely root into the Garden of God:     
They were as Adam before me: united into One Man,
They stood in innocence & their skiey tent reachd over Asia
To Nimrods Tower to Ham & Canaan walking with Mizraim
Upon the Egyptian Nile, with solemn songs to Grecia
And sweet Hesperia even to Great Chaldea & Tesshina              
Following thee as a Shepherd by the Four Rivers of Eden
Why wilt thou rend thyself apart, Jerusalem?
And build this Babylon & sacrifice in secret Groves,
Among the Gods of Asia: among the fountains of pitch & nitre
Therefore thy Mountains are become barren Jerusalem!             
Thy Valleys, Plains of burning sand. thy Rivers: waters of death
Thy Villages die of the Famine and thy Cities
Beg bread from house to house, lovely Jerusalem
Why wilt thou deface thy beauty & the beauty of thy little-ones
To please thy Idols, in the pretended chastities of Uncircumcision    
Thy Sons are lovelier than Egypt or Assyria; wherefore
Dost thou blacken their beauty by a Secluded place of rest.
And a peculiar Tabernacle, to cut the integuments of beauty
Into veils of tears and sorrows O lovely Jerusalem!
They have perswaded thee to this, therefore their end shall come 
And I will lead thee thro the Wilderness in shadow of my cloud
And in my love I will lead thee, lovely Shadow of Sleeping Albion.

This is the Song of the Lamb, sung by Slaves in evening time."

Numbers 20
[1] Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.
[2] And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.
[3] And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD!
[4] And why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there?
[5] And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.
[6] And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them.
[7] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
[8] Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
[9] And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him.
[10] And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
[11] And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
[12] And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

John 4
[6] Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
[7] There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
[8] (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
[9] Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
[10] Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
[11] The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
[12] Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
[13] Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
[14] But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
[15] The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
...
[24] God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

WATER & STONE

Once years ago when we were visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we discovered that park service folks has constructed a tub mill near a cabin in a cove surrounded by steep slopes. The settlers in what became the park had scratched out meager livings along the creeks traversing the rugged and rocky terrain. Corn had been one of the crops they were able to grow. Although a portion of the harvest went to producing 'white lightning' there was a need also for meal to feed the 'young'uns'.
 

The  park service had reconstructed a simple mill to replicate one an ingenious farmer had built from the supplies at hand so that he could avoid transporting his corn to be ground at a larger commercial mill with a waterwheel.
 

Later park visitors would be prevented form operating the mill but we were lucky enough to find it unsecured but not in operation. The challenge was to figure out how it worked and set the water from the nearby creek running through the sluice and turning the millstone. Although we properly directed the water, the stone, of course, remained immobile until we gave it a push to overcome inertia.
 

We didn't grind any meal that day but I learned first hand the power of water to move stone, and the need to give the reluctant stone a push so that the water could do it's work.

Illustrations to Dante
Drinking at the River of Light
Religious writers and poets have found water and stone to be appropriate images to convey contrary states of consciousness. Since the stone is hard and inflexible it becomes a symbol for the state of mind which is rigid and unyielding. The fluidity of water which takes the shape of the container makes it symbolic of a mind which is malleable and accepting of new ideas and new modes of thinking. The mind that is prepared to receive expressions of truth in whatever form they come is not rigid or static but moving and yielding. The lesson of the water mill is that stone submits to the force that is incorporated in the energetic movement of the water.

Blake uses the water as symbolic of a liberating force. Those imprisoned by the law, convention, sense based reasoning, blindness to the Divine Vision, fear, or any other devise of Satan can be liberated by washing in the cleansing waters of the river of life. Blake's answer to the dilemma of humanity was accepting the message of Christ which released man from the stone-built prison of the law to the liberty of spiritual consciousness. 

Visions of the Daughters of Albion, Plate 3, (E 47)
"Silent I hover all the night, and all day could be silent.
If Theotormon once would turn his loved eyes upon me;            
How can I be defild when I reflect thy image pure?
Sweetest the fruit that the worm feeds on. & the soul prey'd on by woe
The new wash'd lamb ting'd with the village smoke & the bright swan
By the red earth of our immortal river: I bathe my wings.
And I am white and pure to hover round Theotormons breast." 
 
Milton, Plate 40 [46], (E 142)
"The Negation must be destroyd to redeem the Contraries
The Negation is the Spectre; the Reasoning Power in Man
This is a false Body: an Incrustation over my Immortal           
Spirit; a Selfhood, which must be put off & annihilated alway
To cleanse the Face of my Spirit by Self-examination.
PLATE 41 [48]
To bathe in the Waters of Life; to wash off the Not Human
I come in Self-annihilation & the grandeur of Inspiration" 

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 134, (E 402)
"Rise & look out his chains are loose his dungeon doors are open
And let his wife & children return from the opressors scourge
They look behind at every step & believe it is a dream
Are these the Slaves that groand along the streets of Mystery    
Where are your bonds & task masters are these the prisoners
Where are your chains where are your tears why do you look around
If you are thirsty there is the river go bathe your parched limbs
The good of all the Land is before you for Mystery is no more

Then All the Slaves from every Earth in the wide Universe        
Sing a New Song drowning confusion in its happy notes"

Songs and Ballads, From Notebook, (E 473)
"Why should I care for the men of thames
Or the cheating waves of charterd streams
Or shrink at the little blasts of fear
That the hireling blows into my ear

Tho born on the cheating banks of Thames     
Tho his waters bathed my infant limbs
The Ohio shall wash his stains from me                          t
I was born a slave but I go to be free"  

Annotations to Berkley's Siris, (E 663)
    "The Four Senses are the Four Faces of Man & the Four Rivers
of the Water of Life"

Jerusalem, Plate 74, (E 229)
"The Spectre is the Reasoning Power in Man; & when separated      
From Imagination, and closing itself as in steel, in a Ratio
Of the Things of Memory. It thence frames Laws & Moralities
To destroy Imagination! the Divine Body, by Martyrdoms & Wars

Teach me O Holy Spirit the Testimony of Jesus! let me
Comprehend wonderous things out of the Divine Law" 
. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

BLAKE & COWPER

Found on Internet
Engraving by Blake
William Cowper

National Portrait Gallery
Pastel Drawing by Romney
William Cowper

 

























When Blake was spending his three years sojourn in Felpham working along-side William Hayley he was involved in several projects. Hayley was writing a biography of the poet William Cowper who had died in 1800. Blake was recruited to produced engraving to illustrate the three volume book. Cowper, although a successful writer, had suffered from bouts of depression through much of his life. Hayley had befriended Cowper and was anxious to honor his memory by writing his biography.

Cowper seems to have had two opposed aspects of his personality. One was serious and spiritual the other shallow and worldly: the one expressed in the writing of hymns the other in writing trivial, comic poetry. Cowper had been a close associate of the writer of Amazing Grace, John Newton, who had been transformed from the captain of a slave ship to an ordained minister in the Church of England. Together they produced the hymnal Olney Hymns containing 348 hymns written by Newton and Cowper. G. E, Bentley, Jr. expressed the two sides of Cowper in his biography of Blake, The Stranger from Paradise: "Blake clearly loved Cowper the prophet, spending his soul in prophecy. This was dangerous ground for those who loved Cowper for his modest wit and mild spirits."

Hayley wrote to attract readers of the popular lighthearted poetry rather than to attract the enthusiastic religious contingent. Cowper's prestigious family were particularly interested in preventing any signs of mental illness from appearing in the biography including in the portrait of Cowper which Blake engraved from a pastel drawing by George Romney. Blake provided the six illustration which appeared in the biography.

Blake considered that the visionary state was feared by conventional people and confused with mental illness or 'madness.' Blake also understood depression because he had experienced it when he was struggling to discern the path which his life should follow. The internal life which Blake valued so highly and which he recognized in Cowper, was not amenable to proof by outward measurement, however, through it one might experience the healing of the Shepherd's tender care.

Songs of innocence, Night, (E 14)
"The angels most heedful,    
Recieve each mild spirit,
New worlds to inherit.

And there the lions ruddy eyes,
Shall flow with tears of gold:
And pitying the tender cries, 
And walking round the fold:
Saying: wrath by his meekness
And by his health, sickness,
Is driven away,
From our immortal day." 

Satiric Verses and Epigrams, (E 506)                                   
         "William Cowper Esqre                             
For this is being a Friend just in the nick
Not when hes well but waiting till hes sick
He calls you to his help be you not movd                  
Untill by being Sick his wants are provd                  

You see him spend his Soul in Prophecy                  
Do you believe it a Confounded lie
Till some Bookseller & the Public Fame
Proves there is truth in his extravagant claim

For tis atrocious in a Friend you love  
To tell you any thing that he cant prove                
And tis most wicked in a Christian Nation
For any Man to pretend to Inspiration"

Annotations to Spurzheim's Observations on Insanity, (E 663)
 "Cowper came to me & said. O that I
were insane always I will never rest.  Can you not make me truly
insane.  I will never rest till I am so. O that in the bosom of
God I was hid.  You retain health & yet are as mad as any of us
all--over us all--mad as a refuge from unbelief--from Bacon
Newton & Locke"

Letters, To Thomas Butts, (E 716)
"I continue
painting Miniatures & Improve more & more as all my friends tell
me. but my Principal labour at this time is Engraving Plates for
Cowpers Life a Work of Magnitude which Mr Hayley is now
Labouring with all his matchless industry & which will be a most
valuable acquisition to Literature not only on account of Mr
Hayleys composition but also as it will contain Letters of Cowper
to his friends Perhaps or rather Certainly the very best letters
that ever were published"

Letters, To James Blake, (E 726)
"My Heads
of Cowper for Mr H's life of Cowper have pleasd his Relations
exceedingly & in Particular Lady Hesketh & Lord Cowper    to
please Lady H was a doubtful chance who almost adord her Cousin
the poet & thought him all perfection & she writes that she is
quite satisfied with the portraits & charmd by the great Head in
particular tho she never could bear the original Picture"

Letters, To Thomas Butts, (E 730)
 "I ought to tell you that Mr H. is quite agreeable to our
return & that there is all the appearance in the world of our
being fully employd in Engraving for his projected Works
Particularly Cowpers Milton. a Work now on foot by Subscription &
I understand that the Subscription goes on briskly.  This work is
to be a very Elegant one & to consist of All Miltons Poems with
Cowpers Notes and translations by Cowper from Miltons Latin &
Italian Poems.  These works will be ornamented with Engravings
from Designs from Romney.  Flaxman & Yr hble Servt & to be
Engravd also by the last mentiond.  The Profits of the work are
intended to be appropriated to Erect a Monument to the Memory of
Cowper in St Pauls or Westminster Abbey."

Letters, To William Hayley, (E 759)
"Farewell Sweet Rose thou hast got before me into the
Celestial City.  I also have but a few more Mountains to pass.
for I hear the bells ring & the trumpets sound to welcome thy
arrival among Cowpers Glorified Band of Spirits of just Men made
Perfect"


Wednesday, February 07, 2018

WEAVING THE GARMENT

Blake's father had been apprenticed as a draper who dealt in fabrics which were made on hand operated looms. He operated a shop which sold hosiery and and the goods for making clothing at home including what we call notions - threads, yarns, needles, buttons, etc. During the industrial revolution the weaving of cloth became machine manufactured but clothing continued to be made by hand. Since his father's shop was on the ground floor of the family's residence, William would have become acquainted with all of the materials which went into making garments.

He carried the idea of clothing the body in a garment to his imagery. In Auguries of Innocence he called 'Joy & Woe' clothing for the soul divine. Milton took off the 'robe of the promise' to descend into our world from his abode in Eternity. Luvah put on the robes of blood 'lest Man should fall into Eternal Death.' The 'Light' is the  garment of the Divine Vision. Satan does not know the 'Garment from the Man.' Blake wove the image of garments into his poetry like a thread which bound together levels of understanding.

University of Adelaide
The Grave
Blake painted more watercolors than were included in Cromack's published book of The Grave. One picture shows lovely women handling the thread from which bodies are woven for the specters to be clothed in. If you right click on the picture and open in a new window you can enlarge the image to show detail. Although the women seem to be engaged in a joyous task, the expression on their faces show their sincere concern about the seriousness work. The presence of the crescent moon reminds us of the protective aspect of the activity which we are watching. The children seem to take pleasure in lending assistance.

In the quotes we see that not all weaving is beneficent. Vala weaves bodies of misery.

Four Zoas Night VIII, Page 104, (E 378) 
"Los said to Enitharmon Pitying I saw
Pitying the Lamb of God Descended thro Jerusalems gates
To put off Mystery time after time & as a Man
Is born on Earth so was he born of Fair Jerusalem
In mysterys woven mantle & in the Robes of Luvah 

He stood in fair Jerusalem to awake up into Eden
The fallen Man but first to Give his vegetated body  
To be cut off & separated that the Spiritual body may be Reveald"

Milton, Plate 14 [25], (E 108)
"Then Milton rose up from the heavens of Albion ardorous!         
The whole Assembly wept prophetic, seeing in Miltons face
And in his lineaments divine the shades of Death & Ulro
He took off the robe of the promise, & ungirded himself from the oath of God

And Milton said, I go to Eternal Death!"
 
Milton, Plate 18, (E 111)
"And thus the Shadowy Female howls in articulate howlings

I will lament over Milton in the lamentations of the afflicted   
My Garments shall be woven of sighs & heart broken lamentations
The misery of unhappy Families shall be drawn out into its border
Wrought with the needle with dire sufferings poverty pain & woe
Along the rocky Island & thence throughout the whole Earth
There shall be the sick Father & his starving Family! there      
The Prisoner in the stone Dungeon & the Slave at the Mill
I will have Writings written all over it in Human Words
That every Infant that is born upon the Earth shall read
And get by rote as a hard task of a life of sixty years"

Four Zoas, Night II, Page 33, (E 321)
"For the Divine Lamb Even Jesus who is the Divine Vision   
Permitted all lest Man should fall into Eternal Death
For when Luvah sunk down himself put on the robes of blood
Lest the state calld Luvah should cease. & the Divine Vision
Walked in robes of blood till he who slept should awake"    

Jerusalem, Plate 54, (E 203)
"In Great Eternity, every particular Form gives forth or Emanates
Its own peculiar Light, & the Form is the Divine Vision
And the Light is his Garment This is Jerusalem in every Man
A Tent & Tabernacle of Mutual Forgiveness Male & Female Clothings.
And Jerusalem is called Liberty among the Children of Albion"  

Gates of Paradise, The Keys, (E 269)
"Truly My Satan thou art but a Dunce
And dost not know the Garment from the Man"
 
Jerusalem, Plate 18, (E 163)
"(For Vala produc'd the Bodies. Jerusalem gave the Souls)"

Jerusalem, Plate 59, (E 209)
"And one Daughter of Los sat at the fiery Reel & another
Sat at the shining Loom with her Sisters attending round
Terrible their distress & their sorrow cannot be utterd
And another Daughter of Los sat at the Spinning Wheel
Endless their labour, with bitter food. void of sleep,           
Tho hungry they labour: they rouze themselves anxious
Hour after hour labouring at the whirling Wheel
Many Wheels & as many lovely Daughters sit weeping

Yet the intoxicating delight that they take in their work
Obliterates every other evil; none pities their tears            
Yet they regard not pity & they expect no one to pity
For they labour for life & love, regardless of any one
But the poor Spectres that they work for, always incessantly

They are mockd, by every one that passes by. they regard not
They labour; & when their Wheels are broken by scorn & malice    
They mend them sorrowing with many tears & afflictions.

Other Daughters Weave on the Cushion & Pillow, Network fine
That Rahab & Tirzah may exist & live & breathe & love
Ah, that it could be as the Daughters of Beulah wish!

Other Daughters of Los, labouring at Looms less fine             
Create the Silk-worm & the Spider & the Catterpiller
To assist in their most grievous work of pity & compassion
And others Create the wooly Lamb & the downy Fowl
To assist in the work: the Lamb bleats: the Sea-fowl cries
Men understand not the distress & the labour & sorrow            
That in the Interior Worlds is carried on in fear & trembling
Weaving the shuddring fears & loves of Albions Families
Thunderous rage the Spindles of iron. & the iron Distaff
Maddens in the fury of their hands, Weaving in bitter tears
The Veil of Goats-hair & Purple & Scarlet & fine twined Linen" 

Jerusalem, Plate 64, (E 215)
"Then the Spectre drew Vala into his bosom magnificent terrific   
Glittering with precious stones & gold, with Garments of blood & fire
He wept in deadly wrath of the Spectre, in self-contradicting agony
Crimson with Wrath & green with jealousy dazling with Love
And jealousy immingled & the purple of the violet darkend deep
Over the Plow of Nations thundring in the hand of Albions Spectre

A dark Hermaphrodite they stood frowning upon Londons River
And the Distaff & Spindle in the hands of Vala with the Flax of
Human Miseries turnd fierce with the Lives of Men along the Valley
As Reuben fled before the Daughters of Albion Taxing the Nations"

Jerusalem, Plate 80, (E 236)
But I Vala, Luvahs daughter, keep his [Albion's] body embalmd in moral laws
With spices of sweet odours of lovely jealous stupefaction:
Within my bosom, lest he arise to life & slay my Luvah
Pity me then O Lamb of God! O Jesus pity me!           
Come into Luvahs Tents, and seek not to revive the Dead!
So sang she: and the Spindle turnd furious as she sang:
The Children of Jerusalem the Souls of those who sleep
Were caught into the flax of her Distaff, & in her Cloud
To weave Jerusalem a body according to her will            
A Dragon form on Zion Hills most ancient promontory

The Spindle turnd in blood & fire: loud sound the trumpets
Of war:"

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 137, (E 405)
"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   All beneath howld loud  
With tenfold rout & desolation roard the Chasms beneath
Where the wide woof flowd down & where the Nations are gatherd together"
.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

THE GRAVE 12


University of Adelaide
The Grave
- Page 12
Fuseli's arrangement
Blake's Watercolor
Wikimedia Commons
The Grave - Page 12
Fuseli's arrangement
Blake's Watercolor



























Fuseli - XII. THE LAST JUDGMENT.

Book - 12 The Reunion of the Soul & the Body

The cycle of journeying through time has been told at the micro level by following the travels of an individual in Blake's illustrations to Blair's The Grave. The macro level of journeying through time is told through the twelfth illustration, Vision of the Last Judgment. The culture starts off in Eden a garden where man's needs are met, his Soul is nourished, and his growth is assured. The final act in the journey in order to return to Eden is either to renew the Circle of Destiny which ties man to the recurring pattern of trusting whatever appealing offer appears before him, or instead to follow his own divine humanity through which he may break free of error and embrace truth.

The Vision of the Last Judgment seen as a pattern of descent and accent is a picture of the same dull round. Unless man can find that moment between the pulsations of the artery when the work of imagination is done, he continues the recurring cycle. If he were to find the Gate of los there would be laid before a man or a society a choice between trying once again to create a better world according to specifications following flawed reasoning, or discarding the finite for the infinite, the temporal for the eternal. If the man or society passes through he finds it opens into to Eden. But the choice is between the known and the unknown. Only a New Man with a new consciousness can pass through the gate and survive in the New World.

Matthew 18
[2] And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
[3] And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
[4] Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.


In Fearful Symmetry Northrop Frey expresses these concepts in far richer and more incisive language:

Page 389
"We reach final understanding of the Bible when he our imaginations become possessed by the Jesus of the resurrection, the pure community of the divine Man, the absolute civilization of the City of God. This Jesus stands just outside the Bible, and to reach him we must crawl through the narrow gap between the end of Revelation and the beginning of Genesis, and then we see the entire vision of the Bible below us a a vast cycle of existence from the creation of a fallen world to the recreation of an unfallen one. If we remain inside the gap with the Jesus of history, we are still within the cycle, which thereby becomes the circumference of our vision. The gap  or place of final break-through, where the cosmic of the mundane shell is chipped, the opening of the womb of nature, is the upper limit or south (zenith) door of Beulah..."

Page 391
"The England Blake is addressing is Albion in a fallen and sleeping state in the world of Generation which is Luvah's world: that is, Albion is present in Luvah. The function of Jerusalem is to recreate the vision of the Jesus of action, the divine man whose impact miraculously increased the bodily and mental powers of those who saw what he was, in order to bring that impact on the English public. This occurs at a time when both English civilization and one of its artists have reached the point we have described as imaginative puberty. England has to choose whether to turn its green and pleasant land into Jerusalem or a howling waste of Satanic mills, and Blake is practically the only Englishman who can express the fact that that choice is now before England, and is still a choice. Jerusalem is Blake's contribution to the struggle between the prophet and the profiteer for the soul of England which is England's Armageddon: it is a burning-glass focusing the rays of a fiery city on London in the hope of kindling an answering flame."

Page 394
"But if, at the crisis of a historical cycle, when the fiery city and the fallen city come into a direct line of opposition to one another, the pure burning glass of a work of art is interposed between instead of the usual opaque mystery of nature, there would be not the natural eclipse, but the kindling of the world's last fire. Once society can catch the knack of pressing the social will into the service of a vision, as the artist does, it will start building Jerusalem, and this response to art is the final miracle which the miraculous powers of Jesus symbolize. In Jerusalem this is expressed by the separation of the Spectre of Urthona from Los, the artist's renunciation of an individual will which takes place at the end of linear time." 



There Is No Natural Religion, (E 3)
"Conclusion,   If it were not for the Poetic or Prophetic
character. the Philosophic & Experimental would soon be at the
ratio of all things & stand still, unable to do other than repeat
the same dull round over again
     Application.   He who sees the Infinite in all things sees
God.  He who sees the Ratio only sees himself only.

Therefore God becomes as we are, that we may be as he is"

Jerusalem, Plate 12, (E 155)
"Lambeth! the Bride the Lambs Wife loveth thee:
Thou art one with her & knowest not of self in thy supreme joy.
Go on, builders in hope: tho Jerusalem wanders far away,
Without the gate of Los: among the dark Satanic wheels."

Milton, Plate 28 [30], (E 127)
"Each has its Guard. each Moment Minute Hour Day Month & Year.
All are the work of Fairy hands of the Four Elements             
The Guard are Angels of Providence on duty evermore
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."

Jerusalem, Plate 91, ( E 251)
"Los beheld undaunted furious

His heavd Hammer; he swung it round & at one blow,
In unpitying ruin driving down the pyramids of pride
Smiting the Spectre on his Anvil & the integuments of his Eye
And Ear unbinding in dire pain, with many blows,            
Of strict severity self-subduing, & with many tears labouring.

Then he sent forth the Spectre all his pyramids were grains
Of sand & his pillars: dust on the flys wing: & his starry
Heavens; a moth of gold & silver mocking his anxious grasp
Thus Los alterd his Spectre & every Ratio of his Reason       
He alterd time after time, with dire pain & many tears
Till he had completely divided him into a separate space.

Terrified Los sat to behold trembling & weeping & howling
I care not whether a Man is Good or Evil; all that I care
Is whether he is a Wise Man or a Fool. Go! put off Holiness    
And put on Intellect: or my thundrous Hammer shall drive thee
To wrath which thou condemnest: till thou obey my voice

So Los terrified cries: trembling & weeping & howling! Beholding" 
Vision of the Last Judgment, (E 565)
 "The Last Judgment is an Overwhelming of Bad Art & Science. 
Mental Things are alone Real what is Calld Corporeal Nobody Knows
of its Dwelling Place it is in Fallacy & its Existence an
Imposture  Where is the Existence Out of Mind or Thought Where is
it but in the Mind of a Fool.  Some People flatter themselves
that there will be No Last Judgment & that Bad Art will be
adopted & mixed with Good Art That Error or Experiment will make
a Part of Truth & they Boast that it is its Foundation these
People flatter themselves   I will not Flatter them Error is
Created Truth is Eternal Error or Creation will be Burned Up &
then & not till then Truth or Eternity will appear It is Burnt up
the Moment Men cease to behold it" 

Milton, Plate 25 [27], (E 121)
"They sang at the Vintage. 
...
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"

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 131, (E 400)
"Then Urizen arose & took his Sickle in his hand
There is a brazen sickle & a scythe of iron hid
Deep in the South guarded by a few solitary stars
This sickle Urizen took the scythe his sons embracd 
And went forth & began to reap & all his joyful sons
Reapd the wide Universe & bound in Sheaves a wondrous harvest
They took them into the wide barns with loud rejoicings & triumph 
Of flute & harp & drum & trumpet horn & clarion

The feast was spread in the bright South & the Regenerate Man 
Sat at the feast rejoicing & the wine of Eternity
Was servd round by the flames of Luvah all Day & all the Night
And when Morning began to dawn upon the distant hills
a whirlwind rose up in the Center & in the Whirlwind a shriek 
And in the Shriek a rattling of bones & in the rattling of bones 
A dolorous groan & from the dolorous groan in tears
Rose Enion like a gentle light & Enion spoke saying
O Dreams of Death the human form dissolving companied
By beasts & worms & creeping things & darkness & despair 
The clouds fall off from my wet brow the dust from my cold limbs
Into the Sea of Tharmas Soon renewd a Golden Moth
I shall cast off my death clothes & Embrace Tharmas again"

Songs of Innocence & of Experience, SONGS 54, (E 31)
"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,"

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 133, (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. they sat down
At the immortal tables sounding loud their instruments of joy
Calling the Morning into Beulah the Eternal Man rejoicd" 


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

THE GRAVE 11

University of Adelaide
The Grave
- Page 11
Fuseli's arrangement
Blake's Watercolor
Wikimedia Commons
The Grave - Page 11
Cromak's arrangement
Schiavonetti's Engraving 







































 Fuseli - XI. A FAMILY MEETING IN HEAVEN.

Book - 11 Death's Door

In his arrangement of Blake's illustrations to Blair's The Grave, Fuseli is completing the cyclical movement. The Soul made its descent into a physical body, assumed a persona, experienced various states of consciousness, became a witness to a process which is unfolding, and began the assent to the origin. The soul was alone on its journey through life (or death according to one's perspective.) It experienced a reunion with its emanation in the previous picture, now it is reunited with the family of Immortals. The archetypal forms are being brought together instead of being expressed or dispersed in matter.

This stage of development is represented in the image for The Grave by the reunion of a family in love, respect and joy. Blake used the symbol of Brotherhood as well to indicate the condition of being joined in mutual appreciation and cooperation when the spiritual journey is reaching completion.

The Book Milton A Poem by William Blake by Kay Parkhurst Easson and Roger R Easson contains this statement about Brotherhood on page 170:
"Each member of the Brotherhood is at once individual and familial, which is to say each maintains his identity, but each by spiritual friendship unites with the Brotherhood, and with the eternal form of Brotherhood, the Starry Eight within Jesus. Brotherhood, therefore, is a mutual relationship, hot a hierarchical relationship. There is no jealousy or envy among spiritual friends, no desire to surpass or eclipse the reputation of a predecessor. Rather, there is mutual communication, each to each, and mutual support for the eternal perspectives inherent in each."
Milton, Plate 21 [23], (E 116)
"Seven mornings Los heard them, as the poor bird within the shell
Hears its impatient parent bird; and Enitharmon heard them:
But saw them not, for the blue Mundane Shell inclosd them in.    

And they lamented that they had in wrath & fury & fire
Driven Milton into the Ulro; for now they knew too late
That it was Milton the Awakener: they had not heard the Bard,
Whose song calld Milton to the attempt; and Los heard these laments.
He heard them call in prayer all the Divine Family;              
And he beheld the Cloud of Milton stretching over Europe.

But all the Family Divine collected as Four Suns
In the Four Points of heaven East, West & North & South
Enlarging and enlarging till their Disks approachd each other;
And when they touch'd closed together Southward in One Sun       
Over Ololon: and as One Man, who weeps over his brother,
In a dark tomb, so all the Family Divine. wept over Ololon.

Saying, Milton goes to Eternal Death! so saying, they groan'd in spirit
And were troubled! and again the Divine Family groaned in spirit!

And Ololon said, Let us descend also, and let us give            
Ourselves to death in Ulro among the Transgressors.
Is Virtue a Punisher? O no! how is this wondrous thing?
This World beneath, unseen before: this refuge from the wars
Of Great Eternity! unnatural refuge! unknown by us till now!
Or are these the pangs of repentance? let us enter into them  

Then the Divine Family said. Six Thousand Years are now
Accomplish'd in this World of Sorrow; Miltons Angel knew
The Universal Dictate; and you also feel this Dictate.
And now you know this World of Sorrow, and feel Pity. Obey
The Dictate! Watch over this World, and with your brooding wings,
Renew it to Eternal Life: Lo! I am with you alway
But you cannot renew Milton he goes to Eternal Death

So spake the Family Divine as One Man even Jesus
Uniting in One with Ololon & the appearance of One Man
Jesus the Saviour appeard coming in the Clouds of Ololon!"       

Jerusalem, Plate 34 [38], (E 179]
"but mild the Saviour follow'd him,   
Displaying the Eternal Vision! the Divine Similitude!
In loves and tears of brothers, sisters, sons, fathers, and friends
Which if Man ceases to behold, he ceases to exist:

Saying. Albion! Our wars are wars of life, & wounds of love,
With intellectual spears, & long winged arrows of thought:       
Mutual in one anothers love and wrath all renewing
We live as One Man; for contracting our infinite senses
We behold multitude; or expanding: we behold as one,
As One Man all the Universal Family; and that One Man
We call Jesus the Christ: and he in us, and we in him,        
Live in perfect harmony in Eden the land of life,
Giving, recieving, and forgiving each others trespasses.
He is the Good shepherd, he is the Lord and master:
He is the Shepherd of Albion, he is all in all,
In Eden: in the garden of God: and in heavenly Jerusalem.        
If we have offended, forgive us, take not vengeance against us.

Thus speaking; the Divine Family follow Albion:
I see them in the Vision of God upon my pleasant valleys."

Four Zoas, Night I, Page 21, (E 310) 
"Then those in Great Eternity met in the Council of God
As one Man for contracting their Exalted Senses
They behold Multitude or Expanding they behold as one
As One Man all the Universal family & that one Man      
They call Jesus the Christ & they in him & he in them            
Live in Perfect harmony in Eden the land of life
Consulting as One Man above the Mountain of Snowdon Sublime"

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 133, (E 401)
"In families we see our shadows born. & thence we know | Ephesians
That Man subsists by Brotherhood & Universal Love     |    iii c.
We fall on one anothers necks more closely we embrace |   10 v   

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. they sat down
At the immortal tables sounding loud their instruments of joy
Calling the Morning into Beulah the Eternal Man rejoicd"

Matthew 12
[46] While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
[47] Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
[48] But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
[49] And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
[50] For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

SOUL & BODY

Preliminary Sketch  Illustrations for Blair's The Grave

In his book William Blake: Poet and Mystic Pierre Berger writes of the relationship of the soul and body as Blake understood it. This quote from page 107 begins with a few lines of a poem Blake included in a letter to Thomas Butts. (E 712)
 
"Each herb and each tree, 
Mountain, hill, earth and sea. 
Cloud, Meteor and Star, 
Are Men Seen Afar 

Such an interpretation is only natural to a man for whom nothing 
existed except the human spirit. Every object must also be a spirit 
like himself. Consequently, all things everywhere are human.
The visible world is but the outward sign of bodies hiding 
a soul. And even this last assertion could not satisfy Blake, since 
to him, body and soul were not distinct things. The body is a part 
of the soul made visible, the expression of the soul to our our external 
senses. There is no separation of one from the other. The parting of 
soul and body is not the putting off of an old garment which can be 
utterly destroyed: it is the soul's release from its visible part, or, 
better still, its ceasing to be visible. The body was not only a prison  
in which the soul was enclosed and from which it now escapes; it 
was rather a product of the soul, as the cocoon is a product of the 
silkworm, an emanation from the soul, created by and attached to 
the soul, like a kind of vegetable growth, in order to give it a material 
visibility, and also for other and profounder reasons which will be 
explained later. Thus all material objects are bodies created by the 
souls which they at once display and hide, and in which they seem 
to be enclosed. This theory, while resembling the metempsychosis 
of the ancients, differs in some respects from it. For them, body and 
soul had an independent existence, the soul passing into the 
bodies of plants and animals, according to its tendencies in this 
life. But neither the animal nor the plant was an integral part 
of it. Blake, like the ancient Indians, held that the soul not merely 
decides what body it shall enter, but actually creates a body for itself, 
and perhaps passes in this way through a series of existences. He 
does not clearly say how this creation is worked : sometimes, indeed, 
he even adopts the common expression, and speaks of a soul imprisoned 
in its body of clay, and actually represents in pictures the 
separation and reunion of the soul and the body. But he never loses 
sight of his essential idea of the body as a part of the spirit made 
visible. 
...
Consequently, we are everywhere surrounded by spirits. We only 
see the visible part of them and are satisfied with that because we 
are men of simple, vision, living in the world of matter, which is 
illusion." 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

THE GRAVE 10

University of Adelaide
The Grave
- Page 10

Fuseli's arrangement
Blake's Watercolor
British Museum
The Grave - Page 10
Cromak's arrangement
Schiavonetti's Engraving

























Fuseli - X. THE RE-UNION OF SOUL AND BODY.
"The Body springs from the grave, the Soul descends from an opening cloud; they rush together with inconceivable energy; they meet, never again to part!"

Book - 10 The Soul Exploring the Recesses of the Grave

The tendency of our minds is to process information dualistically. When we think of the Soul of man, which is spiritual, we set it in opposition to the body, which is material. Blake was unwilling to separate the soul from the body. He postulated both a material body which was mortal, and a spiritual body which was eternal.

Perhaps this picture was chosen to follow the picture of the dry bones being given new life in order to indicate that the spiritual body enjoys a reunion with the eternal Soul as a significant step in the process of mending the broken world. Throughout his poetry Blake emphasized the bringing together of disparate parts as the ultimate reconciliation which resolves the fractured body into an inclusive unified wholeness.

The world was created by dividing light from darkness, the heavens from the earth, the waters from the dry land, the living from the non-living. When time ends the divisions are reversed. There is a great return and reunification where the dispersed particulars coalesce as a Human Form Divine.
Jerusalem, Plate 99, (E 258) 
"All Human Forms identified even Tree Metal Earth & Stone. all
Human Forms identified, living going forth & returning wearied
Into the Planetary lives of Years Months Days & Hours reposing
And then Awaking into his Bosom in the Life of Immortality.

And I heard the Name of their Emanations they are named Jerusalem

                  The End of The Song
                     of Jerusalem"

Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 4, (E 34)
  "But the following Contraries to these are True
  1 Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that calld Body is
a portion of Soul discernd by the five Senses. the chief inlets
of Soul in this age
  2. Energy is the only life and is from the Body and Reason is
the bound or outward circumference of Energy.
  3 Energy is Eternal Delight"

Annotations to Swedenborg, (E 603)
 "Thought without affection makes a distinction between Love
& Wisdom as it does between body & Spirit" 
Jerusalem, Plate 77, (E 232) 
"I know of no other
Christianity and of no other Gospel than the liberty both of body
& mind to exercise the Divine Arts of Imagination.   
  Imagination the real & eternal World of which this Vegetable
Universe is but a faint shadow & in which we shall live in our
Eternal or Imaginative Bodies, when these Vegetable Mortal Bodies
are no more." 
Milton, Plate 35 [39], (E 135)
"O how the Starry Eight rejoic'd to see Ololon descended!
And now that a wide road was open to Eternity,               

By Ololons descent thro Beulah to Los & Enitharmon,

For mighty were the multitudes of Ololon, vast the extent
Of their great sway, reaching from Ulro to Eternity
Surrounding the Mundane Shell outside in its Caverns
And through Beulah. and all silent forbore to contend            
With Ololon for they saw the Lord in the Clouds of Ololon

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"

Romans 8
[16] The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
[17] And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
[18] For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
[19] For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
...
[38] For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
[39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


First John 3

[1] Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
[2] Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

THE GRAVE 9

University of Adelaide
The Grave - Page 9
Fuseli's arrangement
Blake's Watercolor
British Museum
The Grave - Page 9
Cromak's arrangement
Schiavonetti's Engraving 

 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Fuseli - IX. THE SKELETON RE-ANIMATED.

"When the dread trumpet sounds, the slumb'ring dust, Not unattentive to the call, awakes";
while the world in flames typifies the renovation of all things, the end of Time, and the beginning of Eternity.

Book - 9 The Day of Judgment
 


When time ends the trumpet sounds, calling to life the dry bones which occupy the graves. Blake called upon many metaphors to represent the states of consciousness through which man passes. Man could live with consciousness of the Eternal throughout his life on earth but instead he is 'asleep', or he 'lives within the cave' of his own mind, or he mistakes the 'garment for the man', or he lives within a prison chained by the 'mind-forg'd manacles'. In the picture for page 9 of The Grave the vestiges of human life have been reduced to the dry bones of a skeleton.
 

The trumpet sounds to announce the possibility of abandoning the traps which man has created for himself to avoid an expanded consciousness which to him is unknown, undefined, uncomfortable, and unending. Eternity does not begin when a man dies to mortal life. For an individual it begins when he becomes able to behold a dimension to which he has been blind. Then the 'dry bones' will be reassembled, clothed in a spiritual mind and body, and made fit for a new life outside of present limitations. 

Vision of Last Judgment, (E 558)
"Hell is opend beneath her Seat on the Left hand. beneath her
feet is a flaming Cavern in which is seen the Great Red Dragon
with Seven heads & ten Horns  he has Satans book
of Accusations lying on the rock open before him  he is bound
in chains by Two strong demons they are Gog & Magog who have
been compelld to subdue their Master Ezekiel  with
their Hammer & Tongs about to new Create the Seven Headed
Kingdoms.  The Graves beneath are opend & the Dead awake & obey
the call of the Trumpet those on the Right hand awake in joy
those on the Left in Horror. beneath the Dragons Cavern a
Skeleton begins to Animate starting into life at the Trumpets
sound while the Wicked contend with each other on the brink of 
perdition."

America, Plate 6, (E 53)
"The morning comes, the night decays, the watchmen leave their stations;
The grave is burst, the spices shed, the linen wrapped up;
The bones of death, the cov'ring clay, the sinews shrunk & dry'd.
Reviving shake, inspiring move, breathing! awakening!
Spring like redeemed captives when their bonds & bars are burst;" 

Song of Los, Plate 7, (E 69)
"Then the thunders of Urizen bellow'd aloud
From his woven darkness above.                                   

Orc raging in European darkness
Arose like a pillar of fire above the Alps
Like a serpent of fiery flame!
       The sullen Earth
       Shrunk!                                                   

Forth from the dead dust rattling bones to bones
Join: shaking convuls'd the shivring clay breathes
And all flesh naked stands: Fathers and Friends;
Mothers & Infants; Kings & Warriors:

The Grave shrieks with delight, & shakes   
Her hollow womb, & clasps the solid stem:
Her bosom swells with wild desire:
And milk & blood & glandous wine

In rivers rush & shout & dance,
On mountain, dale and plain.                                  
The SONG of LOS is Ended.
     Urizen Wept."

Milton, Plate, 19 [21], (E 112) 
"Silent they met, and silent strove among the streams, of Arnon
Even to Mahanaim, when with cold hand Urizen stoop'd down
And took up water from the river Jordan: pouring on
To Miltons brain the icy fluid from his broad cold palm.
But Milton took of the red clay of Succoth, moulding it with care
Between his palms: and filling up the furrows of many years
Beginning at the feet of Urizen, and on the bones
Creating new flesh on the Demon cold, and building him,
As with new clay a Human form in the Valley of Beth Peor."

Four Zoas, Night III, Page 44 (E 329)
"But from the Dolorous Groan one like a shadow of smoke appeard
And human bones rattling together in the smoke & stamping        
The nether Abyss & gnasshing in fierce despair. panting in sobs
Thick short incessant bursting sobbing. deep despairing stamping struggling

Struggling to utter the voice of Man struggling to take the features of Man. Struggling   
To take the limbs of Man at length emerging from the smoke
Of Urizen dashed in pieces from his precipitant fall"  

Four Zoas, Night 7, PAGE 73, (E 350) 
"And laughter sat beneath the Oaks & innocence sported round
Upon the green plains & sweet friendship met in palaces
And books & instruments of song & pictures of delight
Where are they whelmd beneath these ruins in horrible destruction   
And if Eternal falling I repose on the dark bosom              
Of winds & waters or thence fall into a Void where air
Is not down falling thro immensity ever & ever
I lose my powers weakend every revolution till a death
Shuts up my powers then a seed in the vast womb of darkness
I dwell in dim oblivion. brooding over me the Enormous worlds    
Reorganize me shooting forth in bones & flesh & blood
I am regenerated to fall or rise at will or to remain
A labourer of ages a dire discontent a living woe
Wandring in vain. Here will I fix my foot & here rebuild
Here Mountains of Brass promise much riches in their dreadful bosoms  

So he began to dig form[ing] of gold silver & iron 
And brass vast instruments to measure out the immense & fix
The whole into another world better suited to obey
His will where none should dare oppose his will himself being King
Of All & all futurity be bound in his vast chain" 

Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 122, (E 391)
"Where shall we take our stand to view the infinite & unbounded
Or where are human feet for Lo our eyes are in the heavens 

He ceasd for rivn link from link the bursting Universe explodes
All things reversd flew from their centers rattling bones
To bones join, shaking convulsd the shivering clay breathes
Each speck of dust to the Earths center nestles round & round
In pangs of an Eternal Birth in torment & awe & fear             
All spirits deceasd let loose from reptile prisons come in shoals
Wild furies from the tygers brain & from the lions Eyes    
And from the ox & ass come moping terrors. from the Eagle
And raven numerous as the leaves of Autumn   every species
Flock to the trumpet muttring over the sides of the grave & crying   
In the fierce wind round heaving rocks & mountains filld with groans
On rifted rocks suspended in the air by inward fires
Many a woful company & many on clouds & waters
Fathers & friends Mothers & Infants Kings & Warriors
Priests & chaind Captives met together in a horrible fear        
And every one of the dead appears as he had livd before"

Poetical Sketches, Contemplation, (E 442)
"Like a triumph, season follows season, while the airy
music fills the world with joyful sounds."  I answered, "Heavenly
goddess!  I am wrapped in mortality, my flesh is a prison, my
bones the bars of death, Misery builds over our cottage roofs,
and Discontent runs like a brook.  Even in childhood, Sorrow
slept with me in my cradle; he followed me up and down in the
house when I grew up; he was my school-fellow: thus he was in my
steps and in my play, till he became to me as my brother.  I
walked through dreary places with him, and in church-yards; and I
oft found myself sitting by Sorrow on a tomb-stone!"


Ezekiel 37
[1] The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
[2] And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
[3] And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
[4] Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
[5] Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
[6] And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD
...
[11] Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
[12] Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
[13] And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
[14] And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.