Monday, December 31, 2012

LIFE OF CHRIST XIII

John 8
[1] Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
[2] And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
[3] And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
[4] They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
[5] Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
[6] This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
[7] So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
[8] And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
[9] And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
[10] When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
[11] She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
[12] Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
[13] The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.
[14] Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.
[15] Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
[16] And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.


The Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman taken in adultery intending that Jesus either condemn her to stoning or break the law of Moses by setting her free. Jesus did not choose to become the woman's accuser. He avoided the choice by asking who among her accusers was sinless enough to be the executioner. The Pharisees  turned away rather than casting the first stone. They turned away from the woman they wished to punish but they turned away form Jesus also.
    
The Pharisees reserved the wrath which they wished to express against the woman to be expressed later against Jesus. The woman's sin was adultery, Jesus' sin was failing to punish the lawbreaker which was a greater threat to the Pharisees than was adultery. In this scenario the Elect are the Pharisees who perpetually torment the Redeemed represented by the woman who 'lives in doubts and fears.' Jesus aligns himself with the Reprobate or transgressor by descending 'thru Jerusalem's gates' and putting on the 'Robes of Luvah'. Thus he became open to the condemnation which he suffered before the law.   

Wikimedia Commons
Woman Taken in Adultery
Milton, Plate 11 [12], (E 105)
"And it was enquir'd: Why in a Great Solemn Assembly           
The Innocent should be condemn'd for the Guilty? Then an Eternal rose

Saying. If the Guilty should be condemn'd, he must be an Eternal Death
And one must die for another throughout all Eternity.
Satan is fall'n from his station & never can be redeem'd
But must be new created continually moment by moment          
And therefore the Class of Satan shall be calld the Elect, & those
Of Rintrah. the Reprobate, & those of Palamabron the Redeem'd
For he is redeem'd from Satans Law, the wrath falling on Rintrah,
And therefore Palamabron dared not to call a solemn Assembly
Till Satan had assum'd Rintrahs wrath in the day of mourning   
In a feminine delusion of false pride self-deciev'd.

So spake the Eternal and confirm'd it with a thunderous oath"

Milton, Plate 13 [14], (E 107)
"Around the Lamb, a Female Tabernacle woven in Cathedrons Looms
He died as a Reprobate. he was Punish'd as a Transgressor!
Glory! Glory! Glory! to the Holy Lamb of God
I touch the heavens as an instrument to glorify the Lord!

The Elect shall meet the Redeem'd. on Albions rocks they shall meet      
Astonish'd at the Transgressor, in him beholding the Saviour.
And the Elect shall say to the Redeemd. We behold it is of Divine
Mercy alone! of Free Gift and Election that we live.
Our Virtues & Cruel Goodnesses, have deserv'd Eternal Death.
Thus they weep upon the fatal Brook of Albions River."         

Milton, Plate 25 [27], (E 122)
"The Elect is one Class: You
Shall bind them separate: they cannot Believe in Eternal Life
Except by Miracle & a New Birth. The other two Classes;
The Reprobate who never cease to Believe, and the Redeemd,       
Who live in doubts & fears perpetually tormented by the Elect
These you shall bind in a twin-bundle for the Consummation--
But the Elect must be saved [from] fires of Eternal Death,
To be formed into the Churches of Beulah that they destroy not the Earth" 
Four Zoas, Page 104 (SECOND PORTION), (E 378)
"Los said to Enitbarmon 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
PAGE 109 [105] 
The Lamb of God stood before Satan opposite         
In Entuthon Benithon in the shadows of torments & woe
Upon the heights of Amalek taking refuge in his arms 
The Victims fled from punishment for all his words were peace  

Urizen calld together the Synagogue of Satan in dire Sanhedrim 
To Judge the Lamb of God to Death as a murderer & robber
As it is written he was numberd among the transgressors"

Isaiah 53
[5] But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
[8] He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
[12] Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Church 8

What he Said

        In 'Songs of Experience' Blake expressed some biting truths about the  place of the church in the lives of ordinary people:

"A little black thing among the snow,
Crying "'weep! 'weep!" in notes of woe!
"Where are thy father & mother? Say?"
They are both gone up to the church to
pray. Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smil'd among the winter's snow,
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.
And because I am happy & dance & sing,
They think they have done me no injury,
And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King,
Who make up a heaven of our misery."
       (The Chimney Sweeper from Songs of Experience)

       Surely the church has become more human since Blake's day, when it could
condone the employment of five year olds as chimney sweepers and in fact their
legal sale by their parents for such a purpose. Even more bald in its
ecclesiastical implications is "The Little Vagabond", which sounds very much like
 a Ranter's song:

 Dear Mother, dear Mother, the Church is cold,
 But the Ale-house is healthy & pleasant & warm;
 Besides I can tell where I am used well,
Such usage in heaven will never do well.
 But if at the Church they would give us some Ale,
And a pleasant fire our souls to regale,
We'd sing and we'd pray all the live-long day,
Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray.
Then the Parson might preach, & drink, & sing,
And we'd be as happy as birds in the spring;
And modest dame Lurch, who is always at Church,
Would not have bandy children, nor fasting, nor birch.
And God, like a father rejoicing to see
His children as pleasant and happy as he,
Would have no more quarrel with the Devil or the Barrel,
But kiss him, & give him both drink and apparel.
      (The Little Vagabond)

       In 'Europe' , written about the same time, Blake recounts the degradation of
the church with the cult of chivalry and the Queen of Heaven:

Now comes the night of Enitharmon's joy!
Who shall I call? Who shall I send,
That Woman, lovely Woman, may have dominion?
Arise, O Rintrah, thee I call! & Palambron, thee!
Go! tell the Human race that Woman's love is Sin;
That an Eternal life awaits the worms of sixty winters
In an allegorical abode where existence hath never come.
Forbid all Joy, & from her childhood shall the little female
Spread nets in every secret path.
      (Europe 5:1ff, Erdman 62)

       Enitharmon's grammar in the second line indicates her essential falsity,
assuming the place of the true God (See Isaiah 6 ). But after 1800 Blake
rehabilitates Enitharmon, and Rahab becomes his symbol of the false church;
she continually afflicts Jerusalem and finally crucifies Jesus (See 4Z and J).
Blake used the word 'church' in some rather unconventional ways. In Milton,
Plate 37 and later in 'Jerusalem' Plate 76 he divided human history into 27
Churches, made up of three groups. The first corresponds to the nine
antediluvian patriarchs (Adam to Lamech) taken from Genesis 5. The second
group includes the patriarchs from Noah to Terah, the father of Abraham. For
the third series Blake chose seven famous religious leaders from Abraham to
Luther; each of these represents for Blake a certain type or phase of religious
history:

       The first two groups were druidic (devoted to cultic murder), but Abraham
began to curtail human sacrifice when he chose a ram instead of Issac (See
Genesis 22 ). Moses brought the Law; Solomon represents Wisdom. Paul
represents the early Christian Church. Constantine marks its embrace by the
highest satanic power. Charlemayne founded the Holy Roman Empire, and
Luther brings us to the modern age. All of these except Paul resorted to war;
therefore Blake referred to these Churches as "Religion hid in war".

       Blake felt that he had described a natural progression going nowhere for
"where Luther ends, Adam begins again in Eternal Circle", but this "Eternal
Circle" is interrupted by Jesus, who, "breaking thro' the Central zones of Death &
Hell,/ Opens Eternity in Time & Space, triumphant in Mercy". There in its most
concentrated form is Blake's 6000 year history of the church.

       Bear in mind that 27 is a super sinister number; Frye described it as "the
cube of thee, the supreme aggravation of three". A happier constellation of 28 (a
composite of the complete numbers four and seven) occurs in 'Jerusalem' where
England's cathedral cities are called the Friends of Albion. With this image Blake
 recognized that in spite of all its sins the church had exercised a beneficent
influence upon the course of history. Blake habitually picked one of these cities
to represent an important historical personage.

       For example Ely, the cathedral city of Cambridgeshire, stands for Milton, the
greatest man produced by Cambridge. Verulam, an ancient name for
Canterbury, represents Francis Bacon , one of Blake's chief devils. Professor
Erdman informed us that Bath represents Rev. Richard Warner, a courageous
minister who preached against war in 1804, when to do such a thing bordered
on sedition. Blake's admiration for Warner led to the prominence which he gave
Bath in the second chapter of 'Jerusalem'.

       Aside from these prophetic and poetic excursions the Blakean doctrine of
the church found in the myth is roughly as follows: The Church is Beulah. The
majority of the population exist beneath it, spiritually asleep, living what Blake
called Eternal Death without even a murmur of discontent. Their eyes are closed
to the spirit. They are seeds that do not generate. The hungry generally take
refuge in a church and surrender their spiritual destiny into the keeping of a
priest or a priestly community.

       A few still suffer hunger and eventually may come out into the sunlight .
That chosen few are, like Blake, compelled to live in a state of tension with the
church that belongs to the world. The best of them continually court martyrdom
and may be honored posthumously if at all. But of such is the kingdom of
heaven, where like Blake they cast off the enslavement of other men's systems
and create their own.

       (Nels Ferre, who may or may not have known Blake, wrote a short parable
that describes the Blakean doctrine of the church as well or better than Frye did.
 It appears in the beginning of a small book entitled The Sun and the Umbrella.
The image of the church as an umbrella keeping us from the full force of the Sun
is compelling and quite Blakean.)
(See also Religion and War)
 

LIFE OF CHRIST XII

Luke 7
[36] And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.
[37] And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
[38] And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
[39] Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
[40] And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
[41] There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
[42] And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
[43] Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
[44] And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
[45] Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
[46] My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
[47] Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
[48] And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

Mary Magdalene Washing Christ's Feet
Although the the woman in this story is unnamed, she is frequently associated with Mary Magdalene who was among Jesus' most faithful disciples. Mary's awareness of her need for forgiveness enabled her to accept the unconditional love that Jesus offered her. She responded with extravagant gratitude to and love of her benefactor. Jesus sought to engender in his followers not righteousness but love through which forgiveness is multiplied.

 


To Blake forgiveness was the essence of the teaching of Jesus:

Songs and Ballads, (E 477)
"Then shall we return & see
The worlds of happy Eternity

& Throughout all Eternity 
I forgive you you forgive me
As our dear Redeemer said                              
This the Wine & this the Bread" 
Link to Philadelphia Museum. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Blake's Source 8

From Sunday, August 15, 2010

BLAKE & ALCHEMY
 
The symbolism of alchemy runs through Blake's writings and will be apparent
to those who seek it out. The basic symbolism of alchemy is of transformation.
Although the original object was to produce gold from base metals, the
discipline was later spiritualized to that of becoming transformed oneself by
the processes which were developed in the laboratory for transmuting
elements.

This picture from MHH Plate 14 to shows an image of transformation
 by fire:

              Plate 14

Marriage of Heaven and Hell



There is a chapter on
Alchemical Symbolism in
Milton O Percival's book,
William Blake's: Circle of 
Destiny.

William Blake acquaintance
with alchemy was primarily
through Paracelsus and
Boehme whom he
acknowledges as influential in
his thinking. Among the
prominent patterns of thought in
alchemy which are noticed in
Blake are:

The four elements - air, water,
fire and earth, The original state
is unified,

The centrality of reunifying
male and female, Fire as the
liberating and regenerating
agent,

That all things are alive and sentient, achieving life through death, Transformation of body into soul.

In the post on Angel & Devil, in the passage  quoted, the Angel at the point of
transformation undergoes mutations of color which are the primary indication
that the crisis has been reached. Color changes were outward manifestations
that hidden change were taking place in the alchemical processes.

MHH plate 22
"The Angel hearing this became almost blue but mastering
 himself he grew yellow, & at last white pink & smiling, and then
replied,......."

Los' work at his furnaces is the work of the alchemist. Here is a quote from
page 212 of Circle of Destiny:

"Los handles the purification of the contraries in the furnaces in accordance
with alchemical tradition. As in alchemy the imperfect triple body (salt,
sulphur, and mercury) has to be broken, and the masculine sulphur and the
feminine mercury freed for purification in the fire, that they may be united in
the one only essence, so must sinful man, his doubting head and cruel heart
selfishly combined into a mortal body, be subjected to trial by fire, that his
divided selves may be reunited in the one man Christ. But, though man himself
is metaphorically the sum of all that is in the furnaces, the forms (or bodies)
which Los continually breaks down should be thought of as forms of
government, of religion, of what you will - forms constructed by a crafty head
or a cruel heart. The intellectual life (the theory, the dogma) of these forms
must be broken down in order that the chastened emotions may be set free for
a new fixation under the guidance of a liberated intelligence. In alchemical
parlance, two must be drawn out of the three and separately purged before the
transforming union can take place."

Blake writes of a world in need of renewal and regeneration. He uses the
symbols of alchemy in presenting his complex myth of breaking down the
destructive systems and opening the way to transformation to the new age.

Jerusalem, Plate 78, (E 233)
"Los with his mace of iron
Walks round: loud his threats, loud his blows fall
On the rocky Spectres, as the Potter breaks the potsherds;
Dashing in pieces Self-righteousnesses: driving them from Albions
Cliffs: dividing them into Male & Female forms in his Furnaces
And on his Anvils: lest they destroy the Feminine Affections
They are broken. Loud howl the Spectres in his iron Furnace
While Los laments at his dire labours, viewing Jerusalem,
Sitting before his Furnaces clothed in sackcloth of hair;"

The furnace of course is an integral part of alchemical processes
and used by Los as his primary tool, shaping out lives.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

LIFE OF CHRIST XI

Luke 9
[28] And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.
[29] And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.
[30] And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:
[31] Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.
[32] But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.
[33] And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said.
[34] While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.
[35] And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
[36] And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.

View image in Blake Archive.

Original in Victoria and Albert Museum
Image from the Blake Society
The Transfiguration
Two threads of Judaism can be represented by Elijah and Moses - prophecy and the law. The appearance of Elijah and Moses on the mount where the countenance of Jesus was altered, points to the fulfilment of the Old Testament in the New. Jesus puts off the physical body and assumes the radiant spiritual body. He converses with his predecessors about the continuation of God's revelation of Truth which will climax in Jerusalem. The words pronounced at the baptism of Jesus are repeated at this critical juncture: "This is my beloved son."

Blake's illustration of the scene follows the Biblical accounts including the two men with whom Jesus talked appearing both in their bodily forms and the glory of their Eternal forms.
                        

1ST Corinthians 15
[42] So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
[43] It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
[44] It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
[52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Jerusalem, Plate 76, (E 231)
"But Jesus breaking thro' the Central Zones of Death & Hell
Opens Eternity in Time & Space; triumphant in Mercy"

Jerusalem, Plate 96, (E 255)
"Then Jesus appeared standing by Albion as the Good Shepherd
By the lost Sheep that he hath found & Albion knew that it
Was the Lord the Universal Humanity, & Albion saw his Form     
A Man. & they conversed as Man with Man, in Ages of Eternity
And the Divine Appearance was the likeness & similitude of Los"

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Two Great Lights


In Genesis 1:16 we read about the 'two great lights'.  Blake used the Sun and
the Moon and inserted into them a world of meanings
1:16And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
1:17And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
1:18And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
1:19And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.


Like all natural phenomena Blake used the Sun and the Moon to express
many things.   He found two kinds of Sun, a natural sun and an eternal Sun:

(Erdman 465-6)
What it will be Questiond When the Sun rises do you not  see a round Disk of 
fire somewhat like a Guinea O no no I see an Innumerable company of the 
Heavenly host crying Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty



From Auguries of Innocence (ErdmaN 490)
If the sun and moon should doubt,
they'd immediately go out.


Penseroso and L' Allegro Plate 3

 From  MILTON'S L'ALLEGRO III
 Blake states: 
"The Great Sun is represented clothed in Flames 
Surrounded by the Clouds in their Liveries, in their 
various Offices at the Eastern Gate. beneath in Small 
Figures Milton walking by Elms on Hillocks green The 
Plowman. The Milkmaid The Mower whetting his Scythe. 
& The Shepherd & his Lass under a Hawthorn in the Dale"

The Great Sun is the Spiritual Sun the source of light not 
measured in wavelengths and frequencies. The spiritual 
sun is the source of true existence which partakes of the 
eternal and infinite energy of life. It announces its presence 
by increased clarity of perception expressed in truth, mercy 
and grace.

Blake used the Lark as the symbol of the messenger of Los; 
he uses the symbol of the sun as Los himself as both the 
message and the source of the message.
In this picture Blake uses scale as one of the means to 
distinguish between the natural world and the Eternal world. 
In the third illustration to L'Allegro Blake follows the text he is 
illustrating but changes the emphasis by using most of the page 
 to present the sun at his eastern gate. The occupants of the 
mundane world, including Milton, appear at the bottom of the 
page as small easily overlooked figures. 

Four levels of existence can be distinguished in the image. 
The pastoral level of this earth is represented in the strip at the 
bottom of the page. Surrounding the sun is the level of Beulah as 
dominated by the feminine. Within the disc of the sun is the fiery 
transformative level. The primary figure which overlaps the other 
three layers is the Great Sun in his Human or Divine form.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

LIFE OF CHRIST X

Mark 10
[42] But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
[43] But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
[44] And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
[45] For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
[46] And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.
[47] And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
[48] And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
[49] And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.
[50] And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.
[51] And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.
[52] And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

Link to picture.

Yale Center for British Art
Christ Giving Sight to Bartimaeus
Blake chose to illustrate another biblical incident of healing in his picture of Christ Giving Sight to  Bartimaeus. The event which is told only in Mark's gospel appears immediately following the explanation Jesus gives to the disciples of the difference between worldly authority and authority among his followers. The healing of Bartimaeus is a demonstration of the type of servanthood which should be practised by those who would be great among his disciples. The blind man sought mercy, he responded to the call from Jesus, he unencumbered himself, he asked for what he needed, he exercised faith and he responded to Jesus's gift by following the master. 

The physical blindness of Bartimaeus did not result in spiritual blindness. Through faith he cried out and was made whole. Blake shows, (as does Mark), that the faith of the three disciples may still be in question. 



The Everlasting Gospel, (E 522)
"My Sin thou hast forgiven me        
Canst thou forgive my Blasphemy
Canst thou return to this dark Hell
And in my burning bosom dwell
And canst thou Die that I may live
And canst thou Pity & forgive       
Then Rolld the shadowy Man away
From the Limbs of Jesus to make them his prey
An Ever devo[u]ring appetite
Glittering with festering Venoms bright
Crying Crucify this cause of distress        
Who dont keep the secrets of Holiness
All Mental Powers by Diseases we bind
But he heals the Deaf & the Dumb & the Blind
Whom God has afflicted for Secret Ends
He comforts & Heals & calls them Friends"  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

LIFE OF CHRIST IX

Mead Art Museum Amherst College
Christ Raising Jairus' Daughter
Jesus desired to heal those who sought his help. We see contrasted in this story those who were receptive to what Jesus could provide and those who were predisposed to expect failure. Those who denied, doubted and scorned were not admitted to the room where the young girl lay; nor were they admitted to Blake's picture of the healing. Faith formed a circle which included Christ, the young maiden and her Mother and Father. Peter, James and John whose faith still needed strengthening stand outside the circle as observers and disciples of Jesus.

Blake's image in the Blake Archive.

 
Mark 5
[
22] And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,
[23] And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.
[24] And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.

[
35] While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?
[36] As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
[37] And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.
[38] And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.
[39] And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.
[40] And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.
[41] And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.
[42] And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.
[43] And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat. 


Milton, Plate 25 [27], (E 122)
"The Elect is one Class: You
Shall bind them separate: they cannot Believe in Eternal Life
Except by Miracle & a New Birth. The other two Classes;
The Reprobate who never cease to Believe, and the Redeemd,       
Who live in doubts & fears perpetually tormented by the Elect"
Satiric Verses and Epigrams, (E 501)
"You dont believe I wont attempt to make ye
You are asleep I wont attempt to wake ye
Sleep on Sleep on while in your pleasant dreams
Of Reason you may drink of Lifes clear streams
Reason and Newton they are quite two things         
For so the Swallow & the Sparrow sings
Reason says Miracle. Newton says Doubt
Aye thats the way to make all Nature out        
Doubt Doubt & dont believe without experiment
That is the very thing that Jesus meant         
When he said Only Believe Believe & try         
Try Try & never mind the Reason why"

Auguries of Innocence, (E 492)
"He who Doubts from what he sees
Will neer Believe do what you Please
If the Sun & Moon should Doubt
Theyd immediately Go out"  

Post on a daughter who was sacrificed. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Light



Light is a metaphor for Creation, which began some time after the
beginning of the story. The continual breaking forth of light suggests
'at Creation of Time.'


Eternity is Light; mortal life is darkness (Ulro)




The word light appears 174 times in Poetry and Prose of William Blake.




From Thel (Plate 1; Erdman 4):

For thou shalt be clothed in light, and fed with morning manna:


From The Little Black Boy:
Look on the rising sun: there God does live And gives his light, and gives his heat away. And flowers and trees and beasts and men recieve Comfort in morning joy in the noon day.




The Book of Los refers to the Blakean Creation
(when Light began).

Chap: IV:
I: Then Light first began; from the fires Beams, conducted by fluid so pure . Flow'd around the Immense:

PLATE 54 of of Jerusalem (Erdman 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
The Four Zoas: the end of the 5th Night (Erdman 344): I well remember for I heard the mild & holy voice Saying O light spring up & shine & I sprang up from the deep He gave to me a silver scepter & crownd me with a golden crown


(This is one of several accounts of the Creation, which is on-going.




And from this blessed letter to Butts, his friend and Confessor:

To my Friend Butts I write

My first Vision of Light

On the yellow sands sitting

The Sun was Emitting

His Glorious beams

From Heavens high Streams

Over Sea over Land

My Eyes did Expand

Into regions of air

Away from all Care

Into regions of fire

Remote from Desire

The Light of the Morning

Heavens Mountains adorning

In particles bright

The jewels of Light

Distinct shone & clear--

For Blake this reports a new Creation.






Friday, December 21, 2012

LIFE OF CHRIST VIII

Healing of the Woman with an Issue of Blood
william-blake.org
Picture in the Blake Archive
Much of Jesus' teaching came through his healing ministry. In the fifth chapter of Mark and the eighth chapter of Matthew we find accounts of two healings which are linked by a common time frame. The healing of the woman with the flow of blood occurs while Jesus is accompanying Jairus to minister to his dying daughter.
This post will treat the healing of the woman and the next post on the Life of Christ will follow the healing of Jairus' daughter.

This incident concerns itself with realities which are not natural but spiritual. Jesus felt the touch of the woman because they were joined in spirit as the healing energy flowed to supply her need and make her whole. Jesus is pictured among a group of people but most of them make no contact with him; their eyes are averted, or are cast down, or stare blankly. Only the children look through their eyes rather than with their eyes and see the potential of Jesus for love and healing. The woman who knew her need and his power reached out to touch the hem of his garment because the troubles she endured made her receptive to seeking his blessing in the simplest and most humble way.   


Mark 5

[25] And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
[26] And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
[27] When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
[28] For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
[29] And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
[30] And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
[31] And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
[32] And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
[33] But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
[34] And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.  

Milton, Plate 26 [28], (E 124)
"So they are born on Earth, & every Class is determinate
But not by Natural but by Spiritual power alone, Because         
The Natural power continually seeks & tends to Destruction
Ending in Death: which would of itself be Eternal Death
And all are Class'd by Spiritual, & not by Natural power.

And every Natural Effect has a Spiritual Cause, and Not
A Natural: for a Natural Cause only seems, it is a Delusion      
Of Ulro: & a ratio of the perishing Vegetable Memory."

Letters, to Thomas Butts, (E 728)
"Accept of my thanks for your kind & heartening Letter You
have Faith in the Endeavours of Me your weak brother & fellow
Disciple. how great must be your faith in our Divine Master.  You
are to me a Lesson of Humility while you Exalt me by such
distinguishing commendations.  I know that you see certain merits
in me which by Gods Grace shall be made fully apparent & perfect
in Eternity. in the mean time I must not bury the Talents in the
Earth but do my endeavour to live to the Glory of our Lord &
Saviour & I am also grateful to the kind hand that endeavours to
lift me out of despondency even if it lifts me too high--"
Auguries of Innocence, (E 492)
"We are led to Believe a Lie 
When we see not Thro the Eye"  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

God 1a

Atheists are often told that God means more to them than to nominal Christians.
Blake was no atheist, nor was he a 'nominal Christian'. Northrup Frye referred to him as a 'Bible soaked Christian'.


There are many posts on William Blake:Religion and Pschology that concern 'God' and 'Bible'; I have chosen a few that seem appropriate here:


"Within the mind of man there is confusion: to which image of God will we give our allegiance? Satan claims godship and is worshipped as God of this World. He convinces us that the here and now are the real and that Eternity is the illusion; he promotes war....."
(That from EIGHTH DIVINE IMAGE III)


Blake perceived that the ancient Hebrews had changing meanings for God. He had various names for the various epochs and cultures:

From The Four Zoas (Erdman 381):
1. "Lucifer refus'd to die & in pride he forsook his charge
And they elected
2. Molech
, and when Molech was impatient......

3. Triple Elohim came: Elohim wearied fainted: they elected
Shaddai.
4. Shaddai angry,
5. Pachad descended: Pachad terrified, they sent
Jehovah
6. And Jehovah was leprous; loud he call'd, stretching his hand to Eternity......
7. Then Jesus Came & Died willing..."

Lucifer in Christian tradition is a proper name for Satan.

Molech was a Canaanite god, sometimes involved in the sacrificial burning of children.
(It was Molech who told Abraham to burn his son, but a higher God superceded Molech in Abraham's case.

Elohim taught 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth', a God of Vengeance.

Shaddai is unclear and disputed among Bible interpreters. It's used several times in Genesis as a name for God.

Pachad from Genesis 31 verse 53 it is sometimes identified as "The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us."

Jehovah is perhaps the most common name for the Old Testament god.

Jesus (the Seventh Eye) was the primary object of Blake's worship.


Blake did not think that God excites fear:
"Thinking as I do that the Creator of this world is a cruel being, and being a worshipper of Christ,
I have to say: "the Son! oh how unlike the Father":
First God Almighty comes with a thump on the head;
then J.C. comes with a balm to heal it."
(This from Thursday, August 16, 2012 God I)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

LIFE OF CHRIST VII

Yale Center for British Art
Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins

c 1822-25
In his ministry Jesus taught through parables. When teaching his disciples of the coming of the end times he used the analogy of women waiting for the coming of the bridegroom to a wedding feast.

Blake's image of the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins combines the ideas of the women with lamps waiting for the arrival of the bridegroom and the impending crisis which would be announced by the sounding of the last trumpet. The foolish women are more than just disappointed; they are fearful, anguished, alarmed, and mournful. They are responding to the angel in the sky above sounding the trumpet. The wise women are confident that they are prepared for the Son of Man to usher in the Kingdom of God

Matthew 24
[29] Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
[30] And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
[31] And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Matthew 25
[1] Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
[2] And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
[3] They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
[4] But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
[5] While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
[6] And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
[7] Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
[8] And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
[9] But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
[10] And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
[11] Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
[12] But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
[13] Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

First Corinthians 15
[52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Revelation 8
[2] And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

[6] And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

[13] And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
Milton, PLATE 23 [25],(E 118)
"Awake thou sleeper on the Rock of Eternity Albion awake
The trumpet of Judgment hath twice sounded: all Nations are awake
But thou art still heavy and dull: Awake Albion awake! 
Lo Orc arises on the Atlantic. Lo his blood and fire
Glow on Americas shore: Albion turns upon his Couch
He listens to the sounds of War, astonishd and confounded:
He weeps into the Atlantic deep, yet still in dismal dreams
Unwakend! and the Covering Cherub advances from the East:        
How long shall we lay dead in the Street of the great City"
Milton, Plate 25 [27], (E 121)
"And Los stood & cried to the Labourers of the Vintage in voice of awe.

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
The Ancient Man upon the Rock of Albion Awakes,"

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Blake Source 7

                           This from Tuesday, November 20, 2012

                            Church 2

                                         Neo-platonism

       The Church Fathers congregated in Rome, but Gnosticism had its center
in Alexandria, a marketplace of competing religious and philosophical ideas.
There in the third century a man named Plotinus gave birth to
 Neo-platonism, an amalgam of the best of Greek thought with the ethical 
teachings of Christ.

Extremely eclectic, drawing on currents of thought from Rome to India,
Plotinus's teachings became the religion of some of the later Roman Emperors.

       During the fourth century the religion of Neo-platonism disappeared as a
rival of the Church. However it deeply influenced the shape of Christian
thought, most notably through the mind of St. Augustine. Augustine in his
spiritual journey passed through a Neo-platonic stage, which left its mark upon
his Christian life and writing. Augustine occupies an anomalous position in the history
of the Church: he is both a Church Father of impeccable reputation and the spiritual
forebear of many theologians whose Neo-platonic bent put them on  the fringe of orthodoxy:

       Erigena, Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, Meister Eckhart are a few of
these Neo-platonic Christians. Some of those thinkers succeeded in remaining
within the umbrella of the authorized tradition; some were partially or totally
cast out. Among them they preserved to theology a breadth and a poetic
dimension that burst open the priestly cocoon with the 15th Century
Renaissance and the 16th Century Reformation.


And this at AND THIS AT THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11
                       
                           Thomas Taylor, the Grecian                         

According to the letter that Blake wrote to John Flaxman, Milton, Shakespeare, Boehme and  Paracelsus were among his teachers, but there were others:

Unlike the ones above Thomas Taylor was Blake's own age.  About 1784 Taylor gave 12 lectures at Flaxman's home on Neoplatonism. Blake undoubtedly attended (at least some of) these lectures.

Blake hitherto had frowned on Plato, but he was impressed by Taylor's lectures. He found a new world in Plotinus and the others; they exercised a marked influence on his poetry and pictures.

On page six of Milton Percival's Circle of Destiny he quoted this passage from Plotinus:
"No: our reasoning is our own.  We ourselves think the thoughts that occupy the understanding--for this is actually the We--but the operation of the Intellectual Principle enters from above" (sounds remarkably like WB).

The same year (1784) Blake wrote his satiric parody: An Island in the Moon: he referred to Taylor as Obtuse Angle and to himself as Quid:

" Obtuse Angle came in Oh I am glad you are come said quid......

Obtuse Angle giving a grin said Voltaire understood nothing of the 
Mathematics and a man must be a fool ifaith[?] not to understand the 
Mathematics" .........

"But Ob[t]use Angle, entering the room having made a

gentle bow, proceeded to empty his pockets of a vast number of
papers, turned about & sat down   wiped his [head]
 with his pocket handkerchief & shutting his eyes began to
scratch his head--well gentlemen said he what is the cause of
strife   the Cynic answerd. they are only quarreling about:
Voltaire--Yes said the Epicurean & having a bit of fun with him.
And said the Pythagorean endeavoring to incorporate their souls
with their bodies" 
  
Read it!



And this at the post called Blind Enion:

Raine (Blake and Tradition) :
Enion, the emanation of Tharmas becomes matter without association with spirit. Raine calls Enion the "first matter out of which all things are generated  .........................."
Raine finds the antecedents for Enion in Platonic metaphysics. She quotes Plotinus: "matter is neither soul nor intellect, nor life, nor form, nor reason nor bound, but a certain indefiniteness ... of itself invisible, and avoiding the desire of him who wishes to perceive its nature." In a reversal of the way we may have been trained to perceive, spirit is substantial and matter has no substance. Enion in her fallen state neither sees nor is seen; she resides close to non entity which she fears. 

More information about  Neo-platonism may be found here 
".....certain strands of Neoplatonism influenced Christian thinkers (such as Augustine, Boethius, John Scotus Eriugena, and Bonaventure),.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
In the seventeenth century in England, Neoplatonism was fundamental to the school of the Cambridge Platonists, whose luminaries included Henry More, Ralph Cudworth, Benjamin Whichcote and John Smith, all graduates of Cambridge University. Coleridge claimed that they were not really Platonists, but "more truly Plotinists": "divine Plotinus", as More called him."

Monday, December 17, 2012

LIFE OF CHRIST VI

Paradise Regained
Andrew and Simon Peter Searching for Christ
In this picture Blake draws on the synoptic gospels, the Gospel of John and Milton's Paradise Regained to capture a decisive instant in the development in the story of Christ. The synoptics tell us of the temptation of Jesus after his baptism. The Gospel of John tells of the recognition by John the Baptist and two of his disciples of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. Milton's Paradise Regained tells of the ambivalence the two disciples felt when Jesus disappeared from their sight as he entered the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. The interval when Jesus was temped, Blake shows as a corresponding event for Andrew and Peter.  

The moment between the realisation of Andrew and Peter that Jesus is the Christ and their committing themselves to follow him was their struggle with temptation. The spiritual nature of this event is shown through the two angels who support and encourage the two men. The call of Christ for followers is not for men to be his corporeal friends but spiritual friends; to enter into a relationship where their hearts and minds are laid open to transformation through the unifying brotherhood of Man with Man, and God with Man.     

John 1
[29] The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
[30] This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
[31] And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
[32] And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
[33] And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
[34] And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
[35] Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
[36] And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
[37] And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
[38] Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
[39] He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
[40] One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.
[41] He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
[42] And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

Paradise Regained, Book II
John Milton
"Meanwhile the new-baptiz'd, who yet remain'd
At Jordan with the Baptist, and had seen
Him whom they heard so late expressly call'd
Jesus Messiah Son of God declar'd,
And on that high Authority had believ'd,
And with him talkt, and with him lodg'd, I mean
Andrew and Simon, famous after known
With others though in Holy Writ not nam'd,
Now missing him thir joy so lately found,
So lately found, and so abruptly gone,
Began to doubt, and doubted many days,
And as the days increas'd, increas'd thir doubt:
Sometimes they thought he might be only shewn,
And for a time caught up to God,"

Final lines of Paradise Regained:
Book IV
"Hail Son of the most High, heir of both worlds,
Queller of Satan, on thy glorious work
Now enter, and begin to save mankind.
Thus they the Son of God our Saviour meek
Sung Victor, and, from Heavenly Feast refresht
Brought on his way with joy; hee unobserv'd
Home to his Mothers house private return'd."

Jerusalem, Plate 77, (E 231)
" 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.  The Apostles knew of no other Gospel.  What were
all their spiritual gifts? What is the Divine Spirit? is the Holy
Ghost any other than an Intellectual Fountain? What is the
Harvest of the Gospel & its Labours? What is that Talent which it
is a curse to hide? What are the Treasures of Heaven which we are
to lay up for ourselves, are they any other than Mental Studies &
Performances? What are all the Gifts. of the Gospel, are they not
all Mental Gifts? Is God a Spirit who must be worshipped in
Spirit & in Truth and are not the Gifts of the Spirit Every-thing
to Man?" 

Descriptive Catalogue, (E 541)
"The Prophets describe what they saw in Vision
as real and existing men whom they saw with their imaginative and
immortal organs; the Apostles the same; the clearer the organ the
more distinct the object.  A Spirit and a Vision are not, as the 
modern philosophy supposes, a cloudy vapour or a
nothing: they are organized and minutely articulated beyond all
that the mortal and perishing nature can produce."
Milton, Plate 4, (E 98)
"(Mark well my words! Corporeal Friends are Spiritual Enemies)"

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Blake Sources 6

This is a reprise of Blake and Plato

   Thomas Taylor, 1758-1835, was an early friend of Blake's.
He was the first translator into English of Plato. As a young
man  Blake came under Taylor's influence.  His station in life
was a bit above Blake's; he was influential in the organization
that became the Royal Society of Arts.
Encouraged to pursue Classical Greek he became famous as an
admirer of Hellenism.
Like Blake he severely criticized the corruption of the
Established Church.
Taylor was a prolific writer and translator.
In an early satire Blake referred to himself as Quid the Cynic
and to  Taylor as Sipsop.
__________________________________________________________________
What Blake said about Plato from the Concordance:
PLATE 1 [i]  Milton
                                Preface.
The Stolen and Perverted Writings of Homer & Ovid: of Plato &
Cicero. which all Men ought to contemn: are set up by artifice
against the Sublime of the Bible.
(IMO what he meant here was that the 'religious community' of his day
had turned from the Bible to the Deists, generally with a focus on the
Greek thought.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
O Swedenborg! strongest of men, the Samson shorn by the Churches!
Shewing the Transgresors in Hell, the proud Warriors in Heaven:
Heaven as a Punisher & Hell as One under Punishment:
With Laws from Plato & his Greeks to renew the Trojan Gods,
In Albion; & to deny the value of the Saviours blood.
(Erdman 117-18)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           The Laocoon
The Gods of Greece & Egypt were Mathematical Diagrams See Plato's
Works
(Erdman 274; The Laocoon)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   A Vision of the Last Judgment
[ Visions of Imagination] ought
to be known as Two Distinct Things & so calld for the Sake of
Eternal Life Plato has made Socrates say that Poets & Prophets do
not Know or Understand what they write or Utter this is a most
Pernicious Falshood.  If they do not pray is an inferior Kind to
be calld Knowing Plato confutes himself>
(Erdman 554)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Gospel is Forgiveness of Sins & has No Moral Precepts
these belong to Plato & Seneca & Nero
(Erdman 619; Annotations to Watson)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Plato and Aristotle considered God as abstracted or
distinct from the natural  world.  But the Aegyptians considered
God and nature as making one whole, or all things together as
making one universe.
(Erdman 663; Annotations to Berkeley)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 What Jesus came to Remove was the Heathen or Platonic
Philosophy which blinds the Eye of Imagination The Real Man
( 664)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There is not one Moral Virtue that Jesus Inculcated but Plato &
Cicero did Inculcate before him what then did Christ Inculcate.
Forgiveness of Sins This alone is the Gospel & this is the Life &
Immortality brought to light by Jesus.
(Erdman 875)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Where I may oft outwatch the Bear
         With thrice great Hermes or unsphear
         The Spirit of Plato to unfold
         What Worlds or what vast regions hold
         The Immortal Mind that has forsook Its
         Mansion in this Fleshly nook
         And of those Spirits that are found
         In Fire.  Air.  Flood. & Underground</!WB>
    The Spirit of Plato unfolds his Worlds to Milton in
Contemplation. The Three destinies sit on the Circles of Platos
Heavens weaving the Thread of Mortal Life these Heavens are Venus
Jupiter & Mars, Hermes flies before as attending on the Heaven of
Jupiter the Great Bear is seen in the Sky beneath Hermes & The
Spirits of Fire.  Air.  Water & Earth Surround Miltons Chair
((Erdman 685) (See also this post.)
___________________________________________________________________________

If you've looked over these places where Blake mentioned Plato, you've probably concluded that Blake in general took a dim view of Plato and Platonism. He thought it was instrumental in the inferior forms of religion, such as Deism.

But following 'Golgonooza' by Kathleen Raine we perceived that Urizen's cave bore much resemblance to Plato's cave. In both cases man was shut off from the Eternal Sun and confined to the five senses, which is to say that our lives are essentially sensual and purely materialistic, utterly lacking a spiritual consciousness.

In this particular Blake and Plato were closely akin. From this we may see that Blake's evaluation of Plato was ambivalent.