Sunday, March 31, 2013

Deceit


The Bible is full of deceit, as is Blake. The story of Jacob’s
theft of the birthright of his brother, Esau is one of many
examples of deceit that we find scattered
throughout the Bible; here’s an extract from in Genesis:
27:6 And Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, Behold, 
I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying, 
27:7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I 
may eat, and bless you before the LORD before my death. 
27:8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that 
which I command you. 
27:9 Go now to the flock, and fetch me from there two good 
kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for your 
father, such as he loves:
27:10 And you shall bring it to your father, that he may eat, and
that he may bless you before his death.
27:11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my
brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:
27:12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him 
as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse on me, and not a blessing. 
27:13 And his mother said to him, On me be your curse, my son:
only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.
27:14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother:
and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved.
27:15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her oldest son Esau,
which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her
younger son:
27:16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands, and
on the smooth of his neck:
27:17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had
prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.”



From Jerusalem Plate 6 and 7:
“In pain the Spectre divided: in pain of hunger and thirst:
To devour Los's Human Perfection, but when he saw that Los

PLATE 7
Was living: panting like a frighted wolf, and howling
He stood over the Immortal, in the solitude and darkness:
Upon the darkning Thames, across the whole Island westward.
A horrible Shadow of Death, among the Furnaces: beneath
The pillar of folding smoke; and he sought by other means,       
To lure Los: by tears, by arguments of science & by terrors:
Terrors in every Nerve, by spasms & extended pains:
While Los answer'd unterrified to the opake blackening Fiend

And thus the Spectre spoke: Wilt thou still go on to destruction?
Till thy life is all taken away by this
deceitful Friendship?    
He drinks thee up like water! like wine he pours thee
Into his tuns: thy Daughters are trodden in his vintage
He makes thy Sons the trampling of his bulls, they are plow'd
And harrowd for his profit, lo! thy stolen Emanation
Is his garden of pleasure! all the Spectres of his Sons mock thee
Look how they scorn thy once admired palaces! now in ruins
Because of Albion! because of
deceit and friendship!

With some imagination you may see the analogy between
Jacob/Esau and the Spectre/ Los.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

BLAKE & SCIENCE II

In Fearful Symmetry Northrup Frye has this to say about Blake's use of the word science:
"By 'Science' he means what he means elsewhere when he says: 'The Primeval State of Man was Wisdom, Art and Science.' That is, wisdom consists of the mental war which is art and the mental hunting which is science, and these constitute the eternal life of a Man who is God. Art is human but it is also divine because God is a Creator. Science is human, but it is also divine because God can hardly be the lazy and inert Omniscience which a lazy and inert mind is apt to envisage." Page 271

Jerusalem Plate 3, (E 146)
"Poetry Fetter'd, Fetters the Human Race! Nations are Destroy'd,
or Flourish, in proportion as Their Poetry Painting and Music,
are Destroy'd or Flourish! The Primeval State of Man, was Wisdom,
Art, and Science."

 
In The Blake Dictionary, Foster Damon informs  us that for Blake: "Science is divided into Bowlahoola [assimilation] and Allamanda [communication]. Science can assimilate its material and communicate it, but it cannot create." 


Library of Congress 
Europe
Title Page, Copy E
When Jered Diamond wrote Collapse he was attempting to cause his readers to see what was clearly visible all around them as symptomatic of a larger, more threatening process being enacted. Blake interpreted what he saw in the London, the Britain, the Europe, the world of his time equally as symptoms of the collapse of the systems which sustain civilization. Diamond used examples of disintegration from history over time and space to create his image of our own civilization crumbling under the weight of inappropriate decisions. Blake created images which, if assimilated, could re-form the mind into a vehicle for imagination which would not accept the conditions which made man less than human.  

In this passage from Milton, Blake begins with the wine-press as his image of the conditions man endures in this world. The ultimate of suffering results from becoming subject to the emotional acting-out which can be observed in our lives, and in the schools, and neighborhoods, and courts and prisons around us. Contrasting with the wine-presses is Allamanda and Golgonooza and the labors of the Sons of Los. Golgonooza, the mind functioning in the imaginative mode is supported by Allamanda which collects and distributes the ideas which the mind needs as raw material for creation. The strenuous labors of the Sons of Los (the Imagination) work against the efforts of the Sons of Urizen (fallen Reason). The efforts of the Imagination striving to maintain the Vision of Eternity fall under the   heading of Science which is the remnant in the world in which we live of the Eternal Art of Architecture.   
  
Blake tells us that Religion, Law, and Physic & Surgery in the fallen world are the remains of Poetry, Music and Painting which result from the survival of Eternal Architecture as Science in the world of time and space.


We see from this analysis that Science became a inclusive image, right alongside Art as having the potential for redeeming the fallen world. 

Milton, PLATE 27 [29], (E 124)
"But in the Wine-presses the Human grapes sing not, nor dance  
They howl & writhe in shoals of torment; in fierce flames consuming,
In chains of iron & in dungeons circled with ceaseless fires.
In pits & dens & shades of death: in shapes of torment & woe.
The plates & screws & wracks & saws & cords & fires & cisterns
The cruel joys of Luvahs Daughters lacerating with knives        
And whips their Victims & the deadly sport of Luvahs Sons.

They dance around the dying, & they drink the howl & groan
They catch the shrieks in cups of gold, they hand them to one another:
These are the sports of love, & these the sweet delights of amorous play
Tears of the grape, the death sweat of the cluster the last sigh 
Of the mild youth who listens to the lureing songs of Luvah

But Allamanda calld on Earth Commerce, is the Cultivated land
Around the City of Golgonooza in the Forests of Entuthon:
Here the Sons of Los labour against Death Eternal; through all
The Twenty-seven Heavens of Beulah in Ulro, Seat of Satan,       
Which is the False Tongue beneath Beulah: it is the Sense of Touch:
The Plow goes forth in tempests & lightnings & the narrow cruel
In blights of the east; the heavy Roller follows in howlings of woe.
Urizens sons here labour also; & here are seen the Mills
Of Theotormon, on the verge of the Lake of Udan-Adan:            
These are the starry voids of night & the depths & caverns of earth
These Mills are oceans, clouds & waters ungovernable in their fury
Here are the stars created & the seeds of all things planted
And here the Sun & Moon recieve their fixed destinations

But in Eternity the Four Arts: Poetry, Painting, Music,          
And Architecture which is Science: are the Four Faces of Man.
Not so in Time & Space: there Three are shut out, and only
Science remains thro Mercy: & by means of Science, the Three
Become apparent in time & space, in the Three Professions

Poetry in Religion: Music, Law: Painting, in Physic & Surgery: 

That Man may live upon Earth till the time of his awaking,
And from these Three, Science derives every Occupation of Men.
And Science is divided into Bowlahoola & Allamanda.
Plate 28 [30]
Some Sons of Los surround the Passions with porches of iron & silver
Creating form & beauty around the dark regions of sorrow,
Giving to airy nothing a name and a habitation
Delightful! with bounds to the Infinite putting off the Indefinite
Into most holy forms of Thought: (such is the power of inspiration)
They labour incessant; with many tears & afflictions:
Creating the beautiful House for the piteous sufferer."
In spite of the obstacles presented by a world in which most men have lost the ability to perceive the Eternal, materials are provided with which one's imagination may build a beautiful house with windows from which eternity is visible. Through Science the ideas necessary for the process are assimilated and communicated.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Rivers


Genesis 2:10-14
King James Version (KJV)
And a river went out of Eden to water the garden;
and from thence it parted, and became into four heads.
11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land 
of Havilah, where there is gold;
12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that 
compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward 
the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.

Psalm 46

[1] God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
[2] Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the 
mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
[3] Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake 
with the swelling thereof. Selah.
[4] There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the 
holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.


In Revelation 22:
[1] And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, 
proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. [2] In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there 
the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit 
every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.





Here’s a link to Blake’s River of Life, said to be copyrighted by the
London, Tate Gallery, National Gallery of British Art, N.05887/B525.



From Jerusalem Plate 98:
The Four Living Creatures Chariots of Humanity Divine
    Incomprehensible
In beautiful Paradises expand These are the Four Rivers of
    Paradise   
And the Four Faces of Humanity fronting the Four Cardinal Points
Of Heaven going forward forward irresistible from Eternity to

    Eternity

And they conversed together in Visionary forms dramatic which
    bright
Redounded from their Tongues in thunderous majesty, in Visions

(Erdman 257)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

BLAKE & SCIENCE

The Eternal purpose of Science is stated in the final lines of the Four Zoas:

Four Zoas, Night IX, PAGE 139, (E 407) 
The Sun arises from his dewy bed & the fresh air, 
Play in his smiling beams giving the seeds of life to grow
And the fresh Earth beams forth ten thousand thousand springs of life
Urthona is arisen in his strength no longer now
Divided from Enitharmon no longer the Spectre Los                
Where is the Spectre of Prophecy where the delusive Phantom
Departed & Urthona rises from the ruinous walls
In all his ancient strength to form the golden armour of science
For intellectual War The war of swords departed now
The dark Religions are departed & sweet Science reigns"  
Blake begins the Four Zoas by quoting on Page 3, Ephesians 6:12 in Greek.

Ephesians 6
[10] Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
[11] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
[12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
[13] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
[14] Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
[15] And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
[16] Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
[17] And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
[18] Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints


Ackland Art Museum
University of North Carolina
A Breach in a City, the Morning After the Battle
The armour of God which man wears to protect himself from the 'rulers of the darkness of this world' is called by Blake: Science. 

Science is the outer garment formed by the imagination to conduct the intellectual war. 'Nature is a Vision of the Science of the Elohim' (Milton, Plate 29).  The Elohim to Blake can represent the creative aspect of God as in the creation of Adam by the Elohim. So Science gives the material form to images which arise in the imagination. Art and Science are both present in the Eternal world as well as on the Earth, but the Earthly form may be degraded into what may seem to be a parody of  the  Heavenly original.   


Milton, Plate 29 [31], (E 128)
"But Rahab & Tirzah pervert
Their mild influences, therefore the Seven Eyes of God walk round
The Three Heavens of Ulro, where Tirzah & her Sisters            
Weave the black Woof of Death upon Entuthon Benython
In the Vale of Surrey where Horeb terminates in Rephaim
The stamping feet of Zelophehads Daughters are coverd with Human gore
Upon the treddles of the Loom, they sing to the winged shuttle:
The River rises above his banks to wash the Woof:                
He takes it in his arms: be passes it in strength thro his current
The veil of human miseries is woven over the Ocean
From the Atlantic to the Great South Sea, the Erythrean.

Such is the World of Los the labour of six thousand years.
Thus Nature is a Vision of the Science of the Elohim.            

                 End of the First Book."

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Commands

From Exodus 20 we read:





















Blake had a serious problem with these Laws; he didn’t believe in laws; he 
felt they were an infringement on our freedom.

He addressed this problem in several ways in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell:

“One Law for the Lion & Ox is Oppression” (Plate 24; Erdman 44)

And in the Plate before (23) the devil (speaking for Blake) had this to say:

“if Jesus Christ is the greatest man, you ought to love him in the greatest degree" 
...
" now
hear how he has given his sanction to the law of ten
commandments: did he not mock at the sabbath, and so mock the
sabbaths God? murder those who were murderd because of him? turn
away the law from the woman taken in adultery? steal the labor of
others to support him? bear false witness when he omitted making
a defence before Pilate? covet when he pray'd for his disciples,
and when he bid them shake off the dust of their feet against
such as refused to lodge them? I tell you, no virtue can exist
without breaking these ten commandments: Jesus was all virtue,
and acted from impulse: not from rules."


******************

In Blake’s myth Urizen acted as God, the giver of laws:
Beginning of the Book of Urizen; Library of Congress

Urizen was supposed to create the world, but in exasperation he said:

“He in darkness clos'd, view'd all his race,

(Like Paul, who said in Romans 3:10:
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one."
(Quoting Psalm 14)

And his soul sicken'd! he curs'dBoth sons & daughters; for he saw
That no flesh nor spirit could keep                        
His iron laws one moment.”
*********************
In America, a Prophecy, after the magnificent song re Liberation we read:
“PLATE 6

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;
Let the slave grinding at the mill, run out into the field:
Let him look up into the heavens & laugh in the bright air;
Let the inchained soul shut up in darkness and in sighing,
Whose face has never seen a smile in thirty weary years;
Rise and look out, his chains are loose, his dungeon doors are open.     
And let his wife and children return from the opressors scourge;
They look behind at every step & believe it is a dream.
Singing. The Sun has left his blackness, & has found a fresher morning
And the fair Moon rejoices in the clear & cloudless night;
For Empire is no more, and now the Lion & Wolf shall cease.

PLATE 8
The terror answerd: I am Orc, wreath'd round the accursed tree:
The times are ended; shadows pass the morning gins to break;
The fiery joy, that Urizen perverted to
ten commands,
What night he led the starry hosts thro' the wide wilderness:
That stony law I stamp to dust: and scatter religion abroad      
To the four winds as a torn book, & none shall gather the leaves;
But they shall rot on desart sands, & consume in bottomless
    deeps;
To make the desarts blossom, & the deeps shrink to their
    fountains,"

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

WAR & HUNTING

media.mutualart.com
Illustrations to Dante
Empyrean
Drinking at the River of Life
 




Eternity is not closed to the man of imagination. He may drink at the River of Life as Blake himself did. He tells us that the Two Fountains of the River of Life are War & Hunting. Not war and hunting experienced in the vegetative body but in the Eternal or Imaginative Body; not enclosed under the 'shaggy roof' of the skull but open to  an 'immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses five'.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 5, (E 35)
  "When I came home; on the abyss of the five senses, where a
flat  sided steep frowns over the present world. I saw a mighty
Devil folded in black clouds, hovering on the sides of the rock,
with corroding fires he wrote the following sentence now
perceived by the minds of men, & read by them on earth.       

   How do you know but ev'ry Bird that cuts the airy way,
   Is an immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses five?"
 
 What might be the war engaged in as a Fountain of the River of Life? Blake's answer is 'Mental Studies & Performances.' The war of ideas exchanged with mutual appreciation and respect breaks no bones and sheds no blood. The conflict of ideas need not lead to external conflict unless the Selfhood defensively arms itself for a battle which need not come. In The Poison Tree the enemy is created externally as an expression of internal fears, self-pity, and deceit. It is not the Selfhood but the Holy Ghost which is an Intellectual Fountain.
 
Hunting too is said to be a Fountain of the River of Life. In hunting or searching man pursues 'Art & Science' through which the imagination is experienced in the material world.

Milton, Plate 34 [38], (E 134)
"And Ololon looked down into the Heavens of Ulro in fear
They said. How are the Wars of Man which in Great Eternity
Appear around, in the External Spheres of Visionary Life
Here renderd Deadly within the Life & Interior Vision
How are the Beasts & Birds & Fishes, & Plants & Minerals
Here fixd into a frozen bulk subject to decay & death[?]
Those Visions of Human Life & Shadows of Wisdom & Knowledge
Plate 35 [39]
Are here frozen to unexpansive deadly destroying terrors[.]
And War & Hunting: the Two Fountains of the River of Life
Are become Fountains of bitter Death & of corroding Hell
Till Brotherhood is changd into a Curse & a Flattery
By Differences between Ideas, that Ideas themselves, (which are  
The Divine Members) may be slain in offerings for sin
O dreadful Loom of Death! O piteous Female forms compelld
To weave the Woof of Death,"

Jerusalem, Plate 77, (E 231)
"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? O ye Religious discountenance every one among
you who shall pretend to despise Art & Science! I call upon you
in the Name of Jesus! What is the Life of Man but Art & Science?
is it Meat & Drink? is not the Body more than Raiment? What is
Mortality but the things relating to the Body, which Dies? What
is Immortality but the things relating to the Spirit, which Lives
Eternally! What is the joy of Heaven but Improvement in the
things of the Spirit? What are the Pains of Hell but Ignorance,
Bodily Lust, Idleness & devastation of the things of the Spirit[?] 
Answer this to yourselves, & expel from among you those who
pretend to despise the labours of Art & Science, which alone are
the labours of the Gospel: Is not this plain & manifest to the
thought? Can you think at all & not pronounce heartily! That to
Labour in Knowledge. is to Build up Jerusalem: and to Despise
Knowledge, is to Despise Jerusalem & her Builders." 

Jerusalem, Plate 91,(E 251)
"Go to these Fiends of Righteousness
Tell them to obey their Humanities, & not pretend Holiness;
When they are murderers: as far as my Hammer & Anvil permit
Go, tell them that the Worship of God, is honouring his gifts
In other men: & loving the greatest men best, each according
To his Genius: which is the Holy Ghost in Man; there is no other
God, than that God who is the intellectual fountain of Humanity; 
He who envies or calumniates: which is murder & cruelty,
Murders the Holy-one: Go tell them this & overthrow their cup,
Their bread, their altar-table, their incense & their oath:
Their marriage & their baptism, their burial & consecration:"

Jerusalem, Plate 96, (E 256)
"So Albion spoke & threw himself into the Furnaces of affliction 
All was a Vision, all a Dream: the Furnaces became
Fountains of Living Waters Flowing from the Humanity Divine
And all the Cities of Albion rose from their Slumbers, and All
The Sons & Daughters of Albion on soft clouds Waking from Sleep
Soon all around remote the Heavens burnt with flaming fires    
And Urizen & Luvah & Tharmas & Urthona arose into
Albions Bosom: Then Albion stood before Jesus in the Clouds
Of Heaven Fourfold among the Visions of God in Eternity"

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Call

                                           The Call of Isaiah


Isaiah 6:
[1] In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
[2] Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
[3] And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
[4] And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
[5] Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
[6] Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
[7] And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
[8] Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
[9] And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
[10] Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
[11] Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,
[12] And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.


Blake used Isaiah and Ezekiel and many other prophets and had a special relationship

with these two.  he reported having dinner with them in The Marriage of

"The Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel dined with me, and I asked them how they dared so roundly to assert that God spake to them; and whether they did not think at the time, that they would be misunderstood, & so be the cause of imposition.
Isaiah answer'd. 'I saw no God, nor heard any, in a finite organical perception; but my senses discover'd the infinite in every thing, and as I was then perswaded, & remain confirm'd, that the voice of honest indignation is the voice of God, I cared not for consequences but wrote.'
Then I asked: 'does a firm perswasion that a thing is so, make it so?'
He replied: 'All poets believe that it does, & in ages of imagination this firm perswasion removed mountains; but many are not capable of a firm perswasion of any thing.'
Then Ezekiel said. 'The philosophy of the east taught the first principles of human perception: some nations held one principle for the origin & some another; we of Israel taught that the Poetic Genius (as you now call it) was the first principle and all the others merely derivative, which was the cause of our despising the Priests & Philosophers of other countries, and prophecying that all Gods would at last be proved to originate in ours & to be the tributaries of the Poetic Genius; it was this that our great poet King David desired so fervently & invokes so pathetic'ly, saying by this he conquers enemies & governs kingdoms; and we so loved our God. that we cursed in his name all the deities of surrounding nations, and asserted that they had rebelled; from these opinions the vulgar came to think that all nations would at last be subject to the jews.'
'This' said he, 'like all firm perswasions, is come to pass; for all nations believe the jews' code and worship the jews' god, and what greater subjection can be?'
I heard this with some wonder, & must confess my own conviction. After dinner I ask'd Isaiah to favour the world with his lost works; he said none of equal value was lost. Ezekiel said the same of his.
I also asked Isaiah what made him go naked and barefoot three years? he answer'd, 'the same that made our friend Diogenes the Grecian.'
I then asked Ezekiel why he eat dung, & lay so long on his right & left side? he answer'd, 'the desire of raising other men into a perception of the infinite; this the North American tribes practise, & is he honest who resists his genius or conscience. only for the sake of present ease or gratification?'"
:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

GOLDEN NET

Yale Center for British Art
Jerusalem
Plate 25, Copy E
Blake's little poem, The Golden Net, from his notebook (which came to be called The Pickering Manuscript) comments on the circumstances of man fallen from Eternity into the world of time and space. The outward, feminine world of matter is represented by the 'Three Virgins': chaste and cruel but presenting an appealing, exciting exterior.  They hold the very Golden String which may lead man through 'Heavens Gate built in Jerusalem's wall', but it has been woven into a net for entrapment. The Soul of our young man is 'melted away'; that is his ability to perceive the Eternal (the Fourfold) has been lost in his focus on the illusions of 'love & beauty' which have been materialized in the Threefold sexual world of these three virgins.
 
The process through which the three beautiful virgins have become visible as reflections in the water of materiality rather than as mental images created by the imagination or reasoning is stated, then it is repeated as the young man turns away from the perception of the infinite. This is imaged as the young man straying underneath the net. By involving himself emotionally with the illusions which appear to him, he creates a world exterior to his mind and assigns to it the substance which belongs to the infinite, eternal existence of imagination.
 
The three virgins appear in Blake mythopoeic system under the names of Vala, Rahab, and the Shadowy Female. Vala's daughter Tirzah is part of the family too. They exist as long as the mind cedes primary reality to the images it creates instead of the ability to create images.

The Pickering Manuscript, (E 483)
"     The Golden Net    
Three Virgins at the break of day
Whither young Man whither away
Alas for woe! alas for woe!
They cry & tears for ever flow
The one was Clothd in flames of fire    
The other Clothd in iron wire           
The other Clothd in tears & sighs       
Dazling bright before my Eyes
They bore a Net of Golden twine
To hang upon the Branches fine    
Pitying I wept to see the woe           
That Love & Beauty undergo
To be consumd in burning Fires
And in ungratified Desires
And in tears clothd Night & day    
Melted all my Soul away
When they saw my Tears a Smile
That did Heaven itself beguile
Bore the Golden Net aloft
As on downy Pinions soft                
Over the Morning of my Day              
Underneath the Net I stray
Now intreating Burning Fire             
Now intreating Iron Wire  
Now intreating Tears & Sighs   
O when will the morning rise"   

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sacrifice

Genesis
22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said to him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
22:2 And he said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and get you into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of.
22:3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and split the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went to the place of which God had told him.
22:4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
22:5 And Abraham said to his young men, Abide you here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
22:6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
22:7 And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
22:9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar on the wood.
22:10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
22:11 And the angel of the LORD called to him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
22:13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.



References to sacrifice:
In A Descriptive Catalog (Erdman 542-30 He wrote:
"Adam was a Druid, and Noah; also 
 Abraham was called to succeed the Druidical age which age began to turn allegoric
 and mental signification into corporeal command, whereby human sacrifice would
 have depopulated the earth."

 And in Jerusalem Plate 5:
Jerusalem is scatterd abroad like a cloud of smoke thro' non-entity:

 Moab & Ammon & Amalek & Canaan & Egypt & Aram
 Recieve her little-ones for sacrifices and the delights of cruelty"
 (Erdman 147)   

Like all these symbols Blake saw this one as a contrary; here's an example;

The Ghost of Abel; (Erdman 270)

“Abel-- Are these the Sacrifices of Eternity O Jehovah, a Broken Spirit
         And a Contrite Heart. O I cannot Forgive! the Accuser hath          
         Enterd into Me as into his House & I loathe thy Tabernacles
         As thou hast said so is it come to pass: My desire is unto Cain
         And He doth rule over Me: therefore My Soul in fumes of Blood
         Cries for Vengeance: Sacrifice on Sacrifice Blood on Blood
Jehovah-- Lo I have given you a Lamb for an Atonement instead    

         Of the Transgres[s]or, or no Flesh or Spirit could ever Live
Abel--    Compelled I cry O Earth cover not the Blood of Abel

         
Abel sinks down into the Grave. from which arises Satan
         Armed in glittering scales with a Crown & a Spear


Satan--   I will have Human Blood & not the blood of Bulls or Goats
         And no Atonement O Jehovah the Elohim live on Sacrifice
         Of Men: hence I am God of Men: Thou Human O Jehovah.
         By the Rock & Oak of the Druid creeping Mistletoe & Thorn
         Cains City built with Human Blood, not Blood of Bulls & Goats
         Thou shalt Thyself be Sacrificed to Me thy God on Calvary


Jehovah-- Such is My Will.  
Thunders that Thou Thyself go to Eternal Death
         In Self Annihilation even till Satan Self-subdud Put off Satan
         Into the Bottomless Abyss whose torment arises for ever & ever.

         
On each side a Chorus of Angels entering Sing the following

The Elohim of the Heathen Swore Vengeance for Sin! Then Thou stoodst
Forth O Elohim Jehovah! in the midst of the darkness of the Oath! All Clothed
In Thy Covenant of the Forgiveness of Sins: Death O Holy! Is this Brotherhood
The Elohim saw their Oath Eternal Fire; they rolled apart trembling over The
Mercy Seat: each in his station fixt in the Firmament by Peace Brotherhood and Love.

         
The Curtain falls"

(Erdman  271)