Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Job Picture 11

Wikipedia Commons
Job's Evil Dreams
Page 11
Linell set of Blake's Illustrations of the Book of Job
Republished from 6/28/10

A nightmare: 
Job 7
 13 When I think my bed will comfort me and my couch will ease my complaint,
 14 even then you frighten me with dreams
and terrify me with visions,

An excellent resource for studying Blake's Illustrations to the Book of Job is this website:

Jung, William Blake and our answer to Job by David Hiles. (Ellie's May 30, 2009 post entitled "Job's Image of God")


Speaking of Blake's overall structure and emphasis in his presentation of Job, David Hiles says:
"... it is clear that Blake makes a significant departure from the biblical text in terms of both the structure and emphasis of the series of plates. He eschews the cycle of speeches which occupy approximately 34 of the 42 Chapters of The Book of Job. Instead, Blake seems to concentrate on Job’s experience, and process of transformation. Blake also significantly expands the final stage of Job’s transformation, the stage of Return. Blake here seems to be acknowledging both his creative work and his own experience of suffering, i.e. through his work as a poet, artist and engraver, he is able to offer up a creative synthesis as an authentic expression to his readers."

Text and images are provided by Boston College.
Plate 11 When you click on this illustration you will see the watercolor painting which corresponds to it.

The 11th of the 21 pictures is the midpoint and illustrates the lowest psychological point that Job reaches. Job is shown prostrate and vulnerable in the center of the picture; above him is Satan masquerading as God as he points to the stone tablets of the law. The cloven hoof and the encircling serpent reveal his identity as Satan. The background is the chaos of the abyss. Below Job, who lies on a slab as if to be sacrificed, are fearful images taking hold of Job's body. Notice the flames the scaly arm the chains and the distorted faces. The mind and body of Job are assaulted by forces beyond his control, but Blake does not acknowledge that those forces represent the work of God.

Blake provides Biblical quotes to describe experience of Job which he is illustrating:

My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest (Job xxx: 17).
 
My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat (Job xxx: 30).
 

...the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment (Job xx: 5).
 
...for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light....his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness (Second Corinthians xi: 14-15).
 

Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions (Job vii: 14).
 

Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh? Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead into the rock forever! For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me ["though consumed be my wrought Image" in above text] (Job xix: 22-27)
 

Who opposeth and exaulted himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped (Second Thessalonians ii: 4).

The Biblical quotes (with locations identified in the Boston College website) make it possible for us to understand some of what Blake wishes to convey in this plate.
As portrayed by Blake, Job in his extreme condition, is able to recognize that a vengeful punishing God who would be the source of such pain and suffering, is not the God who is the object of his worship. He recognizes that this image of God which has been distorted by his suffering, does not describe his relationship to God: Satan can't be given the power to define God. The terrifying vision does not negate the redeeming God whom Job knows will preserve the eternal man who sees God with his own eyes. Satan is not to be exalted above God himself.

Blake sees this point in Job's experience as a revelation that Job must revise the whole pattern through which he himself views God: that he must reestablish a relationship with God which is not controlled by the legalistic Satanic paradigm of reward for obedience and punishment for failure. In the next ten plates Blake reveals the process of rebuilding Job's psyche and his experience of the nature of God.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

JOB - PAGE 11


Wikipedia Commons Job's Evil Dreams
Butts Set of Illustrations for the Book of Job
Page 11

This is the Legend on the engraving which Blake later made of this image:
My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest (Job 30:17)


My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat (Job 30:30)

. . . the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment (Job 20:5)

. . . for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light . . . his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness (II Corinthians 11:14-15)

Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions (Job 7:14)
Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh? Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me (Job 19:22-27)

Who opposeth & exalteth himself above all that is called God, or is worshipped (II Thessalonians 2:4)"


Job 30
[16] And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me.
[17] My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest.
[18] By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat.
[19] He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.
[20] I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not.
[21] Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me.
[22] Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance.
[23] For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.
[24] Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction.
[25] Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?
[26] When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.
[27] My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.
[28] I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation.
[29] I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.
[30] My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.
[31] My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep.

 
Job 20
[4] Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth,
[5] That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?
[6] Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds;
[7] Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is he?
[8] He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found: yea, he shall be chased away as a vision of the night.
 
II Corinthians 11
[12] But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
[13] For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
[14] And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
[15] Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

 
Job 7
[13] When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint;
[14] Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions:
[15] So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life.
[16] I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity.
[17] What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?
[18] And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment?
[19] How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle?
[20] I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?
[21] And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.

 
Job 19
[21] Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.
[22] Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?
[23] Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!
[24] That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!
[25] For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
[26] And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
[27] Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
[28] But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?
[29] Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.

 
2Thes.2
[1] Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
[2] That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
[3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
[4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

On Page 9 Job had defended himself from the external accusations made by his corporeal friends but his situation was now more dire. Now he had exposed himself to the consequences of encountering his own visions. If his suffering were generated by the image of God his own mind had created, how could he escape? He was sandwiched in between an image of a vindictive God and of a cruel nature.

Once again we see three levels in the picture but Job is now in the middle level between the image of a false God and the punishment which is already being inflicted on him. The implication is that he must reject the false image of God which he had accepted in order to free himself from the demons of his visions which are torturing him.

But the answer that Blake gave was not that man need annihilate the the false God, but he must annihilate the selfhood which creates the false image of God. Job had allowed Satan to be transformed into an image of light. In Job's vision God had taken on the characteristics of the devil: the cloven hoof, the entwining serpent, the angry lightening, and the unyielding laws engraved in stone.

This is the struggle which man fights with himself. Will he accept the Satanic image which his selfhood provides him or will he annihilate that ability within himself to ignore the persistent call from his spirit which can make him whole? If Job could hold fast to the knowledge that his redeemer lived and that in his flesh he would see God, his selfhood would lose power over him. His false reasoning power would be annihilated by his perception of truth. 

Four Zoas, Night VIII, PAGE 104 (SECOND PORTION), (E 377)
"We now behold the Ends of Beulah & we now behold
Where Death Eternal is put off Eternally
Assume the dark Satanic body in the Virgins womb
O Lamb divine it cannot thee annoy O pitying one
Thy pity is from the foundation of the World & thy Redemption
Begun Already in Eternity   Come then O Lamb of God  
Come Lord Jesus come quickly

So sang they in Eternity looking down into Beulah.

The war roard round Jerusalems Gates it took a hideous form
Seen in the aggregate a Vast Hermaphroditic form 
Heavd like an Earthquake labring with convulsive groans
Intolerable at length an awful wonder burst
From the Hermaphroditic bosom Satan he was namd
Son of Perdition terrible his form dishumanizd monstrous   
A male without a female counterpart a howling fiend 
Forlorn of Eden & repugnant to the forms of life
Yet hiding the shadowy female Vala as in an ark & Curtains
Abhorrd accursed ever dying an Eternal death
Being multitudes of tyrant Men in union blasphemous

Against the divine image. Congregated Assemblies of wicked men 

Los said to Enitharmon Pitying I saw
Pitying the Lamb of God Descended thro Jerusalems gates
To put off Mystery time after time & as a Man
Is born on Earth so was he born of Fair Jerusalem
In mysterys woven mantle & in the Robes of Luvah 

He stood in fair Jerusalem to awake up into Eden
The fallen Man but first to Give his vegetated body   
To be cut off & separated that the Spiritual body may be Reveald"
 
Milton, PLATE 38 [43], (E 139)
"In the Eastern porch of Satans Universe Milton stood & said

Satan! my Spectre! I know my power thee to annihilate
And be a greater in thy place, & be thy Tabernacle               
A covering for thee to do thy will, till one greater comes
And smites me as I smote thee & becomes my covering.
Such are the Laws of thy false Heavns! but Laws of Eternity
Are not such: know thou: I come to Self Annihilation
Such are the Laws of Eternity that each shall mutually     
Annihilate himself for others good, as I for thee.
Thy purpose & the purpose of thy Priests & of thy Churches
Is to impress on men the fear of death; to teach
Trembling & fear, terror, constriction; abject selfishness
Mine is to teach Men to despise death & to go on            
In fearless majesty annihilating Self, laughing to scorn
Thy Laws & terrors, shaking down thy Synagogues as webs
I come to discover before Heavn & Hell the Self righteousness
In all its Hypocritic turpitude, opening to every eye
These wonders of Satans holiness shewing to the Earth     
The Idol Virtues of the Natural Heart, & Satans Seat
Explore in all its Selfish Natural Virtue & put off
In Self annihilation all that is not of God alone:
To put off Self & all I have ever & ever Amen

Satan heard! Coming in a cloud, with trumpets & flaming fire     

Saying I am God the judge of all, the living & the dead
Fall therefore down & worship me. submit thy supreme
Dictate, to my eternal Will & to my dictate bow
I hold the Balances of Right & Just & mine the Sword
Seven Angels bear my Name & in those Seven I appear             
But I alone am God & I alone in Heavn & Earth
Of all that live dare utter this, others tremble & bow"

Friday, February 17, 2017

JOB - PAGE 10


Wikipedia Commons Job rebuked by his friends
Butts Set of Illustrations for the Book of Job
Page 10
This is the Legend on the engraving which Blake later made of this image:


"But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold (Job 23:10)
Have pity upon me! Have pity upon me! O ye my friends for the hand of God hath touched me (Job 19:21)
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him (Job 13:15)
. . . the just upright man is laughed to scorn (Job 12:4)
Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee? (Job 14:1-3)"

Job 23
[6] Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.
[7] There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge.
[8] Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
[9] On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:
[10] But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
[11] My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.
[12] Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

 
Job 19
[19] All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.
[20] My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.
[21] Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.
[22] Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?
[23] Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!
[24] That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!
[25] For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
[26] And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

 
Job 13
[13] Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, and let come on me what will.
[14] Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in mine hand?
[15] Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
[16] He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.
[17] Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears.
[18] Behold now, I have ordered my cause; I know that I shall be justified.

 
Job 12
[1] And Job answered and said,
[2] No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.
[3] But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these?
[4] I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn.

Job 14
[1] Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
[2] He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.
[3] And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee?


Job was continuing to be tested so that his dross might be consumed and his gold refined. Perhaps he did expect wisdom and support from his corporeal friends but it was not forthcoming. Instead he received doubts, rebukes and accusations.

Job came to the realization that the friends who visited him were corporeal friends not spiritual friends: their interest was in his welfare in the corporeal world; his own interest was his spiritual life and health and growth.

Blake associated the rebuke which Job received from his corporeal friends with the rejection he felt himself from critics and from false friends who were not able to acknowledge his gifts. Blake suffered from obscurity, poverty and humiliation because he would not pursue popularity, wealth, and renown in accordance with the world's standards. Like Job, Blake believed in the integrity of his own commitment to the truth he had received. Both Job and Blake reconciled themselves to enduring hardship rather abandoning their own inner light and attending to the condemnation from others. 

Blake against an accuser.
Jerusalem, Plate 44 [30], (E 193)
"Being not irritated by insult bearing insulting benevolences
They percieved that corporeal friends are spiritual enemies      
They saw the Sexual Religion in its embryon Uncircumcision
And the Divine hand was upon them bearing them thro darkness
Back safe to their Humanity as doves to their windows:
Therefore the Sons of Eden praise Urthonas Spectre in Songs
Because he kept the Divine Vision in time of trouble."          

Letters, To Butts, (E 716)
"Time
flies faster, (as seems to me), here than in London I labour
incessantly & accomplish not one half of what I intend because my
Abstract folly hurries me often away while I am at work, carrying
me over Mountains & Valleys which are not Real in a Land of
Abstraction where Spectres of the Dead wander.  This I endeavour
to prevent & with my whole might chain my feet to the world of
Duty & Reality. but in vain! the faster I bind the better is the
Ballast for I so far from being bound down take the world with me
in my flights & often it seems lighter than a ball of wool rolled
by the wind Bacon & Newton would prescribe ways of making the
world heavier to me & Pitt would prescribe distress for a
medicinal potion. but as none on Earth can give me Mental
Distress, & I know that all Distress inflicted by Heaven is a
Mercy. a Fig for all Corporeal Such Distress is My mock & scorn.
Alas wretched happy ineffectual labourer of times moments that I
am! who shall deliver me from this Spirit of Abstraction &
Improvidence." 

Letters, To Butts, (E 728)
"Christ is very decided on
this Point.  "He who is Not With Me is Against Me" There is no
Medium or Middle state & if a Man is the Enemy of my Spiritual
Life while he pretends to be the Friend of my Corporeal. he is a
Real Enemy--but the Man may be the friend of my Spiritual Life
while he seems the Enemy of my Corporeal but Not Vice Versa"

Letters, To Butts, (E 730)
 "As to Mr H I feel myself at liberty to say as follows upon
this ticklish subject.  I regard Fashion in Poetry as little as I
do in Painting. so if both Poets & Painters should alternately
dislike (but I know the majority of them will not) I am not to
regard it at all but Mr H approves of My Designs as little as he
does of my Poems and I have been forced to insist on his leaving
me in both to my Own Self Will. for I am determind to be no
longer Pesterd with his Genteel Ignorance & Polite
Disapprobation.  I know myself both Poet &
Painter & it is not his affected Contempt that can move me to any
thing but a more assiduous pursuit of both Arts." 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

POWER OF SIN

This is an invitation to go back and read an early post on this blog and the comments which accompany it. Susan initiated a conversation about 'sin', 'Satan' and 'forgiveness.' Larry, who has since been promoted to the Eternal World, was emphatic in his refutation of man's sinfulness.

Blake's Faith - Introduction


Wikimedia Commons
The Third Temptation

Monday, February 13, 2017

JOB - PAGE 9

Wikipedia Commons
The vision of Eliphaz
Butts Set of Illustrations for the Book of Job
Page 9
 
This is the Legend on the engraving which Blake later made of this image:

"Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? Behold he putt no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly (Job 4:17-18)

Then a Spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up (Job 4:15)"

Job 4
[1] Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,
...
[12] Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof.
[13] In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,
[14] Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake.
[15] Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:
[16] It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,
[17] Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?
[18] Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:] 
[19] How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?
[20] They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it.
[21] Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.

Job 5
[17] Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:
[18] For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.

Blake was familiar with visions. He relied on them to keep him in touch with the unseen world. Frightening visions were not alien to him. Gilchrist reported that Blake once ran out of his house upon seeing "a horrible grim figure, 'scaly, speckled, very awful,' stalking down stairs before him." The account in the Biblical Book of Job of Eliphaz's vision brought forth from Blake a picture of man being frightened by the appearance of God standing before him in a vivid dream. 

Eliphaz, one of Job's three comforters, sought to intimidate Job by presenting his dream in which God appeared before him with a dreadful countenance. Eliphaz intimates that this angry, hostile God will turn his wrath on Job and destroy him because he had set himself to be more just and pure than God Himself. Job however knew of a God who corrected his servant and intended to make him whole when he had been chastened.


Book of Urizen, Plate 2, (E 70)
"PRELUDIUM TO THE BOOK OF URIZEN 

Of the primeval Priests assum'd power,
When Eternals spurn'd back his religion;
And gave him a place in the north,
Obscure, shadowy, void, solitary.

Eternals I hear your call gladly,                                
Dictate swift winged words, & fear not
To unfold your dark visions of torment."

Milton, PLATE 26 [28], (E 122) 
"These are the Sons of Los, & these the Labourers of the Vintage
Thou seest the gorgeous clothed Flies that dance & sport in summer
Upon the sunny brooks & meadows: every one the dance
Knows in its intricate mazes of delight artful to weave:
Each one to sound his instruments of music in the dance,      
To touch each other & recede; to cross & change & return
These are the Children of Los; thou seest the Trees on mountains
The wind blows heavy, loud they thunder thro' the darksom sky
Uttering prophecies & speaking instructive words to the sons
Of men: These are the Sons of Los! These the Visions of Eternity 

But we see only as it were the hem of their garments
When with our vegetable eyes we view these wond'rous Visions"  
Jerusalem,Plate 25, (E 170)
"Injury the Lord heals but Vengeance cannot be healed:            
As the Sons of Albion have done to Luvah: so they have in him
Done to the Divine Lord & Saviour, who suffers with those that suffer:
For not one sparrow can suffer, & the whole Universe not suffer also,
In all its Regions, & its Father & Saviour not pity and weep.
But Vengeance is the destroyer of Grace & Repentance in the bosom
Of the Injurer: in which the Divine Lamb is cruelly slain:
Descend O Lamb of God & take away the imputation of Sin
By the Creation of States & the deliverance of Individuals Evermore Amen

Thus wept they in Beulah over the Four Regions of Albion
But many doubted & despaird & imputed Sin & Righteousness       
To Individuals & not to States, and these Slept in Ulro.

PLATE 26 

   SUCH VISIONS HAVE APPEARD TO ME 
     AS I MY ORDERD RACE HAVE RUN 
      JERUSALEM IS NAMED LIBERTY 
       AMONG THE SONS OF ALBION"

Saturday, February 11, 2017

JOB - PAGE 8


Wikipedia Commons
Job's Despair
Butts Set of Illustrations for the Book of Job
Page 8

This is the Legend on the engraving which Blake later made of this image:

Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein (Job 3:7)
Let the day perish wherein I was born (Job 3:3)
So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great (Job 2:13)

Job 3
[2] And Job spake, and said,
[3] Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.
[4] Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it.
[5] Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.
[6] As for that night, let darkness seize upon it; let it not be joined unto the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months.
[7] Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein.
...
[25] For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
[26] I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.

Job 2
[11] Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.
[12] And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
[13] So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.
_________________

As a reaction to the ills that had beset him, Job found himself sinking into the pit of despair. His wife and three friends offered no hope, help or encouragement. Job himself was able to reach up and to keep his eyes open to see whatever assistance might be offered.

Job turned inward during this period; it was a time of reflection in the silence. Although he found no joy in his life he sought a way through the darkness in which he was immersed. Blake had traveled through such periods of isolation and hopelessness so he knew there was a way out. The path involved discerning truth, committing to the core values which were the essentials, and being willing to change circumstances and assumptions which were contrary to leadings from the Spirit.


Letters, To Thomas Butts, Jan 10, 1803, (E 724)
...
     "But you have so generously & openly desired that I will
divide my griefs with you that I cannot hide what it is now
become my duty to explain--My unhappiness has arisen from a
source which if explord too narrowly might hurt my pecuniary
circumstances.  As my dependence is on Engraving at present &
particularly on the Engravings I have in hand for Mr H. & I find
on all hands great objections to my doing any thing but the meer
drudgery of business & intimations that if I do not confine
myself to this I shall not live. this has always pursud me.  You
will understand by this the source of all my uneasiness This from
Johnson & Fuseli brought me down here & this from Mr H will
bring me back again for that I cannot live without doing my duty
to lay up treasures in heaven is Certain & Determined & to this I
have long made up my mind & why this should be made an objection
to Me while Drunkenness Lewdness Gluttony & even Idleness itself
does not hurt other men let Satan himself Explain--The Thing I
have most at Heart! more than life or all that seems to make life
comfortable without.  Is the Interest of True Religion & Science
& whenever any thing appears to affect that Interest. (Especially
if I myself omit any duty to my [self]  as a
Soldier of Christ) It gives me the greatest of torments, I am not
ashamed afraid or averse to tell You what Ought to be Told.  That
I am under the direction of Messengers from Heaven Daily &
Nightly but the nature of such things is not as some suppose.
without trouble or care.  Temptations are on the right hand &
left behind the sea of time & space roars & follows swiftly he
who keeps not right onward is lost & if our footsteps slide in
clay how can we do otherwise than fear & tremble. but I should
not have troubled You with this account of my spiritual state
unless it had been necessary in explaining the actual cause of my
uneasiness into which you are so kind as to Enquire for I never
obtrude such things on others unless questiond & then I never
disguise the truth--But if we fear to do the dictates of our
Angels & tremble at the Tasks set before us. if we refuse to do
Spiritual Acts. because of Natural Fears or Natural Desires!  Who
can describe the dismal torments of such a state!--I too well
remember the Threats I heard!--If you who are organized by Divine
Providence for Spiritual communion.  Refuse & bury your Talent in
the Earth even tho you should want Natural Bread. Sorrow & Desperation 
pursues you thro life! & after death shame & confusion of face to
eternity--Every one in Eternity will leave you aghast at the Man
who was crownd with glory & honour by his brethren & betrayd
their cause to their enemies.  You will be calld the base Judas
who betrayd his Friend!--Such words would make any Stout man
tremble & how then could I be at ease? But I am now no longer in
That State & now go on again with my Task Fearless. and tho my
path is difficult.  I have no fear of stumbling while I keep it
...
Naked we came here naked of Natural things & naked we shall
return. but while clothd with the Divine Mercy we are richly
clothd in Spiritual & suffer all the rest gladly Pray give my
Love to Mrs Butts & your family I am Yours Sincerely
WILLIAM BLAKE"
Letters, To Thomas Butts, July 6,1803, (E 731)
...
" But it is a Fact too true That if I
had only depended on Mortal Things both myself & my Wife must
have been Lost--I shall leave every one in This Country astonishd
at my Patience & Forbearance of Injuries upon Injuries & I do
assure you that if I could have returnd to London a Month after
my arrival here I should have done so, but I was commanded by my
Spiritual friends to bear all to be silent & to go thro all
without murmuring & in firm hope till my three years should be
almost accomplishd at which time I was set at liberty to
remonstrate against former conduct & to demand Justice & Truth
which I have done in so effectual a manner that my antagonist is
silencd completely. & I have compelld. what should have been of
freedom   My Just Right as an Artist & as a Man. & if any attempt
should be made to refuse me this I am inflexible & will
relinquish Any engagement of Designing at all unless altogether
left to my own Judgment.  As you My dear Friend have always left
me for which I shall never cease to honour & respect you
     When we meet I will perfectly describe to you my Conduct &
the Conduct of others toward me & you will see that I have
labourd hard indeed & have been borne on angels wings.  Till we
meet I beg of God our Saviour to be with you & me & yours & mine  
Pray give My & My wifes love to Mrs Butts & Family & believe me
to remain 
Yours in truth & sincerity
WILL BLAKE" 
Jerusalem, Plate 53, (E 203)
"Here on the banks of the Thames, Los builded Golgonooza,   
Outside of the Gates of the Human Heart, beneath Beulah
In the midst of the rocks of the Altars of Albion. In fears
He builded it, in rage & in fury. It is the Spiritual Fourfold
London: continually building & continually decaying desolate!
In eternal labours: loud the Furnaces & loud the Anvils          
Of Death thunder incessant around the flaming Couches of
The Twentyfour Friends of Albion and round the awful Four
For the protection of the Twelve Emanations of Albions Sons
The Mystic Union of the Emanation in the Lord; Because  
Man divided from his Emanation is a dark Spectre                 
His Emanation is an ever-weeping melancholy Shadow
But she is made receptive of Generation thro' mercy
In the Potters  Furnace, among the Funeral Urns of Beulah
From Surrey hills, thro' Italy and Greece, to Hinnoms vale."

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

JOB - PAGE 7


Wikipedia Commons Job's Comforters
Butts Set of Illustrations for the Book of Job
Page 7

This is the Legend on the engraving which Blake later made of this image:

"What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? (Job 2:10)

And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads towards heaven (Job 2:12)

Ye have heard of the Patience of Job and have seen the end of the Lord."
 
Job 2
[10] But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
[11] Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.
[12] And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
[13] So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.

 
James 5
[7] Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
[8] Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
[9] Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
[10] Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
[11] Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

Andrew Wright in Blake's Job: A Commentary, provides this insight into the plight of Job:
"...at the beginning of the story the hero was too self-sufficient to be capable of learning from experience. Before the jolts of disaster overthrew him he was like his three friends, secure, as he thought, in the knowledge of what life signified, and of his place in the universe, such as he might offer outward propitiation for the presumed sins of his sons. Now he had been dislocated into a realization of the pride, the precariousness, the opacity of his position. Though much suffering lies ahead for him he is embarked on the journey that will bring him to to a chastened and literally transfigured sense of self." (Page 23)
 
 
The consequence of living in time, as we do who have entered the gate of life on Earth, is experiencing events arriving in a sequence. Job had been satisfied with his circumstances and he had assumed that they would continue, but he could not be aware of what the future would hold for him. He may have thought that he could secure the future that he desired, but it is not so. Until the future becomes the present, it is unknown. Patience is the attitude that waits expectantly until the unknown if revealed. 
 
Job was among the fortunate because he was willing to move forward instead of trying to turn back. His patience was his ability to be receptive to change even though it involved suffering. He was among those who could be counted happy because he endured. He embarked on the journey not knowing where it would lead but trusting that he would be led to the knowledge which he lacked in his present condition.
Auguries of Innocence, (E 491)
"It is right it should be so 
Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Thro the World we safely go
Joy & Woe are woven fine
A Clothing for the soul divine 
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine
The Babe is more than swadling Bands
Throughout all these Human Lands
Tools were made & Born were hands 
Every Farmer Understands
Every Tear from Every Eye
Becomes a Babe in Eternity
This is caught by Females bright
And returnd to its own delight" 

Saturday, February 04, 2017

JOB - PAGE 6


Wikipedia Commons Satan Smiting Job with Boils
Butts Set of Illustrations for the Book of Job
Page 6
Job 1
[20] Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
[21] And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
[22] In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

 
Job 2
[6] And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.
[7] So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
[8] And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.
[9] Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
[10] But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.


This is the Legend on the engraving which Blake later made of this image:

"Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, Blessed be the Name of the Lord (Job 1:21)
. . . and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown (Job 2:7)"
 
The previous image on Page 5 pictured three levels: that of God, that of Satan and that of Job. It was titled Satan Going Forth from the Presence of the Lord. On Page 6 we see only Job's level on which Satan has joined Job. The implication was that the struggle between Job and Satan would take place outside of the presence of God. The image which Job held of a punishing and rewarding God would be tested as Job experienced the physical pain of excruciating boils covering his body from head to foot. The title associated with Page 5 is Satan Smiting Job with Boils.

If Job had associated God with Satan the Tempter and Accuser, he would have followed his wife's advice and cursed God and died either spiritually or physically. Instead he chose to recognize the debt of life which he owed to God in spite of the affliction he suffered.

At this stage of Job's evolution, Satan was no longer located outside of Job. This was the first of Blake's images in which Job himself was enduring the suffering within himself. Job directly confronted Satan, not as a distant force which destroys his property, his wealth and his family, but as one which was breaking down the integrity of the physical body which the natural man associates with life itself. Job achieved the radical affirmation that it was God who gave life, not the physical body: that the essential "I" endures before the birth and after the death of the body.

Blake presented in this image the beginning of the unleashing of all the troubles and sorrows of the world upon Job. Satan has gone from an agent through which God might test Job's image of the divine to the means through which mankind may experience the consequences of living without consciousness of the Divine Presence. 

Four Zoas, Night III, Page 41, (E 328)
"Like a dark lamp. Eternal death haunts all my expectation
Rent from Eternal Brotherhood we die & are no more

I heard the Voice of Albion starting from his sleep

"Whence is this voice crying Enion that soundeth in my ears 
O cruel pity! O dark deceit! can Love seek for dominion         

And Luvah strove to gain dominion over the mighty Albion     
They strove together above the Body where Vala was inclos'd
And the dark Body of Albion left prostrate upon the crystal pavement
Coverd with boils from head to foot. the terrible smitings of Luvah

Then frownd the Fallen Man & put forth Luvah from his presence 
(I heard him: frown not Urizen: but listen to my Vision)

Page 42     
Saying, Go & die the Death of Man for Vala the sweet wanderer
I will turn the volutions of your Ears outward; & bend your Nostrils
Downward; & your fluxile Eyes englob'd, roll round in fear
Your withring Lips & Tongue shrink up into a narrow circle
Till into narrow forms you creep. Go take your fiery way         
And learn what 'tis to absorb the Man you Spirits of Pity & Love

O Urizen why art thou pale at the visions of Ahania          
Listen to her who loves thee lest we also are driven away."

Phillips Translation
2ND Corinthians 4
15-18
We wish you could see how all this is working out for your benefit, and how the more grace God gives, the more thanksgiving will redound to his glory. This is the reason why we never collapse. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength. These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain. For we are looking all the time not at the visible things but at the invisible. The visible things are transitory: it is the invisible things that are really permanent.



Thursday, February 02, 2017

FAVORITE QUOTES 3

British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
Night IX, page 79
 
Visions of Daughters of Albion, Plate 8, (E 51)
"Arise and drink your bliss, for every thing that lives is holy!"

.