Sunday, 6 May 2007

seeing blake

METATEXT 5 Blake's axis: visualising Blake's poetry.

the poem is the thing to look at Blake's logoi inThe Four Zoas and Jerusalem....that is the focus for this blog and web site.

Blake's epics can be read fluently and clearly once Blake's myth is grasped in detail and the story Blake tells is envisioned in process. Blake's concepts of society, cities, countries... such as Erin, Jerusalem, Babylon, London or Bath are hammered out by Los as 'centres' or in Blake's dynamics 'vortices' of continuously engaged consciousness. i think it can be compared with aspects of wittgenstein's families, barthe's ideas of myth or foucault's contemporary analyses of social dynamics as vertical and horizontal engagements of interacting groups and entities.

broad sweeps to begin ........., to grasp Blake's plot, you the reader/seer become the three-fold 'eye' of the work's moving two-fold visions. envisioning Blake's art/poetry means a suspension of ingrained habits of logocentric-laddered hierarchies, such as vertical concepts of mind, priest, god and king and god (know your place on the ladder of success stuff), alpha males and females, live spirit over lifeless matter, higher and lower consciousness, ladders of being to step upon and climb, ladders of promotion and ladders of rank to inform us of our place in the flat-earth order of things from the highest to the lowest, from Satan at the centre of earth as in Dante's ptolemaic cosmos, through the planetary heavens of astrology and the primum mobile egg-shelled about us. in such a system, time is Divine, the planets are predictive and astrology is prophecy. all this is symbolised by the 27 heavens of Ulro to Blake, with Erin's circle the 28th enclosing the 27.

for Blake every element of it is based on the self-predation of Albion's auto-idolatry. like a 'bird in an 28 heaven eggshell consuming its environment 'within' while wholly closed to all 'without'. such is the immediate consequences of Albion's morally insane narcissism on turning from God to a claim to 'autonomous self-fertilization'.

so i think to read and envision Blake, one first has to dump conditioned social and sexual concepts/symbolism/ritual auto-idolatry of the close-to-god class of the highest (the landlords/owners of work and time/salvation sellers), down through the (serving/servile/education/enforcement) professions, to the (enslaved) lowest. all belted together by the 'great chain of being'.....ptolemaic, medieval and obsolete economic class systems as marx sees.....or the sociologically frozen castes of the religious class system as every sectarian church or religious hierarchy of holiness sees.....or the evolution of consciousness in its hierarchies of capability in psychology.....or the idea of history as collingwood puts it....

by contrast, Blake created a uniquely expressed synthesis to grasp his understanding of the purpose of being....and it is this synthesis that analysed and presented, as independent aesthetic wholes in two Blake's two completed major epic myths; namely The Four Zoas and Jerusalem.

for Blake, all elements of these hierarchy are the results of Albion turning 'within' and are the warring components systems of mutual self-predation that is the self annnihilated Albion.

the inner chaos of Albion's auto-idolatry feeds upon itself, symbolised by Blake's symbol of 'druidic' nature worship. for Blake, that meant the murderous sacrifice of living things to a deficient concept of a god that needs the energies of the dead for food.

(we know now that was not the druids who built the henges but the indigenous religion of the pre-celts,...and we also know that the circle people were widespread, there are thousands of such stones in modern Jordan.

Blake is partly correct archaeologically... his symbols are of human sacrifice that did happen, but not at Stonehenge or any other henge, wood or stone...Thus Blake's story of Vala's sacrifice of her bonded Luvah on the stems of vegetation is a significant thematic climax to Blake's story of Albion's collapse into self-predation. Such human sacrifice is found (e.g. Greece, Babylon, Carthage) and animal sacrifice is commnplace globally). Blake depicts Luvah's energies to be a component of Albion's whole consciousness. Luvah's energies are thus finite, deficient and contingent, though Albion adores them as if Luvah and Vala are the power of infinite regeneration. Thus the sacrifice of Luvah's energies fails to resurrect finite life. It can only generate finite life and does not transcend death at all. This leads to Blake's story of the infinite energies of Jesus, who takes on the suffering of Albion's auto-idolatry, and being Divine can reawaken Albion to regenerate unity with God.

Blake envisions his angel of God's presence, symbolised by Albion, as collapsed inward into a catatonic state of inwardness and self-severance from the infinite source of all life, the creative love of God. Seen from without in three-fold vision, the self-severed Albion coils within from circumference to centre, 'snapping' within, with appalling energy, inward through Blake's dimensional 'gates' like the Gate of Los or Oorthoon, into the mirrored negations of this primordial collapse into finitude, division and splinterered moral blindness. it is inward collapse and disintegration into madness. Self-seduced, Albion's inner components sexually compete as quasi-autonomous, self-predating components, and so consume each other until they suicide. They kill each other off, feeding off each other until they are all dead. In Blake's myth, these components operate as vortical identities mutually overlapping and interacting; all life within Albion is composed of Minute Particulars as Blake symbolised it. We the audience seeing from three-fold vision understand they operate within Albion in vortices, in two-fold vision.

the only energies available for for sustenance are the energies of life taken by feeding off death. this is the life of finitude. in nature, the components seek power over all other components for sustenance and for breeding future sustenance. Christ saves Albion by assuming all the error and it is cast off as the hardened finite spectre of the Limit or State of Satan and Albion, his perceptions infinitely cleansed of the Limit or State of Satan is re-awakened in the bosom of Christ....... in three-fold vision 'all eternity' has always seen Albion in the arms of Jerusalem for example, symbolised by Christ's architecture of Albion's Tomb, as eternal truth. ....................only Albion cannot see himself....and that blindness is envisioned as two-fold vision by the reader.

to visualise Blake then, imagine consciousness as expanding and contracting from your deepest concentration centre to the furthest limits or circumference of your evolving mental and visual energies. that is to see this as an expansion and contraction in all directions outward and inward. For Blake, that is described as moving from east to west. it also means we envision axis from zenith to nadir as symbolised by the Seven Eyes of God or the Seven Furnaces of Los. in Blake's two-fold vision this means moving from north to south.

for Blake, three-fold vision begins by seeing Albion's mental energies 'within' from the infinite perspective 'without'. Urizen's journey of Night the Sixth (see Chapter VIII) clearly proves Blake's conscious narrative control. To go from the zenith to nadir is thus concomitantly seen as a two-dimensional journey from south to north or, for Blake, from the axis of the zenith at the south pole to the nadir at the north pole.

from the infinite, that creates an axis through the centre of Albion's consciousness. the seven furnaces/eyes of god/ thereby symbolise the bonding of Albion's personhood in infinite wholeness in God's 'economy' or plan of salvation, though Albion is utterly blind to God's salvic mercy. it takes the incarnation, the physical birth, death and resurrection of Christ actually within two-fold perception to awaken Albion from 'eternal death'. albion could not perceive eternal life, but saw only nature and life/death. the incarnation reveals divinity infinitely transcending death. this is three-fold-vision. then there in unity with God. this unity of the 'within' and 'without' is Blake's four-fold vision as in plates 94-100.

Thus as shown in...... it is impossible to perceive the vortices of Blake's two, three and four-fold vision without understanding his poetic vehicle is his geography of time and is through Blake's geography the reader visualises the concommitant dimensions that Blake envisions.

The four energy identities of zenith and nadir and centre and circumference are four vortices of psycho-physical energies and are whirl out 'within' as eight personae. In The Four Zoas, Urizen and Ahania are the zenith/south; Los and Enitharmon are the nadir/north; Luvah and Vala are the centre/east; and Tharmas and Enion are the circumference/west. thus each 'vortex realm' is a duality of energy and form.....togther they are Albion.

in review, the four realms are the psycho-physical finite expressions of Blake's four zoas and four emanations. with our three-fold vision we see their collapse into two-fold vision and self-predatory chaos, we can envision the sacrifice of the incarnate Christ within Albion, and we see Blake's apocalyptic cleansing of Albion to re-awaken in unity in the love of God, a love always within and without. thus we see in Blake's plot in The Four Zoas how Los and Enitharmon build a divinely inspired three-fold analogy of the city of God and the Human Form Divine, and Blake calls that Golgonooza. The prophetic vision of the sublime analogy, organises the spiritual architecture of Albion's energy from the inside out. The predatory energies of Albion seek in two-fold blindness to build a Temple of quasi-holiness to ritualise the murder of life to feed the murderers, and so to enslave sexuality for breeding. the two, the Temple and Golgonooza energise time and space in inverse vortices of power.

in Jerusalem there is another mythic logoi. there are four worlds and four sets of serial action. the four become one from Plate 94 to the end. each world is one whole vortex that whorls within, each is reversed by Divine intervention as the Finger of God in the Seventh Furnace, each describe a unique vision of the two limits or states and the incarnation, and each whorls outward to the limits of finitude. This boundary is symbolised by Albion's death in the arms of Christ. thus the four become one in the living Christ in Blake's final vision..... given in Plates 94-100 Jerusalem.