Thursday, 21 February 2008

In William Blake's Jerusalem Explained you will be reading Blake's vision of a anglo-celtic, north European (and its diaspara) vision of Christianity.

He deconstructs the mediterranean centered prejudices of history once thought true now now seen as recidivism........for example 'flat-earth' histories, pre-darwinian concepts of time, evolution and science, set chronologies of creation, economic abuse and the sexual repression of women and their sexual abuse, as in prostitution and mere pleasure, the abuse of innocence in child labour and slavery and sacrifice of the human form Divine, of the god within, for power and money.

Likewise Blake saw war as the consequence of closed shells of consciousness... he symbolised these closed 'prisons' of perception, giving twenty-seven of them, which with the final boundaries of finitude make twenty-eight 'churches' of perception. Blake' s shapings of mental entities and core energies engages his audience in a remarkably practical engagement with real suffering and real collapse and renewal. Blake's commitment to his idea of christian prophecy was profound; it was the mission of art to bear witness in a manner not unlike the ikon and its theology of witness inwhich Christ breaks through the self-created inner shells of human perception. Blake's myth bears witness of Christ infinitely transcending within and without.

.........Blake's visionary spirituality is anglo-celtic. it is essential to see he consciously crafts a vision inspired by prophetic origins antecedent to the invited-to-britain-and-soon sent home augustine.

late millenium papal christianity, post roman, came together with indigenous anglo-celtic christianity. Of course there was inter-communion... throughout east, centre, west, north and southern (egyptian christianity c.f. beatty/bodmer fragments of NT c.200 c.e.).

heresies were not not part of anglo-celtic practice...c.f. Gildas the Wise and his hatred of the 'arian poison' as he calls it ...or marcion. The normans completed the accommodation of anglo-celtic christianity with papal religious and secular authority. the weight of church support for william is typically understated in 1066 and all that...Blake's myth is northern and western european, and its origins shared by augustine though its expression fully contemporary.

on the other hand, it is equally essential to know reading Blake means we do see rome as the centre, not as the east... and not as the west... for 'all roads lead to rome'.......further, clearly when they left Jerusalem after the crucifixion..... Peter and Paul did not 'go west... there's gold in them thar seven hills' as i put it elsewhere. .....they went to the centre called rome....(and yes... there was and is gold in those seven hills..... unimagined wealth) is beyond philosophical doubt and archaeological dispute that the west was the tin isles of thucidites, ... eventually called england, ireland, scotland and wales. (see below, 2007)...DNA studies and studies of 'saxon' burial sites show the western isles were a genetically homogenous indigenous civilisation that remained reasonably intact before the romans came and after the romans left... including 'migrations' from europe. modern archaeology proves 'England' did not collapse into a dark ages in which the celts were driven into cornwall and wales, for example kent was not conquered by a pagan saxon invasion. genes show kent to be as anglo-celtic as cornwall or wales or scotland, and strontium/oxygen levels in teeth of 24 skeletons from 5th - 7th cent a.c.e...confirm the genetic studies... (Sykes, Goldstein, Oxford 2002, 2005; Budd, Durham, Antiquity 2008; BBC Seven Ages of Britain TV series). it seems small-scale immigration that adopted and adapted. It does seem there were movements within england but that 'less than half of paternal input' was diue to 'anglo-saxon migration' concludes Goldstein. The pagan dark ages is now seen as replacement history and as such fails the criteria of truth necessary for revelation theology, which must always reform itself in the light of historical facticity to avoid heresy.

we need begin the literary journey of Blake's 'golden thread' knowing we read of Blake's religious understandings of the new Jerusalem....that Blake draws immediately from Swedenborg's 'New Jerusalem' as is well known and researched (see viscomi, Marriage of Heaven and Hell). He also drew from the earliest discourses of spirituality, symbolism, vision and prophetic inspiration (frye bloom percival bentley bloom percival lincoln rowland et al)... the meta summary of these scholars conclusions begins with Blake's tradition as a necessary critical departure point.

I discuss Blake's poetic story and his spiritual realities of a new Jerusalem in Chapter 4, especially Plate 86, of Jerusalem Explained. I have found is not possible to expand our critical perception of Blake's new Jerusalem without the philosophical pre-condition of knowing it in as exact a mythic context as is possible. I analyse Blake's religious moral and economic symbolism in Jerusalem.... and conclude we clearly see a fully developed and articulated myth in Blake's 'jeweled' setting for the new Jerusalem.

I have put these search line below for elements of my research...... and for those those who want to understand Blake's story as an aesthetic whole, 'simply' explained in terms of Blake's fundamentally symbolic meaning of Jerusalem and the new Jerusalem.....and for those who want Blake's plots, myth, story and characters re-presented as developed and set in exquisitely precise narrative context...........and those who want to see in ways similar to Blake when writing...that means in terms of Blake's one-fold, two-fold, three-fold and four-fold states of perception.

There is a need to be very specific here...looking cannot see two-fold...which cannot see three-fold'... which cannot see four-fold...looked at again but going inwards...four-fold can see three-fold... which can see two-fold... which can see one-fold which cannot see anything but it self. Seeing with Blake is the journey of his descent into himself and the transformation in time to a renewal into unity...a unity purged of that which thought it self divine. it is not strictly a return, not a cycle that is back to where it began...

I trace Blake's four organising vortices of being... enter Blake's clearly defined narrative levels or points of view... engage the reader in his dramatic tension and use of irony... and present as a critical whole Blake's literary perception of humanity's tragic fall, cleansing and and redemption...

.... again none of Blake's states of vision are properly grasped without a grasp of the work as a whole, and in turn that needs a proper textual analysis according to the science of textual criticism. that is make much more possible by my two books.