Intensification through Opposition: Without Contraries is No Progression
Among all the published opinions about things that influenced Blake, I have seen only a few discussions of his treatment of scientific ideas, mainly his rejections of Newton’s mathematical and physical assumptions, and very few comments on Blake’s position on the major philosophical controversies of his time.
The Spiritual and the Radical
“I think it’s impossible to detach Blake’s radical spiritual beliefs from the radical political beliefs, because they all grew out of the same soil.”
Iain Sinclair’s terrific short introduction to Blake’s life and work, showing how his spirituality and clarity of vision emerge from being “dissident and difficult”. Sinclair is a writer, film-maker, and ‘psychogeographer’ whose work often centres on London, as in Lud Heat and London Orbital. His book Ghost Milk criticized the British government for using the 2012 Summer Olympics as an excuse to militarize London while forcing the poorest citizens out of their homes.
Antinomianism, Patriarchy, and De-Coding the Matrix
No matter what difficulties he may have had with the Enlightenment discourse of liberty, Blake had no hesitation whatsoever in joining the radical attack on the patriarchal institutions of state religion and the political authority of the government: it is of course the established church where the little chimney sweeper’s parents “are gone to praise God & his Priest & King,/Who make up a heaven of our misery.”