William Blake and Georg Groddeck: Symbols as Symptoms

Giving Error a Form: The role of the Unconscious Imagination

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Introduction: The Myth of Creation

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“The materialization of Error, or the ‘Creation’ as its popularly called”. Image: The Sixth Day of Creation, by Lucas Cranach the Younger (1634). What is true of the body on a particular scale is equally true of the body on a cosmic scale: it is the “visible portion”, as Blake would say, of inner processes that have become “objectified” or dissociated, in order to reveal their dysfunction to the perceiver of that body, like all diseases – in order to then integrate and heal them, and return to eternity. In Kabbalah this process of recognition and re-integration is called tikkun olam (literally “repair of the world”), and human consciousness is considered essential to the process of repair.

According to Blake, the materialization of Error, or the “Creation” as its popularly called, is the result of a dissociative split within consciousness itself, emanating from the radical alienation of the rationalizing and “objecting” (or objectifying) portion of consciousness from Being, perceiver from perceived (“it is the Reasoning Power/ An Abstract objecting power,” Jerusalem 10:13-14).

In mythology, this division or dissociation is embodied in the story of the separation of “Eve” from “Adam”. These aspects, as the Book of Genesis carefully notes, were originally portions or “likenesses” of ‘God’.

In the day that God created humankind (“adam”), in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. (Book of Genesis 5: 2-3)

As a result of this emerging state of Urizenic or “Spectre” psychology, the abstracted, instrumental ego perceives itself as being ‘in here’ and the world as ‘out there’, and it also then perceives the externalized world as being ‘natural’ (that is, beyond its imaginative control, and determining the now “passive” psyche) rather than as imaginative, the perceived form of its particular mode of experiencing reality.

But like all Errors, this externalized sense of world and reality has a positive part to play in the eventual liberation and self-realization of Man: it is an attempt to heal the internal and traumatized nature of the divide psyche. “Error is Created  Truth is Eternal   Error or Creation will be Burned Up & then & not till then Truth or Eternity will appear  It is Burnt up the Moment Men cease to behold it” (LJ 95).

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Blake’s Snakes: The Image of the Serpent in Blake’s Vision

The Symbol of Symbolism: Unravelling the form and nature of the underlying Energy

 

Introduction: Entering the Serpent

Sometimes it’s good just to look at Blake’s images, and let them approach you, without any verbal text, theory, or explanation.  An encounter with their other-ness. Over the next few weeks this site will be posting a number of articles exploring the meaning and importance of the symbol of the serpent in Blake’s work, which weaves throughout his vision, and twists and turns throughout his images. 

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