Angels in Blake, by Mia Forbes

Unfolding Emissaries:  Angels and Devils as Dialectic

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 18.46.59

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 10.09.19-Blake

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 11.59.31

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 18.36.22 (1)

Just as Blake believed that angels are inter-relational and can interpenetrate many dimensions, a part of the divine fabric that constitutes human imagination and an extended field of gravity-like attraction and connection (“betweenness”), this piece weaves together the thought of three different but interrelated Blake commentators on angels – Mia Forbes, S. Foster Damon, and Northrop Frye – thus hoping to build, in a sense, the wings of mutual communion and flight, ones which constitute the true or ‘best’ sense of the angelic in Blake: wings enfolded within wings.

“Angel” is the Greek word for “messenger” or “emissary”.  Blake used the word in the specific sense only once, in expanding Matthew 1:20, where the Angel of the Lord appears to Joseph in a dream, bidding him marry Mary. In the Bible it is not always easy to be sure whether God himself may not be intended by the word. Blake combined the two: “I heard his voice in my sleep & his Angel in my dream” (Jerusalem). But anything that speaks of Eternity may be an angel; thus the tiny skylark is “a Mighty Angel” (Milton: 12; cf.L’Allegro).

“Every man’s leading propensity ought to be call’d his leading Virtue & his good Angel” (Blake, On Lavater). Blake had one (see ‘A Dream’, Songs of Innocence; or “The Angel that presided o’er my birth”, from Blake’s Notebook 1808-26); Milton had one (Milton); also the unfortunate heroine of ‘The Angel’ (Songs of Experience). Angels guard children and give them sleep (‘Night’, and ‘A Cradle Song’, Songs of Innocence).

Read More

The Great Selfhood Satan: The Pathological Nature of the Human Ego

William Blake, Eckhart Tolle, and the Obstacle to God

“Imagine a chief of police trying to find an arsonist when the arsonist is the chief of police” (Tolle)

I am your Rational Power O Albion & that Human Form

You call Divine, is but a Worm seventy inches long
That creeps forth in a night & is dried in the morning sun

In fortuitous concourse of memorys accumulated & lost …

So spoke the Spectre to Albion. he is the Great Selfhood

Satan: Worshipd as God by the Mighty Ones of the Earth

Having a white Dot calld a Center from which branches out

A Circle in continual gyrations (Blake, Jerusalem)

 

The Spectre

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“The Spectre is the Reasoning Power in Man,” Blake succinctly notes in Jerusalem, and throughout his works he consistently links the “spectral” or compulsive aspect of divided and divisive rationality with the contemporary form of human reason itself:

… it is the Reasoning Power
An Abstract objecting power, that Negatives every thing

This is the Spectre of Man, the Holy Reasoning Power
And in its Holiness is closed the Abomination of Desolation.

Read More