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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Four Zoas - 2

"Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Blake wrote this verse in Greek at the beginning of The Four Zoas. Sure enough in the thousands of words that follow he does (and we do) exactly that. The principalities and powers are within us. Our lives are made up of these wrestlings.

"Los was the fourth immortal starry one, & in the Earth Of a bright Universe Empery attended day & night Days & nights of revolving joy, Urthona was his name".

The fourth one! In Bloom's commentary in the back of Erdman, he points to an analogy between Los, the 'fourth immortal starry one' and the fourth one in the fiery furnace of the book of Daniel, "the form of the fourth is like the Son of God" (Daniel 3:25).

Los is the most hopeful of the Zoas - imaginative, intuitive, closely analogous to the Son of God, although his career in The Four Zoas is torturous, frequently destructive before becoming creative.

Blake started with a summary description of
Los, but then he 'began with parent power -- Tharmas.
As we read Blake we constantly encounter seeming contradiction of this sort. He began with Los, but then he began with Tharmas. Did he do that to confuse us? to provoke us into the use of our own imagination? Who knows?

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