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Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Psychological processes are evident as we read Blake's myths.
I found this part of the tale an example of projection being

A decisive incident concerning a disagreement between Satan and Palamabron over the horses of the harrow, can be seen as Satan projecting his own desires and failures onto Palamabron. ( M7.1; E100) When Satan states his case he is very convincing because he believes what he says is true.

Projection is invisible to the person doing it. Although Satan presents a mild demeanor, Palamabron knows that what Satan says speaks more about his own behavior than about Palamabron's.

To show that Satan is involved in self-deceit, Blake says of Satan: "Seeming a brother, being a tyrant, even thinking himself a brother While he is murdering the just",

The salient line ( M7.34; E101) which demonstrates projection is stated thus:

"Satan wept,
And mildly cursing Palamabron, him accus'd of crimes
Himself had wrought."

Los, who is given the role of hearing the case in a council, is not able to get Satan to withdraw his projections, so the status quo is maintained and the consequences are catastrophic.

M7.41; E101|
"So Los said, Henceforth Palamabron, let each his own station
Keep: nor in pity false, nor in officious brotherhood, where
None needs, be active. Mean time Palamabrons horses.
Rag'd with thick flames redundant, & the Harrow maddend with fury.
Trembling Palamabron stood, the strongest of Demons trembled:
Curbing his living creatures; many of the strongest Gnomes,
they bit in their wild fury, who also maddend like wildest beasts"

Palmabron, who represents a gentler side of Los, doesn't act our himself but his horses and Gnomes are infuriated, perhaps because the are the ones who suffered under Satan's control.

The Gnomes Directing Another Harrow

M8.1; E101|
"Mean while wept Satan before Los, accusing Palamabron;
Himself exculpating with mildest speech. for himself believ'd
That he had not opress'd nor injur'd the refractory servants."

The conflict continued with the activating of Rintrah, or wrath,
until Satan kills Thulloh who appears to be a bystander.
Satan's rage and declaration of himself as God follows. This
opens up the abyss and rearranges the structure of the
world. Satan sinks down into Death which leads to a new
chapter in in the drama of the fall.

The self-deception which leads to projection can be said to have led to the eventual fall from the wholeness of Eternity.

Read the text for the full incident in Milton at the Blake Archive; hit NEXT to continue to next plate.

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