Los is the hero of Blake's myth as developed in the prophetic books. Among his many names are Eternal Poet and Eternal Prophet. As Blake's alter-ego he was the Creative Imagination, always expanding into new projects and endeavors. As a blacksmith he uses his furnaces to shape humanity through fire and the blows of his hammer. He holds the vision in times of trouble. He takes the materials at hand and puts them to the service of Jerusalem, the image of Divine Inspiration.
In describing this picture Erdman says: "The poet /blacksmith Los, naked with his steel hammer in a firm cushion of cloud, rests "wearied" from his intellectual labors, and regards the completed song/sun with anxious compassion."
SONG OF LOS, Plate 8
Los as Time, together with Enitharmon as Space brings change. He represents evolution, not in the sense of progress but of opportunity. The information, structures, and insights developed by one generation are available for use by succeeding generations to build upon. Urizen sought fixed structure and predictability. Not so Los. Nothing for him would be more deadly than restating repeatedly the same ideas in different words or applying the same rules to every situation.
The huge advances in scientific thought have come not by using a template but by creating new ways of thinking, new avenues of questioning, new fields of research. Psychology itself had a burst of development when scientific techniques were applied to understand the mysteries of human behavior which had baffled the human mind from the time man became self-reflective. We are following Los when we seek new paths and expand the horizons of our pursuits.
As William Blake said in two of his early works:
All Religions Are One
As none by traveling over known lands can find out
the unknown. So from already acquired knowledge Man could not
acquire more. therefore an universal Poetic Genius exists
There is No Natural Religion (b)
I Mans perceptions are not bounded by organs of perception. he
percieves more than sense (tho' ever so acute) can discover.
II Reason or the ratio of all we have already known. is not
the same that it shall be when we know more.
IV The bounded is loathed by its possessor. The same dull round
even of a univer[s]e would soon become a mill with complicated
Blake spoke of dark Satanic Mills.