At the end of the First Book of Milton, Blake sums up the work ofLos has provided a way that the Spectres not fall into non-existence, but it requires that they take on a physical body in a world of illusionary material existence under the dominance of mistaken morality and religion. Los parallels John the Baptist, he can prepare the way, but he cannot initiate the coming of the Kingdom.
Los by explaining how spirits are vegetated. It is a clear
explanation except much of the terminology is peculiar to Blake.
So I have consulted Damon's A Blake Dictionary for definitions.
Milton Plate 29, (E127)
"Then Los conducts the Spirits to be Vegetated, into
Great Golgonooza, free from the four iron pillars of Satans
(Temperance, Prudence, justice, Fortitude, the four pillars of
That Satans Watch-Fiends touch them not before they Vegetate.
But Enitharmon and her Daughters take the pleasant charge.
To give them to their lovely heavens till the Great Judgment
Such is their lovely charge. But Rahab & Tirzah pervert
Their mild influences, therefore the Seven Eyes of God walk
The Three Heavens of Ulro, where Tirzah & her Sisters
Weave the black Woof of Death upon Entuthon Benython
In the Vale of Surrey where Horeb terminates in Rephaim
The stamping feet of Zelophehads Daughters are coverd with
Upon the treddles of the Loom, they sing to the winged shuttle:
The River rises above his banks to wash the Woof:
He takes it in his arms: be passes it in strength thro his
The veil of human miseries is woven over the Ocean
From the Atlantic to the Great South Sea, the Erythrean.
Such is the World of Los the labour of six thousand years.
Thus Nature is a Vision of the Science of the Elohim."
End of the First Book.
Golgoonza - Los's city of "art and manufacture." (M24:50) Enitharmon's
looms are in the golden hall of Cathedron. Its gates open into Eden, Beulah,
Generation, and Ulro. (Damon, Page 162-5)
Enitharmon - with her daughters, she weaves beautiful, spritual bodies
(the web of life) for the Spectres about to be born. (Damon, Page 124-5)
Entuthon Benython - a land of Urizen east of Galgonooza: "a dark and
unknown night, indefinite, unmeasurable, without end. Abstract Philosophy
warring in enmity against Imagination" (J5:56) (Damon, Page 126)
Horeb - where Moses saw the burning bush, Blake associates with rock.
(Damon, Page 189)
Rephaim - "Miltonic limbo of amorphous decaying superstitions" (Damon,
Rahab - harlot of Babylon, symbolizes false church of this world, the
opponent of Jerusalem. She imputes sin and righteousness to individuals.
(Damon, Page 338-9)
Tirzah - daughter of Rahab; Tirzah weaves natural, physical bodies; she
represents sex; she is the mother of death; she is a temptress of men.
(Damon, Page 407)
Ulro - the material world, the world of death, the world of spectres who are
dead to Eternity. (Damon, Page 416)
Zelophehads - five independent Female Wills who restrict the senses of man,
Tirzah is the fifth. (Damon, Page 457)
Seven Eyes of God - "the path of Experience fixed for the Individual by the
Divine Mercy, so that proceeding through his errors he may eventually reach
the true God." (Damon, Page 134)
Science - "True Science is eternal and essential, but it turns bad when it cuts
loose from Humanity". "Science can assimilate its material and communicate it,
but cannot create." (Damon, Page 359-60)
The Arlington Tempera, which has been mentioned in other posts, can be viewed in the light of this passage.