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Saturday, January 9, 2010


Seven Eyes of God from Illustration of the Book of Job
click on picture for enlargement; the date indicates that this is one of Blake's last works.

When Divine Spirits fall into the world of mortality, they are not left unprotected. The Eternals elected seven of their own to guide and protect them until the day of their return. These seven are the Seven Eyes of God. Blake sees them as forming structures which allow the Soul to exist in the conditions and stage of development in which the Soul finds itself. Each of the Seven eyes is associated with a historic period of religious development. So they may be seen as the evolution of Spiritual consciousness in the collective society. Thus Blake calls the seven by names of characters prominent in Biblical accounts:
Lucifer, Molech, Elohim, Shaddai, Pahad, Jehovah, Jesus.

Like the world of Generation, they are created as mercies that man may not fall into the abyss of non-existence. They are not perfect solutions to the condition of man. Percival identifies the chief characteristic of each stage. Lucifer is pride, Molech is impatience, Elohim is vengeance, Shaddai is anger, Pachad is fear, Jehovah is mystery, and Jesus is deliverance. 'The Seven are one within the other'. (Four Zoas, Page 21)

The psychic stages through which man passes, frequently follow the same path that is represented by the progression through the Seven Eyes. Blake's Illustrations of the Book of Job presents the development of Job's relationship to God as progressing through the Seven Eyes and returning. During the process Job's psyche is altered as well as is his perception of God.

Here are the six passages in which Blake mentions the Eyes of God:
1) Four Zoas, Page 21, (E 312)

"So spoke the Messengers of Beulah. Silently removing
The Family Divine drew up the Universal tent
Above High Snowdon & closd the Messengers in clouds around
Till the time of the End. Then they Elected Seven. called the
SevenEyes of God & the Seven lamps of the Almighty
The Seven are one within the other the Seventh is named Jesus"
2) Milton, Plate 23, (E 118)
"We were plac'd here by the Universal Brotherhood & Mercy
With powers fitted to circumscribe this dark Satanic death
And that the Seven Eyes of God may have space for Redemption.
But how this is as yet we know not"
3) Milton, PLATE 24 [26] (E 118)
"& the Seven Eyes of God continually
Guard round them, but I the Fourth Zoa am also set
The Watchman of Eternity, the Three are not! & I am preserved
Still my four mighty ones are left to me in Golgonooza
Still Rintrah fierce, and Palamabron mild & piteous
Theotormon filld with care, Bromion loving Science"
4) Milton, Plate 29, (E 127)
"But Enitharmon and her Daughters take the pleasant charge.
To give them to their lovely heavens till the Great Judgment Day
Such is their lovely charge. But Rahab & Tirzah pervert
Their mild influences, therefore the Seven Eyes of God walk round
The Three Heavens of Ulro, where Tirzah & her Sisters
Weave the black Woof of Death upon Entuthon Benython"
5) Milton, Plate 35, (E 135)
"But the Larks Nest is at the Gate of Los, at the eastern
Gate of wide Golgonooza & the Lark is Los's Messenger
PLATE 36 [40]
When on the highest lift of his light pinions he arrives
At that bright Gate, another Lark meets him & back to back
They touch their pinions tip tip: and each descend
To their respective Earths & there all night consult with Angels
Of Providence & with the Eyes of God all night in slumbers
Inspired: & at the dawn of day send out another Lark
Into another Heaven to carry news upon his wings
Thus are the Messengers dispatchd till they reach the Earth again"
6) Jerusalem Plate 55, (E 203)
"The Stars in their courses fought. the Sun! Moon! Heaven! Earth.
Contending for Albion & for Jerusalem his Emanation
And for Shiloh, the Emanation of France & for lovely Vala.
Then far the greatest number were about to make a Separation
And they Elected Seven, calld the Seven Eyes of God;
Lucifer, Molech, Elohim, Shaddai, Pahad, Jehovah, Jesus.
They namd the Eighth. he came not, he hid in Albions Forests"

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