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Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Vision of Eliphaz

In his novel Till We Have Faces, his work which C.S.Lewis was most pleased with, he treated two Blakean themes: forgiveness, and the contrast of intellectual and emotional religion.

Prominent in the development of the story is the injury caused through blindness, selfishness and fearfulness. Projection of individual weakness onto others further complicated the interpersonal relationships. Only by becoming aware of the falsity of the way she saw herself and the world, and the harm she had done to others was Orual able to open herself to a healing encounter with the numinous. Forgiveness came to her as a byproduct of being reconciled to the emotional, experiential aspects of relating to God. Seeing herself through the eyes of others and through the eyes of her maker, she was able to accept herself in spite of her inadequacies. She was made whole within herself, and one with the wholeness.

We can find the same steps in reconciliation presented in Blake's writing.

Awakening to awareness of our errors:

Jerusalem, Plate 42, (E 188)
Thus Albion sat, studious of others in his pale disease:
Brooding on evil: but when Los opend the Furnaces before him:
He saw that the accursed things were his own affections,
And his own beloveds: then he turn'd sick! his soul died within
Also Los sick & terrified beheld the Furnaces of Death
And must have died, but the Divine Saviour descended
Among the infant loves & affections, and the Divine Vision wept
Like evening dew on every herb upon the breathing ground

Taking responsibility for our failures:

Milton, Plate 14, (E107)
O when Lord Jesus wilt thou come?
Tarry no longer; for my soul lies at the gates of death.
I will arise and look forth for the morning of the grave.
I will go down to the sepulcher to see if morning breaks!
I will go down to self annihilation and eternal death,
Lest the Last Judgment come & find me unannihilate
And I be siez'd & giv'n into the hands of my own Selfhood

Being forgiven:

Jerualem, Plate 34, (E 178)
but mild the Saviour follow'd him,
Displaying the Eternal Vision! the Divine Similitude!
In loves and tears of brothers, sisters, sons, fathers, and
Which if Man ceases to behold, he ceases to exist:

Jerusalem, Plate 3, (E 144)
The Spirit of Jesus is continual forgiveness of Sin: he who
waits to be righteous before he enters into the Saviours kingdom,
the Divine Body; will never enter there. I am perhaps the most
sinful of men! I pretend not to holiness! yet I pretend to love,
to see, to converse with daily, as man with man, & the more to
have an interest in the Friend of Sinners.


Milton, Plate 32, (E 131)
Thus they converse with the Dead watching round the Couch of Death.
For God himself enters Death's Door always with those that enter
And lays down in the Grave with them, in Visions of Eternity
Till they awake & see Jesus & the Linen Clothes lying
That the Females had Woven for them, & the Gates of their Fathers House

Milton, Plate 39, (E139)
Then Albion rose up in the Night of Beulah on his Couch
Of dread repose seen by the visionary eye; his face is toward
The east, toward Jerusalems Gates: groaning he sat above
His rocks.

Jerusalem, Plate 33, (E180)
we behold as one,
As One Man all the Universal Family; and that One Man
We call Jesus the Christ: and he in us, and we in him,
Live in perfect harmony in Eden the land of life,
Giving, recieving, and forgiving each others trespasses.
He is the Good shepherd, he is the Lord and master:
He is the Shepherd of Albion, he is all in all,

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