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Mythology must be "what Eternally Exists"

Wednesday, 30 June 2021 at 21:44

last Judgement envisioned on Dr John Dunn. Blake's previous take on the Last Judgement (1808) which may have similarities to the lost artwork, The Vision of the Last Judgement (1810)

Mythology must be "what Eternally Exists"

In weirdly ungrammatical comments upon his lost artwork, A Vision of the Last Judgement, Blake makes the point that “it is not Fable or Allegory but Vision Fable or Allegory are a totally distinct & inferior kind of Poetry”.

He throws emphasis upon the visionary and imaginative elements of his Last Judgement, which are “totally distinct” from Vision Fable or Allegory, the two latter being an “inferior kind of poetry”.

For Blake, vision and imagination represent “what Eternally Exists. Really and Unchangeably”.

He seems to be arguing by implication that fable and allegory deal in dead matter,i.e. are formed from the “Daughters of Memory”. They are drawing upon what is recollected and previously experienced; they are drawing upon presuppositions. The imaginative, creative and inspirational element is thus limited in an allegorical work, such as Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.

Imagination on the other hand deals in living matter. It is a product of the “daughters of Inspiration who in the aggregate are called Jerusalem”. Imagination lives and in its creative force is itself Divine; it is what “Eternally Exists”. He cites the Bible as an example. For Blake the Bible is “not Allegory but Eternal Vision or Imagination of All that Exists”.

© John Dunn.

Redcrosse Knight

Tuesday, 29 June 2021 at 22:50

Redcrosse Knight and Una by Blake on Dr John Dunn. The Redcrosse Knight and Una by William Blake

Redcrosse Knight

Under the heading Eros in the Mythology.

Edmund Spenser’s rendition of the Redcrosse Knight in The Faerie Queene was his attempt at a backstory to St George and the Dragon.

The Faerie Queene is a poem that works across numerous allegorical levels, including, as is well known, Tudor politics.

Whatever the layers, the Redcrosse Knight is a more rounded figure than most one dimensional representations of St George.

On personal level, the Redcrosse Knight undergoes an allegorical awakening though the encounters with Una and Duessa.

Taken together, these female characters represent a compound womanhood

Allegorically at the religious level, they stand for the Whore of Babylon and the True Church, but at a personal level they are just plain whore on the one hand, and pure object of love on the other.

Raw sexual lust and devotional love lead to the knight's awakening.

Only after the encounters is he able to kill his dragon, which is allegorical of a spiritual awakening and deification.

In the battle with the dragon he becomes the Christ figure. Over three days there is a death and resurrection, a descent into Hell and a return. There is victory over the old way of seeing the world; victory over those who would murder him. Victory of good over evil. The victory of Love.

Redcrosse undergoes a Grail journey out of the chaos of innocence into the clear sightedness illuminated by the light of the Logos. As a Parzival figure,the encounters with women are essential to his maturation and eventual fulfilment of his Grail quest.

© John Dunn.

Tintoretto’s St George

Monday, 28 June 2021 at 22:37

Fine art on Dr John Dunn.
Tintoretto’s St George

Under the heading Eros in the Mythology.

St George here represents the victory of Love over Demiurgic evil.

The dragon’s victim, lying dead, is the crucified Jesus. The dragon, symbolic of the murderers of Jesus, is slaughtered by the thrusting spear of the hero, whilst the Queen of Heaven, Mother of Jesus, symbolic of all goodness and purity, runs free. The bright heavenly light in thesky gives divine blessing for the deed, and serves as a halo over the saint.

At an individual level the image stands for the transformation of the self, awakened by an encounter with Love; the restoration of the creative and intuitive “I” in a state of active endeavour.

At a societal level, it stands for the freeing of the innocent from the grip of Tyranny.

At a spiritual level, it stands for the light of the Logos entering the world.

Consider the words of Silesius:

“I know that without me no God can live; were I brought to naught, he would of necessity have to give up the ghost.”.

These words seem to support the view that the endeavour is all, i.e. it is within the human endeavour that God, i.e. the Logos lives. It might be said that the endeavour is the Logos. Above all, St George stands for human endeavour.

St George enters combat under the cosmic banner of the vivifying sun, symbol of love and creativity.

© John Dunn.

The mythology

Sunday, 27 June 2021 at 22:10

Urizen on Dr John Dunn. (pictured: Blake's Urizen, author of the Book of Eternal Brass)

The mythology

Love: variously Logos, God, the Word, the Cosmic Jesus, living thought.

Seraphim: not distinct from God, so must occupy innocents to awaken men.

Whoever is a Seraph, that is a lover, is in God and God is in him; even, it may be said, God and he are one. (Oration on the Dignity of Man, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola)
Ananke: Earth Mother, the womb, equilibrium, chaos, 0.

Eros: the ‘saved’ ‘saint’ ‘knower’, the Child of Love who, through the Seraphim, is brought to the Cosmic Jesus. He tears down the flag of imperialism and raises the banner of the vivifying sun ahead of the quest to recover Jerusalem from the dragon.

Jerusalem: the creative and intuitive “I” in a state of active endeavour

The innocents: the never having loved, passive and used, the instruments ofUrizen, lost ‘in a dark wood’ and beholden to dead thought. To be led and protected by the Children of Love.

The Demiurge: Blake’s Urizen, author of the Book of Eternal Brass, the product of dead thought, dragon.

Children of Urizen: blind followers, the living dead. Rejecting Love, at each moment they murder the cosmic Jesus.

© John Dunn.

Imagination divine

Saturday, 26 June 2021 at 21:51

Blake's Jesus on Dr John Dunn. Imagination divine

In our two previous ‘Thought blogs’, Endeavour is all and The transgressor is Saviour, we considered Truth, i.e. the Logos, as not something fully rounded and finished forever, Truth is rather an active endeavour or, to put it another way, the Logos, or God, is actively created.

Next we considered society in the same vein, concluding that the error of believing that the existing society is true must not be committed, as only that which is created and still has to be created can be true.

Now we turn to the individual.

There is a tendency for the individual to confront the object as something wholly apart, given and ready-made. Thus his relationship with the object becomes conformity, dependence, and mystical submissiveness to reality. Faith rises, but in the lowest form - as faith in the physical fact.

The role of the onlooker’s active creative intuition, i.e. living thought, in the full and complete development of the object as itappears to us is lost. The ready-made world we behold around us is the product of dead thought, or rather reflected thought, because, our role being lost, what we see is our own creative input reflected back to us as reality
, i.e. reflected back to us as something ready-made and inevitable.

Our potential for freedom lies in our successful reinstatement of the active, creative and intuitive “I” back into the process of thinking, and so back into the otherwise dead world around us.

Like the Logos and society, the world around us should be seen as the product of active, creative thought.

This, to some small extent, echoes William Blake’s belief that ‘Jesus is the imagination’, not meaning that Jesus is imaginary in the fanciful sense,but rather that imagination itself is the divine creator.

© John Dunn.

Round the towers

Friday, 25 June 2021 at 22:17

Croxton church on Dr John Dunn. Round the towers

June was a month that I will remember for a motorcyle mini-tour of Norfolk, in which the object of my ride was to seek out ana video a few good examples of the county's famous round tower churches. What follows are the beginnings of a commentary that I will at some point attach to a YouTube published version of a much-edited version of the video footage that I accumulated.

I’m motorcycling today in Norfolk, taking a couple of days out, just pottering about the countryside along lovely quiet lanes; but I never ride around aimlessly, and whilst the journey is everything, I still like to have a destination in mind. So I thought I’d search out a few of Norfolk’s round tower churches.

Round towers were an early form of church tower, part of an Anglo-Saxon building tradition which was later replaced by square towers.

Medieval in origin, round towers survive, as time capsules, in small rural villages.

Some round towers were later replaced with square towers, perhaps because square towers were considered more attractive and prestigious, or because they were more convenient for hanging several bells. All of them are attached to church buildings that were built and re-built from the Norman to the Tudor periods and later.

I rode to Norfolk to search for a few. It wasn’t a difficult exploration, as there are many round towers to be found in the county.

Perhaps more important to me than the round towers discovered along the way were the routes taken to reach them.

These round towers were waymarkers for my tour, targets for the ride that drew me along delightful lanes in lovely rural settings.

The Norfolk videos will be published as a separate playlist on my video channel Dr John Dunn

© John Dunn.

The transgressor is Saviour

Wednesday, 23 June 2021 at 22:30

Ancient of Days on Dr John Dunn. William Blake’s Urizen, the demiurge, a distant Jehovah, the 'self-deluded and anxious' shaper of pre-existent matter.

The transgressor is Saviour

The point that Silesius was making, i.e. that the Logos is the active endeavour of the ‘I’ (see ‘Thought blog Endeavour is all) applies also to society.

In order for a society to live it must have spirit. When this is lacking, society becomes only so much dead matter.

As the phenomenon of an active endeavour, society cannot have its roots inthe world that exists, but in that which is to come, or, to be more accurate, that which is in a state of becoming. The roots of a society which is to come are purely inner, they are in the idea, they are in living thought, they are in the spirit.

In a spiritual society, the idea justifies the form that is to come, otherwise the form is already an alteration of the spiritual.

To pay obeisance to a society without spirit is analogous to worshipping William Blake’s Urizen, the demiurge, a distant Jehovah, the 'self-deluded and anxious' shaper of pre-existent matter.

Like doctrinal religion, profane societies need laws, rules, contracts and institutions: they are those laws which, growing old as man progresses, constitute the force of the Pharisees of every age and the reason for the ideal struggle of the few who in each age attempt to renew them, whilst complying with them.

The error of believing that the existing society is true must not be committed, as only that which is created and still has to be created can be true.

The transgressor is Saviour.

© John Dunn.

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