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Imagining Urizen

Monday, 17 Jan 2022

Urizen on Dr John Dunn. Imagining Urizen

In my previous blog, I wrote of ‘a fully human life of love and creativity’. By implication I meant that an innocent life devoid of love and creativity was less than human.

These thoughts drew me to return to William Blake, a figure whose works have nagged at me on and off throughout my awoken life. The creative imagination was central to Blake's conception of God and what it means to be human.

I think of William Blake, to whom the imagination itself was God.

Blake did not see the Creator as an entity apart, an all-knowing God which controlled the affairs of man from across a divide. Such a distanced entity Blake described rather as Urizen, the demiurge, a 'self-deluded and anxious' shaper of pre-existent matter.

By implication, this made of the Bible's Jehovah a Satan, the puppeteer pulling the strings of mankind, an over-bearing father, a failed architect, and the 'Accuser of the World' who unfairly condemned Adam and Eve when he was the one at fault.

Christian religionism for Blake had carried over the worshipping of the demiurge from the followers of Jehovah, which made it, essentially, Devil Worship.

To Blake, God was the Human Imagination. Instead of being saved by Christ, man would be saved through the salvation of his own imagination; he was his own Christ.

For now, I will place Blake amongst those ‘whose banners carry the symbols of love and creativity’.

© John Dunn.

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