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Man-made to ready-made

Thursday, 10 Feb 2022

Image by Blake on Dr John Dunn. Mountain gods in William Blake's Sunshine Holiday

Man-made to ready-made

Pre-historic peoples perceived gods and goddesses in every river and mountain, expressing their participatory experience of creating the world.

No tree falls in the forest unless observed,
A shifting of molecules, an event occurred.
There was a stirring in the viscous soup
And man applied the girding hoop.

The cultural transformation which led to the worshiping of deities that stood apart from the earth, far off in the heavens, accompanied the withdrawal of man from nature, leaving the wilderness and forest as things apart from the cultivated land, i.e. as freestanding ready-made entities, devoid of man.

Gods and goddesses that once expressed man’s experience of belonging in the world transmuted into distant deities and, still worse, into a single distant God - a progression bound to terminate in skepticism.

“Thus man forgot that all deities reside in the human breast.” (William Blake, Marriage of Heaven and Hell.)

© John Dunn.

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