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Whose “dark Satanic mills”?

Friday, 11 Feb 2022

The demiurge of Blake on Dr John Dunn. Pictured: William Blake's Urizen

Whose “dark Satanic mills”?

Blake’s“Jerusalem” was an anti-establishment poem. The “dark Satanic mills” are most commonly interpreted as a reference to the industrial revolution, but is in fact from the Blakean mythology in which Satan is likened to a miller who grinds down human souls.

This begs the question - who is Satan in this mythology?

I touched on this in an earlier Thought blog.

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.


© John Dunn.







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