Category Archives: Blake

Jerusalem – in my name

“Jesus replied Fear not Albion unless I die thou canst not live
But if I die I shall arise again & thou with me
This is Friendship & Brotherhood without it Man Is Not.”
W. Blake, Jerusalem Plate 95, in ‘The Complete Poems’, pp. 841-842, Penguin Books, 1977.

There is in philosophy of language the concept of ‘The Principle of Charity’: you cannot understand – and you cannot, therefore, be understood – if you do not apply a reasonable dose of charity in trying to understand what the other says. The Principle assumes more than mere benevolence, Continue reading

To the Christians

“(..) I know of no other Christianity and of no other Gospel than the liberty  both of body & mind to exercise the Divine Arts of Imagination. Imagination the real & external world of which this vegetable universe is but a faint shadow & in which we shall live in our Eternal or Imaginative Bodies, when these vegetable Mortal Bodies are no more. (..)
(..) O ye Religious discountenance every one among you who shall pretend to despise Art & Science! I call upon you in the name of Jesus! What is the Life of Man but Art & Science? is it Meat & Drink? is not the Body more than Raiment? What is Mortality but the things relating to the Body, which Dies? What is Immortality but the things relating to the Spirit, which Lives Eternally? What is the Joy of Heaven but Improvement in the things of the Spirit? (..)
Let every Christian as much as in him lies engage himself openly & publicly before all the world in some Mental pursuit for the Building up of Jerusalem” William Blake, Jerusalem Plate 77 ” To the Christians”, The Complete Poems, Penguin Books 1977, pp. 797-798.

[Re-posted from the Old Site, original dd. December 1st, 2007. I have not rechecked the quote but encourage you to do so.]

Again not the most quotable of quotes, I guess it may even scare the few interested away – but I am  not in it for success anyway, so: deal with it (to console you a bit I added below a hopefully more readable piece, down below).

[The interesting part of this piece is how I have come around on things religious, to a certain mildness, and how much of this mildness was present even in the bitterest of attacks where I attempted to have the criminal shoot itself, with his own gun.]

My interest in Christianity is quite limited. I am not, as Blake was, immersed in Christian symbols. I am – as most of you probably are – immersed in more modern neo-liberal symbolisms with their rituals of stress & strife and the sacraments of personal merit. The quote works as well when titled “To the Neo-Liberals”.

It is pointing to something which is not less radical now than it was then. Continue reading