William Blake


“Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence.”

“Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion.”

-William Blake

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, ca. 1790

Both of them are heavy.

In the first one: Nobody’s got it all figured out. You can’t favor too much one element of a dichotomy. Attractionals wouldn’t have anything to grumble about if it weren’t for those pesky Missionals (or, no… they’d find something) (ok, that was low :P ). Blake’s real Good is not an abandonment of all restraints; it’s is a union (Marriage) of the great Contraries. What confuses me though, is that later on he says, these two classes “should be enemies,” and “whoever tries to reconcile them seeks to destroy existence.” Doesn’t reconcile mean to make right, to make them get along? So is reconciling the Contraries different than letting the tension between them just exist? I mean, if you accept that they both need to exist, aren’t you in some way reconciling their individual existences? Maybe letting the the Contraries “Agree to Disagree” is somehow different than Reconciling the Contraries.

In the second one: Hahaha, wow. Maybe Blake encountered a wee bit o’ legalism in his day? Relevant makes a cool shirt addressing this subject. Christ-followers must never allow law to outrank love, or we’ll induce the guilt that pushes people to give up. “I’ll never live up to these damn rules, so I might as well have fun doing it.” Us showing Love that models Christ’s Grace helps people understand what Paul is talking about when he asks “Should I wallow in my sin so that Christ’s grace may increase? No!”

Well, I have to work now. I get to go to a Sr. High retreat this weekend! WHEEE! :)

Below is what William Blake’s work actually looked like. In his own lifetime, Blake was actually better known for his illustrations. His preferred printing method was copper plates etched with acid. Here is the plate that contains the Contraries quote:



2 responses to “William Blake

  1. Dude I miss our aimless blog banter please update.

  2. An interesting topic. Differentiation is necessary, without the apparent interplay of binary opposites there would be no being, there would be only nothingness. But there is a deeper truth, The Law of ONE, the containment and reconciliation of binary opposites.

    “It was necessary for humanity to depart from God, and for all original unities to undergo differentiation, desire, and conflict – as in the rebellion of Satan, the separation of Eve from Adam and their acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil – in order for creation to evolve to a new state of redeemed harmony that would be more perfect than the original state of innocence, allowing God to achieve a new self-awareness by interacting with a creation that was both part of, and distinct from, Himself.” Wikipedia extract about the philosophy of Jakob Boehme

    “The ancient tradition that the world will be consumed by fire, at the end of six thousand years, is true – as I have heard from Hell.
    For the cherub, with his flaming sword, is hereby commanded to leave his guard at tree of life and, when he does, the whole creation will be consumed and appear infinite and holy, wheareas it now appears finite and corrupt.
    This will come to pass by an improvement of sensual enjoyment. But first the notion that man has a body distinct from his soul is to be expunged; this I shall do by printing in the infernal method by corrosives, which in Hell are salutary and medicinal, melting apparent surfaces away and displaying the infinite which was hid. If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is: infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks in his cavern. ” William Blake

    Blake and Boehme are both reporting a post-HIStorical period when conflict is no longer necessary. If God is both Omnipotent AND loving there must be both a reason for human suffering and an ending to it.

    “The more people do, the more society develops, the more problems arise. The increasing isolation of nature, the exhaustion of resources, the uneasiness and disintegration of the human spirit, all have been brought about by humanity’s trying to accomplish something. Origanally there was no reason to progress, and nothing that had to be done. We have come to the point when there is no other way than to bring about a ‘movement’ not to bring anything about” The One Straw Revolution

    I am a Christian
    I am a Jew
    I am a Muslim
    I am a Buddhist
    I am a Hindu
    I am a Daoist
    I am a Pagan
    Hydra, dear dragon, do stop rolling your snakes’ eyes and watch your seven tongues!
    You’ve been chasing your tail since the day we begun,
    It is time to stop fighting your selves and remember: you are ONE.
    ‘Appeal to The Hydra: a spell to end war’, The Jester, 2008

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