The Four Zoas – (Ginsberg on Blake continues – 8)

Jerusalem surrounded by three smaller nude figures (her daughters) and the veiled figure of Vala – (from Jerusalem – The Emanation of the Giant Albion) – (this edition in The British Museum)

“Hear! I will sing a Song of Death! it is a Song of Vala!/ The Fallen Man..” – (Albion)”…takes his repose..” – (Urizen is asleep in the senses, Luvah and Vala – Emotion and the projections of emotion, woke and flew up from the heart into the brain, which presumably should be Urizen’s territory.)  – “..from thence upon the pillow Vala slumber’d”

Student:  Could you read that last part also being to agree with the Toltec way of thinking about the heart and the mind together?

AG:  Well, what is the Toltec way of thinking with the heart and mind?  I don’t know that particular myth.

Student: Well it’s.. not necessarily bad –  that you think in the heart and it goes up into the brain.

AG:  Well, the plot here is that emotions are going to usurp the realm of reason, or there’s going to be fight between emotions and reason.  The plot, in the next couple of pages, is Luvah and Urizen are building up for a big fight, which is what caused the fall to begin with, probably.  Emotions and the reason are beginning to get into a battle.

Student (2):  This is closer to what (D.H.) Lawrence says when he rails against … what does he call it? Sex in the head.

AG:  Um-hmm.

Student (3):  Yeah.

Student (2):  It’s the same idea.

AG:  Yeah, a mental idea of sex rather than actually being there but thinking about it and lusting because of feeding the imagination but being afraid to actually do it.  Because remember, “they kiss’d not nor embrac’d for shame & fear,”  (in the lines) above.

Student (4):  Vala.  Is Vala also the sister of Jerusalem?  Isn’t she the Emanation of Shiloh which is (the spirit of) French (Revolution)… like Jerusalem is…  (“O lovely mild Jerusalem! O Shiloh of Mount Ephraim!…”)

AG:  Yeah.
Student(4)  … Albion‘s new nature?
AG:  Yeah.
Student (4):  And so isn’t Albion and Vala, like, related by marriage, or by….
AG:  I think Vala does some kind of funny stuff with Albion at some point or other, because Albion..has Jerusalem as an Emanation, but might get screwed up mistaking Jerusalem, the Edenic city, for the material world.
Student (3):  Also, in the system it’s like….
AG:  But the whole man might mistake the material world, the appearance of the material world, for the final stage of consciousness, whereas it’s a perishing world.

Student (3):  I was just going to say that all the Emanations are related to Jerusalem the way that all the Zoas are related to Albion:  That is, that they’re kind of fragmented parts of the whole.
AG:  Yeah.
Student (3):  So that, in that case you could say that they’re sisters, all the Emanations of all the Zoas are the sisters of Jerusalem or children or, you know, like parts of her.
AG:  Put all four of the Emanations together and you get one big Jerusalem.
Student (3):  Right.

Student (2):  Albion and Vala are the parents of Urizen?
AG:  Albion and Vala are.
Student (2):  Right.
AG:  Let’s see.  Albion.  Oh, really.  Yes.  It depends on which …
Student (2):  Which book.
AG:  … particular version in Blake, or which particular connection he’s diddling with at the time when he’s writing, but there is this point where Albion and Vala create the rational.

And I think I mentioned before that Urizen is also … who did I say it was?  Urizen was the child of Tharmas and whom?  Enion?  I’ve forgotten.  It was in a footnote somewhere.  If you’ll look up Urizen you’ll find out the various combinations that gave birth to him.

But, anyway…

to be continued

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately sixty-seven-and-a-half minutes in  and concluding at approximately seventy-two-and-a-half minutes in

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