Allen Ginsberg on William Blake – 2

Allen Ginsberg on William Blake continues from here

AG: So there is this mythological character called Urizen –  U-R-I-Z-E-N – “Yur-rise-en” or
“Yur-reason”.  So he’s one of the major, if not the major, characters in Blake.  And there’s a whole book called Urizen – U-R-I-Z-E-N – which has been recently (re) printed, which is a book I went over in the Spring (of 1978) in great detail.

AG:  Oh, okay.  (and) there’s also a 16-page summary that might be usable if the whole thing is (too much) [sic – Allen is clearly referring to a class hand-out]  You might check through it.  So, there’s Urizen.

And then.. I was reading through and also checking through the Blake Dictionary  and other things.  Urizen is connected with various directions.  Each of these four Zoas, or four principles, is connected with a sense – like Urizen with the eye (and his direction is the south), (and) with an animal (in this case, the lion), with a worldly function, or (a) labor function (in this case, the plowman).  Oddly enough.. I guess the reason plows up reality
and sort of plows up a field, plows up the facts and rearranges them.  It’s got a metal and an element (the metal, gold in this case, air is the element)  It has sons. It has a worldy extension.  Oddly, one of the most interesting worldly extensions of Urizen is religion….

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… poetic imagination or poetic creative imagination.  So Urthona comes in and out, but his representative more throughout Blake’s system is L-O-S, Los.  Sort of an emanation of Urthona.

So, so far we have Urizen and Urthona – the imagination. Those are two basic principles of our nature.  The third that Blake lays out is the body itself.  The physical body.  The senses.  Put as a direction to the West, symbolized by an ox. Pretty funny.  The tongue (I guess taste) and the loins are apparently the physical sensory representations.

Peter Orlovsky:  What was that again, Allen?
AG:  And his name … his physical tongue.  It’s on this thing, here, if you (want to check it out).  It’s all here.  It’s all on this page.
So it’s called Tharmas  – the body is called Tharmas.
Peter Orlovsky:  How do you spell it?
AG:  It’s on this page.  It’s T-H-A-R-M-A-S.  It’s all out here, already written out in great detail….

tape malfunction 

AG:  … pretty good, actually.  That’s sort of basic.  The essential basic thing.  And it’s not really very complicated or outrageous.  (It’s a) good representative working basis.

I don’t know (but) those of you who play with Tarot or play with astrology or anything, there are equivalent symbols – equivalent very simple systematic symbols that you manipulate. Just very down to earth, however, because we do have imagination, we do have body, we have do feelings or emotions, and we do have a rational faculty, which can either be common sense or insanity.

So Blake’s notion is that if all these four….

tape malfunctions. Recording stops here. 

Nothing is decipherable of the remainder of the tape 

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