William Blake – from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell – 13

Allen Ginsberg on William Blake”s Proverbs of Hell (from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell continues from here  

AG: Eternity is in love with the productions of time.”  Now, was ist das?  What does that mean?  Anybody got any (idea)?
Student:  The light … if there was a Garden of Eden you’d never have suffering or sorrow so you wouldn’t have any sort of passion …
AG:  Yeah.
Student:  … because there’s great dignity in passion.
AG:  Right.  So then the….

Peter Orlovsky:  Is that, “take care of the minute particulars”?

AG:  Yes.  “Eternity is in love with the productions of time.” The vast – the vast, the vast inane, the abstract space, empty space, or mind itself, open mind – is in love with the particular observations and delights of the senses.  There is no difference between body and soul, he’s saying.  They’re not separate, so therefore the Eternals, the Gods, so to speak, can only locate themselves or see through minute particulars. See at minute particulars.  “Sight is where the eye hits” – “No ideas but in things,” (quoting) William Carlos Williams – “No ideas but in things.”   “The natural object is always the adequate symbol.”  Symbols are in love with specific graph (paper)  Symbols are in love with crumbled milk cartons in the corners.  “Things are symbols of themselves.”  That’s (Chogyam) Trungpa, (Rinpoche).  “The natural object is always the adequate symbol” – Ezra Pound.  “No ideas but in things” – William Carlos Williams.  “Sight is where the eye hits.”

PO:  Who is that?

AG:  Louis Zukofsky.

Student:  There’s a Sufi proverb, “God sees through the world through man’s eyes.”

AG:  Um-hmm.  That’s an obvious application.  Except, of course, the only ambivalent, ambiguous thing, you see, is does Blake (have) a god going on in there or not.  You know?  Who are these Eternals he’s talking about?  It says “Eternity”, but who is this Eternity he’s talking about?  Is that somebody?  Or is that just … in other words, what is this he’s talking about that’s in love with the productions of time?  He’s still sort of wavering, I think, between theistic and a non-theistic, or a centralized, view and not.  But he’s pointing to, in any case, the productions of time rather than Eternity as the place where you look.
Student:  You could say eternal delight is the production of time.  Or the productions of time are eternal delight..
AG:  Um-hmm.

PO:  What is the word the productions of time?  Is that in the dictionary you can look up?
AG:  Pardon me?
PO:  Did they put the word, the three words, the “productions of time” …
AG:  Well, we could look….
P0:  … is that in the dictionary….
AG: The Blake Dictionary?
PO  Yeah.
AG:  I haven’t looked it up.  You could look up “eternity”.  Want to look up “eternity” and see what (it says)?
PO:  You wouldn’t look up productions of it, then?
AG:  Well, I don’t think they’ll have “productions of eternity”, but they might have “eternity”.
Student:  Uh, I’ll look.

AG:  I think.  There’s the … I’m looking for the … that section in Jerusalem    I wonder if I can find it without wasting too much time.  There’s a section of Jerusalem which deals with the particulars.  I got it, yes.   “Let the Human Organs..” – this is from page 203, Plate 55 of Jerusalem , about the minute particulars.  Does everybody know that phrase in Blake, the minute particulars?  Raise your hand if you don’t know it.  Okay.  It’s one of the great phrases in Blake, and it’s final conclusion.  Page 203 of Jerusalem, Chapter 3, if you’ve got a different book, Plate 55, beginning line 35 –   “Let the Human Organs be kept in their perfect Integrity/ At will Contracting into Worms, or Expanding into Gods/ And then behold! what are these Ulro Visions of Chastity(!) ”  – (We’ll find out “Ulro” later) –  “And then behold! what are these Ulro Visions of Chastity(!)/  Then as the moss upon the tree: or dust upon the plow..” –  What are these rationalistic visions of meat chastity?  What are these low-minded visions of chastity?  Of limit?  Those visions will be … “as the moss upon the tree: or dust upon the plow:/ Or as the sweat upon the labouring shoulder: or as the chaff/ Of the wheat-floor or as the dregs of the sweet wine-press/  Such are these Ulro Visions, for tho we sit down within/ The plowed furrow, listning to the weeping clods.. ” –    See, we’re the worms here.  So  … “tho we sit down within The plowed furrow. listning to the weeping clods till we/ Contract or Expand Space at will: or if we raise ourselves/ Upon the chariots of the morning. Contracting or Expanding Time!/ Every one knows, we are One Family! One Man blessed for ever/   Silence remaind & every one resumd..”   –  (This is a speech, actually, by, I believe, the Universals. The Eternals were speaking here perhaps) –  “Silence remaind & every one resumd his Human Majesty/ And many conversed on these things as they labourd at the   furrow/ Saying: It is better to prevent misery, than to release from misery/ It is better to prevent error, than to forgive the criminal:/ Labour well the Minute Particulars, attend to the Little-ones:/ And those who are in misery cannot remain so long/ If we do but our duty: labour well the teeming Earth.”

“They Plow’d in tears, the trumpets sounded before the golden Plow” – ( That’s the plow of reason, of true reason, sweet science) –  “They Plow’d in tears” – (that is the plow, or the turning over of reality by the mind) – “They Plow’d in tears, the trumpets sounded before the golden Plow/ And the voices of the Living Creatures were heard in the clouds of heaven/ Crying: Compell the Reasoner to Demonstrate with unhewn Demonstrations/ Let the Indefinite be explored. and let every Man be judged/ By his own Works, Let all Indefinites be thrown into Demonstrations/ To be pounded to dust & melted in the Furnaces of Affliction:/ He who would do good to another, must do it in Minute Particulars/  General Good is the plea of the scoundrel hypocrite &  flatterer:/ For Art & Science cannot exist but in minutely organized Particulars/ And not in generalizing Demonstrations of the Rational Power. The Infinite alone resides in Definite & Determinate Identity..” –   “Eternity is in love with the productions of time.”

 

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