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Glossary







Ahania:
Ahania is the Emanation of Urizen. She is pleasure, particularly sexual pleasure. In The Book of Ahania, she is separated from Urizen when Fuzon's globe of wrath strikes him in the genitals. As a separate female form, Urizen sees her as sin and hides her, repressing his sexuality.




Albion:
Albion is often used by poets as a name for England. For Blake Albion is one of the Eternals. He is the four-fold man; his four faculties, the Zoas Urthona (Los), Urizen, Luvah, and Tharmus, are in harmony in his waking state. In his sleeping state, they are divided from one another and in conflict, each acting as if it were an independent whole rather than a part of a single being. Albion is fallen and sleeping (we might say in a coma) and his awakening will be the apocalypse. His fall creates the fallen world and his dreams as he sleeps are the historical events of this fallen world. In Blake's prophetic writings, particularly The Four Zoas, Milton, and Jerusalem, his fall is explained in several ways, depending on the point of view from which it is seen. In the Urizen Books Urizen precipitates the fall. Blake is just beginning to work out the nature of the fall and the four-fold man in these early prophecies. The characters and elements of his mythos are beginning to take shape in this tale of the fall and the creation of the fallen world. Albion, Tharmus, and Luvah, play little part in these prophecies.




Beulah:
Beulah ("married" in Hebrew) is one of names given to Jerusalem when it is rejoined to God after the exile. In Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, Beulah is the pastoral earthly paradise (in sight of the Heavenly City) where Christian and the other pilgrims rest before crossing the River of Death and entering the Heavenly City. For Blake Beulah is an idealized place without conflict, the conventional image of heaven or Eternity where all is at peace and all are one. For Blake, this notion of Eternity is misguided and fallen. Beulah offers an escape from the energetic effort and creative conflict of Eternity. It is a place to rest, but also it is a temptation to escape the demands of Eternity. It stands between Eternity and Ulro. Its inhabitants, the daughters of Beulah, remember eternity and act as muses for the poets (such as Blake) who dwell in Ulro. There is a detailed description of Beulah in Milton 30.1-31.11




Emanation:
The Emanation is the visible and spatial aspect of a four-fold division of the individual into Humanity, Spectre, Emanation, and Shadow (see Albion and Eternal(s)). The emanations create the space in which Eternals meet, making their union possible, and the emanation is the visible embodiment of the Eternal, making it possible for the Eternal to interact with others. The Emanation is usually the feminine aspect of the androgynous Eternal. The separation of the Emanation from the individual marks a stage in the fall and means that the individual can no longer meet with others in Eternity. Thus when Enitharmon separates from Los and takes on a separate female form, the individual is divided internally and also divided from Eternity, being no longer able to meet other Eternals. The failure of the parts to recognize their divided state indicates their fallen nature.




Enitharmon:
Enitharmon is the Emanation of Urthona. According to Damon, her name comes from "the Greek anarithmon ("numberless") or from (z)enith plus (h)armon(y)" (124). Divided from Los in the fall/creation of this world, she becomes his lover and wife. She is the Eve figure in Blake's Bible of Hell, first the mother of Orc then of "an enormous race" (Urizen 20.45) that populates Urizen's world. Thus she is the Great Mother. She is also Pity, spiritual beauty, and the inspiration of the poet. She is often figured as the moon.




Eno:
Eno, an anagram for "eon" according to Damon (125), recalls eternal life in her opening monologue to The Book of Los. As the "aged mother" (Los 3.1), she is capable of seeing their former eternal nature in present fallen forms.




Eternal(s):
The Eternals, also called the Immortals, are the four-fold men who inhabit Eternity and make up the body of Christ, "the Eternal Great Humanity" (Milton 30.15). They meet "In the great Wars of Eternity, in fury of Poetic Inspiration, / To build the Universe stupendous: Mental forms Creating (30.19-20). They are four-fold in that they are made up of Four Zoas and also of a Humanity, Spectre, Emanation, and Shadow. These two different four-fold divisions indicate two different ways that Blake divides the Human faculties. The division into Zoas dominates Blake's psychological analysis in his earlier prophecies and The Four Zoas. The division into Humanity, Spectre, Emanation, and Shadow is given more prominence in Milton and Jerusalem.




Eternal Prophet:
Los is the Eternal Prophet. His office is to preserve the vision of Eternity in the fallen world, to arrest the fall, and ultimately to awaken Albion.




Eternity:
Eternity is reality. It is inhabited by the Eternals who build the worlds that they live and meet in. It is also the community of the Eternals. Time/space is structured into universes by the Eternals much as houses are built, but the underlying reality that makes these universes possible is Eternity. Its chief quality is its malleability to the creativity of the Eternals. Thus in Eternity incommensurable and conflicting universes may be created by different Eternals. At the same time, Eternity preserves all forms. Urizen creates one such universe or dwelling place, but rather than seeing it as one among many, he sees it as the only universe and its laws, his laws, as the only laws. He sees all other universes and Eternity itself as chaos. He shuts himself within his world and denies Eternity.




Fuzon:
Fuzon, the fourth son of Urizen but first conceived, is the element fire. The other three elements are represented by three other sons of Urizen: Grodna = earth, Thiriel = air, and Utha = water. As the four elements, these four sons of Urizen form the material basis of Urizen's world. As the element of fire, the element symbolizing the energy Urizen wishes to subdue, Fuzon rebels against Urizen, initially in The Book of Urizen as a Moses figure who leads his people in their flight out of Egypt, Urizen's world. In The Book of Ahania, Fuzon comes into direct conflict with Urizen, battling with him for control of the world. The representation of this battle draws on elements from Greek mythology: Cronos's castration and overthrow of his father, Uranus; the battle between the Titans led by Cronos and Cronos's children, the Olympians, led by Zeus; and the battle between Zeus and Typhon. However, as opposed to the Greek mythos, Urizen defeats Fuzon and crucifies him. Thus Fuzon can also be seen as a Christ figure. See Urizen, Plate 24, for an illustration of the birth of the four elements and Urizen, Plate 16, for an illustration of the element fire.




Grodna:
Grodna, the third son of Urizen, is the element earth. The other three elements are represented by three other sons of Urizen: Thiriel = air, Fuzon = fire, and Utha = water. As the four elements, these four sons of Urizen form the material basis of Urizen's world. See Urizen, Plate 24, for an illustration of the birth of the four elements and Urizen, Plate 9, for an illustration of the element earth.




Humanity:
In the four-fold division of the individual into Humanity, Spectre, Emanation, and Shadow (see Albion and Eternal(s)), the Humanity is the essential identity and governing faculty. It is the image of God in the individual and thus the individual's creativity, creating the visions that are given order and visible form by the Spectre and Emanation. When an individual is in a fallen state, the humanity is sleeping. Albion's humanity awakens at the Apocalypse.




Immortal(s):
See Eternal(s).




Los:
Los is the form of Urthona in the fallen world. As the archetype of the poet-prophet and as the Eternal Prophet, he is the creative imagination in this world. He is the Spectre of Urthona, and Enitharmon is the Emanation. He is time and she is space. He is represented as a blacksmith (see Urizen, Plate 11 and Plate 18) His name plays on "los(s)" and is "sol" (a homonym for "soul") spelled backwards. (Backward writing plays an important place in Blake's works. Blake engraved his metal plates in backward writing, so that the printed image came out in normal forward writing. Backward writing is generally a message from the Eternals.) As poet-prophet in the fallen world, Los is closed out of Eternity, but still contains within him the creative fires that are the basis of Eternity. He preserves the vision of Eternity in the time of trouble. Through his action, the individual may regain Eternity, but at the same time, Los is not free from error. In the Urizen Books we can see Blake starting to develop Los as one of his central mythical figures. Urthona and the Zoas other than Urizen are not mentioned. The fallen individual divides into two parts, Urizen and Los, who is rent from Urizen's side. Their is ambiguity about the nature of this first division. It is unclear whether Los and Urizen are two parts of the same individual or whether they are both Eternals who are lovers. They will in turn be divided from their Emanations. As the Eternal Prophet and blacksmith, Los binds the abstract Urizen into visible and concrete form, making the world of his laws manifest so that its errors can be perceived. Los looks on Urizen and feels Pity, and Pity divides him from his Emanation, Enitharmon. Los and Enitharmon become lovers in a narcissistic re-union, and from their union Orc is born. Los becomes jealous of Orc and sacrifices him to Urizen. He shuts Enitharmon out from the vision of this world and together they produce the race that will inhabit Urizen's world.




Luvah:
Luvah is one of the four Zoas who make up the four-fold individual (see Albion and Eternal(s)). He is love and more generally the passions. His Emanation is Vala, the goddess of nature, and his fallen and spectral form is Orc. Luvah does not appear in the Urizen Books. The four Zoas are developed fully in the later prophecies, The Four Zoas, Milton, and Jerusalem.




Orc:
Orc is the spirit of revolution. He is the Spectre of Luvah. He brings war to overthrow the repressive regime of Urizen because, as Damon notes, "repressed love turns to war" (309). His lover is the Shadowy Female, the material world and the Shadow of Luvah. His name is an anagram for cor, "heart," and is also associated with orca, "whale"--he appears as a whale in America 1.14 and 2.14 (Damon 309). He is sometimes depicted as being covered with scales--suggesting the serpent who tempts Eve to break the laws of Jehovah/Urizen. Also, he is associated with fire and often depicted as surrounded by flames (see Urizen, Plate 20). He is the son of Los and Enitharmon, begotten of their separation. Los, in his jealousy, takes Orc up on the mountain and binds him there as a sacrifice to Urizen. This suggests Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22) and Prometheus' punishment by Zeus where he is bound on Mount Atlas. His warmth and energy awaken the dead Urizen. The actual rebellion against Urizen is led by Fuzon, who can be seen as an Orc figure in The Book of Ahania.




Pity:
Blake is ambivalent about the emotion Pity. In The Book of Urizen Pity begins when Los looks on the body of Urizen bound in chains (Urizen 13.50-51). However, Pity furthers the fall, "For pity divides the soul" (13.53), dividing Los and Enitharmon, who is named Pity at her birth. Pity defuses the power of righteous indignation and proper prophetic wrath that lead to action. Stevenson asserts: "Pity is a distraction; the soul is divided between it and the action a 'pitiable' state demands. This is seen as Los's division into active male and tearful female--the latter deluding the former (260n). In "The Human Abstract", Blake says: "Pity would be no more, / If we did not make somebody Poor" (1-2). In his later works, Blake sees Pity as an emotion that can draw beings together.




Shadow:
In the four-fold division of the individual into Humanity, Spectre, Emanation, and Shadow (see Albion and Eternal(s)), the Shadow is the remainder of desire after the passion and fire are gone. The Shadow is desire made immutable and immobile. It is the memory of desire. In the fallen world, it is the result of repressed desires. Thus the material world is the shadow of Eternity, the solid immobility of matter rather than the energy and fire of intellectual warfare. The Shadow is usually, but not always, feminine. In The Book of Ahania, Ahania becomes a shadow when she is divided from Urizen and then hidden, no longer able to function as his Emanation (3.38-42).


 


Spectre:
In the four-fold division of the individual into Humanity, Emanation, Shadow, and Spectre (see Albion and Eternal(s)), the Spectre functions to define and separate the individual from others. The Spectre acts as guardian and protector of the Emanation. When it is separated, it is reason, trying to define everything in terms of unchanging essences. It tries to freeze Eternity in a single state. It becomes the Selfhood, trying to impose an immutable and thus false identity on the individual. It resists change, growth, and the very creativity which is the true nature of the Humanity. Thus it is the negation. The Spectre is usually the masculine aspect of the androgynous Eternal.




Tharmas:
Tharmas is one of the four Zoas who make up the four-fold individual (see Albion and Eternal(s)). He is the senses and the body in that in Eternity the body is the flexible senses. He doesn't emerge as a figure in Blake's mythos until the later prophecies, The Four Zoas, Milton, and Jerusalem.




Thiriel:
Thiriel, the first son of Urizen, is the element air. The other three elements are represented by three other sons of Urizen: Grodna = earth, Fuzon = fire, and Utha = water. As the four elements, these four sons of Urizen form the material basis of Urizen's world. See Urizen, Plate 24, for an illustration of the birth of the four elements and Urizen, Plate 14, for an illustration of the element air.



Ulro:
Ulro is the realm of torment, suffering, and death. It is this fallen, material world, which has lost contact with Eternity. It is a realm of error and misperception where everything is reversed. It is the world created by Urizen and governed by his laws. The term is used by Blake only in his later prophecies, The Four Zoas, Milton, and Jerusalem.




Urizen:
Urizen is one of the four Zoas who make up the four-fold individual (see Albion and Eternal(s)). He is reason, the rational faculty of the individual. His name is a pun for "your reason." However, it may also be derived from the Greek term for "to limit," the root for "horizon." His function is to limit and give outline to the creative energy of the individual. He has a similar function to the Spectre. His Emanation and consort is Ahania. When he is separated from the other Zoas and falls, he tries to stop the creative activity of the Eternals and to fix the world in one state. As a result he creates the fallen material universe, Ulro as Blake terms it in his later prophecies. In the Urizen Books Blake begins to develop this central figure in his mythos. Here he is seen as one of the Eternals, not just a single faculty or part of an Eternal. However, the rending apart of Urizen and Los can be seen as the beginning of the notion that Urizen is just part of a whole. As the creator of the fallen world, Urizen takes on the role of the monotheistic deity and lawgiver, Jehovah, or the Nobodaddy of "To Nobodaddy." In his role of founder of this religion, the creator of the net of religion, he is the Primeval Priest. In his pursuit of single rule, he is also the archetypal King, the political oppressor.




Urthona
Urthona is one of the four Zoas who make up the four-fold individual (see Albion and Eternal(s)). He is the creative imagination. His name is a pun on "Earth Owner." He is a blacksmith who creates forms in his smithy, building the world. His Spectre is Los, and his Emanation is Enitharmon. In the fallen world he is manifest as Los, the Eternal Prophet who keeps the vision of Eternity in the time of trouble. Urthona does not appear in the Urizen books. Although his name appears in the early prophecies, America and Europe, he is not developed as a figure in Blake's mythos until the later prophecies, The Four Zoas, Milton, and Jerusalem. In the Urizen Books, we can see Blake starting to develop this figure in Los.




Utha:
Utha, the second son of Urizen, is the element water. The other three elements are represented by three other sons of Urizen: Grodna = earth, Thiriel = air, and Fuzon = fire. As the four elements, these four sons of Urizen form the material basis of Urizen's world. See Urizen, Plate 24, for an illustration of the birth of the four elements and Urizen, Plate 12, for an illustration of the element water.




Zoas:
The Zoas are the fundamental aspects of the four-fold individual: the creative imagination (Urthona), the reason (Urizen), the emotions (Luvah), and the body (Tharmas) (see Albion and Eternal(s)). The Zoas function together in an Eternal, making it possible for it to act in the community that inhabits and gives shape to Eternity. If the Zoas become disordered, if one of them usurps the role of another, the individual (for Blake Albion) falls into Ulro and a deadly sleep. Albion awakens when each Zoa resumes its proper role.


 






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