Coal Miners’ salary books, Near Tracy, TN. April, 2014
…“rational knowledge is uniform, predictable, objective; a philosophy condemned in Blake’s aphorism,
‘One Law for the Lion & Ox is Oppression’ (K158),
illustrated by the terrifying depiction of Nebuchadnezzar condemned to eat grass.
I hope that it is by now clear that Blake was not making a vital issue out of what is in reality a mere matter of terms and definitions. Some might ask what difference it can possibly make, since the perception and experience of the world is in either case the same, whether we regard the phenomena as material or mental. To Blake the ‘wrenching apart’ of the unus mundus is, as in his myth he describes it, an unhealed wound in consciousness itself. The healing of that separation was for him essential ‘for the sake of eternal life’, as he writes. It is not in facts but in experience that knowledge consists: knowledge is not separable from life; and Urizen’s universe is constructed ‘outside eternity’ — outside the life of the Imagination. Our world depends not, as Locke had taught, upon the reception of stimuli from a mechanized universe but upon the ‘faculty which experiences’, the mind of the beholder: ‘a fool sees not the same tree[…]”
Excerpt From: Kathleen Raine. “Golgonooza, City of Imagination.” p22
from the William Blake Archive