Esoteric Philosopher: Study of the Endless Path of Wisdom

The Ancient Of Days And William Blake
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godjudgingadam.jpg
God Judging Adam. W Blake.

Sanat Kumara, the Eternal Youth, can be seen by Those Who have the right, presiding, for instance, over the Council in Shamballa. EXT 676.

eldersbeforegod.jpg
Elders before the Throne. W Blake.

He with the Name we mention not, save in utter adoration; the Youth of Endless Summers, the Light of Life itself, the Wondrous One, the Ancient One, Lord of Venusian Love, the great Kumara with the Flaming Sword, the Peace of all the Earth. Sits he alone, this Wondrous One, upon his sapphire throne?  IHS.
 
"And there was under his feet (of the God of Israel) as it were a paved work of a sapphire-stone" (Exodus xxiv. 10). Under the crescent is the heaven of Brahma, all paved with sapphires. The paradise of Indra is resplendent with a thousand suns; that of Siva (Saturn), is in the northeast; his throne is formed of lapis-lazuli and the floor of heaven is of fervid gold. "When he sits on the throne he blazes with fire up to the loins."  SD.  HPB.

 

The Ancient of Days -- Antiquus Altus. HPB.

 

The Presence of the KING. IHS 88.

 

The Great Sacrifice. IHS 106.

 

"And I looked, and behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it," says Ezekiel (i., 4, 22, etc.), ". . . and the likeness of a throne . . . and as the appearance of a man above upon it . . . and I saw as it were the appearance of fire and it had brightness round about it." And Daniel speaks of the "ancient of days," the kabalistic En-Soph, whose throne was "the fiery flame, his wheels burning fire. . . . A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him. IU 271.

 

And he was great and mighty and 'Ancient of Days,' until he swallowed all the other fishes in the (Great) Sea . . . 'Thou art the Son of the Holy Flame. SD1 394.

 

This great Life, the Ancient of Days, the Lord of the world, Sanat Kumara, the Eternal Youth, the planetary Logos - His many names are of relative unimportance - is the only Existence upon our planet Who is capable of responding to and carrying out the objectives of the solar Logos. EA 612.

 

"This Melchizedek, King of Salem, Priest of the Most High God ...was, in the first place, as His Name means, King of Righteousness, and besides that, King of Salem (that is King of Peace). Being without father or mother or ancestry, having neither beginning of days nor end of life... He remains a priest in perpetuity.)" - Hebrews, VII, 1-4, Weymouth Translation. BC 43.

 

He is the greatest of all the Avatars, or Coming Ones. IHS 28.

 

He is the Custodian of the will of the Great White Lodge on Sirius. RI 130.

 

Who "knows His own Mind, radiates the highest quality of love and focuses His Will in His Own high Place within the center where the Will of God is known." RC 13.

 

Occasionally, too, he meets with initiates of lesser degree, but only at times of great crises, when some individual is given the opportunity to bring peace out of strife, and to kindle a blaze whereby rapidly crystallizing forms are destroyed and the imprisoned life consequently set free. IHS 106.

 

Sanat Kumara, the Eternal Youth, can be seen by Those Who have the right, presiding, for instance, over the Council in Shamballa. EXT 676. 

 

William Blake, Poet / Artist

 

Born: 28 November 1757

Birthplace: London, England

Death: 12 August 1827

Best Known As: Mystic English poet.

 

William Blake started writing poems as a boy, many of them inspired by religious visions. Apprenticed to an engraver as a young man, Blake learned skills that allowed him to put his poems and drawings together on etchings, and he began to publish his own work. Throughout his life he survived on small commissions, never gaining much attention from the London art world. His paintings were rejected by the public (he was called a "lunatic" for his imaginative work), but he had a profound influence on Romanticism as a literary movement.

 

 

Early Life and Work

 

Blake's father, a prosperous hosier, encouraged young Blake's artistic tastes and sent him to drawing school. At 14 he was apprenticed to James Basire, an engraver, with whom he stayed until 1778. After attending the Royal Academy, where he rebelled against the school's stifling atmosphere, he set up as an engraver. In 1782 he married Catherine Boucher, whom he taught to read, write, and draw. She became his inseparable companion, assisting him in nearly all his work.

 

Blake's life, except for three years at Felpham where he prepared illustrations for an edition of Cowper, was spent in London. Poetical Sketches (1783), his first book, was the only one published conventionally during his lifetime. He engraved and published all his other major poetry himself (the rest remained in manuscript), for which he originated a method of engraving text and illustration on the same plate. Neither Blake's artwork nor his poetry enjoyed commercial or critical success until long after his death.

 

Work in the Visual Arts

 

Blake's paintings and engravings, notably his illustrations of his own works, works by Milton, and of the Book of Job, are painstakingly realistic in their representation of human anatomy and other natural forms. They are also radiantly imaginative, often depicting fanciful creatures in exacting detail. Nearly unknown during his life, Blake was generally dismissed as an eccentric or worse long thereafter. His following has gradually increased, and today he is widely appreciated as a visual artist and as a poet.

 

Mature Poetry

 

In Songs of Innocence (1789) and Songs of Experience (1794) the world is seen from a child's point of view, directly and simply but without sentimentality. In the first group, which includes such poems as “The Lamb,” “Infant Joy,” and “Laughing Songs,” both the beauty and the pain of life are captured. The latter group, which includes “The Tyger,” “Infant Sorrow,” “The Sick Rose,” and “London,” reveal a consciousness of cruelty and injustice in the world, for which people, not fate, are responsible. As parables of adult life the Songs are rich in meaning and implication.

 

Blake's Prophetic Books combine poetry, vision, prophecy, and exhortation. They include The Book of Thel (1789), The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (c.1790), The French Revolution (1791), America (1793), Europe (1794), The Book of Urizon (1794), The Book of Los (1795), Milton (1804–8), and Jerusalem (1804–20). These comprise no less than a vision of the whole of human life, in which energy and imagination struggle with the forces of oppression both physical and mental. Blake exalted love and pure liberty, and abhorred the reductive, rationalist philosophy that served to justify the political and economic inequities attendant upon the Industrial Revolution.

 

The Prophetic Books are founded in the real world, as are Blake's passions and anger, but they appear abstruse because they are ordered by a mythology devised by the poet, which draw from Swedenborg, Jacob Boehme, and other mystical sources. Despite this, and despite the fact that from childhood on Blake was a mystic who thought it quite natural to see and converse with angels and Old Testament prophets, he by no means forsook concrete reality for a mystical life of the spirit. On the contrary, reality, whose center was human life, was for Blake inseparable from imagination. The spiritual, indeed God himself, was an expression of the human

 

 

William Blake (1807)

Early career

Blake was born at 28 Broad Street, Golden Square, London into a middle-class family. His artistic talent was noticed and encouraged from an early age. At ten years old, he began engraving copies of drawings of Greek antiquities, a practice that was then preferred to real-life drawing. Four years later he became apprenticed to an engraver, Henry Basire. After two years Basire sent him to copy art from the Gothic churches in London. At the age of twenty-one Blake finished his apprenticeship and set up as a professional engraver.

 

In 1779 he became a student at the Royal Academy, where he rebelled against what he regarded as the unfinished style of fashionable painters such as Rubens. He preferred the Classical exactness of Michelangelo and Raphael.

 

In 1782 Blake met John Flaxman, who was to become his patron. In the same year he married a poor illiterate girl named Catherine Boucher, who was five years his junior. Catherine could neither read nor write and even signed her wedding contract with an X. Blake taught her reading and writing and even trained her as an engraver. At that time, George Cumberland, one of the founders of the National Gallery, became an admirer of Blake's work.

 

Blake's first collection of poems, Poetical Sketches, was published circa 1783. In 1788, at the age of thirty-one, Blake began to experiment with "relief etching", which was the method used to produce most of his books of poems. Blake wrote in a letter that the method was revealed to him in a dream of his dead brother, Robert. The process is also referred to as "illuminated printing," and final products as "illuminated books" or "prints". Illuminated printing involved writing the text of the poems on copper plates with pens and brushes, using an acid-resistant medium. Illustrations could appear alongside words in the manner of earlier illuminated manuscripts. He then etched the plates in acid in order to dissolve away the untreated copper and leave the design standing. The pages printed from these plates then had to be hand-colored in water colors and stiched together to make up a volume. Blake used illuminated printing for four of his works: the Songs of Innocence and Experience, The Book of Thel, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, and Jerusalem. Each of his illuminated books was thus a unique work of art and a radical break with not only traditional book printing but the traditional means of presenting poetic and philosophical discourse. Blake seems to have believed, or rather hoped, that self-published books could liberate the artist and author from the tyranny of censorship by Church and State but its time-consuming nature meant that his most personal and prophetic works reached a minute audience in his lifetime.

 

Blake also became a friend of the painter John Henry Fuseli.

 

 

The archetype of the "creator" is a familiar image in the illuminated books of William Blake. Here, Blake depicts an almighty creator stooped in prayer contemplating the world he has forged. The Song of Los is the third in a series of illuminated books, hand-painted by Blake and his wife, known as the "Continental Prophecies", considered by most critics to contain some of Blake's most powerful imagery.

 

Religious and political visions

Blake had an idiosyncratic view of his Christian religion. In 1789 William and Catherine joined the Swedenborgian New Church. He believed that the truth was learned by personal revelation, not by teaching. What he called his 'visions' were perhaps hallucinations, experiences that he allowed to guide his life. It was these that gave him such a strong and uncompromising belief in his own artistic direction, but also led others to call him eccentric or even mad.

 

In The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Blake began to develop his own mythology, which included a pantheon of characters such as Orc, a messiah and Urizen, a cruel Old Testament-style god. Blake loved Milton's work and tried, as Milton had, to create his own definitions of heaven and hell. This desire to recreate the cosmos is the heart of his work and his psychology. His myths often described the struggle between enlightenment and free love on the one hand, and restrictive education and morals on the other. Blake believed himself a prophet of a New Age, and his identification with free love and democracy has helped to make him a hero of many modern artists. The poet W. B. Yeats admired Blake's spiritualism and helped to popularise him in the 20th century.

 

The Last Judgement is a work in which Blake sums up and illustrates all the mythology that he has created.

 

Many attempts have been made to categorise Blake. Not least of them is the effort to dub him a 'Gnostic', based on several similarities between his mythology and that of the Christian Gnostics whose main period of proliferation ran through the first three centuries A.D. Blake himself was said to be aware of Gnostic mythology, and to have deliberately drawn on it in the creation of his personal myths. For example, Blake's figure 'Urizen' - who makes an appearance in his famous painting 'The Ancient of Days' - may be likened in many respects to the Gnostic demiurge. However, efforts to deem Blake a 'modern Gnostic' have been hampered by the complexities of Blake's own mythology, as well as the variety of Gnostic myths on offer.

 

 

Later life

Blake's marriage to Catherine remained a close and devoted one until his death. There were early problems, however, such as Catherine's illiteracy and the couple's failure to produce children. At one point, in accordance with the beliefs of the Swedenborgian Society, Blake suggested bringing in a concubine. Catherine was distressed at the idea, and he dropped it. Later in life, the pair seem to have settled down, and their apparent domestic harmony in middle age is better documented than their early difficulties.

 

 

Blake's Newton as a divine geometer (1795)Later in his life Blake sold a great number of works, particularly his Bible illustrations, to Thomas Butts, a patron who saw Blake more as a friend in need than an artist. Geoffrey Keynes, a biographer, described Butts as 'a dumb admirer of genius, which he could see but not quite understand.' Dumb or not, we have him to thank for eliciting and preserving so many works.

 

About 1800 Blake moved to a cottage at Felpham in Sussex (now West Sussex) to take up a job illustrating the works of William Hayley, a mediocre poet. It was in this cottage that Blake wrote Milton: a Poem (which was published later between 1804 and 1808). The preface to this book included the poem And did those feet in ancient time, which Blake decided to discard for later editions. This is ironic, because as the words to the hymn Jerusalem, this is now one of Blake's most well-known if not well-understood poems.

 

Blake returned to London in 1802 and began to write and illustrate Jerusalem (1804-1820). He was introduced by George Cumberland to a young artist named John Linnell. Through Linnell he met Samuel Palmer, who belonged to a group of artists who called themselves the 'Shoreham Ancients'. This group shared Blake's rejection of modern trends and his belief in a spiritual and artistic New Age. Blake benefited from this group technically, by sharing in their advances in watercolour painting, and personally, by finding a receptive audience for his ideas.

 

At the age of sixty-five Blake began work on illustrations for the Book of Job. These works were later admired by John Ruskin, who compared Blake favourably to Rembrandt.

 

William Blake died in 1827 and was buried in an unmarked grave at Bunhill Fields, London. In recent years, a proper memorial was erected for him and his wife.

 

He died while still hard at work. His last work was said to be a sketch of his wife. Perhaps Blake's life is summed up by his statement that "The imagination is not a State: it is the Human existence itself."

Answers.com

 

"When the Blessed Holy One is aroused to delight Himself with the righteous, the Face of the Ancient of Days shines into the face of the Impatient One. Its Forehead is revealed and shines to this forehead. Then it is called 'a time of favor' (Psalms 69:14). Whenever Judgment looms and the forehead of the Impatient One is revealed, the Forehead of the Ancient of Ancients is revealed; Judgment subsides and is not executed." Idra Rabba, Zohar 3:136b

 

The term Ancient of Days originates in the Old Testment Book by the Prophet Daniel (7:9, 13, 22):

7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

 

7:13-14 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him, and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

 

7:21-22 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the Saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

 

 

"When he set a compass upon the face of the deep."

 

Words by: William Croswell Doane, 1886, 1892.

 

Ancient of Days, who sittest throned in glory,

To Thee all knees are bent, all voices pray;

Thy love has blessed the wide world's wondrous story

With light and life since Eden's dawning day.

 

O Holy Father, Who hadst led Thy children

In all the ages, with the fire and cloud,

Through seas dry shod, through weary wastes bewildering;

To Thee, in reverent love, our hearts are bowed.

 

O Holy Jesus, Prince of Peace and Savior,

To Thee we owe the peace that still prevails,

Stilling the rude wills of men's wild behavior,

And calming passion's fierce and stormy gales.

 

O Holy Ghost, the Lord and the Lifegiver,

Thine is the quickening power that gives increase;

From Thee have flowed, as from a pleasant river,

Our plenty, wealth, prosperity and peace.

 

O Triune God, with heart and voice adoring,

Praise we the goodness that doth crown our days;

Pray we that Thou wilt hear us, still imploring

Thy love and favor kept to us always.

 

Heart lifted up unto the Ancient Of Days:

 

Though Champak stars shine bright

Not one shines brighter than the

Star that shines from thee,

 

No, no Sun ever shone a more radiant light

Than the glorious Sun that shines from thee!

 

Oh! No love yearned more deeply

Than the burning love that dwells within me.

 

For though a thousand trillion flames have left the Sun,

Not one! Will ever travel further, or shall burn more intense

Than the flame of loves incense, that burns inside of me.

 

My Soul of Souls, my love of loves

So it burns eternal, oh exquisite and divine

Thou righteous Lord eternal, Master of all Time.

 

JPC  Aug 92.

 

It cuts the crystallizing sphere with all its myriad forms; it pierces through the watery plane, washed by the swirling tides; it passes through the nethermost hell, down into densest maya, and ends within the latent fire, the molten lake of fiercest burning, touching the denizens of fire, the Agnichaitans of the scarlet heat.

 

Where mounts the ladder's length? Where is its consummation?

     

It mounteth through the radiant spheres, through all their six divisions. It riseth to the mighty Seat within the final fifth, and passeth from that mighty Seat to yet another greater.

 

Who sits upon that mighty Seat within the final fifth?

     

He with the Name we mention not, save in utter adoration; the Youth of Endless Summers, the Light of Life itself, the Wondrous One, the Ancient One, Lord of Venusian Love, the great Kumara with the Flaming Sword, the Peace of all the Earth.

 

Sits he alone, this Wondrous One, upon his sapphire throne?

     

He sits alone, yet close upon the rainbow steps there stand three other Lords, garnering the product of their work and sacrificing all their gain to aid the Lord of Love.   

 

Are they assisted in their work? Do other Ones of greater powers than ours stand too upon the ladder?

     

These mighty Four, Action and Love, in wise cooperation work with their Brothers of a lesser grade, the three Great Lords we know.

   

Who aid these mighty Lords? Who carry on their work, linking the lower with the higher?

   

The Brothers of Logoic Love in all their many grades. They stay within the final fifth till it absorbeth all the fourth.

   

Where mounts the ladder then?

   

To the greatest Lord of all, before whom e'en that Ancient One bends in obeisance low; before whose throne of effulgent light Angels of highest rank, Masters and Lords of uttermost compassion, prostrate themselves and humbly bend, waiting the Word to rise.

   

When sounds that Word and what transpires when it echoes through the spheres?

   

That Word sounds not till all is done, until the Lord of endless love deemeth the work correct. He uttereth then a lesser Word that vibrateth through the scheme. The greater Lord of cosmic Love, hearing the circling sound, addeth completion to the chord, and breathet forth the whole.

   

What will be seen, 0 Pilgrim on the Way, when sounds that final chord?

   

The music of the endless spheres, the merging of the seven; the end of tears, of sin, of strife, the shattering of forms; the finish of the ladder, the blending in the All, completion of the circling spheres and their entry into peace. IHS 212.

Jeremy Condick. jpcondick@ntlworld.com

 

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