Page:Works of William Blake; poetic, symbolic, and critical (1893) Volume 2.djvu/134

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THE FIRST BOOK OF URIZEN.

Preface.

This is the story of one of the eternal states or moods of man, which are from everlasting. The individual enters these Moods and passes on, leaving them in the Universal Bosom, as travellers leave in space the lands through which they go. The name of the Mood is Urizen.

Prologue.

Urizen is seen in vision as the primeval priest, or spiritual father, assuming power among the spirits or imaginative moods of Great Eternity, an unimaginative mood by contrast, or rather he desires to be so in order to be a separate self—self-contemplating—and dominate other moods. The Eternals therefore gave him a place in the region of selfishness, of personality, of experience, the North, the iron land that the senses create in the mind, for the land of the South, from which he first came, is mind-created, not merely mind-analyzed. It is in the bosom of God, and no selfishness is allowed there, no personality that is not merely a means of brotherhood.

Chapter I.

1. Separated from the imaginative, Urizen ceased to give light. He became a shadow. (Shadow means cloud or liquid, and has the qualities of blood, the dark region of sensuous action.) He became like a void, a vacuum, like nature that