Tuesday, March 6, 2012

William Blake Class - 2 (Urizen and Gnostic Background)

So Urizen (The First Book of Urizen) was printed 1794, it’s on page 69 of the Erdman. So who’s got my (copy)? As you remember, Urizen was the principle (that) would be the correlation in Buddhism to the vajra principle of intellect,intelligence. In Buddhism, vajra quality can also have its corrupted or perverted opposite, where you have an excess of vajra, where everything is complete intellect and cutting through (perhaps cynical or destructive intellect, or negative intellect, or intellect that’s so solidified and impacted that it doesn’t allow for any feeling, or any richness, or any generosity, or any work even). Just like the creators of the atom bomb, for instance, or the present, say, creators of nuclear energy, who (consider it as a) purely mental construction, with no regard to the actual waste that comes through, or the vast stockpiles of unused plutonium. So, actually, with Urizen, we’re dealing with a contemporary mentality in a way. I would say (that) the triumph of Urizonic mentality would probably be the neutron bomb, in the sense that it destroys person(s) and leaves intact constructions, leaves architectural constructions intact, but destroys only organic matter.
There are some pages here for late-comers [Allen has made and distributed a hand-out]. Do we have enough? There are some pages up front to be picked up. Do you have them? I guess we’ll have to make another set. We’re at the end of it. There’s no more left. [to student] - How many did you make?

Student: We made thirty.

AG: No fair. Does somebody have extras? They’re gone. Well, can you make another set?...Can you make (more)? – See Bob Meyers [Allen’s student and teaching assistant] for more sets of these if you need the extra pages.
So he Urizonic mentality that he’s dealing with is actually our own contemporary problem too. Blake is dealing with titanic forms, like the atom bomb, or neutron bombs, so, actually, Blake’s analyses and psychology are useful now as studies in the titanic poetry of the late 20th century, as well as his own titanic revolutions.
A little outline on Urizon so you know who he is. If you look at Plate II of Erdman (on page) 184, I think - let’s see, where is (it)? – (on page) 184, you’ll have the book spread out before you. Plate 1 is a picture of Urizen, reading his books, reading his tablets. Writing his own book, actually, with his left hand. And illustrating it with the other, with his eyes shut. He copies what he can read with his toes from nature’s book. You got the picture there? Anybody got the picture

That’s page 183. (The) Book of Urizon. According to Erdman, he’s writing secrets and commandments, but his copy book is.. The closed books on which he’s transcribing may be seen as a coffin lid. He’s got the Mosaic tablets at his back. A barren trunk and a barren branch from a Tree of Mystery form a barrel arch above the solitary solipsist. And he’s pointing out [Erdman points out] that there some serpentine quality in the lettering.

Student: Where was it done?

AG: Pardon me? Lambeth is where Blake did it, Lambeth in London, in Lambeth Vale in London. I think that’s on the other side, if I’m not mistaken, of the river from the Tower, from Parliament and Big Ben. He lived there, (on the) south side of the Thames for a long while, and took sun baths naked with his wife and got into a little trouble in his garden in Lambeth. Some of the poems we read.. I think Blake was giving his body ease in Lambeth…
So, Damon, for "Urizen", says: “Urizen is the southern Zoa, who symbolizes Reason”…a “limiter of Energy” (rather than an expander of Energy), “the law-maker, and the avenging conscience”..”His art is architecture..”..”His name has been translated as “Your Reason”, a derivation quite characteristic of Blake, who continually used semi-conscious puns”. Your Reason. Kathleen Raine and others” (Damon points out) differ as to the root – the Greek root of the word – they have a Greek root which means “to limit” – to put a limit (as reason puts a limit on sense-perception, or abstracts from sense perceptions to make generalizations, so actually limits the amount of data in a verbal formula). Nobody knows whether Blake knew Greek then.
Urizen in the lower world is the son of Albion, the complete man, and Vala, who is nature. So he’s an aspect of the complete Albionic creature, th complete unified man. In other words, intellect has a place in the unified man. When he got confused with nature, when the whole man got entrapped, and fucked nature, the result was this thin abstraction, (this) mental, Urizonic quality that involves judgemen, limitations, limitation to the senses, loss of imagination. The cause of Urizen’s downfall into the state of Satan (or Error) - Urizen later becomes – (or) can be exchanged with – Jehovah, the Jewish Jehovah – the judging, avenging God, the limiter, the reasoner and the judger, the avenging conscience. So the old Jehovaic heavy task-master is Urizen as well as Satan. The totally opaque Satan, that is - a Satan that’s so opaque and thick and solidified, in Buddhist terms, a Satan whose faculties of reasoning are so solidified,(whose) conceptual faculties are so solidified and dominant that his mind is opaque. Or you could put it as a maxim – “your eye’s in your head and you don’t actually see what’s in front of you” (as distinct from the translucent worm, the worm you can see through – the man as a worm of sixty winters who’s translucent, who you can see through).
The cause of Urizen’s downfall into the state of Satan, or Error, was that of the traditional Satan - the desire for dominion (in other words, desire for more territory, desire for more power). The egocentric desire to control nature, totally, by the mind (which, again, is applicable to the situation of the nuclear mentality). Desire for dominion, which he does not renounce until the Last Judgement, in Blake’s scheme. He’s motivated by foul ambition and incurs the Satanic self-deceit with its resultant hypocrisy which leads him constantly to weep over his own victims. He’s jealous, also, of Man. (So, the neutron bomb, which actually destroys the bodies and (but) leaves the architecture). The result of his scheming is the creation of the apparent world that we see. As in the old Jehovah story he created the world, so Urizen’s measuring and reasoning created this apparent world. In Buddhist terms, that would be the..I suppose..notion of the self creating its own territory, and then, with the senses, exfoliating a whole phenomenal universe, which, in appearance is there, but, is also subject, like water, to complete change and alteration and disappearance, flowing away. He’s drawing, for some of these notions, on classic Western sources too, because, in Heraclitus, we have, “everything we look upon when awake is death” (or, otherwise translated as, “everything we look upon when awake is dying”, i.e. changing). Everything we look upon when awake is death..everything we look upon when awake is dying, and when asleep, dream. That’s Heraclitus, I think, quoting Pythagoras. These are things that Kathleen Raine, in her studies of Blake, has pointed out as slogans that Blake would have known and would have drawn from, for Western back-up for these notions which here, in this context, may seem somewhat Buddhist or Oriental. In other words, these are Western Gnostic notions. And in relation to that, well, the result of Urizonic consciousness is the creation of the world (in an earlier prophetic book, America): “the moon shot forth,/ in that dread night when Urizen call’d the stars round his feet;/ then burst the center from its orb and found a place beneath;/ and Earth, conglob’d in narrow room, roll’d round its sulphur Sun.” That’s in America.
Student: Does Urizen equate with Old Testament?

AG: Yes. Urizen also, when he sets himself up as God and starts ordering everybody around, when he starts ordering Tharmas (the Body) and he starts ordering Luvah (Emotions), when he starts ordering Urthona – he can’t really order Urthona (Imagination). He can’t really get to Urthona. He can get the others under his control, but he can’t get Imagination under his control. Poetic Imagination, particularly, always escapes Urizen, in Blake’s scheme. And, in fact, the unrolling of these prophetic books is the struggle between Urizen and these other qualities, and how, occasionally, Los, the embodiment of Imagination, I think, gets a little tangled up occasionally, but he never gets completely subjugated by Urizen. There’s always that escape clause in Blake’s contract with eternity, that the poetic imagination can get beyond appearances, and that’s why he always insists that poetic imagination is primary, and above material senses, and that if we had to depend just on the material senses for our poetry, they’d be endlessly repeating the same round of already-known experiences. You’ll find some statement about that in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, and the little illuminated fragment, “There is No Natural Religion” - statements about the poetic imagination surpassing the ratio of the senses, saying that if man knew everything just according to the ratio of the senses, he wouldn’t know anything except what he already knew, and it would be repeated endlessly, a boring round.
So Imagination would be, for Buddhists here again, bodhicitta perhaps, some gap in Urizonic rational conceptual solidification and some opening up of space and some entry of another mind that’s not totally dependent (upon experience). Consonant with experience, but isn’t totally dependent upon the two-plus-two-equals-four of the sensory ratio, the ratio of the five senses.
Anybody got a match? Anybody got any fire? Yeah. Thanks. [Allen pauses for a cigarette] - I’ll give you a little more of the.. Thank you..
Thus, simultaneously, because of Urizen’s jealousy of man, that is the non-limited, the Albionic man, wrath and justice began with the creation. This was also the creation of the Tyger – wrath and justice.
Let’s see, what else (do) we want to know? Urizen, originally, in your thing here, is from the south, and in the “Preludium” to the first book it says: “Of the primeval Priests assum’d power,/ When eternals spurn’d back his religion;/ And gave him a place in the north,/ Obscure, shadowy, void, solitary/ Eternals I hear your call gladly,/ Dictate swift-winged words & fear not/ To unfold your dark visions of torment” – So Blake is going to introduce the horrific aspects of creation, and he says, : “Of the primeval Priests assum’d power,/ When eternals spurn’d back his religion” – The "Eternals" appear in and out of Blake as a council of Gods, or a council of Eternals. Albion is one of them. I think Jerusalem is probably in that. The Eternals, who are wise and don’t get tricked by Urizen, spurned his religion.
Blake is also talking about the organized religions here. Beginning with Jehovah (whom Blake has a totally different interpretation of, (different) than the regular Christian-Biblical one - and I’ll go into that in a minute). And they gave Urizen, at this time, a place in the north, which is the reverse of where Urizen’s right place should be. Urizen belongs in the south, and I think it’s Tharmas, (the Body), that’s supposed to be in the north, no, Urthona (Imagination), is supposed to be in the north. So, because he was making a lot of trouble, he got out of sync, out of kilter, he got off his true course. So they put him up in the north where he’s making a lot of trouble in the territory of Urthona, (Imagination). Reason is usurping Imagination, usurping the direction of Imagination, in the north. Reason has got to go back south before Blake’s drama is finished. He’s got to put Urizen back in the south where he belongs and get him out of Imagination’s territory. But, at the very beginning here, they say they “..gave him a place in the north, / Obscure, shadowy, void, solitary”. And in the “Preludium”, there’s a little picture. I guess the picture is, according to Erdman, “swift-winged words” of the coming visions. That’s the woman and child who float prophetically above the title.
plate 2
“Dictate” (the word “dictate” )– “swift-winged words”. In the illustration, the “d” has a plumed quill, a pen, he’s got a little picture of a pen on the illustration. So there’s endless little adornments. Yeah?

Student: On the first plate, I was wondering, you talk about (the tablets there). Has anybody ever talked about those two…

AG: Yeah, those are the Mosaic tablets of the rules and regulations – “Thou shalt” and “Thou shalt not”, or whatever. And that’s his back-rest actually, that’s what’s behind him. Now, in the beginning of Chapter 1, it says: “ Lo, a shadow of horror is risen/ in Eternity. Unknown, unprolific” – That’s really great – “unprolific”, Urizen is unprolific. He can’t write poetry. Well, he can’t create anything, (The) meaning is he can’t create anything. All he can do is criticize. “ Self-closed, all-repelling. What demon/ Hath formed this abominable void,/ This soul-shuddering vacuum – Some said,/ “It is Urizen”, But unknown, abstracted/ Brooding secret, the dark power hid” – “Times on times he divided and measured/ Space by space in his ninefold darkness,/ Unseen, unknown. Changes appeared/ In his desolate mountains, rifted furious/ By the black winds of peturbation” - So he’s born with anxiety, secrecy, like our own rational conceptual insistences, like our own virginal sophomoric rationalizations when we’re all virginal sophomores. Yeah?

Student: Why does he say “ninefold” there?

AG: Well I was just wondering that. I just marked that out and I wonder if it’ll say something in the Dictionary about that. It might, so I’ll check that out. If not, we’ll have to ask an expert in the room. With things like that, if you can figure them out.. maybe you’ve got your own Dictionary there..no, there’s no “ninefold” here. Probably explainable. [turns to student] Do you know what “ninefold” would be there? – a “ninefold darkness”? – What would be a “ninefold darkness”? Well, okay, presumably, (one) in which the body, the imagination, and the emotions are darkened… I think somewhere within Blake’s own system we’ll find a “ninefold”. Remember in “The Crystal Cabinet” he’s got a “threefold”. “I strive to burst thee in most forms, threefold..”[in actual fact, the lines read “I strove to seize the inmost form/ With ardor fierce and hands of flame,/ but burst the Crystal Cabinet”] ..what is it? [Allen continues to misremember]– the maiden? - “threefold maidens thrice return my kiss” [actually, “..a threefold smile/ Fill’d me that like a flame I burn’d/ I bent to kiss the lovely Maid/ And found a threefold kiss return’d”] - Threre’s three folds. There’s a fourfold vision, which he’ll refer to, which is a vision seen through the eyes of all four Zoas, all four primary faculties. So we know what fourfold is. Threefold would probably be without the imagination. Ninefold, I don’t know what, but it’s probably in his cosmogony somewhere here so we’ll find it sooner or later.
[William Godwin 1756-1836]

I want to say a little bit about the Gnostic background for these matters. Blake was a printer and engraver and a friend of William Godwin, who had a social political metaphysical circle, anarchist, more or less. The (father) of Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein – William Godwin. You know about the Godwins? You’ve heard of the Godwins – William Godwin, I think – in grammar school or high school. Tom Paine was a friend of William Godwin (and) the Shelleys. So he was sort of the Kenneth Rexroth of his day around the San Francisco area, in the sense that he had a household and he had people meeting at this household and he had political discussions and Gnostic discussions and metaphysical discussions. (A) utopian household. A prefiguration of what happened in this century, actually. Blake knew Thomas Paine, strangely enough, and, in fact, warned Paine to get out of London before the fuzz came to arrest him. So Paine left on the boat to France, to get with the French Revolution, just ahead of the police, because of Blake’s warning. So Blake was actually a contemporary of his own times. He was right in on the scene, as most of us are, one way or another. He wasn’t totally an isolated hermit nut. He wasn’t the “mad Blake” that Wordsworth thought him. He was dealing with real people, like Tom Paine, and actually had quite a sharp role in warning Paine ahead of the police He also, according to a friend of mine, Harry Smith, was a manuscript collector and a collector of hermetic manuscripts. According to Kathleen Raine, in her analysis of the background of his work, in a very great book, which we may have upstairs (it’s a two-volume work by Kathleen Raine, Bollingen Series, Forbears of Blake?, I’ve forgotten the title, but it’s Blake’s picture works analyzed to see where they came from previously..
[ Thomas Taylor (1758-1835]

[Blake and Antiquity])... and there’s an essay (in there) on Blake in England and (another on) Blake in America. And, apparently, he collected the works of a man named Thomas Taylor, a NeoPlatonist (or Taylor’s works were just being issued then). Taylor collected all the Gnostic fragments, all the fragments of Gnostic writings, (from) Pythagoras on. And there’s a Bollingen book called Thomas Taylor the Platonist, I think, with Taylor’s translations. Like Delphic utterances, the utterances of the Delphic Sybil and the lost hermetic works. There were only a few left, quoted in Latin and Greek histories. So Thomas Taylor collected all that and Blake saw a lot of that. There’s a very good book, which is a summary of Western Gnostic traditional myths called The Gnostic Religion by Dr. Hans Jonas – J-O-N-A-S, who teaches at the New School, who is, I think, supposed to be among the greatest contemporary scholars.
Now the Gnostic religions were the Essene and other interpretations of (the) Bible, and even (of) Christ. Most (or at least) some pre-Christian and some post-Christian, rising out of Plato and Plotinus, rising out of Indo-European sources, rising out of Middle Eastern sources, with some Oriental cultural cross-fertilization. In Pythagoras, in Plato, there are elements that came from the Aryans that also spread into India. So there’s actually a funny common source between Western Gnostic and Eastern Buddhic, as far as cultural background, way, way, way, back in the Aryans, of, I guess it would be, the Persian area, or Mesopotemian sources. You’ve got to remember that both Oriental and Western (cultures) come from Middle East inspirations. This is important because otherwise you think that the Buddhist interpretations are only applicable to Oriental mind, or the Gnostic interpretations are only applicable to Western mind, but they have the same roots and the system of thinking about the material universe is somewhat related. However, the Jain religions in India, which think that the phenomenal universe is totally corrupt and bad, were founded contemporary to Buddhism, and the Jain tirthankars, some of them gave permission to their disciples to starve themselves to death in order to get out of this incarnation. Given a great deal of discipline, that was a legitimate sadhana, or practice, for Jains. And in the Occidental Gnostic religions, there were various groups like, later, Manicheans, who thought that this universe was evil, the material universe was evil, and so the best way was to get out of it. And Blake reflects some of that, particularly in a late edition of Songs of Innocence and Experience, the poem, To Tirzah”, if you ever take a look at that. It’s the last poem that he put into “..Innocence and Experience”. Tirzah, a sort of materialist nature goddess, or a materialist spirit, or the materialist spirit of nature, or material nature, vegetable nature. And Blake says, let’s see: “Thou Mother of my Mortal part/ With cruelty didst mould my Heart,/ And with false self-deceiving tears/ Didst bind my Nostrils Eyes & Ears. Did close my tongue in senseless clay/ An me to Mortal Life betray;/ The Death of Jesus set me free,/ Then what have I to do with thee” – What has Blake to do with Tirzah, his mother, nature? So, at one point, Blake went into that. (And then there’s a little note on the side of the plate, if you look at it – “It is Raised a Spiritual Body”. It’s a picture of a man being attended on his death-bed and a spiritual body rising up out of it.)

So what I was originally pursuing was that Blake saw a lot of Gnostic and hermetic and cabalistic manuscripts. In fact, according to Harry Smith (who is in the lineage of Aleister Crowley and Gnostic hermetic scholars), Blake dealt as a dealer in hermetic and cabalistic manuscripts. So we might assume that he was pretty sophisticated. And (S.) Foster Damon, in his studies of Blake, actually collected an immense amount of Hebraic, cabalistic, Biblical criticism, because he found Blake was quite familiar with that. Foster Damon displays all this in his commentary on the Book of Job [Blake’s Job: William Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job]. Blake apparently was familiar enough with the manipulation of Hebrew letters and theories of right and left to have formulated The Book of Job according to (and) with reference to classic cabalistic symbolism. In other words, Blake was pretty learned.
One of the things that he might have known about was the Orphitic interpretation of The Garden of Eden, which you can find an account of in Jonas’ book, The Gnostic Religion. And that Orphitic interpretation – orphitic/snake – snake-interpretation, the interpretation from the point of view of the snake in the Garden of Eden – is parallel, somewhat, to Blake’s conception of Jahweh-Urizen. In the Orphitic interpretation (which is, I think, third century A.D - maybe even earlier, you can look it up in a book if the right dates are necessary), (it) is that there was an Abyss of Light originally. What exists actually is just an Abyss of Light (I suppose that would be Ein Sof, maybe in Hebrew), But, anyway, an Abyss of Light (which is a classical term among the Gnostics, which Blake would have known - a very poetic conception – An Abyss of Light). The Abyss shuddered or something, or moved, or wrinkled, or reflected. There was a little reflection in this Abyss reflecting on itself , and that reflection was Sophia (Wisdom), feminine, knowledge, self-knowledge, self-consciousness, or, “In the beginning was the Word”. Sophia, wisdom, word, conception, language - however way you want to take it. Anyway, Sophia… Sophia reflected herself, and, as Blake says, “One thought fills immensity” (I think that’s probably in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, or somewhere). .

Student: (What was that?)

AG: “One thought fills immensity”. Pretty sharp. It’s like another phrase of his, “The eye altering, alters all”. The eye altering, alters all. In other words, the perceiving (and) or the perceiver. When the perceiver changes, the construction of the outer universe would change, naturally. “The eye altering alters all” and “One thought fills immensity”. Well, here we’re on “One thought fills immensity”, and Sophia’s thought filled immensity and.. created an “Aeon” – A-E-O-N. You’ve heard of the word “aeon”? - “aeons and aeons”? Well, those were the Aeons. It was one thought of Sophia. And her Aeon – and I haven’t looked at the Jonas for a while. so I’ll have to improvise on what I recollect, but I believe – her Aeon was called Io – I-O. So check it out in the book. I’ll give you an outline of the idea(s) - And Io is the “Archon”, or guardian, of that Aeon, which is like a Mind-Universe. And Io had a thought and that was Ialdabaoth, another Aeon, or another Archon with his Aeon. And Ialdabaoth, his thought was Elohim, and so was the Aeon of Elohim, or the Archon, Elohim at the head. All of them very jealously guarded their territory. And Elohim had a thought, and his thought was Jahweh, and Jahweh had his Aeon, and his Aeon seemed to include whatever we read about in the Bible, including the Garden (of Eden), and he had a thought, and that was Adam and Eve and the Garden and whatever happened with Satan and the rebellious angels. And he established his authority, but he had a little trouble establishing this authority, being a reflection of a reflection of a reflection of a shudder in an Abyss of Light. Sophia was quite upset, realizing her thoughts had given birth to this chain, or cause-and-effect, or karmic exfoliation, that reached down through many Aeons into this Universe. But the one thing she realizes (is) that all that thought was a reflection, or a glimmer (merely) of the light of the Abyss, that whatever the odd form, or whatever the hallucinatory situation, there was still some reflection of the Abyss of Light running through all these Archons and their Aeons, down to Adam and Eve. And she didn’t know how to resolve the situation, except to somehow communicate through all these Aeons with Adam and Eve and the(ir) human progeny. And the only way she could figure (doing this) was, because the Archons were so jealous of their territory and their Aeons, their whole being depended on their thinking they were real, rather than thinking they were a reflection of a reflection of a reflection of the thought of the Abyss of Light, which had no form – dharmakaya, so to speak, or some dharmakaya.. (so) that she figured a way to send a message to Adam and Eve. Now, the only one that nobody would notice was the Serpent, so she sent a serpent. Now, the name of the messenger is various – “The Messenger”, “The Caller of the Great Call” (which is a great phrase, actually!), “The Caller of the Great Call to the Material World”. [tape ends here]

[tape continues]..surreptitiously, surreptitioning, like a serpent into the Garden of Eden to tell Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. That was the one tree (and) the one fruit that was forbidden Adam and Eve – The Tree of Knowledge. They had immortality. Who couldn’t have immortality if you existed in a daydream forever? But Knowledge is another matter, waking from the daydream. That’s why Jehovah didn’t want Adam and Eve to eat (of) the Tree of Knowledge, because he wanted to retain this spectral Universe with him as the head, dictating laws, revenges, codicils, agreements, running the show, some vast Central Intelligence Agency dominating the phenomenal Universe. But from the deepest recesses of Central Intelligence came Sophia’s wisdom. So the Serpent told Adam and Eve to eat the apple. That, naturally, threatened Jehovah’s self-limiting, Urizonic, architecturally-constructed, kingdom.

This is one of many Gnostic stories. This is called the Ophitic interpretation of The Garden of Eden (from “Ophite” – I think the root is “snake” - I don’t know the date and I don’t know the precise geography where that (interpretation) arose. I think that was somewhere in (the) Middle East). So you might check Hans Jonas’ book for some other stories of this kind, because they do relate to the background that Blake is dealing with, a background that is very important in America also, because, strangely enough, the secret history of English poetry contains all this Gnostic material. Shelley and Coleridge had read Thomas Taylors texts, and Bronson Alcott, the American from the Utopian commune, Brook Farm, went to England to collect all of Thomas Taylor’s works and brought them back and showed them to all the American Transcendentalists, so that Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau (and, likely, Whitman and Melville) were all acquainted with some element of Western Gnostic philosophy. In other words, the whole 19th century American Transcendentalist tradition was not just reading the Vedas in poor translation and getting transcendental ideas from the Orient without having teachers or without being there. They also had Western versions, Western resources, to draw on. And so Shelley, Coleridge, and the Americans – Emerson, all the Brook Farm people, Hawthorne – (were all..) you’ll find them secretly informed with this diabolic interpretation of the good old Bible. And, actually, that affected American Literature quite strongly, and there is a long essay in the Thomas Taylor Bollingen volume, by a recent scholar, tracing the influence of Thomas Taylor in America. And Kathleen Raine, in the same volume, has an essay tracing the influence of Thomas Taylor on the Romantics – Coleridge and Shelley, maybe Wordsworth, certainly Blake.
So this is some background to where Blake is getting off on who Urizen is and what Urizen’s role is. So if you see Urizen there, trying to scribble his own book, with the Jehovah Mosaic laws, (the) tablets of the Law behind him, on the opening page, you know where Blake is coming from. It’s a secret understanding, which is not the official Church understanding of what those Mosaic tablets are supposed to be.
So this would fit that Ophitic interpretation of the creation of an Aeon – “ Times on times he divided, & measured/ Space by space in his ninefold darkness/ Unseen, unknown. Changes appeared/ In his desolate mountains rifted furious/ By the black winds of peturbation.”

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