William Blake – Forgotten 18th Century Myth-Maker

William was a largely forgotten and little-known poet in London in the late 1700’s. But we should recognize he too was a mythologist, investing heavily in his own diverse and rich personal mythology that he created from his imagination and rejection of religious and cultural norms.

What I have tried to do through my Phantammeron mythological novels is very much in league with Blake’s and Tolkien’s vision…rejecting the larger, failed cultural narrative in my private life and investigate my own religious experience, deriving from ancient religion and Western myths a new, more spiritual connection to the world, to people, and to my Creator.

What I love about Blake is his private mythology. It seems deeply Celtic, and yet symbolic in relation to his private view of Modern Christianity. He rebelled against the Church of England for its blatant hypocrisies and hates but sought to reinvent that faith in a more Humane and Naturalistic view of life. And so, he expressed that well in plates like the Marriage of Heaven and Hell and other works where he envisioned a holistic embrace of his conflicted nature.

I’m not truly in agreement in all of his views. I perceive Mankind’s struggle as a desperate Goodness that must overcome our Evil nature. I do not subscribe to ‘shades of gray’ views of ourselves and our failed Humanity. That’s what many modern people have succumbed to in the ‘Age of Trump’ in 2017. We have choices and must reject drugs and violence and other things as being part of a higher more civilized Human Being. That’s the point of living in a modern culture based on laws and norms and expectations. It’s what we teach our children.

But I very much embrace his idea of the Human Imagination as the ‘body of God’ and each of us as something holy and not to be rejected. For the mind and its inner eye and creative function is supreme and at the highest level of Human life. It’s this ability to create music, paint, and write that that is our highest calling….not the making of money, seeking power, or expression of our needs and desires and vices that is important.

That’s why I’ve started to ask myself, living today, what is the purpose of our life if but to live, when our imagination and creative will remains untapped and spiritually diminished in this culture? It’s the building of one’s own mythology that is the highest calling and why I see in William Blake a prototype of that power few others see in Modern America today.

– the Author

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