Unsystematic Observations on William Blake, II
I came across an interesting, unfamiliar quote from Blake in Frye’s Fearful Symmetry. It is apparently a marginal note he made while reading Swedenborg, and its resonance with both the Seth material and Castaneda’s experience came to mind immediately.
“Essence is not Identity, but from Essence proceeds Identity & from one Essence may proceed many Identities…”
If the Essence was the same as the Identity, there could be but one Identity, which is false. Heaven would upon this plan be but a Clock…” (quoted in Frye, p. 31).
Readers of the Seth material will recognise the “energy personality essence” as being Blake’s “Essence”, and what Seth refers to as “the multidimensionality of consciousness” the ability of the Essence to assume multiple identities simultaneously. In some texts, “Essence” also has the meaning “godhead”, which seems to be also that called “the Pleroma” in Carl Jung’s Seven Sermons to the Dead, the full text of which you can read here.
The “Essence” and how it is able to assume multiple identities is also described in Castaneda as his “leap into the abyss”, which remained to him something inconceivable. In the course of his “leap” (as described more thoroughly in his later books) he discovered that he wasn’t a single identity. As he described it, he experienced himself as a veritable city of selves or identities. This was the experience he called his “dissolution”, and yet he remained a consciously unified perceiver of this dissolution into multiple selves — the paradox of the one and the many. That which perceived the diversity of identities, and new itself as the source of those manifold identities, is called the “Essence” by Blake, and Blake himself is but one probable identity of the Essence, also, just as Seth is also one probable identity of the entity he calls “Seth II”, who he also calls “Big Brother”.
That the “Essence” may generate and assume multiple identities is also the import of Rumi’s poem “Say I am You”
I am dust particles in sunlight, I am the round sun. To the bits of dust I say, Stay. To the sun, Keep moving. I am morning mist, and the breathing of evening. I am wind in the top of a grove, and surf on the cliff. Mast, rudder, helmsman, and keel, I am also the coral reef they founder on. I am a tree with a trained parrot in its branches. Silence, thought, and voice. The musical air coming through a flute, a spark of stone, a flickering in metal. Both candle, and the moth crazy around it. Rose, and the nightingale lost in the fragrance. I am all orders of being, the circling galaxy, the evolutionary intelligence, the lift, and the falling away. What is, and what isn't. You who know Jelaluddin, You the one in all, say who I am. Say I am You.