Archive | October 2012

A Tale of Two Seers: William Blake and Jean Gebser

A challenge has arisen in my reading of Frye’s interpretation of William Blake that requires a serious and ambitious effort to correlate the visionary poetry of William Blake with the visionary philosophy of Jean Gebser. The veracity of their respective views of consciousness, society and history depends upon their visions being demonstrated to be mutually consistent.

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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.

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The Tyrant and The Commonplace Mind

There are some parts of Northrop Frye’s Fearful Symmetry that are exceptionally good. I particularly like his description of what he calls “the commonplace mind”, which he contrasts with “Genius” or the visionary “imagination” as William Blake understood these terms. “The commonplace mind” brought back to memory an old essay by Jacques Ellul that I once read as an undergraduate. It was an excerpt from a book by the same title called A Critique of the New Commonplaces.

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