A Passing Remark on William Blake: The Song of My Wheels

“Error is created. Truth is eternal. Error, or Creation, will be Burned up, & then, & not till Then, Truth or Eternity will appear. It is Burnt up the Moment Men cease to behold it. I assert for My Self that I do not behold the outward Creation & that to me it is hindrance & not Action; it is as the dirt upon my feet, No part of Me. “What,” it will be Question’d, “When the Sun rises, do you not see a round disk of fire somewhat like a Guinea?” O no, no, I see an Innumerable company of the Heavenly host crying, `Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty.’ I question not my Corporeal or Vegetative eye any more than I would Question a window concerning a Sight. I look thro’ it & not with it.”– William Blake, A Vision of the Last Judgment


I’ve had the odd experience, of late, of hearing my Jeep singing during my highway commute to and from work. Sometimes it is rock ‘n roll; sometimes symphonic; today, it was East Indian music that I heard very distinctly. A woman was singing, accompanied by traditional Indian instruments. I can tune it out, and merely hear the road noise of my tires against the pavement; or, I can tune it back in, and then I hear novel strains of a music that I am certain I have not heard before or that I am only recalling from old memory.

I am sure you, too, must have had this experience — hearing the song of your wheels. And the reason I bring it up now is not only owing to the exchange of comments with Sharon in the last post about the issue of perception (which recalled to mind so much of William Blake’s quote above) but to remind you, too, that you also, on occasion, probably consciously experience the same thing as William Blake did. If you hear the song of your wheels betimes, or even frequently, then you too are participating in the same kind of original perception that sees the daily sunrise as a sacred event, a new song of creation and the birth of light.

For Blake, with his enlarged physical and spiritual senses, the Sun sings. And once you hear the song of your wheels, it is very easy to understand what Blake intended to be understood — that he did not just see a guinea sun, but an ultra-mundane heavenly host singing “Holy, holy, holy”.

Turn your car radio or stereo off. Just listen to the song of your wheels. You may detect a slight “shift” in your consciousness as you tune in to the song of your wheels.




4 responses to “A Passing Remark on William Blake: The Song of My Wheels”

  1. srosesmith says :

    One of my strongest strangest childhood memories is of lying in the back of the family car hearing in my head what I now recognize as symphonic music — before I had ever heard such things with my (outer) ears! These were full-blown beautiful compositions that went on and on. I’ve always loved this memory but hadn’t thought of it in a long time til reading your post, Scott!

    • Scott Preston says :

      Well, maybe that’s why you have an affinity for William Blake.

      I assert for My Self that I do not behold the outward Creation & that to me it is hindrance & not Action…

      Just occurs to me, as I re-read this excerpt from Blake, that he uses “Action” in a most peculiar way. Could it be that he too saw “energy as it flows in the universe” as this “Action”? For it is an odd thing to suggest that the “outward Creation” is not “action”.

      Hence, I think (as I’ve discussed before this), we must distinguish between “motion” and “action”, and this is perhaps Blake’s intent here… action bound up with intent and intentionality, while motion is merely mechanical. This would indeed be a lucky correspondence and corroboration between Blake and don Juan.

  2. LittleBigMan says :

    This is a wonderful experience. But I have to admit that I have never had this happen to me. It could be because where I live now in the bay area has some of the heaviest traffic anywhere, and also that almost always I listen to the radio in my car when I drive. I will definitely give it a try though when I get the chance on my next long road trip. Thank you for sharing that technique.

    When I was a kid, though, I practiced a technique that, at the time, freaked me out due to its outcome. As I think back to it now, it seems to me that I had accidentally stumbled upon a technique for self-hynosis. Although, the technique may have even caused a “shift” in my consciousness. I’m not sure which, though. Here’s what happened….

    When I was still in the middle school, one of my unlces bought a large fruit orchard near the city where we lived. The orchard was an exquisite place to spend time at during weekends. So, my family and a bunch of our relatives went there often. In one of our trips there, I visited the large and deep reservoir that stored the water for irrigating the narrow irrigation canals that led the water to the trees in the orchard. A pump would push the water through the canals with a steady speed.

    On one occasion — and I guess after we had had our midday meal — I sat under a shade and next to one of the canals and shortly after I sat there, water filled the watercourse as it moved toward the trees, which were all around us. As this happened, I don’t know what might’ve caused me to think of doing this, but I began gazing at the moving water. I fixated, or tried to fixate my gaze at a single point along the water surface as it pushed through the canal. After not even a minute later, I noticed that a strange sensation was taking over me. It seemed as if I, or a part of my being, was being pulled into the water. The sensation scared me, and so I looked away. And everytime I did that, I got the same result which really scared me and I looked away again and again. The technique was having a strange and eery effect on me but I’m not sure what it was.

    In one of Castaneda’s books, don Juan Matus did tell Carlos about the “power” and “spirit” of water. So, when I was reading those portions of his work, my experience as a child gave me an inkling of what don Juan may have be getting at when he warned Castaneda about the “spirit” of the water.

  3. LittleBigMan says :

    “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty”

    I have heard that singing of the angels only once in a dream. It was magnificent.

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