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.