When I visit some of the “progressive” news sites these days — sites like Information Clearinghouse, Truth Out, Truthdig, or Common Dreams or even a “progressive” newspaper like The Guardian — I’m struck by the sense of malaise they seem to exude. The mood is in stark contrast to their earlier firey and luminous combativeness, during the dark days of the neo-conservative ascendency, when they served as conduits of vital information, exposing webs of deceit and concealment in high places, or of delusions, self-deception, and conceits more generally.
Now, they seem directionless and characterised by drift, revealing what has become an essential irony of the “progressives”: they need the darkness to thrive, and just as much as the political and social reactionary needs the boogey-man of “cultural Marxism” to define his or her own identity as “conservative”.
Now I a fourfold vision see
And a fourfold vision is given to me;
Tis fourfold in my supreme delight
And threefold in soft Beulahs night
And twofold Always. May God us keep
From Single vision & Newtons sleep!
(William Blake, “Letter to Thomas Butts”)
In today’s Guardian, the author Philip Pullman has published an article expressing his appreciation for William Blake. And I happened, also today, to come across a talk given by the previously mentioned Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri, author of The Evolution of Integral Consciousness. Chaudhuri’s talk is posted online and is called “Supramental Meditation“.
This happy confluence of Pullman’s article on the consciousness of William Blake and Chaudhuri’s talk on “supramental meditation” suggested to me yet another approach to the interpretation of “integral consciousness” as the meaning of Blake’s “fourfold vision”; or, the mandala of human action and the human form.