William Blake

(1757-1827)

 

Blake believed that religion was the result of Poetic Genius, which he defined as a capacity for imaginative vision.

 

 

All Religions Are One

 

The Voice of one crying in the Wilderness.

 

 

The Argument.  As the true method of knowledge is experiment the true faculty of knowing must be the faculty which experiences.  This faculty I treat of.

 

PRINCIPLE 1ST.  That the Poetic Genius is the true Man, and that the body or outward form of Man is derived from the Poetic Genius.  Likewise that the forms of all things are derived from their Genius, which by the Ancients was call'd an Angel & Spirit & Demon.

 

PRINCIPLE 2nd.  As all men are alike in outward form, So (and with the same infinite variety) all are alike in the Poetic Genius.

 

PRINCIPLE 3rd.  No man can think write or speak from his heart, but he must intend truth.  Thus all sects of Philosophy are from the Poetic Genius, adapted to the weaknesses of every individual.

 

PRINCIPLE 4th.  As none by travelling over known lands can find out the unknown, So from already acquired knowledge Man could not acquire more.  Therefore an universal Poetic Genius exists.

 

PRINCIPLE 5th.  The Religions of all Nations are derived from each Nation's different reception of the Poetic Genius, which is every where call'd the Spirit of Prophecy.

 

PRINCIPLE 6th .  The Jewish & Christian Testaments are An original derivation from the Poetic Genius.  This is necessary from the confined nature of bodily sensation.

 

PRINCIPLE 7th.   As all men are alike (tho' infinitely various), So all Religions & as all similars have one source.

 

The true Man is the source, he being the Poetic Genius.

 

 

 

 

The Divine Image

 

By

 

William Blake

 

 

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,

All pray in their distress,

And to these virtues of delight

Return their thankfulness.

 

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,

Is God, our father dear:

And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love,

Is Man, his child and care.

 

For Mercy has a human heart,

Pity, a human face,

And Love, the human form divine,

And Peace, the human dress.

 

Then every man of every clime,

That prays in his distress,

Prays to the human form divine,

Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

 

And all must love the human form,

In heathen, Turk, or Jew.

Where Mercy, Love, & Pity dwell,

There God is dwelling too.