William Blake are among several poets and artists who have, from own isionary capacity, expressed the Gnostic attitude to his fellows.
“The Vision of Christ that thou dost see is my Visions Greatest enemy.” opening the final stanza of the poem The Everlasting Gospel has become ever more pertinent to the raging seas of theological dispute, now happening in the midst of ordinary people- no longer the privilege of clergy and scholars – no longer confined to the halls of academia. Christology is a very complex,variated and dangerous field of “knowledge”; it consists more or less of opinion and contention – one includes a Soteriology, which is to say, a teaching concerning a role of Christ as saviour – another negates it entirely as pertinent;
one includes a Eschatology, a teaching of how the whole world and Time with it, will come to an end.. even considerations of the calculation of day and hour this will occur – another still negates it. One of the Christologies would hold that that particular Christ (since Christos is Greek for “The Anointed”, and in context with New Testament hermeneutics that Anointed one in particular is held to be the Messiah/Maschiach of the Hebrew tradition) which is named Jesus of Nazareth – were all his life simply a man – others would negotiate another space, place and role for this Christ which would originate in and with the Father, God – and hold him to be only and first begotten of God, some christologies – notably that of the Jehovahs Witnesses, hold Jesus to be the corporal incarnation of an angel, namely Michael – and in so doing – they follow the pattern of one among a hundred of Christological “heresies” according to the victorious and dominant Church traditions.
Today, theologians and apologists of one or another school – i.e. one or another heresy (which is even true of that heresy which names itself Orthodox, Apostolic or Catholic! Since Haereses means schools of interpretation/discipline..and initially nothing else) – maintain that conformity to their own norm of who and what Christ is, determine whether one person or one denomination are Christian or not. It is, with other words, still not entirely an issue of majority vote who really are Christian – Catholic and Protestant theologians can congratulate eachother for enstranging thousands of believers of their own Tradition who happened to study or read their books, and moreover the selfsame who bothers with these, will find that although they are initiated and instructed according to the best abilities of their so-called betters in their religious community – the contents registered in their thoughts concerning the mysteries or preoccupations of abstract religion, do not add up to neither a
perfectly pious Christian nor indeed a Christian at all.
There is an illustration of Nicholas Flamel, a 15th century alchemy of the most obscure kind – which has a crowned serpent crucified on a simple wooden cross.. that image came to mind in the preceeding stanza which reads;
And .. with wrath He did subdue The Serpent bulk of Natures dross….
Till he had nailed it to the Cross
He took on Sin in the Virgins Womb,
and put it off on the Cross & Tomb
The Gnostic Christ, which again is variant to Blake`s Christ – often turns up as a catalyst for a transformation which penetrates down into the darkest and most obscure and lost places.. an mythologem such as Jesus descent and harrowing of Hell, where he more or less clean`s shop and bursts the jailcells of the dark lord of death and endless sleep..arrives in Christendom during the persecution era, where a rebellion against not only Fate which is topical to even the Judaism of the time, but also against Time, Mortality and indeed Nature took place, the fire of this rebellion burns ever still…keeping people who think about the wellfare of the world keen and attentative to believers of every color and orientation who make claim at being Christian.
What occasioned this rant where my finding of
The William Blake Archive Homepage Where you may find electronic versions of a goodly bulk of his work.
There I also found the following;
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.
Which I find to be apropos of my earlier rant of the mind-numbing variety of schools and views and contentions concerning the Mystery person of the Christian religion..Each can only achieve, produce or receive according to the ability and disposition of himself/herself. The concept of fullness not only speaks to singularity in perfection (sic) but also to progression in and through plurality.