The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake

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William Blake was born in 1757 in London. He was a non-conformist who wrote his own style of poetry to put forth his opinions. He told his parents how he seen visions and angels, and that seemed to lead to them to shipping him off to school. The money eventually ran out and he had to get a job.

The Swedish philosopher and theologian, Emmanuel Swedenborg had written a book called “Heaven and Hell”, in which he laid out in painstaking detail what the afterlife looked like. His conclusion was that good people were up in Heaven; bad people were down in Hell

Blake took some issue with the book’s success, added some religion to his own philosophy, and his book was put together; “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” was written in response and it contained a guided tour of Hell that Blake used to correct Swedenborg’s notions. This approach wasn’t unique; both Dante and Milton wrote of their own stories of visits to Hell.

“The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” imitate the Bible in writing style likely done to add credibility, as Blake put forth his own mystical cosmic conception of good and evil. He describes his view that both the material world and physical desire are part of the divine order. Blake believed that each person had a nature that was contrary to the nature of God and that the purpose of life was to reconcile those differences.

The first two sections in the book are The Argument and The Voice of the Devil. In these sections, Blake tells us that good and evil, and even good and evil people, aren't what we think they are but are different kinds of energies, or contraries; both are needed to keep the world going. People are devils or angels, but both are necessary in life

Blake explained: “Without Contraries there is no progression and that attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate are examples of contraries that are necessary to Human existence. He said that from these contraries spring what the religious call Good & Evil. Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell.

It is a very short book and way to short to look deeply into a complicated subject.

See Poem about Blake's Thoughts of Heaven & Hell                           and Comments click here

Quotes

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern" 

“Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.” 

"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.” 

“You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough