Thursday, January 6, 2011

Reading Response #3

The Revolutionary Vision of William Blake by Thomas J. J. Altizer is an article that focus’s not only on Blake’s theories and ideas, but also his vision of Christ. Blake is a hard man to understand when trying to figure out what his poetry is getting at. “Thereby he is deeply unknown to us all…” (33). This is the whole point of Altizer’s article; to help us understand Blake. His main focus, however, is on Blake’s view of Christ and Satan. Blake finds contradictions in the Bible, which he uses to create much of his poetry and artwork. By doing this, he makes people question what they have once learned. One of Blake’s main ideas was that God is equal to Satan. This goes against everything that the Christian society has been taught. In doing this, he uses the basic idea that God and Satan are opposites of each other. He then goes on to point out that there has to be opposition in all things in order for us to exist. When these two ideas are combined, he can say that because we have to have opposites, and because God and Satan are opposite, they are really the same. With out one or the other we could not exist, which makes the statement possible, that God equals Satan. Blake then can further continue this idea, or theory by saying that if God or Satan dies, then the other must die too. Once this seed has been planted in your mind, you begin to ask questions. Blake did not believe in organized religion for many reasons, which are discussed in this article. Altizer is able to make Blake’s ideas more clear to us, thereby expanding Blake himself. He talks about how Christianity started as an apocalyptic faith, but then completely reversed itself. How could today’s Christian society be correct in their teachings, if they have reversed their whole ideas from the time that Christ was on the earth? Organized religion was what Blake wanted us to stay away from, and with the help of Altizer we are able to understand why and we are able to understand Blake.

Blake’s poems are very interesting. I don’t say this because of his high level of writing, but I say this because his poems make you think and question. Through out the Bible, there are stories where people had to show great faith. People like Job, or Moses. Blake questions this idea of faith, and religion in general. How can we know if there is a God or not? There has been many times where Blake focused on this greatly, to the point where he said that the idea of God is something that we use to try and find comfort in. Blake makes many good points in his theories, but I disagree with him. This is a subject that I have thought about many times. You may say that I am wrong, but everyone has to make these types of decisions on their own. For me I have decided that there is a God. For thousands of years, people have believed in some sort of God or gods. Like Blake, I also believe that organized religion, most often times is incorrect. This is because as principles of religion were passed down, they were often changed to fit the ideas of man, instead of the ideas of God. Because of this, religion has strayed too far from the truth, so it is important that we try and figure out the truth for our self. I think that’s what Blake’s whole idea on religion was. Don’t just listen to someone and take their word for it. Take the time for yourself to research and figure out what you think is right.  Blake is a great poet, and some may even call him a great philosopher. I completely agree with this, and that’s one of the reasons I chose to study him. Although many do not know it, Blake has become one of the largest influences on Christian society, and poetry today. Thanks to Altizer, even the more simple minds can understand Blake.

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