The Liminalist # 225: The William Blake Trap (Liminalistas Meet)

Live liminalist meet to discuss William Blake, Imagination vs Fancy, the occupation of the imaginal realms, the language of the soul and the question of embodiment.

Part One: Two Masters (0 – 30 mins)

Blake’s hidden aspect, an element of duplicity, the question of embodiment, true and false uses of the imagination, Imagination vs. Fancy, keeping it liminal, internalizing Blake, rebelling against influence, discovering Blake, as religious figure, Huxley’s Doors of Perception, Crowley’s Moonchild, culture and status, devotion to art, the road of excess, Blake and sex magic, Blake’s aspiration, living in poverty, a poetic mission, true poets of the Devil’s party, Milton’s Satan, Albion’s sleep, primordial man, the Druids, the medium and the message, artists not recognized in their own time, serving two masters, Blake’s assumption of relevance.

Part Two: A Blakean Edifice (30 – 59 mins)

An invisible audience, soul & body continuum, the need for social recognition, spiritual rewards, solipsism, the voices from eternity, Steiner’s criticism of trance-painting, distinguishing psychic from spiritual realms, a second matrix, a cultural edifice of Blakean imagery, Blake’s influence, Christianity as psyop, Henry Corvin, activating the imagination from a moral foundation, magic & narrative construction, body morality, experiencing the reality of the soul with Dave Oshana, writing about the soul, distrusting mythology, a racial eggregore & the pseudo-numinous, the language of the soul, the imaginal realm, resonance.

Part Three: Colonizing the Imaginal (59 mins – 1 hr 23 mins)

The danger of images, the power of sensation, diaspora dance clubs, 2020 dance party, Blake’s poetry as music, drawing in the disembodied, facilitating embodiment, the hook of psychedelics, the devil’s bargain, the Blake trap, cultural context, living in a high-stress environment, occupied psyches, product placement in dreams, navigating monoculture, the limits of conspiracy theory, carriers of the conspiracy, willing soldiers of empire, battery people, the limits of control.

Part Four: The Body Plane (1 hr 23 mins – end)

First distrust of Blake, toxic culture, reinforcing the divide between spirit & matter, sensual enjoyment, accountability, an audience of the imagination, Joker archetype, two Blakes, mapping Hell, back to the body, nested within creation, a body plane, community trust & relaxation.

Songs: “Pirates” by Entertainment for the Braindead; “ “Salad” by Milgrom; “Modular Home” by Emerald Park; “Place at the End of Your Street,” by Cotton Jones; “Changes” by Short Hand. 


13 thoughts on “The Liminalist # 225: The William Blake Trap (Liminalistas Meet)”

  1. I really enjoyed listening to this conversation it was incredibly helpful to me in its exploration and articulation of ideas and feelings I have been moving towards but which for me at present are still confused and muddled.

    Thank you all very much!

      • Until reading Anon’s and your comments, it didn’t occur to me to listen to the meet. As far as I’m concerned it was fruitful and informative, especially given that I don’t know that much about Blake, other than the superficial/usual.

        I was worried I wouldn’t be able to speak, so I was quite happy to be able to get anything out. However, having listened to myself just now, I didn’t do the experience justice, although it’s not too far off.

  2. I think this tendency of making a secret society member a celebrity of the people might be an ancient thing – after all, isn’t that the sort of situation that the chief and the shaman assume for themselves within Hayden’s paradigm?

    Another person who strikes me as deeply deceitful, perhaps to an even greater degree than Blake, is Gandhi. Did you know that Gandhi is the child of an ancient noble Vaishya family, whose own father served as the chief minister of Porbander?

    R. Ambedkar thought that Gandhi spoke with a forked tongue; he presented himself as a champion of the people while in the background he accepted very large financial donations from industrialists who expected certain favors from him. Arundhati Roy, in the introduction to “Annihilation of Caste”, tries to walk the line between deference and criticism, but it seems she too has a nagging feeling of distrust for this man. Even his talk of ‘wanting to sleep with his little nieces for the purpose of enhancing his willpower’ could be generously interpreted as selfishly ignoring what they would want, but given we’re a little more sober about the causticness of elites, he may indeed have been sexually active with them.

    A really interesting book on the Hindu caste system which has stimulated my own thinking, and which is very consonant with Hayden’s thesis, is “Classifying the Universe: The Ancient Indian Varna System and the Origins of Caste”. This book should be read with a realistic understanding of the prehistory of the Vedic people (and the Dravidians they displaced) ‘The Horse, the Wheel, and Language’, by David Anthony, a spellbinding read on what archeology says about the origins of the Indo-Europeans from a people who lived just north of the black sea known as the Yamnaya culture.

    I distinctly remember an obnoxious remark from Don Trump Jr. after going to India and gushing about how despite being poor and dirty and sickly, they all had a smile on their faces, and how great he thought that was. Evidently, there are leaders in the west who think the Indians have done a fine job in convincing their masses that reality isn’t real, and even if it is to be construed as real, its improper to change or challenge it, because karma has determined for you the order within the varna system that you deserve in life. It is, as Smith argues, thought control through speculative metaphysics.

    I don’t think any culture has been more extravagantly misled about the of the real by its own dissociated motivations than what’s called “Hinduism”. It’s beginnings in the Indo-European invasions of the Harrapan culture has led to perhaps the longest-standing social-mobility ‘stasis’ in the world. If you’re an elite, how can’t you be impressed with how the “Indians” have managed their populations?

    • Agree that Ghandi is highly problematic. Just to add to your list of offenses. He seems to have some concrete ties to Theosophy and was an alleged racist. Racist both with in his Indian society and against Africans and black people in general.

      But other than sort of being a celebrated icon like Blake I’m not sure of the comparison/connection you are making here? He was not an artist or a poet. He was not creating and inviting us into his imagination realms. Do you see parallels between Ghandi’s activism and Blake’s cultural output?

      • Aside from the significance popular cultural continues to attribute to him, that is all I can think of in what makes Blake and Gandhi alike.

        But I would also note that Gandhi was a sort of confidence man who used holiness as a weapon, and Blake too could be conceived as someone who tried to pass himself off as a prophet.
        They were both then gurus of a sort who arrogated to themselves arbitrary powers of insight.

        This is why poets tend to be hucksters. How can reality be known properly and ethically if people defer to people who speak in riddles and who claim a higher level understanding beyond rationality? The very claim is systematic of the very racket that secret societies so successfully engage in. It’s mass hypnosis around irrationality.

        This isn’t to say Gandhi didn’t coin some nice ideas, like “be the change you want to see in other’s”.

  3. I didn’t address this from znore either in the comments or in the podcast:

    “Are movements throughout history similarly both manufactured/manipulated AND out of control? Have there been positive elements within the secret societies who genuinely and in good faith struggled to emancipate people from the physical and spiritual oppression of State and Church? And, simultaneously, have there been (and are there) conflicting covert influences who have continually laboured to convince us to mistrust our own creativity & imagination & spiritual vision & the will to resist — and further to mistrust those of visionary artists, musicians and writers — in the certain knowledge that these things are the best weapons that we have to fight against total control?”

    I think these are all good and necessary questions & I am especially intrigued, even concerned, by the last possibility. That groups, agendas, & whole movements have served to “co-opt” our creativity by luring us into unhealthy, unnatural, non-spontaneous expressions of it is something I have amply covered, inc. in this podcast. That we have been also discouraged from any kind of creativity at all, via economic pressures, and the endless distractions of mass media telling us to passively consume, etc, is also plenty well documented. But that creativity & the imagination, and even historical practitioners of them, have been demonized unfairly is something I am less confident I can put my finger on. Partly this is because the people that come to mind, I am not sure weren’t fully deserving of the reputation they received (de Sade being the easy go-to, Mapplethorpe a more recent example) – because it seems to me that art can be decadent & corrupting if it comes from or is accompanied by (and a justification for) unwholesome practices.

    Are there efforts to make us mistrust our former idols for illegitimate reasons? If so, what are some examples? I want to stay open to this because I would hate to end up doing something similar myself. I do know that it is very tempting, for many of us, to dethrone our idols compulsively and pettily, out of envy, personal insecurity, and a sense of rivalry – much better to believe that anyone who is raised up by our society (inc. by ourselves) is in league with the devil, because then our own relative smallness becomes proof of our integrity! So while I see a human (if neurotic) tendency to believe the worst about cultural heroes, & try to be on guard against it in myself, I’d be curious to hear some examples of znore’s hypothetical covert agenda to sow mistrust for creative geniuses.

  4. As to your first paragraph – Erica Lagalise has attempted (to me, rather unconvincingly) to present Adam Weishaupts Illuminati as well as Freemasonry as ’emancipators’ of the people in her book “The Occult Features of Anarchism”, which I found to be inconsistent with the evidence.

    If you look at who runs freemasonry, and where it emerged and what it was associated with, it always leads back to the elite – to the British noble class, for instance. In Europe, and above all in central Europe – Switzerland, Austria, especially – the very views she claims are emancipatory – Hermeticism, Gnosticism, etc – are traditions with roots in the mystery traditions in the ancient Near East and Egypt. If anything, the book left me confused – and feeling like she was doing some apologetics for a philosophical and spiritual orientation which seems to be consistently oriented towards the make-believe and the unreal. Overall, she wants to convince other anarchists to embrace the spiritual heritage of anarchy in these more ancient movements – she includes the Cathars as well.

    As to your second paragraph where you write “art can be decadent & corrupting if it comes from or is accompanied by (and a justification for) unwholesome practices.” doesn’t that mean art should be complemented by logic, or an empirical-based judgement? While art is definitely important to the human experience, when it oversteps its boundaries by demanding that it be the operating program for society, it becomes confusing, and misleading, and leaves individual people with such a multitude of positions that no individual ethical standard for behavior can be agreed upon; it leads to anarchy; and what is more easy to exploit if you’re an aggrandizer than people who can’t agree amongst themselves in language on what the real is? I don’t believe that we can’t find a shared language or a shared understanding of the real. I believe the regulatory ideals of human beings depends upon us discovering a way to communicate, and I think the efficacy of such a process depends upon us acknowledging the significance and value of language.

    I believe it was Heidegger who said that language constructs a humans world. It’s typically those people most attuned to the manipulative powers of language – and lets remember that Heidegger was briefly an enthusiastic nazi – who make comments like this.

    I am now allergic to the names “Sartre”, “De Beauvoir”, “Foucault” – all pedophiles who pushed to lower the age limit. I’m also leery of Derrida, Deleuze/Guattari, and especially Lacan, who ‘psychoanalysis’ seems bent on making supermen, not healthy, loving human beings. The only European philosopher (besides Heidegger, and Gadamer) from the 20th century who I have not been turned off by is Paul Ricoeur.

  5. Ced, If you have the time and interest, then I’ll invite you to a video replay of one of my recent and most outrageous and entertaining semi-public meeting: ‘Dissolution & Inevitability: When Things Finally Fall Apart’ critiqued as “a near-miraculous balance of inspiration with provocation that fused the two styles into a perfect blend of spicy & sweet; apocalyptically affirmating, perhaps heralding a new prophet-genre: doom & joy?”


    • Thank you for the invite, I’m certainly interested. However, I’m travelling back to Belgrade and am not entirely sure if I’ll be able to make. Will certainly try.

  6. In regards to William Blake’s influence on popular culture and rock and roll.

    The Verve’s lyrics in the track ‘History’ are basically stolen from Blake’s ‘London’:

    “I wander lonely streets
    Behind where the old Thames does flow
    And in every face I meet
    Oh reminds me of what I have run from”

    “I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
    Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.
    And mark in every face I meet
    Marks of weakness, marks of woe.”

    U2 have also been influenced by Blake, most recently naming their latest album after a work of his:

    Going back as far as 1987, Bono recorded a version of Beautiful Ghost/Introduction To Songs Of Experience to music. I think it can be found on Youtube.

  7. I wasn’t aware Blake was The Starving Artist. No public, an ethereal audience. I produce art that almost only I like. A hobby…as a artist I am totally unsuccessful. Like one of the speakers expressed dissatisfaction with this state of affairs, I too. Can we really escape society, approval? Solely for individualistic purposes? Is it healthy to center one identity around such activity? How many Van go’s died with a pile of art that there only purpose was kindling for the fireplace? How many musicians died never being heard? What ever value and meaning we discover it surely can not be found there. Perhaps the unsuccessful artist are blessed because unlike the successful ones they are the first to realize this truth. The successful get there open the bag and find it’s I’ve heard (although I’d take that too)…so anyways I’ll put down this stuff because it’s heavy and I’ve got a long mountain pass to get over before the day is done.


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