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Words of Wisdom

Selections from “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” by William Blake (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

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Born in London, England in 1757, William Blake was a poet, artist, and spiritual visionary. He began drawing and writing at an early age, depicting a vision of angels at age 10. Blake trained as a copy engraver when he turned 14, while continuing his writing and artwork. During the course of his life, he created hundreds of artistic engravings, many of which were combined with poems. Although his works were not widely popular when he was still alive, he is now considered a leading artist and poet of the Romantic Age. William Blake was also an inventor. He created an engraving technique known as relief etching. This approach gave rise to what he referred to as “illuminated printing,” which combines art and print to create beautifully hand-etched manuscripts.

We now present to you excerpts from the book “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.” “Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence. From these contraries spring what the religious call Good and Evil. Good is the passive that obeys reason; Evil is the active springing from Energy. Good is heaven. Evil is hell.”

“In seed-time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy. Drive your cart and your plough over the bones of the dead. The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.”

“One thought fills immensity. Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you. Everything possible to be believed is an image of truth. The eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the crow. The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion. Think in the morning, act in the noon, eat in the evening, sleep in the night. He who has suffered you to impose on him knows you. As the plough follows words, so God rewards prayers. The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction. Expect poison from the standing water. You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.”

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