Blake’s ideas about energy, dynamism and opposition are predicated on a belief in divine immanence, which he seems to have inherited from his radical Protestant heritage but which also finds precedence in Spinozean ethics that equate substance with the immanence of God whose existence underpins all individual essences (1.D1-6). The inseparable correlative to his critique of the natural idea is his belief in the actuality of the poetic idea, which, via Swedenborg, comes to be associated with love and desire. However, it is in Lavater’s Aphorisms, which, as Viscomi suggests, served as a model for All Religions (Blake and the Idea, p. 195), that Blake encounters a succinct description of the relation between essence and external form as it manifests itself in unity and variety.


Possessive Pronoun Individual Essence Natural Religion Descriptive Catalogue Divine Essence 
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  1. 1.
    Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses (London: Vintage, 1998), p. 318.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Percival Proctor and William Catieau, The Modern Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, 4 vols (London: the authors, 1774), IV.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    See Edward Larrissy, ‘Postmodern Romanticisms’, NASSR ‘99 (Conference Paper, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada, 12–15 August 1999), August 14Google Scholar
  4. Edward Larrissy, ‘When Was Blake?’ (Inaugural Lecture, University of Leeds, 31 January 2001).Google Scholar

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© Matthew JA Green 2005

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  • Matthew J. A. Green

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