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Who/ what influenced William Blake? |

Who/ what influenced William Blake?

MODERN ENGLISH LITERATURE NOTES

Blake was a great visionary, a mystic, whose ideas came from many sources; rather than following the established cultural tendencies of his age, he turned to the occult traditions in Europe:
- the Jewish cabbalistic ideas – tradition of mystical understanding of God and universe
- Emanuel Swedenborg – Heaven and Hell: The Bible must be understood in a mystical and spiritual sense -> the real world comprises of three worlds:

  • o the heavens
  • o the hells
  • o our world where judgement takes place

The Trinity is Love (Father), Wisdom (Son), and Energy (Spirit)
- Jacob Boehme – a German mystic: will is the original force; opposition God vs. nature
- the Rosicrucian Brotherhood – an organisation of esoteric thinkers in the 15th century; knowledge of spiritual truth held by the ancient Gnostics is essential for salvation -> Earth + Heaven symbolism

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