If Milton had a Blog – part 2

this is taken from the end of Paradise Lost, from book 12 –

New Heavens, new Earth, ages of endless date,
Founded in righteousness, and peace, and love;
To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss.
He ended; and thus Adam last replied.
How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest,
Measured this transient world, the race of time,
Till time stand fixed! Beyond is all abyss,
Eternity, whose end no eye can reach.

This may be a vision of heaven, but it can also serve as a signpost for a secular world. Who doesn’t want to live in a world of peace, and love, and joy and eternal bliss?

Delusions? Maybe. If you expect it to be given to you when you ask. Here I differ from the Christ on the Cross story. You can’t expect someone else to “save” you. That’s just childish. Personal responsibility, patience, collective action; this is what makes things happen and changes the world for the better.

But what a luscious last line!

“Eternity, whose end no eye can reach”

There is something of the zen koan about this. It is deep, and powerful.

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3 Responses to “If Milton had a Blog – part 2”

  1. SilverTiger Says:

    There is a sharp contrast between religions such as Christianity that preach “salvation by third party” and religions such as Buddhism that preach “salvation by own effort”.

    While the ideal of self-salvation is a brave and noble one, the vast majority of people do not feel capable of it. Not all can meet the Buddha’s exacting standards. They prefer some sort of fairy godmother to magically whisk them to salvation rather than undertaking the hard work of saving themselves.

    I think it undeniable that Milton admired his Satan. Here was one who would not sit and humbly consume the crumbs from God’s table but who took his fate into his own hands and sought his own salvation. Evil? Maybe, but the black sheep of the family must always seem so to his stay-at-home siblings who prefer to remain safely dependent on others rather than taking the risk of self-affirmation.

    Some, like Icarus, will indeed fall and perish but others will soar aloft and it is to them that we owe all that is finest in mankind’s achievements.

    Email SilverTiger

  2. onemoreoption Says:

    Excellent, uncommon perspectives from both of you. Well said.

  3. bruce Says:

    found you via sexualityinart.

    happy i did.

    ah, paradise lost; a favorite.

    blake said: William Blake called this wow or illumination the Apocalyptic moment. For Blake, the apocalyptic moment was personal and could happen at any time evil is recognized. Revelation and Judgment are internal affairs of the spirit, arising from a clearing of the senses which the artist, by virtue of his imaginative genius, can promote. The true artist then has a social role bordering on the religious. Final Revelation will be “seen by the Imaginative Eye of Every one according to the Situation he holds” and the Last Judgment will happen “whenever any Individual Rejects Error & Embraces Truth.”

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