The Argument

Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.

-William Blake – The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Der große Rote Drache und die Frau, mit der Sonne bekleidet

The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.

– William Blake – A Memorable Fancy

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5 thoughts on “The Argument”

  1. Crikey indeed.

    As for Eastern philosophy, one of the things I love about Blake is how closely he seemed to resemble Eastern thought. Several of his works of art (including, I think, the piece above, but even more so an engraving called Leviathan versus Behemoth) bear more than a superficial resemblance to the T’ai Chi symbol (the Yin and Yang), and the idea of life balanced between to opposing (but also complimentary) forces. Add the dialectic thought process of the first quote and you’ve got some rather prescient thought.

    I mean, bear in mind he was a raging Christian, but with an incredibly heretical outlook. I have a certain admiration of anyone who actually creates their own mythos…particularly if they then go on to believe it.

    There may be more explanation of this piece at a later date.

  2. Hmmm. I think that anyone reading the first quote, after having watched North American politics, particularly in that Middle Earth, might disagree.

    However there is no question that reptiles of the mind swarm the Albion Asylum.

  3. Well, with regards to the US, it’s always looked to me like there isn’t near enough contraries at the government level. Two parties just don’t cut it with me, it means new ideas get stifled.

    I do however, appreciate your wider point. There’s a lot of bad shit going on because people can’t agree, but perhaps that’s why you need the second quote. Not just opposition but a willingness to change opinions, and see the other side.

    On an idealogical level, I have to side with dialectics. You need opposition in order to change the status quo, new ideas battle old ones, they combine and progress, then the new ideas are the old ones and it all starts over. That’s always been my grand world view.

    But yeah, politics does get a little more complicated. And painful.

    To put it lightly.

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