The Giants who formed this world into its sensual existence and now seem to live in it in chains, are in truth the causes of its life & the sources of all activity, but the chains are the cunning of weak and tame minds which have power to resist energy, according to the proverb, the weak in courage is strong in cunning.
"Did I ever tell you about the illusion of Free Will?"
-Lucas Buck in American Gothic
We are born with desires, we do not choose them. We do not choose to have a sex drive, we do not choose to restrain that drive, rather the restraint is imposed upon us by the religious culture. What role does choice play for those who grow up impoverished? Can we really choose not to be poor? If we only choose between acting or not acting then can we really say that we have a choice? Do we really choose to be gay, or straight, or are these impulses pre-programmed in souls?
The answer is this: we do choose, everyday, but we don't get to pick what set of choices we get to choose from. And if we choose against are natural inclination, we are torturing ourselves.
We choose cunning because we are weak. Most of Blake's proverbs are not principles, but strategies for survival:
The Spider a web. The bird a nest. Man, friendship.
This is nothing short of a Darwinian notion of tactics employed toward some telos, some goal.
Thus one portion of being is the Prolific, the other the Devouring: to the devourer it seems as if the producer was in his chains, but it is not so, he only takes portions of existence and fancies that the whole.
But the Prolific would cease to be Prolific unless the Devourer, as a sea, recieved the excess of his delights.
To the passive observer it seems as though the snake is swallowing its tail. The wise man sees that the snake could be just as easily vomiting it forth in an act of generation. The presence of a creator demands the need of a devourer, for the devourer blanks the slate clean so that a new Heaven may be forged. This is the Shiva principle. To kill the old is to make room for the new.
Some will say: 'Is not God alone the Prolific?' I answer: 'God only Acts & Is, in existing beings or Men.'
These two classes of men are always upon earth, & they should be enemies; whoever tries to reconcile them seeks to destroy existence.
Religion is an endeavour to reconcile the two.
Note: Jesus Christ did not wish to unite but to seperate them, as in the Parable of sheep and goats! & he says I came not to send Peace but a Sword.
Messiah or Satan or Tempter was formerly thought to be one of the Antediluvians who are our Energies.
The reconciliation of good and evil (which is what the Marriage of Heaven and Hell literally is) is an attempt to destroy creation. To take this literally means that Blake is trying to show us something about religion, that this world is a game of Chess between God and Devil, and this dichotomy is not good and evil, which is a confusion principles, but rather between a creator and a destroyer.
The dialectic of the anti-philosopher with the philosopher is necessary to the game because it allows us to keep the ball in play. Without anti-philosophy, philosophy would grow cold and stagnate, like Derrida vs. Stanley Fish, Dissemination vs. Self-Consuming Artifacts, the ball must stay in play or the game is truly over.
So in the wake of mutual reconciliation how does the philosopher keep the ball in play? For me I am engaged in a dialectic between Deconstruction and Construction. And I mean Construction in the mathematical sense of the term.
If this is not an essay, or Dissemination is not a book, that is true because we've crafted the definition of book in such a manner as exclude our own text. The sense of this is lost on me. Derrida reads like a horoscope, with a collapsed ontology and small set of words being sucked dry to the core, and its effect is much like a hall of mirrors, something that will test our faith, something we must face, reject, and in so doing we will be stronger, smarter, better. This is the value of a deconstruction, it fixes the glitches in our system.
So my role as anti-philosopher is not to destroy philosophy, but rather patch the glitches in theories that I respect. The Devourer can be seen in the same light. Neither good nor evil in and of itself, but necessary to the process of advancing a philosophy.
At this point we have said all that we can say about the text. Blake takes us through a dialog with an angel who is condemning his vice, and what it all boils down to can be explicated by this:
Opposition is true Friendship.
"To sell your Soul to God is to betray the other."