A world in a grain of sand


To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
William_Blake_by_Thomas_PhillipsThese four lines could be a synthesis of what, nowadays, is called “the new consciousness”  ——– the ability to understand that everything is interlinked, that magical moments for part of everyday life, and that with just a little inner openness we can come to see that we are capable of completely changing our reality and eliminating most of the things that make us feel dissatisfied.  When these lines were written, however, they went almost unnoticed.  
Their author, William Blake (1757 — 1827), was born into a poor family and died despised by the intellectual circles of his time.  His critics alleged that he put too much mysticism into his work, that he behaved strangely (for example, he would sit naked with his wife in the garden of the country house lent to them by a friend), and that his poems were too naïve. –
Those critics died, and now, Blake is considered ——- not only for his writings, but also for his engravings, which I (Paulo Coelho) had the opportunity of seeing at the Tate Gallery in London —— as one of the most complete artists of the last millennium.  
grain of sandBlake describes how, as a child in a park near London, he saw angels in the trees and saw the prophet Ezekiel emerge from amongst creatures.  Later, when he was 30 years old, his younger brother died, and Blake maintained that his brother’s spirit appeared to him a few days later, clothed in light, in order to reveal to him a method of “publishing” books without recourse to a printer, that is, to hand-craft engravings of both texts and illustrations and sell them in very limited editions. 
Following his advice, Blake began developing an idea which he called “the contraries of the human soul”.  One of these states is “innocence”, when imagination leads us towards growth.  The other state is “experience”, when our imagination is confronted by rules, morality and repression.
Blake lived his life intensely and died poor, but he died having done everything he wanted to do.  In one of his most controversial works, “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”, he claimed to have visited the realm of darkness and noted down the proverbs that the devils used to repeat to each other.  Here is a selection of those proverbs :      
In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy
The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom
The cistern contains ; the fountain overflows
Prudence is a rich, ugly old maid courted by incapacity
A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees
He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence
No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings
Prisons are built with stones of law, Brothels with bricks of religion
What is now proved was once only imagined
Everything possible to be believed is an image of truth
The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction
Expect poison from the standing water
The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion
He who has suffered you to impose on him, knows you
Prayers plow not ! Praises reap not !
You never know what is enough until you know what is more than enough. ————–Paulo Coelho. (translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa) 
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2 thoughts on “A world in a grain of sand

  1. This is so inspiring and beautiful! Check out my similar thoughts
    We are here to share and create “I must create a system, or be enslaved in another man’s. I will not reason and compare; my business is to create” Have an amazing day – keep writing and sharing! Love the Blog… You can also follow ‘A Gentlemans Journal’ through twitter and Instagram, providing you with daily posativity and inspiration!

    http://agentlemansjournal89.com/2015/02/01/thought-for-the-day-auguries-of-innocence-by-william-blake/

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