Saturday, March 28, 2009

William Blake: The Problem of Sense-Organs

William Blake is a poet whose work I have scarcely touched the surface of. This little poem (which is an excerpt from the 330 lines long poem called The Everlasting Gospel) transmits the notion that it is not your eyes that do the seeing. It is something else. And I couldn't agree more.

I wouldn't necessarily call the sense-organs problems, rather as bodily (seemingly) functions which are necessary in our relation to the world. Both the outer and the inner. The problem occurs when you believe that this is all there is to it, that the organs are the sensing. If you sink into it, you will probably find that your sense-organs function on the inside as well as on the outside of your body. And where, one might ask oneself, is the seeing, feeling, listening, tasting and hearing happening then?

The Problem of Sense-Organs

This Life's dim Windows of the Soul
Distorts the Heavens from Pole to Pole
And leads you to Believe a Lie
When you see with, not thro', the Eye
That was born in a night to perish in a night
When the Soul slept in the beams of Light

William Blake, The Everlasting Gospel

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