Study Guide

Auguries of Innocence Spirituality

By William Blake

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Blake's obviously spiritual—"Auguries of Innocence" references life after death, Eternity, and God at different points. But his spirituality isn't very familiar: he has a unique interpretation of the Bible and of Jesus. Blake also tends to put a lot of emphasis on the role of imagination in spirituality. For him, art and literature can put people in direct contact with eternal realities. They're ways of looking "through" the eye and not "with" it (i.e., using the spirit to look at reality).

Questions About Spirituality

  1. How does Blake's conception of God and the spirit differ from mainstream Christianity? How is it similar?
  2. Blake celebrates the "infant's faith" since he thinks a belief in God is essential to humans (we do it automatically, for the most part). Do you agree with this idea, or do you think religions are something we learn?
  3. Why does Blake say that God appears as "beams of light" to the souls living in darkness but as a human to those who live in "realms of day"?

Chew on This

The human imagination—when it's inspired—can provide insight into higher realities. It can even understand things that reason can't—far out.

Sorry to harsh your buzz, gang, but the human imagination isn't a better source of knowledge, and reason is the only sure way of gaining knowledge.

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