Do our EYES deceive us?
Photo inspired by William Blake's vision of the eye
Blake believed that, like the other three senses, the EYE was universally diffused through the whole being (as TOUCH still is), but that in the Fall it became localised and turned outward.
Then turn'd the fluxile eyes into two stationary orbs, concentrating all things. Sight is a little narrow orb, clos'd up and dark, conversing with the void, or with the ground. Lids have been made to grow over the eyes like veils of tears.
He goes on to say that one need not be limited to the Vegetated Mortal Eyes's perverted and single vision, if one looks not with but through the eye. Foster Daimon says that this ability consists in that spontaneous translating of the visible into human qualities; a process we now call EMPATHY. All the arts are based on this power. He cites an incidence of this in a letter from Blake to Butts (22.11.1802) where he describes how his outward eye saw a thistle plant but his inward eye saw a cross old man.
What, it will be Question'd, when the sun rises, do you not see a round disk of fire somewhat like a Guinea? O no, no, I see an Innumerbale Company of the Heavenly host crying, 'Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty'. I question not my Corporeal, or Vegetative Eye any more than I would Question a Window concerning a sight. I look thro' it and not with it.
In this picture I have tried to invert reality just as one can dream of oneself dreaming and not know whether the dream is the reality or whether the reality is the dreaming.
Many of the photos uploaded to Photoblog have this quality and that is what makes us truly human. Ultimately, each of us will see a photograph that transcends our looking out into looking through.
Reference: S. Foster Damon1965. A Blake Dictionary. The ideas and symbols of William Blake. Brown University Press, Providence.