William Blake was and still is a creative genius way ahead oh his time – and even our own time. Poet, painter, print maker and visionary mystic, Blake was only educated to the age of ten and is today recognized as one of the most prolific and profound romantic poets ever published.
There are many profound and life-changing lessons to learn from this genius of a man. And today I will share with you 33 of these lessons, in the hope that they will inspire and empower to become aware and release the infinite power present within you and all around you.
33 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from William Blake
1. Expect poison from the standing water.
“The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.”
2. He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.
“The true method of knowledge is experiment.”
3. A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent. ~ William Blake
4. Think in the morning. Act in the noon.
“Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.”
5. Make your own rules or be a slave to another man’s.
“I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man’s. I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.”
6. The busy bee has no time for sorrow.
7. To generalize is to be an idiot. ~ William Blake
“If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise”
8. The weak in courage is strong in cunning. ~ William Blake
“If the lion was advised by the fox, he would be cunning.”
9. He who sees the Infinite in all things sees God.
“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”
“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.”
10. He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.
11. Art is the tree of life. Science is the tree of death.
“Every man who is not an artist is a traitor to his own nature.”
12. Love builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.
“Love seeketh not itself to please, nor for itself hath any care, but for another gives its ease, and builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.”
13. Time is but an illusion
I see the Past, Present & Future existing all at once Before me.
14. Great things are done when men and mountains meet.
“The person who does not believe in miracles surely makes it certain that he or she will never take part in one.” ~ William Blake
“There is no mistake so great as the mistake of not going on.”
16. Error is created; truth is eternal. ~ William Blake
“Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.”
“Love is weak when there is more doubt than there is trust, but love is most strong when you learn to trust even with all the doubts. If a thing loves, it is infinite.” ~ William Blake
18. The Woman that does not love your frowns will never embrace your smiles. ~ William Blake
19. We are not meant to resolve all contradictions
“We are not meant to resolve all contradictions but to live with them and rise above them.” ~ William Blake
20. The nakedness of woman is the work of God
“The pride of the peacock is the glory of God. The lust of the goat is the bounty of God. The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God. The nakedness of woman is the work of God.”
21. God is within
“Why stand we here trembling around, calling on God for help, and not ourselves, in whom God dwells?”
“I am in you and you in me, mutual in divine love.”
22. In the universe, there are doors
“In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors.”
23. Truth is told, not to convince, but to defend
When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do.
24. The imagination is not a state: it is the human existence itself.
“The world of imagination is the world of eternity. It is the divine bosom into which we shall all go after the death of the vegetated [i.e. mortal] body. This world of imagination is infinite and eternal, whereas the world of generation is finite and temporal. There exist in that eternal world the eternal realities of everything which we see reflected in this vegetable glass of nature.”
25. If a thing loves, it is infinite. ~ William Blake
26. Nature is imagination itself.
“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”
27. What is now proved was once only imagined.
“Mans desires are limited by his perceptions; none can desire what he has not perceived.”
28. There is a smile of love, and there is a smile of deceit
“There is a smile of love, and there is a smile of deceit, and there is a smile of smiles In which these two smiles meet.” ~ William Blake
29. In your own bosom you bear your heaven and earth
“In your own bosom you bear your heaven and earth, And all you behold, though it appears without, It is within, in your imagination, Of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.”
30. Every thing that lives is holy
“Arise you little glancing wings, and sing your infant joy! Arise and drink your bliss, for every thing that lives is holy!”
31. You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough
32. When a sinister person means to be your enemy, they always start by trying to become your friend
“When a sinister person means to be your enemy, they always start by trying to become your friend.” ~ William Blake
33. They who forgive most shall be most forgiven.
“And throughout all Eternity I forgive you, you forgive me. As our dear Redeemer said: “This the Wine, and this the Bread.”
“The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.”
BONUS: More William Blake Quotes
“It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.” ~ William Blake
“Celebrate your existence!“~ William Blake
“I have no name: I am but two days old. What shall I call thee? I happy am, Joy is my name. Sweet joy befall thee!”~ William Blake
“Gratitude, in itself, is heaven.” ~ William Blake
“Fun I love, but too much fun is of all things the most loathsome. Mirth is better than fun, and happiness is better than mirth.”~ William Blake
“If the Sun and Moon should ever doubt, they’d immediately go out.”~ William Blake
“To me this world is all one continued vision of fancy or imagination, and I feel flattered when I am told so. What is it sets Homer, Virgil and Milton in so high a rank of art? Why is the Bible more entertaining and instructive than any other book? Is it not because they are addressed to the imagination, which is spiritual sensation, and but immediately to the understanding or reason?”~ William Blake
“As we are, so we see.”~ William Blake
“He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars: general Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer, for Art and Science cannot exist but in minutely organized Particulars.”~ William Blake
“Joy and woe are woven fine, A clothing for the soul divine. Under every grief and pine Runs a joy with silken twine.”~ William Blake
“Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind doth move
I told my love, I told my love,
I told her all my heart,
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears.
Ah! she did depart!
Soon after she was gone from me,
A traveller came by,
He took her with a sigh.~ “LOVE’S SECRET”
“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.
A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.
A dove-house filled with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell through all its regions.”
“Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?”
“The Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel dined with me, and I asked them how they dared so roundly to assert, that God spoke to them; and whether they did not think at the time, that they would be misunderstood, & so be the cause of imposition.
Isaiah answer’d, I saw no God, nor heard any, in a finite organical perception; but my senses discover’d the infinite in every thing, and as I was then persuaded, & remain confirm’d; that the voice of honest indignation is the voice of God, I cared not for consequences but wrote.”
“Oh! why was I born with a different face? why was I not born like the rest of my race? when I look,each one starts! when I speak, I offend; then Im silent & passive & lose every friend. Then my verse I dishonour, my pictures despise, my person degrade & my temper chastise; and the pen is my terror, the pencil my shame; all my talents I bury, and dead is my fame. Im either too low or too highly prized; when elate I m envy’d, when meek Im despis’d”
“The moon, like a flower in heaven’s high bower, with silent delight sits and smiles on the night.”
“The ancient Poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged & numerous senses could perceive.
And particularly they studied the genius of each city & country, placing it under its mental deity;
Till a system was formed, which some took advantage of & enslav’d the vulgar by attempting to realize or abstract the mental deities from their objects: thus began Priesthood;
Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales. And at length they pronounc’d that the Gods had order’d such things. Thus men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast.”
“Men are admitted into heaven not because they have curbed and governed their passions or have no passions, but because they have cultivated their understandings. The treasures of heaven are not negations of passion, but realities of intellect, from which all the passions emanate uncurbed in their eternal glory.”
“Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained; and the restrainer or reason usurps its place & governs the unwilling. And being restrain’d it by degrees becomes passive till it is only the shadow of desire.”
“The Devil answer’d: bray a fool in a morter with wheat, yet shall not his folly be beaten out of him; if Jesus Christ is the greatest man, you ought to love him in the greatest degree; now hear how he has given his sanction to the law of ten commandments: did he not mock at the sabbath, and so mock the sabbaths God?
Murder those who were murder’d because of him? turn away the law from the woman taken in adultery? steal the labor of others to support him? bear false witness when he omitted making a defense before Pilate? covet when he pray’d for his disciples, and when he bid them shake off the dust of their feet against such as refused to lodge them? I tell you, no virtue can exist without breaking these ten commandments; Jesus was all virtue, and acted from impulse, not from rules.”
“I sought my God and my God I couldn’t find;
I sought my soul and my soul eluded me;
I sought to serve my brother in his need, and I found all three;
My God, my soul, and thee.”
“He who mocks the infant’s faith
Shall be mock’d in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt
The rotting grave shall ne’er get out.
He who respects the infant’s faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child’s toys and the old man’s reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.~ “Auguries of Innocence”
“The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity, too great for the eye of man.”
“Man has no Body distinct from his soul; for that called Body is a portion of a Soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age.”
“He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars; General Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite and flatterer: For Art and Science cannot exist but in minutely organized Particulars.”
“But when he has done this, let him not say that he knows better than his master, for he only holds a candle in sunshine.”
“WHEN the voices of children are heard on the green,
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast,
And everything else is still.
Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down,
And the dews of night arise;
Come, come, leave off play, and let us away
Till the morning appears in the skies.
No, no, let us play, for it is yet day,
And we cannot go to sleep;
Besides, in the sky the little birds fly,
And the hills are all cover’d with sheep.
Well, well, go and play till the light fades away,
And then go home to bed.’
The little ones leaped and shouted and laugh’d
And all the hills echoed.~ “Nurse’s Song”