More than ever, the time is ripe for June Singer’s penetrating commentary on William Blake’s work, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. For even the most devout literary scholars and art historians, much of Blake’s mystical visions and writings are perplexing. With his pen and brush, he gave birth to mythological figures and fantastic metaphors. Singer shows us that Blake was actually tapping into the collective unconscious and giving form and voice to primordial psychological energies, or archetypes, that he experienced in his inner and outer world. Blake’s writing and art was his personal dialogue between God and his own inner self — a reconciliation of duality — in which we can find clues to contemporary issues.
In the 18th century, Blake was a pioneer in finding, nurturing, and celebrating his personal connection with the divine, a search that still appeals to people who are coming to terms with the contemporary struggle between science and spirituality — the conflict between reason and imagination. With clarity and wisdom, Singer examines the images and words in each plate of Blake’s work, applying in her analysis the concepts that C. G. Jung advanced in his psychological theories. There is no more perfect lens with which to look at Blake’s work than that of Jung’s concepts of the archetypes, the process of individuation, and the mysterium coniunctionis, in which consciousness and the unconscious are united.