How are the engraved images of male-to-male oral sex (simulated or actual?) related to self-annihilation?  Examine the two images below in the context of the second book’s conclusion (pages 200-3)

The simulated (or actual) act of oral sex (or masturbation) relates to self-annihilation in the sense that one is freeing themselves from slavery. What brought me to this conclusion was Ololon questioning Milton about the act taking place, which they viewed “Los & Urizen… Orc & Tharmas; / The Four Zoa’s of Albion & [their] Spirit with the striving / In Self annihilation giving the life to they enemies” (200). Ololon questioned “Are those who contemn Religion & seek to annihilate it / Become in their Feminine’s portions the causes & promoters / Of these Religions, how is this this,” (200) revealing her confusion and attempt to apply Reasoning behind why things be the way they were. However, as Milton reassures her, “There is negation, & there is a Contrary” (200), therefore, one must obliterate the negation, “the Spectre; the Reasoning Power in Man” (201), to “redeem the Contraries”(201), to be “saved from slavery” (200). Milton continues on to explain that the human body is a “false body” incapsulating our “Immortal Spirit” in “Selfhood” (201), therefore to “cleanse” our Spirit, we must engage in “self-examination”, which could be considered masturbation, or oral considering the visual. To do this, one must “was off” and “cast off” the Reason of Man, such as “Bacon, Locke, & Newton”, “the idiot Questioner who is always questioning / But never capable of answering”, even to “cast of the Rational Demonstration by Faith in the Saviour” (202). In other words, it seems Blake is suggesting and encouraging us to challenge the Science, the Reasoning; to cast off the unanswerable questions for the sake of our Immortal Spirit.  In reference to the second picture displayed, the sheer and ghostly coloring of the desolate individual in the suggestive stance, implies that through oral/self-annihilation, the Immortal Spirit is freed.

Jaimee Watson