Why, then, does Nobodaddy, the pseudo-God of the Englightenment, hold calipers? Because in this false vision of the holy, "God" is an engineer who builds and manages all of creation with metrics. Blake said that to live under such a god is to live in Ulro, the prison of the mind and body without spirit. We call that prison freedom, as we lift our mind-forged manacles - brands, technology, business plans, staffing plans, performance reviews. From his false Heaven, the false god looks down and smiles at the Big Data, the Taxononmies of Results, the Markets 4 Good, The Future of Good that we in our pride have substituted for the revolutionary energy of Los, the vibrant god of poetic vision and religious prophecy, the force behind the American and French Revolutions.
I train fundraisers and advisors to hold the conversations about giving in the context of financial planning, estate planning, wills and trusts, and major gifts, annual gifts and planned gifts. All in their world is metrics. When Blake visualized the dark satanic mills, planted on what had been England's green and verdant plains, he foresaw our contemporary life - all of us discussing legacy, death, and what lives on, in dollars and cents, with time measured by the time clock and the stop watch. In one firm where I teach "advisors," they sit on the phones with calls triaged to the person with the least expertise needed to answer a donor's question. Dollars acquired are then compared to minutes spent times dollars per minute of staff time, to arrive at a cost/benefit analysis, to do the most good for the lowest possible cost, in a double bottom line venture with best possible return to owners. To us, this is Heaven on Earth, under Nobodaddy, The Future of Good, the ideal to which we in our stunted imagination aspire. We were created in the image of Nobodaddy, by our educational system based on metrics, and we create him in our image.
Yet Blake also, wrote, "The cistern contains, the fountain overflows." And he said, "There is a moment in every day that Satan's watchfiends cannot find." By Satan he meant the god who constructs the clock in his image, and makes of the living earth a huge clock in which we must live, every second measured towards a benighted and sterile result. Yet, in every day, in every client or donor interview is that one moment that metrics cannot find. With a open question, we can open a crack in the ceiling of that clockwork office, and the light will or will not stream through. Either the angel enters or does not. We can only open that space for the time of one heartbeat, or with courage, three lungfulls of air, the rest comes from afar, or comes not at all. "The eye altering alters all." When the imagination opens its eye, the clockwork world becomes once again the organic world, the green world, where we cannot make it happen, we can only sow and hope to reap; only harrow, spade, and weed, so that what was seeded in us in our best moments comes up through the dirt, comes to fruition, and the seeds fall at last from us as we ripe, fall, and rot, so those seeds live on. As Blake lives on, and the force of the imagination that gives us life.