Blake was a symbolist before he was a poet, just as any man of pagan antiquity or the Christian Middle Ages inherited a symbolic way of thought as part of his environment. There is no literary value in Swedenborg’s symbolism, and nothing could be less poetic than the “visions” of that sage. In common with the Platonic schools and the Hermetic, Gnostic, cabalistic, and alchemical traditions Swedenborg taught that “natural cause only seems.” In all the spiritual vegetation of Innocence and Experience the people nowhere find a plant named that does not prove to be derived from some already established symbolic tradition. There are innumerable spirits in clouds in the writings of Swedenborg. Angelic societies, good or evil, appear in clouds more or less radiant according to the nature of the spirits they comprise; and the Lord himself is described as appearing in a cloud of multitudes of spirits.