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157. The part I do remember: that the blue of the sky depends on the darkness of empty space behind it. As one optics journal puts it, “The color of any planetary atmosphere viewed against the black of space and illuminated by a sunlike star will also be blue.” In which case blue is something of an ecstatic accident produced by void and fire.

158. God is truth; truth is light; God is light; etc.: the chain of syllogisms goes on and on. See John 1:5: “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (As if darkness, too, had a mind.)

159. A good many have figured God as light, but a good many have also figured him as darkness. Dionysius the Areopagite, a Syrian monk whose work and identity are themselves shrouded in obscurity, would seem to be one of the first serious Christian advocates of the idea of a “Divine Darkness.” The idea is a complicated one, as the burden falls to us to differentiate this Divine Darkness from other kinds of darknesses–that of a “dark night of the soul,” the darkness of sin, and so on.  “We pray that we may come unto this Darkness which is beyond light, and, without seeing and without knowing, to see and to know that which is above vision and knowledge through the realization that by not-seeing and unknowing we attain to true vision and knowledge,” Dionysius wrote, as if clarifying the matter.

_ From Bluets by Maggie Nelson


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