AL I:27Posted: May 8, 2012
Then the priest answered & said unto the Queen of Space, kissing her lovely brows, and the dew of her light bathing his whole body in a sweet-smelling perfume of sweat: O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it be ever thus; that men speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous!
In this verse we see the powers and role of the priest, in the previous verse, we saw that of the prophet. In experiencing Nuit, the prophet is passive as he asks for a sign and waits, she comes to him. The priest needing no sign, having already experienced her, on his own volition kisses her and partakes of her light. He then proclaims the glory of her ineffable nullity. The priest was introduced in AL I:15 as the chosen priest & apostle of infinite space and the prince-priest the Beast. It is not clear from the text whether this priest is a different person than the prophet mentioned in the previous verse. Perhaps he was a prophet until Nuit gave him the sign and now he is considered a priest. We must also consider that perhaps the terms are used interchangeably.
Nuit has two aspects for us to contemplate.
As “None” Nuit is the dark potential of existence that is between the end and the beginning of manifestation.
As “Continuous” Nuit is also the sum of all configurations of all the atoms, particles, sub particles, etc throughout the entire timeline of all of the infinite manifestations of the universe. It is important to note that the use of the word “heaven” here does not denote some mystical realm apart from the physical realm, rather it is a reference to the totality of the universe, all of the heavenly bodies that we see in the sky at night, as well as the ones that we don’t see.
Searching for the use of the phrase “Queen of Space” before 1904, we find it only in the english translation of this lovely poem:
Yes! my soul loves, when freed from galling chains
Of human miseries and human pains,
To leave this prison-house of clay behind,
And wander in the blessed realms of mind!
There, spurning under me the world of tears,
My burning spirit soars to other spheres,
And my soul, straiten’d in this narrow cell,
Loves ever in eternal space to dwell.
Like to a drop in ocean’s ceaseless flood,
My mind is lost amid infinitude;
There, Queen of space, and of eternity,
She dares to measure Time—Immensity!
Give form to chaos, nature’s God believe,
And mysteries ineffable conceive.
But when I wish to breathe my bosom’s fires,
In feeble efforts every word expires;
My glowing soul could speak—my tongue confined,
Utters vain sounds—the shadow of my mind.
Two kinds of speech our God hath given us here;
One sounds all callous in the human ear:
This language cold, which knows no heavenly glow,
Sufliceth for our banishment below,
And following the laws of age and time,
Changes, and dies with every varied clime.
The other speech, eternal and refined,
Is the unchanging language of the mind!
It hath no earthly love that swells around,—
The heart alone can hear its sacred sound;
To speak that tongue the burning soul aspires,
And kindles at its ever glowing fires;
The gushing tear, or struggling sigh reveals
The language that the soul so deeply feels;
‘Tis Heaven’s own language when we speak by prayer,
And love alone can breathe its genial air!
From the French of Alphonse de Lamartine.Translated By Alexander Cowan, Published 1839