Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Inspiration of the Stars

And by stars I don't mean those celebrities pictured on the covers of magazines, but those far brighter and much more magnificent glowing objects visible in the nighttime sky. You know: Stars. Suns. Each of those stars is a sun similar to our own, and sometimes larger, but each millions of miles away and surrounded by their own unique moons and planets.

I PREFER THE NIGHT, not generally for reading or social gatherings, but for being alone and thinking deeply about things, contemplating the majesty and mystery of the universe under the quietude of the star filled sky.

I enjoy the night primarily for the silence, the solitude, and the stars. Which is why I generally don't like spending too much time outside on a cloudy night.

It is only when the sky is clear and the stars are bright, that I am intuitively aligned with illuminated insight. Don't you like how that rhymed? And it just happened on its own effortlessly without me even trying.

The celestial sky mirrors the inner self. Looking upwards I see a reflection in my own mind of certain thoughts, imagery, and insights which would otherwise not be visible to me. Isn't that awesome? You ought to try it sometime.

You need at least an hour though before your eyes actually properly adjust to the lower light, an hour of just being outside and looking upwards. Though it helps if you're having a beer (or substitute with your own drink of choice). Yeah I have found that SMALL amounts of alcohol can in fact be inspirational, and that is NOT the closeted alcoholic in me resurfacing and inventing an excuse or justification to drink, but really it's true. Alcohol can be an aid to inspiration. A good way to determine a healthy level of alcohol consumption, is if after drinking you wake up the next day feeling good. Then you can safely say that you didn't have too much to drink, and may repeat the same amount next time. But if you wake up feeling like shit, sore throat, headache, dizziness, nausea, cloudy thinking, then ya (my Chicago-ish accent kicking in) may want to cut back the ratios a bit next time.

Spending some time outside at night, or before sunrise, looking up at the sky when it is still dark and the stars are still bright, can be extremely inspirational. I have so many interesting, thought provoking, philosophical ideas, observations, spontaneous questions and answers that enter my mind, too many to write everything down fully intact without sacrificing one insight for another. But it's prolific. The key is to be relaxed though, free of worry, and not in any hurry. That's an essential ingredient, because inspiration generally isn't visible to a stressed out mind. So it's not enough to merely look at the stars for inspiration, but to look at the stars in a relaxed, unhurried, worry free state of mind.

What is it about the darkness of celestial space and its canopy of stars millions of light years away that illuminates my thinking?

Could you imagine what life would be like on this planet if the stars were no longer visible to the naked eye? Or if they were never visible, in the whole history of the earth, without actually leaving the planet?

What would life be like if it was always cloudy at night, with no celestial objects ever visible, no moon, or stars, only the daytime sun?

The night sky is our window to the rest of the universe. Without this view, our view would be significantly diminished. Seeing the stars deepens our perspective, gives us a more accurate idea of where we are. It shows us that our planet is very much like a spaceship, not stationary, not only in space, but traveling through space. When looking up at the sky this is an insight that should never once leave your mind.

The earth is precious and beautiful, but seeing the moon and the stars reminds us, teaches us, that there is more to this world, a whole deeper dimension and a far wider universe extending beyond our planet, which is largely unexplored and vastly mysterious. This is why I love to sit outside at night looking up at the stars, to remind me that this planet is not all there is, that there is so much more out there.

And yet it's all a matter of perspective, just as the universe is immeasurably vast in its hugeness, so also is the microscopic dimension immeasurably vast in its smallness. It's like a perplexing riddle, how the macroscopic and the microscopic seem to be inverted mirrors of each other, infinitely nested, ever-present overlapping parallel worlds and dimensions of big and small.

I've written about the inspiration of the sky and the stars before, and I will probably write about it again. I think the reminder is useful, is something worth talking about repeatedly so that you never lose sight of its importance. Life doesn't last too long, so we need all the helpful reminders we can get, because you never know which day will be your last. You've got to seize the day. See Random insight #3. Don't hold back. That's been my main problem, holding back too much, thinking that I have all the time in the world. But as they say, he who hesitates is lost.

So what are you going to do tonight? If the sky is clear, make a date with the stars tonight, they won't disappoint.

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