See for yourself!
See what an open hearted observation of stars will do for the soul of the star-watcher! Not by watching in the night, after a day of dealing with the mundane, but in the morning early, as the stars themselves finish molding the meditant mind to their meaning.
Stars are a good way to start the morning.
It makes no difference when we wake into our day; day has a way of extinguishing the whole firmament for us. But the stars are always there, seen or unseen. Seen in the darkness of night, what appears makes such a tiny impression on the senses, that we must admit – their immensity is mostly in the mind. Seen against the blackness of their celestial setting, we see their infinity as brilliance. We intuit their brilliance as the Infinity it truly is. When unseen, behind our shuttered eyes, it is then that their vastness first begins to grow to its true dimensions. Stars are made more of the substance of thought than of sensation. A morning moment with stars makes all the difference for us in the day ahead.
Sun. We notice the Sun in the moment of dawn, the moment of noon, of sunset, and any other time it shines across our field of view. It is so blinding to our open eyes, that we must leave it to the mind’s eye and its reasoning if we are to ‘watch’ it move steadily westward across the sky. To watch it returning eastward, below the horizon, moving toward the morning, takes nothing less than an effort of imagination.
Stars. Stars call for the same increasing degrees of inwardness as they make their full round daily. We may watch them at night, and think of them during more inward hours of the day. But it is reserved for even greater efforts of the mind to see the subtleties of the stars’ seasonal cycle. When well-watched and well-imagined night after night, it appears that the whole starry empire advances minutely, leaving the sun itself to lag each day by almost exactly one degree of the full calendar year. Only our mind’s eye can watch as the whole aging vault moves inevitably westward. And it challenges us to re-think the flow, the nature, the cycle of time.
Do the stars move westward toward the past? No easy answer! The future certainly rises in the east! Our eyes themselves can see it dimly; revealing, in the brightening east, the fresh new rim of tomorrow night’s sky. As the weeks progress, familiar constellations gradually rise in the east to take their place of prominence for a season, move monthly across the night sky to set again in the west half a year later.
Just as the day begins daily for the sun, just so does the year begin yearly for any one of the rest of the stars. This we can observe with only our eyes, but without the facile mind, it would be occult. Working to know these minute pinpricks in the veil of infinity elevates the mind toward their loftiness and leads both the inner and outer eye to finer vision.
Planets. Simply seen on the occasional skyward glance, the planets are indistinguishable from the stars. Loved and studied, with prayerful pondering, as we would our own children, they begin to reveal their separate secrets.
As familiar as the seven days by name, and relatively close to our consciousness, the planets make their wandering way through the sky seven times week. They do not march to the same regular rhythm as the stars, but each to their own. Like children among their steady elders, they lag and leap, glow and dwindle as they play on their way to becoming stars, or even a single great star, in time. Nor have they learned yet to twinkle by themselves, but owe their less lively light to the sun itself, behind which they have to hide for half the day.
The lesser and the greater planets each mirror the moon in differerent ways. To the mind or to the eye, the greater planets never dim like the moon, to a mere crescent of their fullness. The lesser ones are moon-like, but curiously, they show their hollowed darkness only every other time they approach the day. Alternately, they plunge sunward in a blaze of evening glory or fade as a wisp into the morning. Not that the greater ones are without their recession too, but daylight never much dents their profile. They shrink away to a distant point, condensing , for the first time, to perfect roundness as they move toward the day-lit half of the sky. But, once again, this time in their own moon-like way, they round out their greatest glory in the higher heavens of night, never reached by their lesser siblings.
Everything is a Star, or a Star-in-the-making. With stars, we immediately know that their modest appearance belies a greatness beyond imagining. This instant recognition of their singular splendor is perhaps the loudest voice of an intuition which assures us of the realities reached only by the mind; how, to truly close the eyes and senses, even momentarily, brings more to bear on the nature of things than any amount of common observation will ever do alone. And yet, observation tutors the thinking to sing the duet in unison. As does intuition train the thinking mind to find the pitch to set the whole symphony in tune.
Stars, it would seem, are a good way to start the day.