The Rule of the Stars

NASA Image Archives

The rule of the stars has been apparent to human beings throughout much of the history of our race.  We have observed their shapes and configurations, their brightness and darkness, their regularities and changes.  We have associated the stars with our gods, ruling over the cosmos and our little patch of it.  We have used the stars to find our way on the tumultuous oceans and placid seas.  We have given them names and honored places in our literature.  We have tried to find our destiny in their graceful movements.  We have searched among them for others who search the stars, and for new places which we might one day call home.

The stars are there for our lifetimes, and the lifetimes of our parents, and the lifetimes of our children, and the lifetimes of our grandparents, and the lifetimes of our grandchildren.  Their very constancy makes them compelling for us. The stars at which we gaze hand in hand may be the very stars at which our ancestors gazed many millenia before us.  The stars at which we gaze may be the stars at which other beings have gazed on other planets in other galaxies, and it may be that in later epochs other beings will wonder if there were beings who gazed at the same stars many millenia before.  Long after our species has met its end, the stars will still whirl around one another, moving irrevocably towards their own end.

The eternal motion of the stars is inspirational to us as they tug at their planetary children, performing the dance that gives rise to precession, opposition, and eclipse.  Their lives give us a light that continues to shine long after their death, and sometimes a light that pulses with the beat of a heart that has long since stopped.  Their dance of light often leads to the last dance with the implacable darkness as their light empties itself into the inescapable singularity, perhaps to join a new dance in the light of another dimension.  Perhaps the dance of the stars is what we reflect when we dance in the night as their beauty is visible and showers us with a light which has traveled at a breakneck pace to us through a heat that could disintegrate us and a cold that could end the dance of the atoms within us, only to alight softly on us, ending its prodigious journey in the midst of our dance.

The stars do not rule our lives because they are part of a cosmic order that controls our destiny.  The stars do not rule our lives because they are the incarnation of deities.  The stars rule our lives simply because of our endless fascination with them, because of their chaotic and orderly dance so reminiscent of our own, because of their faded dying beauty that is a reflection of our lives, and because like us they live on even in death through the light they shone upon the universe.

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This entry was posted in Philosophy, Poetic Prose, Religion, Science. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Rule of the Stars

  1. galadrial says:

    Says YOU.The Stars can take your breath away, when they fall like a midnight spangled curtain into the edge of the sea.The Stars can inspire you to poetry, music, or even love, when they are just so in the night sky.I can stand beneath the great bowl of the sky, and feel a connection I never dreamed of in the most lavish cathedral.Intellectually, I may understand what. and where a star is…but that doesn’t explain why it can make me  half drunk to watch them seem to dance before my eyes. Under the night sky, before the stars I am both humbled…and exalted…a part of the all, no matter how small. So Harrumph.(And hope you has a good day)

  2. Nous_Apeiron says:

    @galadrial – It is amazing to go stargazing, isn’t it?  I know what you mean about feeling humbled, exalted, and a part of the all.  I’ve had that feeling many times, and will again I’m sure.I hope you have a good day too. 🙂

  3. galadrial says:

    If you have never been, I heartily suggest the sky over Ocracoke Island NC at Sunset…you won’t want to sleep…too many stars to see, or count…

  4. Nous_Apeiron says:

    @galadrial – That sounds lovely.  I hope it’s as amazing as the night sky in the Florida panhandle, or the Rockies in Colorado, or the Gulf Coast of Texas.  Maybe I’ll make it there someday. 

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