Music's Like a Snuggie for Your Soul


Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy Mt. St. Helen's Day!

Today's theme is a nod to Henrey Wadsworth Longfellow who said:  
Being all fashioned of the self-same dust, let us be merciful as well as just.
  On a related note: 
 by Gerald Grow

I was moved by an editorial 
about how the Hubble telescope 
is showing us the immensity of 
the universe. With our sun one 
among 50 billion stars in our 
galaxy, among more than 50 
billion galaxies, it is easy to 
think of ourselves as lost on a 
speck in space.

Indeed, one common outcome 

of modern education is the 
widespread feeling that we 
humans are forever separated 
from the rest of the universe by 
unimaginable distances, and 
that the forces operating in the 
universe are utterly alien to us.

Spiritual traditions give us ways 

of feeling connected with the universe. 
I want to remind you of another, 
scientific, way of feeling connected 
to the stars.

The same science that reveals to us 

the vastness of the universe also 
tells us another story: Astronomers 
explain that all the elements heavier 
than hydrogen originated inside 
stars. The carbon in the ink on a 
page, and the silicon in glass and 
microchips, were created in the heart 
of a star, long ago, as that star shined 
by fusing hydrogen. The iron that 
carries the oxygen in your blood as 
you read this, was created when a 
star, in its dying phase, exploded.

You and I are not merely separated 

from the galaxies by unimaginable 
immensities of space; we are also 
connected to them by unimaginable 
immensities of time. We are literally 
made from stars. We are their 
descendants. The only difference 
between us and stars is time.

I don't know how this way of 

looking at things strikes you, 
but it raises in me an absurdly 
wonderful sense of celebration, 
and I look at the night sky 
not with a sense of hopeless 
separateness, but with a feeling 
of kinship: There shine the origins 
of every element in our bodies. 
Because stars exist, I exist. The 
processes that created those billions 
of unimaginably distant galaxies 
also created us.

We human beings are not separate 

from the universe. Those galaxies 
are not merely distant-- they are 
distant cousins.

With this in mind, I urge you 

not to miss the nightly wintertime 
rising of Orion in the Southeastern 
sky, followed by the star, Sirius, 
flashing red, blue, and golden light. 
Or the summer rising of Scorpio 
across the Southern sky, with red 
Antares burning at its heart.

That is a kinship worth celebrating.

I honor the place within you 
where the entire Universe resides;
I honor the place within you of love, 
of light, of truth, of peace; 
I honor the place within you, where, 
when you are in that place in you, 
and I am in that place in me, 
there is only one of us.


Also, I'll admit i wasn't even alive during this eruption. Anybody have any good stories to pass on to my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Strawberry Shortcake generation? 


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