Carl Sagan, that most wonderful and wise multi-hyphenate (astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, author, and more) said something so thought-provoking and profound that the first time I heard it, it made the breath catch in my throat and my heart shiver:
“The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore, we’ve learned most of what we know. Recently, we’ve waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
I’ve remained captivated by those words because they speak so poetically and beautifully to the greater knowing that I believe is shared amongst virtually all religions; it makes itself a touchstone along spiritual journeys, and is even supported by those more rational and scientific minds, who state that energy can neither be created or destroyed, it only changes form.
Many cultures and theologies have an appreciation for this energy, this star stuff. In the Western world, we have some familiarity with the concepts of Chi (Chinese) or Ki (from Japan). But we seem to be fearful or cautious about the unseen having an effect upon our lives. That’s why meditation can be so beautiful and beneficial: the quieting of one’s mind, not to make something happen, but just to relax, to breathe, to behold and be held.
So many of us live our lives caught within a perpetual storm: thundering thoughts, sundering hope from our hearts, being in the world but forgetting that the far greater part of us is of the world too. We can be the calm in the eye of the storm; we can point our boats at the lighthouse and the shoreline and let go of the oars. We are energy, ever changing form; as vast as the ocean, and with brighter lights inside of us than the most luminous star stuff.
And in those brief, beautiful, soul-fulfilling moments when this knowing gently, graciously reminds us of who we really are … everything is perfectly aligned.
“and the years go by
close your eyes
’cause everything is
don’t fail me now
ask me how
perfectly aligned …”
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