the galaxy the cosmos

Try this the next time you go stargazing:

“As you lie on your back, it is natural to assume that you are looking up at the stars, but “up” is just a cultural construct. Neither Earth nor the Milky Way have an up or a down. Indeed, when you stand on Earth’s surface, you are not standing up; rather, you are sticking out into space.

So, as you lie on your back, instead of thinking of yourself as looking up, picture it so that you are on the underside of Earth looking down into the blackness of the night sky. It may take a while, but eventually you will experience all the stars as way down there below you; and you will be surprised that you are not falling down there to join them.

You don’t fall because Earth’s gravitational pull holds you. It is not your weight, but the Earth’s hold that suspends you above the stars. If Earth’s gravitational embrace were to suddenly vanish, you would descend into the dark chasm of stars below.

As you lie there feeling yourself hovering within this gravitational bond while peering down at the billions of stars drifting in the infinite chasm of space, you will have entered an experience of the universe that is not just human and not just biological.

You will have entered a relationship from a galactic perspective, becoming for a moment a part of the Milky Way Galaxy experiencing what it is like to be the Milky Way Galaxy.”

- Excerpt from Developing Ecological Consciousness: The End of Separation by Christopher Uhl

Photography credit: Starl0ck