Looking to the Heavens: Random Thoughts

Peace, one and all…

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During the holidays, I read Alistair McGrath’s Glimpsing the Face of God.  It was sitting on the shelf of the local libary and so I thought I’d give it a whirl.  It was an interesting book, though I didn’t enjoy the second half quite as much as the first.  The main thrust of the book was about exploring the meaning of life, and how Christianity offers the best account of this meaning.  There were some interesting reflections on the meanings that looking to the heavens can suggest.

Looking to the heavens can prompt us to consider origins and meanings.  I have often looked at the stars with a sense of awe, at their majesty and haunting beauty.  It can, however, also leave us with a sense of despondency, as we consider the isolation and distances involved.  This resonates with me in some ways.  I can recall being frightened of the sheer vastness of space as a child.  It could sometimes feel so very lonely and isolated, for all its undeniable beauty.  McGrath discussed both these points very forcefully, though I was less impressed by some of his conclusions.

Insha Allah, as time and enthusiasm permits, I’m going to be posting more pictures of the cosmos, as well as some of my subsequent reflections.

Ma’as salama,
Abdur Rahman

7 thoughts on “Looking to the Heavens: Random Thoughts

  1. Salams Abdur Rahman,

    As well as the cosmos, reflecting on our “inner space” fills me with similar awe, the sub-atomic world. Our own body is like a Universe in itself. The activity going on inside us is mind boggling.

    As the quote attributed to Imam Ali (may God enoble his countenance) goes: “The Universe is within you”.

  2. Salaams BM,

    The heavens above are indeed beautiful. The heavens inside us are beautiful too – in either a sub-atomic or metaphysical sense.

    I’ve not come across that saying of Ali (God ennoble his countenance) before – so thank you for relating it. Could I ask you where it came from? I’d be interested in finding out more.

    It’s strange, but I was watching a programme recently in which it described trillion or so organisms (germs and bacteria) that live in our small intestines. I was immediately struck by the thought that, for these organisms, my body is the universe! What a strange thought! So I can relate to what you say.

    God bless you always

    Abdur Rahman

  3. Salam ‘alaykum Abdur Rahman,

    Thought you’d like to read the full quote of Imam Ali – “You [humans] think that you are insignificant, while there is a great universe contained in you.”

    ps I didn’t find it in the Thomas Cleary book, must have read it somewhere else. Found the above on the net.

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