Star Teachers

by AE (George William Russell)


Original Language English

Even as a bird sprays many-coloured fires,
The plumes of paradise, the dying light
Rays through the fevered air in misty spires
     That vanish in the heights.

These myriad eyes that look on me are mine;
Wandering beneath them I have found again
The ancient ample moment, the divine,
     The God-root within men.

For this, for this the lights innumerable
As symbols shine that we the true light win:
For every star and every deep they fill     
     Are stars and deeps within.

-- from Wild Poets of Ecstasy: An Anthology of Ecstatic Verse, Edited by D. J. Moores

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

The stars spread across the night sky have fascinated humans since we first thought to look up. The illuminated night sky is the first campfire, the first kiva, the first movie theater, the first tabernacle. It is the first place of initiation and of awakening self-awareness. Since ancient days, the stars have spoken to us, conjuring stories from our psyches; thus, they teach us of our deep selves.

These myriad eyes that look on me are mine...

These eyes in the night sky that look down upon us, watching the human drama and the unfolding of the human spirit, they are our own eyes. In seeing these heavenly witnesses, we begin to see as they see. Seeing the stars spread across the immense night sky, we know ourselves better, and our minds expand to take in a wider reality.

Wandering beneath them I have found again
The ancient ample moment, the divine,
     The God-root within men.


I love that phrase -- "the ancient ample moment." In the silence beneath the stars, the mind settles, the self-centered self fades, and we enter the present moment. We discover that this moment -- right now -- is immense, and encompasses the whole universe and the full stretch of time from the long forgotten past to the unknown future. And it all meets here, in the present moment, centered in you. Such a profoundly peaceful meeting of all that is brings us into the awareness of the Divine, the God-root within.

For this, for this the lights innumerable
As symbols shine that we the true light win...


From the esoteric point of view, the light the eyes see, the light of the stars in the night sky, is not the real light. No matter how intensely bright and clear, it is a reflection of the eternal light of consciousness that shines just beneath the surface of all existence. The stars themselves become symbols, representatives, embodying a fragment of that "true light," reminding the vastness of creation to look within for the real radiance.

For every star and every deep they fill     
     Are stars and deeps within.


Finding that light, we discover that we too shine like the stars within the deep mystery.



Recommended Books: AE (George William Russell)

Collected Poems of George William Russell Wild Poets of Ecstasy: An Anthology of Ecstatic Verse By Still Waters: Lyrical Poems Old and New The Nuts of Knowledge: Lyrical Poems Old and New AE in the Irish Theosophist
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Star Teachers