This quote is reblogged from a transcript of episode 40 of Chip August’s podcast, Sex, Love, and Intimacy. The episode is called ‘Brian Swimme: Love in the Cosmos’
So what I’d like you to do is go out some night but get a blanket and lie down under the stars. So you’re lying there on your back and you’re looking up. It’s great to have a child with you because they’re freer than we are in our adult consciousness. So there you are, you’re looking up and if it’s a clear night, you’d see these thousands of stars. The cultural conditioning is that we’re looking up.
But what I want you to do with your imagination is just put yourself on the bottom of the planet. So imagine that you’re looking down because wherever you are can be the bottom of the planet and in this cultural convention is what’s up and what’s down. Then as you’re looking down; looking down, down, down, I want you to realize that all of those stars you see are drawing you toward them. Then if the earth could be made to disappear, you would just be drawn right down toward them.
You’d fall, you would fall down into the stars and the only reason you weren’t there is because the earth is drawing you to itself. Now, what’s important to realize is that we kind of think that we’re lying there on the ground, we’re thinking that it’s a wait but actually you have to realize that wait is a relationship. It’s a relationship between you and the earth. If you can make the earth disappear, you have no weight whatsoever. So you can even feel your weight as the way your body is experiencing the earth’s attraction of you.
So simultaneously, this moment comes when you make that switch and you realize, “Wow! I’m looking down at the stars and the only reason I’m here, suspended in space is because the earth is attracted to me.” The moment can come and may not come the first time, but when it comes, it’s really an ecstatic experience.
Just a few months ago, I read Brian Swimme’s excellent book, Journey of the Universe, written with Mary Evelyn Tucker. I highly recommend it.
Just this morning, I read an article on NPR.org, written by Adam Frank, that reminded me of this exercise. Here is an excerpt:
There is no up or down and you are not a resident of some city, some state or even some nation. You are not a Democrat or a Republican, a dockworker or a doctor. Right now, right at this very moment, you are a free agent hurtling through the midst of a vast city of stars, an all-encompassing architecture of suns.