We have lost our ability to see the night sky

“The night sky and studies of it have a historical place in both ancient and modern cultures. In the past, for instance, farmers have used the state of the night sky as a calendar to determine when to plant crops. Many cultures have drawn constellations between stars in the sky, using them in association with legends and mythology about their deities.

The anciently developed belief of astrology is generally based on the belief that relationships between heavenly bodies influence or convey information about events on Earth. The scientific study of the night sky and bodies observed within it, meanwhile, takes place in the science of astronomy.

The visibility of celestial objects in the night sky is affected by light pollution. The presence of the Moon in the night sky has historically hindered astronomical observation by increasing the amount of ambient lighting. With the advent of artificial light sources, however, light pollution has been a growing problem for viewing the night sky.”

Pasted from <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_sky>

Is it simple irony that we, the Faustian Civilization, have lost our view of God? Or are we deceived?

Until less than a few hundred years ago – a blip in the history of humans (a half-million years) – every person could – probably did – look up into the sky at night and have his own intimate relationship with God. The stars drew upward, and inspired awe, fear, and worship. It was easy to imagine that the stars dominated our lives in some way.

Our ancestors lived with the night sky. They found their gods up there, and small wonder because there is nothing as awe-inspiring as the sight of the Milky Way on a moon-less night.

But most of us never see it. This is a new development in the history of humanity that we give little thought to. We don’t see it, are never astonished, and never experience that direct connection with God.

Our ability to connect with and know our gods has been cut off: electric lights, indoor city living, ambient light pollution, TV, computers and the eight-hour work day have separated individuals from the stars – the root of religion. This has happened in less than two hundred years.

We have no personal sight of God. Humans are directed to turn to others to discover their intimate relationship with God. Our personal contact with God is replaced by images that tell us how to believe and how to act. People of Faust’s time were already questioning their priests. It is ironic that the movement that returned Christianity to the people, spawned the industrial boom that shut out God. Perhaps it’s not ironic at all, for the same movement removed the magic.

…And then they took away the sky. We no longer know the stars as our ancestors did – an intimate part not just of human life, but of life itself.

We are incapable of that personal experience of God. The cathedral is rendered invisible by light – and the worshippers have forgotten they are in it. The routine experience of agape is gone.

What does it mean when our direct connection to God is cut off? Men are being diverted, enclosed, put to sleep slowly, over generations, and they forget their connection to the sky, the nightly enchantment: their transport. Their wildness is gone. They forget they had no masters. Is this our Faustian bargain: our technology blocking us from the sight of God – our prison walls? Is this Hell, and are we locked in it – we who have never seen the face of God or tasted the eternal joy of heaven?

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