Spiritual Inquiry Groups Look to the Night Sky

By Dean Cerny

The Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will be offering up to two Spiritual Inquiry Groups based on the book The Soul of the Night: An Astronomical Pilgrimage, by astrophysicist Chet Raymo. The group will meet one day in September and one day in October, so consider acquiring and starting the book soon.

Raymo writes:

“Who goes abroad at night? The glowworm, trailing phosphorescence. The whippoorwill and the cuckoo, self-announcing. The bullfrog and the cricket, contrapuntal, out of tune. The owl and the moth are abroad at night; one is the other magnified. The hedgehog is abroad, with spikes tipped by stars. The woodcock, in flirtatious circles. The slug and the snail, on threads of slime. Into collied night, sable-vested night, go specters. And incubi and succubi, with sinister intent. Werewolves transfigure. Vampires seize and suck. Spars of sailing ships are struck with St. Elmo’s fire. The fata morgana beckons. Poets go abroad at night: ‘This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary. The trees of the mind are black.’

“And astronomers. When the sun goes down, astronomers rise into their element like shades and badgers.”

With eloquence, astronomer Chet Raymo invites us to rise and enter into his “grace-filled” philosophical ponderings concerning the mysterious phenomena of the night sky. Raymo’s essays are proof of the beauty found when science and religion inform the human spirit’s quest to answer life’s greatest questions. This book is a source of rich thought-provoking discussions.

In an attempt to accommodate everyone’s schedule, the Spiritual Inquiry Groups will meet two times on the same day each month. The dates selected are Tuesday, September 19, and Tuesday, October 17, one group meeting 2-4pm and the other group 6-8pm. You are welcome to attend any group at any time.

The public is invited to participate and need not be affiliated with the Pagosa Fellowship. Meetings will be held at the Fellowship, located at Greenbriar Plaza, 301 North Pagosa Blvd., Unit B-15. If you have any questions, call (970) 731-7900.

You may order this book from Bookends, located in downtown Pagosa Springs (970-264-1635). Used copies are also available from online book dealers.

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