The Spirit of Astronomy

By Sam Selig

Everyone has a deep desire to find inner peace, reach enlightenment, understand a Higher Power; to make a connection to something so vast, so omnipotent, that it can never be something we fully comprehend. To me, this is where Spirituality meets Astronomy, and for this reason everyone actually loves astronomy.

If I set up a telescope on a sidewalk somewhere, anywhere, people will gather without knowing why. A small crowd will form, full of questions. A little congregation of pent-up curiosity that has finally found an outlet.

Most of us have an innate curiosity about the planet we live on and the universe surrounding us.

It never fails that someone will walk up, peer through the eyepiece, ask me a question that’s been on their mind for years, and breathe a great sigh of relief: “Wow, that’s amazing” or “See, I knew it!”. The thing is, most people think about these things, but they don’t always get a chance to actually find out the answers. Life seems to always get in the way.

It is my firm belief that a small portion of time taken out of your life to explore the universe is an investment that brings back enormous returns. What kind of return? A return that helps define the difference between mere ‘existence’ and a life well lived.

Looking at the people that gather around my telescopes, feeling their appreciation for the simple act of letting them look through the eyepiece and for my willingness to answer their questions, reaffirms to me that people are hungry to learn about astronomy, about the universe and about our place in it.

Looking into the night sky and appreciating its beauty comes naturally, we all have a hard-wired curiosity that compels us, whenever we get the chance, to get more information about what’s up there. We are innately interested in, and more than a little uncomfortable about the sheer size of the cosmos.

Astronomy and spirituality offer two complimentary ways of seeing and experiencing the Universe.

The science of astronomy provides the observational and theoretical basis for our physical understanding of the external Universe, while spirituality involves our individual experience and understanding of the inner Universe. Our lives are greatly enhanced by a blending of both the scientific and the spiritual rather than solely relying on one as a means of interpreting the Universe.

Whether it is a sunset, a meteor shower, a full Moon, a sunrise, an eclipse, or the beautiful starry sky, an astronomical understanding of what we see leads us to feel more deeply connected to the world around us, and this love of what we see brings us joy, awe, inspiration and transformation.

I find it a great help, spiritually, to have something which grounds me, and in times of difficulty, can give me hope. I’ve had some wonderful times in my life, but I’ve also had some severe and difficult times. In those hard times, I would go out and look at the sky and perhaps see Orion, my favorite constellation, looking very strong and brave. Always a resolute friend—one that I could come back to when in need. Looking up, I remember how amazing things truly are. I gain a sense of bravery from the stars, a feeling that I am part of something more, something eternal. That I would get through the tough times and would find a better place. A place where I could walk with that of God.

Sam Selig is an Amateur Astronomer and owner/operator of Star Party Productions. Visit


This entry was posted in Inspiration. Bookmark the permalink.