Light Pollution

“Once upon a time, before electricity, people spent every night of their lives in the dark. They had candles and small lamps, but basically, the experience of night time was one of quiet and dim light.

And without so many lights everywhere, the nighttime sky was darker. Which is to say, it was dark enough that anybody who looked up into the sky could see very easily the delicate interplay of a billion twinkling stars. The night sky appeared as it really is – infinitely deep, not flat and grey, as it appears now.

And this is so sad, because the nighttime sky is easily one of the most beautiful and profound spectacles ever to be experienced by any conscious being living here on earth. The universe is filled with amazing things that we can barely imagine.

Before electricity, every night served as a reminder that space is vast and beyond human comprehension. And every night, all of us here on earth could see for ourselves that we are all very very small, huddled close together on this miniscule fleck of a rock floating in infinite space. This is the way in which the nighttime sky shaped the consciousness of all beings, and this sense in turn kept life on earth in relative balance.

But now, with so much light shining on our every activity ‘down here’, and with so much light spilling into the sky, obscuring everything but a few of the brightest stars, who would even bother to look up?

This is one of the ways in which human beings have lost sight of their place in the universe.”