A Sermon in Outer Space
Despite its fictional context, A Sermon In Outer Space
discusses some important questions regarding the relation of the
"scientific" to the traditional view of the cosmos, using the metaphor
of outer space as a starting-point. We think readers may find it rather
There are several chapels aboard H.M.S.S.
Imperial Princess, but before her last great voyage, a service was held
in the Grand Auditorium, which is also used for concerts and important
addresses. It was celebrated by Sai Althea Matikhinde, a Votary of the
Golden Temple at Nevrayapurh who is also Honorary Professor of thealogy
at the University of Nevrayapurh.
MY DAUGHTERS, many of you are about to spend several months, perhaps even the better part of several years, in outer space.
yet there are those among my sister-kin who question whether we ought
to be in outer space at all. And I shall tell you why they question it.
Lady made the good earth for us to tread upon. She raised up the sacred
mountains, upon each of which some people of our world have looked as
on the centre of the earth. She has set the sun and the moon above us,
and each of the seven planets, arrayed in her proper sphere. And looking
on these things, we understand our place in the world She has made.
we journey into outer space, those things no longer stand in the
relation to us wherein Our Lady placed them. And the other symbols - the
fundamental symbols by which we understand the pattern of the world are
likewise taken from us. The four seasons in their regular rotation. The
four directions, North, South, East and West. Even the four Elements
are removed as we travel through the vast abyss of pure Aethyr.
each of these signs, my daughters: the seven planets, the four
directions, the passing seasons; each of these and many like them were
given to us that we might see in the world about us the outward signs of
the true cosmos - the cosmos that was in the heart of Dea before a
speck of dust was born and will be when all the stars are gone.
world, with the Sun as its great heart and the moon as its sensitive
soul; with the planets in their right array above her, with the
mountains and the valleys - our world is a miniature Universe, a model
of the Cosmos that perfectly reflects the true structure of the Whole.
However far we travel in space, we shall not see that Whole. For however
much we see, we do not see all. We saw it when we stood upon the earth,
if we had eyes to see. We cannot see it here.
Now each world
inhabited by a creature akin to maid has also its Universe-in-miniature
arrayed by Dea. And, so long as that creature, akin to maid, stays
within her world, she can see the Whole. But there are worlds, and you
may well encounter them, where this vision has been lost. It is not
necessary to travel into space to lose this vision. Even an awareness of
the existence of space may be enough to throw the world awry. Once a
creature realizes that her sun is not the only sun, her earth not the
centre of the Universe, she may be pitched in her soul, into the void;
her world become all accident and chaos.
My daughters, we have
long known that one sacred mountain is not the only sacred mountain. We
have known that others have sacred mountains also. We have known that
each people regards her sacred mountain as the centre of the world and
that each people is right. These are matters that a schoolgirl knows.
For there is but one Mountain, and every sacred mountain on the earth is
but an incarnation of that mountain.
So there is but one earth,
and one sun that is the heart and centre of the Cosmos. And every world
that has a creature akin to maid is that earth, and every sun is that
sun. One does not have to stand upon the earth to know these things.
Neither has one to travel into outer space to lose them.There are
worlds, as I have said, that have lost the knowledge of these things.
Worlds where the partial knowledge of the stars has severed the roots of
maid upon the earth. Terrible are such worlds; for once the roots of
maid are severed in her heart all else begins to crumble; until, in the
worst of those worlds, the servant obeys not the mistress, the child
obeys not the mother, the people obey not the princess. Order is gone
and chaos prevails. In the worst of those worlds the people dress in
mean rags, not because they are poor, but because they can no longer
abide beauty and comeliness in themselves. When the harmony of the
Cosmos is forgotten, all other harmony withers from the root.
is not your way, my daughters, for you have the wise to teach you and
the hearts of children wherewith to learn. Such a path of folly lies not
before you. Yet even so, it is a dangerous thing to remove a maid from
the signs Our Lady has set about us. From the great sun at the heart of
the Cosmos. From the seasons and the North and South. From the ocean and
the wind. Maid was not born to live void of such signs.
why some among my sisters say that we should not come into outer space.
And all things being serene, I should give them the right. Yet all is
not serene in these last days. Dark things arise in the northerly parts
of the earth, and in the black depths of space they arise, perhaps to
menace the peace of the Celestial Empire. Yes, and in the very folds of
time and space they may arise. And wherever the Celestial Empire may
find an attacker, there must she place a defender; even in the darkest
place. You knights of Vikhë need not a votary to tell you that.
so, my daughters, for better or for worse, you are here in outer space.
What then should your ghostly* mother bid you do? What signs are given
to you who have travelled outside the goodly world of signs?
You travelers of the aethyr should think always of the Strivate
** — the Thread-Spirit that joins all the worlds and all the souls as
pearls upon a string. Know that wherever you travel and into whatever
seeming emptiness, you are threaded always upon the Strivate, which is
the very Breath of Dea. And know that however far you wander and
whatever sights you see, and however far a creature may have fallen from
Her, in the end there is no thing that is not Dea.
* Ghostly = spiritual
** Aristasian Strivate, cf. Sanskrit Sutratman
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