Heavenly Body

By William J. Furney
The Bali Times

The moon has been unusually close to Earth during the past week, extending its lunar force through gravitational pull even further on our lives, more so that you might think.

Because of its bendy orbit – elliptical – our nearest celestial body has been 300,000 kilometers closer to us than usual in recent days, and to viewers down here appeared up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter, said NASA.

So I stood out in the garden around 11pm on Sunday night to get an eyeful, and it seemed more impressive than usual. It wasn’t until I whipped out a pair of binoculars and had a look, though, that it was truly an inspiring sight – the heavenly moon, pockmarked and scarred by asteroids, and bearing the footprints of man and American flags and photographs left by astronauts of their families was at the same time an enigma and homely.

(And by the way, if you don’t already know, astrologers believe our moon was formed by the debris of a massive object, the size of Mars, slamming into Earth billions of years ago. So in a way, parts of the moon are parts of Earth.)

The word lunacy (lunatic) has its roots in the lunar object above us, and police forces the world over note a marked spike in crime rates on full moons; hospital emergency rooms are busier, too. A 1978 US psychiatric study, Human aggression and the lunar synodic cycle, noted an apparent link between aggression and full moons.

“Homicides, suicides, fatal traffic accidents, aggravated assaults and psychiatric emergency room visits occurring in Dade County, Florida, all show lunar periodicities. Homicides and aggravated assaults demonstrate statistically significant clustering of cases around full moon,” it said.

“The existence of a biological rhythm of human aggression which resonates with the lunar synodic cycle is postulated.”

It’s impossible not to be influenced in some way by our only natural satellite, whether simply gazing at its beauty or feeling its effects on a weighty level. And then there’s its forceful pull on Earth’s oceans, it’s believed influence on fertility and birth rates – and some buy and sell stocks based on the moon’s phases (now would be a good time for some stellar assistance).

I’m left thinking there are forces at play even though we don’t know there are, and even before we even know what our desires and wishes are. How many times have things just fallen into place for you, often before you even realized there was something you wanted or some situation you wanted to be in or be part of? You may not realize events are created or materialize, or you may put such chance occurrences down to fate. But that’s too easy. And I think it’s foolish to ignore and write off forces and objects that surround us as having nothing to do with us (we don’t live in a bubble – bubbling universes maybe, but that’s another column).

I’m the first to say there’s a very fine line between placing your beliefs in the workings of the cosmos or the alignments of planets and other heavenly bodies and retaining a sane outlook on the world – and being perceived as such.

But equally, leaving your life to providence and luck is fairly mindless. For sure, people strive to build their lives and the opportunities they seek, and for many this leads to success; for untold others, it’s a life of grind with little triumph. Those who have been boldly successful, no matter what the field – business, medicine, science, the arts – are among the first to say there was something else that helped them on their rise, something more than luck and destiny, and that, I believe, may have something to do with not just their outlook on life, but their beliefs.

Ponder, and enjoy the holidays.


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