The Meaning of Stardust

I did my first nonreligious funeral yesterday. 

In my final two years of formal ministry, I didn’t believe in heaven or hell but my audience did and I wasn’t going to open up a debate in the funeral chapel. It became increasingly difficult to stay within the parameters of Christian sentiment so I relied more and more on liturgical texts to get me through the service.

Now I’m writing my own thoughts.  No liturgies. No divinely inspired words.  No oracles of any kind. Just my stuff. 

Here’s what came to me yesterday:

photo by David Mercer

I’m told that all matter comes from stardust. For a moment in time, tiny space particles  came together to make something extraordinary–a human being.  I suggest that this body has changed form and has come a step closer to its original oneness with the universe. I wonder what new life will be formed next from these remains.

And what will we make of the remainder of our lives? 

I spent a lot of decades coming to the conclusion that everything that happens in our lives–our losses and gains, sadness and happiness, success and failure, hatred and love–has only the meaning we make of it using our perspective, wisdom, and practice. We take what has occurred up to this moment and use it to give meaning to the next one.

“I used to say, “Ashes to ashes and dust to dust” 

Now I say, “Stardust to stardust and moment to moment.”  

6 thoughts on “The Meaning of Stardust

  1. Nice sentiment. Probably closer to divine than lots of your former earth based stuff. I always did sort of wonder why we concentrated all of our focus, all theology, on the ashes and dust part of existence. Some of your fans, at least myself, still hope for a glimpse further out, maybe another dimension, who knows. I still have my belief, not trying to bring you back into the fold. But I enjoy your writing. I imagine that your most recent service had compassion and dignity. There is a difference in believing something and having faith. You have ditched the first but seem to have kept the latter without the deism. It is uplifting to read.


  2. Very lovely, David! Thank you!

    I keep wondering what will be the lovely texts of the future, carrying weight and power similar to the current biblical ones…. I think especially the first paragraph could be one of these!

    I think I’m a little broader than you in the area of meaning…. rather than its being something strictly personal, or even inter-personal, I think our lives could have meaning to the universe/s at large in some way…. though I suspect you are mostly drawing a contrast with meaning as dictated or determined by a higher power.

    Thank you so much again
    Looking forward to reading more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. I’m not sure how broad my thinking is or if I’m still formulating thoughts in relation to earlier assumptions. I’m still just feeling my away along. I’m interested in knowing what your thought are.


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