Falling Stars

In the sixth chapter of Revelation we read that "the stars of heaven fell unto the earth," and since Mrs. Eddy states that the opening of the sixth seal refers to the present age, students of her writings read these verses with an added interest. The child gazing up at the sky and watching the flash of a falling star probably thinks that one of the stars has fallen from the blue vault of the heavens into the unknown depths below the earth, and he would be surprised when assured that there were just as many stars to be seen in the sky as before, in fact that the so–called "falling star" is not a star at all. We know the wonderful care shown by Mrs. Eddy in her choice of words. She frequently uses the word star as an illustration of those gifted with a clear understanding of Truth. In "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 360) she refers to Jesus and Paul as "stars of the first magnitude," and in her poem "Christ and Christmas" this word is again used as a synonym for the appearing of Truth. Thus it is interesting to note that a study of astronomy reveals the fact that, even on the human plane, stars do not fall.

Falling stars or meteors are of several kinds. Some consist of small dark fragments which the earth encounters as it travels on its path round the sun. As they meet the atmosphere of the earth their speed is so great that they become hot, and to the observer they look like stars. Some of these dark fragments reach the earth; others are completely consumed by the heat as they rush through the air. Then there are certain well–known showers of meteors occurring at definite intervals, such as the November meteors. None of these are ever supposed to reach the earth; they follow a known path round the sun, and every year as the earth crosses their path many are caught in the atmosphere and look like falling stars. These meteoric showers are probably allied to comets.

"On upward wing"
July 26, 1919

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