Unification News for January 2000

The Starchild

Ina Conneally
January, 2000

Once in heaven there lived a starchild together with other stars. At night they all shone brightly upon the earth but as soon as the sun appeared, their mysterious light faded away. The starchild didnít know what joy was, nor what sadness meant. All it knew was being part of all the other stars, as if they were its brothers and sisters, part of the sun and moon as if they were its father and mother and the great universe as holding everyone in a passionate and kind embrace.

When the starchild looked upon the earth, it saw beings of a different kind. Like the starchild, they were five-pointed too, with two arms, two legs and a head on top. Unlike the starchild, they could move around freely, and they could talk to each other, touch each other and laugh and cry together. The starchild grew envious of these beings. So one night in its mind it went to the biggest one among them, the north star, and asked whether it could live, if only for one day, in the world of humans. The north star answered: "None among us has ever desired to go into this world. But if it is your honest wish, you may see the four kinds of love which lead to joy and the one kind which leads to sadness in the world of heart."

Then the starchild was thrown upon the earth, and it awoke on a bright morning in the middle of a schoolyard. Children were playing everywhere, and there was a round thing that they were kicking, as round as a planet. They sometimes tumbled over each other and shouted wildly, and the starchild thought by itself: "This must be one of the joys that the north star mentioned before." But as soon as the game was over, the children separated and each one sat down, not saying much to the others. As soon as the children started again, the starchild wanted to join them, so as to be part of all the excitement that made everyone run around and be happy. But it didnít know the rules of the game. The other children became annoyed quickly and told the starchild to leaveóotherwise they would hurt it. "This is not like at home," thought the starchild; "even though we cannot move at all and laugh and be happy, we are all like brothers and sisters to each other and every newborn star is welcomed into the cosmos."

Suddenly there appeared someone on the playfield that the children all called "coach." Now the game began again, but this time it seemed to be more organized than before. The coach was like the center of everyone else, and he had a thing in his mouth in which he blew to draw attention to himself. The starchild thought that he must be the father to all because the children were so close to himóhe must be the sun to them. It went right up to the coach and slung its arms around his neck. "I am one of your children," it whispered in a tender voice. The coach put it down and looked at the starchild in bewilderment. And he explained to it that a coach could not be hugged, especially not in the schoolyard and especially not during a soccergame. "But who will love me then?" asked the starchild. "Well, your parents can do this at night when they tuck you into bed," the coach replied, "that is, if you have any parents." He then thought of his own little boy whom he hadnít seen for a few months and who was tucked into bed by someone else. The starchild meanwhile remembered the sun and the moon who were like a father and mother to all the stars. Even though they were very far away, their rays of light would touch everyone tenderly.

As it sat down and thought deeply about all it had just experienced, a little girl suddenly sat down next to it and looked into the starchildís face. "Your eyes are so beautiful, like two silver stars," she exclaimed, "and your hair shines like the golden sun. You must have fallen right out of the sky!" As she said this, her own eyes shone with yearning and her face glowed. The starchild was happy. "Finally someone understands who I am," it thought. Smiling at the girl, it said: "Will you then love me?" "I will," the girl replied. "Let me kiss you on your lips!" So it happened that the starchild was kissed on the lips, but inside it felt nothing. "If this is the other kind of love," it thought sadly by itself, "then it means not much, either."

Just then another child appeared on the field. It was a little boy who couldnít run around and play because he was lame. Slowly he approached the starchild, each step taking him much effort. "I see that you canít play soccer," he said, "and so canít I. The other children make fun of me every day but for today I am lucky for I have found you. Will you be my friend?" The starchild took a long look at the little lame boy. As it looked into his eyes, there was something warm inside its heart welling up, a feeling both deep and sweet, but also mixed with grief. "Is this the love that leads to sadness?" it thought; "have I at least found one kind of love in the world of humans?"

The sun was setting when the little lame boy finally got up, having held the hands of the starchild for a long time. The other children gathered together, getting ready to leave the soccerfield. As the starchild looked up to the sky, it could see all its brothers and sisters gathered above, waiting for it to return. "What can I bring back home?" it said, as if talking to them; "the thing that fills the heart with sad love is precious, but it will not make my brothers and sisters happy, nor my father and mother, nor the universe." Just then a soft music filled the air. It came out of nowhere, but everywhere it was, all around the starchild, the other children, and even the coach. It was the most beautiful music that anyone had ever heard. The starchild knew that it was now time to leave. It started dancing, with its body turning around and around, half on the ground and half in the air. It was not the dance of humans, but every gesture was filled with celestial grace. Back and forth stepped, flowed and swung the starchild, each moment glowing brighter and brighter. Everyone on the field stared in astonishment and wonder at this being of light, and everyone was caught up in the spirit of its beauty. "I can see it now clearly," exclaimed the starchild, "and I can feel it as well!" And with a final movement of its arms towards the others, it went straight up, like a shooting star, into the blackened sky. Later on, it was said, when all the children who sat in shock for a long time had gotten up and left the field, one little boy remained for a long time. He remembered the last words of a song that no one else except him had heard before the starchild had taken off, and it went like this:

"Star, you child of sun and moon,
love will be perfected soon
Earth and heaven, night and day
joy forever there to stay."

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