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#1788 - Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - Editor: joyce (know_mystery) 


photo from

music: orange2.mid from 


Sshomi ~ Sunlight


"To Know the Moon and the Sea"

At the break of dawn a single moon appeared,
descended from the sky, and gazed at me.

Like a falcon swooping in for the catch,
it snatched me up and soared across the sky.
When I looked at myself, I saw myself no more,
because by grace my body had become fine.

I made a journey of the soul accompanied by the moon,
until the secret of time was totally revealed.
Heaven's nine spheres were in that moon.
The vessel of my being had vanished in that sea.

Waves rose on the ocean. Intelligence ascended
and sounded its call. So it happened; so it was.
The sea began to foam and every bit of froth
took shape and was bodied forth.

Then each spindrift body kissed by that sea
immediately melted into spirit.
Without the power of a Shams, the Truth of Tabriz,
one could neither behold the moon nor become the sea.

-- Ghazal (Ode) N-XIX
Version by Kabir Helminski
"Love is a Stranger"

know_mystery ~ Spiritual-Friends

Earlier this morning, i went outside to watch the meteor shower...
It was a gorgeous and very still morning, cool, tranquil, and the
sky was very very clear overhead. The moon was so big and bright...

For a nanosecond i felt disappointment that the moonlight was so
very very bright - brightness that hid the meteors -
but just for a nanonsecond...

After all, it is the MOON that was the cause of the brightness, not
some mundane light pollution from outdoor lamps...

How can one not forgive the moon?

~  know_mystery  ~

James ~ Spiritual-Friends





When I was a young child, one morning well before the sunrise,we left on a camping trip. The sky was dark-bright as it is when the Moon is full. The car sped along the highway, and the cool wind whipped passed the open window, an ineradicably fresh wind, the magic kind of childhood. I looked at the passing landscape of shadow-shapes, vague ghost trees, and an occasional house. There, far beyond the cool wind and ghosts was the large yellow Moon low on the horizon. It was then that I first saw the Moon.

I have seen other moons since. Sometimes they bring an unexpected friend in the wake of their synchronicity. Sometimes the Moon is just unusual thought, and sometimes it’s a fire in head and a body electric. There are Moons of painful beauty that recall the visitations of childhood. Sometimes they crack open one of the hyperspace doors between worlds, inviting gleams from the current of numberless dimensions.

Sometimes a Moon passes by me unnoticed, for I’ve not paid much attention to calendars. I do not know one Moon from another for I’m not much of a magician. They are all benediction, but I’m not alert enough to tell one from the other, just as I can not name the stars or tell which is far or near. But I think, that in the far depths of space, there are many planets with Moons, and many children look to them.

~  James  ~



    On What Planet
Uniformly over the whole countryside
The warm air flows imperceptibly seaward;
The autumn haze drifts in deep bands
Over the pale water;
White egrets stand in the blue marshes;
Tamalpais, Diablo, St. Helena
Float in the air.
Climbing on the cliffs of Hunter’s Hill
We look out over fifty miles of sinuous
Interpenetration of mountains and sea.

Leading up a twisted chimney,
Just as my eyes rise to the level
Of a small cave, two white owls
Fly out, silent, close to my face.
They hover, confused in the sunlight,
And disappear into the recesses of the cliff.

All day I have been watching a new climber,
A young girl with ash blond hair
And gentle confident eyes.
She climbs slowly, precisely,
With unwasted grace.
While I am coiling the ropes,
Watching the spectacular sunset,
She turns to me and says, quietly,
"It must be very beautiful, the sunset,
On Saturn, with the rings and all the moons."

~  Kenneth Rexroth ~

From Spiritual-Friends

Many Moons

When i was a little boy,
it seemed to me that there
were many moons.
My Grandmother had a moon,
and my other Grandmother had
one too. We had a moon over
our backyard and my best friend
Art had moonlight in his bedroom
from his moon.
When we visited our relatives
in Chicago, i was not surprised
to discover their moon.
Then one night, as we returned
from a visit to my Grandmother
i watched out of the car's back
window and saw her moon
follow us home.
Her moon was our moon.
There was just one moon!
Now the sky seemed so empty.

~ Author unknown ~


Photo:  Corrado Alesso


‘Moon illusion’ fools many in early evening
By Johnny Horne  

January’s total lunar eclipse was one of the best ever. The red moon glowed nearly overhead on a chilly winter night. Outside The Fayetteville Observer offices, I, my telescope and a steady stream of hearty newsroom folks took turns at the eyepiece as the Earth’s shadow crawled across the moon.  

At least one of them bemoaned the fact that the eclipse didn’t occur when the moon was lower in the sky. It would have appeared larger, they said, if it had.   I

s the moon really bigger when it's lower on the horizon? No, but it appears to be.   

What they were talking about is the “moon illusion,” when the rising or setting moon appears larger than when it’s high in the sky. The moon illusion has been noted for hundreds of years. Is it caused by a magnifying effect from the Earth’s atmosphere or is the moon actually closer when it’s rising or setting?  

Turns out it’s neither. Photographs taken of a rising moon and a moon high overhead on the same evening reveal identical size moon images. There can be a flattening effect caused by the atmosphere when the moon or sun rises or sets. This creates a “squashed” view of the rising moon, but once the moon clears the horizon it appears circular once again.

Still, the rising moon appears much larger than the overhead moon. What’s up?  

It’s all about perspective, foreground objects and our brains trying to make sense of it all, according to a study by Dr. Lloyd Kaufman and his son, Dr. James H. Kaufman. Loyd Kaufman is professor emeritus at New York University, where for many years he was professor of psychology and neural science.  

The Kaufman study confirms that the moon illusion is occurring not in the sky, but in our brains. The Kaufmans aren’t the first humans to write about the moon illusion.  

Aristotle and Leonardo da Vinci noted the effect, too.  

The illusion happens when our brains attempt to compute the distances to the moon based on visual information. When the moon is rising or setting and near the horizon, foreground scenes (trees, buildings etc.) are included in our field of view. These known objects seen near the moon give the moon some relationship to terrestrial scenes, and the moon appears up to twice its normal size. Hours later when the moon is higher in the sky, our view of it is removed from these earthly scenes and the moon appears to have shrunk.  

The same effect can be noted when viewing constellations. The constellation Orion appears large as he rises on his side on November nights, but smaller as he rides high in the south on February evenings. You can find out more about the Kaufman study and view some online animations that help explain the phenomena by pointing your Web browser to    


Linda ~ Spiritual-Friends




Photo: Andy Klevorn


When my children were under ten we always took a full moon walk so we could see each moon of the month... Autumn moon, Summer moon, Spring moon, and Winter moon.

We started to name them over the years..(snow moon etc.) Thank-you for bringing back those lovely moon walk memories James..

Peace and blessings,

Doug Fireman ~ Spiritual-Friends


Vangogh Moon

As bonfires
brightly burn
beneath a Vangogh

shake out
their glorious

The beat
of the drums
and the flickering
flames of the

merge with the
night.... beneath

As Vangogh's

circle the
of the mystical

That beautiful opal
Now resting...
in the tranquil
midnight sky...
beneath which
lovers yearn
and fires burn
in our hearts
til the day
we die

Douglas E. Fireman

Revised May 5, 2004


Photo: know_mystery

From ProjeX list


Finally! Why the Moon Looks Big at the Horizon and Smaller When Higher Up.

by Don McCready

Professor Emeritus,
Psychology Department
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

For many centuries, scientists have been puzzled by the illusion that the full moon at the horizon usually looks larger than it does later, at higher elevations toward the zenith of the sky. Many explanations (theories) have been offered. But, it is fair to say that the two dozen (or so) scientists most familiar with current research on the illusion have not yet accepted any one theory. The jury is still out.

The theory reviewed in this article is relatively quite new (McCready, 1983, 1985, 1986). It begins with the basic assumption that, when most people say "the moon looks larger," they are referring primarily to the moon's angular subtense (McCready, 1965).

That is, the horizon moon looks a larger angular size than the zenith moon.

That experience is imitated if you look at the circles in the figure at the right, because the lower circle subtends a larger angle at your eye than the upper circle does.

Angular Size Illusion.

For the moon, that appearance is known as the moon illusion, because the angle the moon's diameter subtends at your eye measures about degree of arc no matter where the moon is in the sky. That is, there is no physical (optical) reason why the horizon moon should look larger than the zenith moon: For instance, it has been known for centuries that the horizon moon is not "magnified' by the earth's atmosphere. Indeed, the 11th century Arabian astronomer, Ibn al-Haytham, [Alhazen] is credited with being the first scientist to point out that the illusion is entirely a subjective (or "psychological") illusion (see Ross & Plug, 2002).

Also a Linear Size Illusion

The present 'new' theory emphasizes that, for most people the moon illusion begins as an angular size illusion. And, for many of them, the horizon moon's physical (metric) diameter, its linear size in meters, also looks larger than the zenith moon's linear size. That is, for most observers there are two quite different "size" illusions at the same time.

Also a Distance Illusion

There also usually is a distance illusion: Most people say the distance from them to the horizon moon usually looks less than the distance to the zenith moon. It is very important to keep in mind that the report most often given is that the horizon moon "looks larger and closer" than the zenith moon. Here "looks larger" certainly refers to the angular size comparison and often usually refers, as well, to the linear size comparison.

The same illusion also occurs for the sun and for the constellations as they appear to move between horizon and zenith positions. The term 'moon illusion' commonly is used for all such examples, however.

For more than 100 years, vision scientists (a specialty within psychology) have been conducting experiments on the moon illusion. It has been discussed in perception textbooks and even in introductory psychology textbooks for more than 60 years. Those texts typically have offered one or two explanations (theories). A few texts also have pointed out, however, that these conventional theories simply do not explain the moon illusion. To see why that is, consider the most widely published explanation.

Read the rest:



Every day priests minutely examine the Dharma
and endlessly chant complicated sutras.
Before doing that, though,
they should learn how to read
the love letters sent by the wind and rain,
The snow and moon.

~  Ikkyu  ~


Panhala ~ Joe Riley


Photo from 


A wine bottle fell from a wagon and
broke open in a field.
That night one hundred beetles and all their cousins
and did some serious binge drinking.
They even found some seed husks nearby
and began to play them like drums and whirl.
This made God very happy.
Then the "night candle" rose into the sky
and one drunk creature, laying down his instrument,
said to his friend ~ for no apparent
"What should we do about that moon?"
Seems to Hafiz
Most everyone has laid aside the music
Tackling such profoundly useless
~ Hafiz ~

("The Gift" -- versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)


Web version:

Web archive of Panhala postings:

To subscribe to Panhala, send a blank email to

 [email protected]


Well it's a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
'neath the color of October skies.
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I'm trying to please to the calling
Of your heartstrings that play soft and low.  

And all the nights magic, seems to whisper and hush,
And all the soft moonlight, seem to shine-In your blush
Can I just have one more moondance with you-my love?
Can I just make some more romance with you-my love?  

~  Van Morrison  ~  

The rest at:

      In the great green room

There was a telephone  

And a red balloon  

And a picture of -  

The cow jumping over the moon...    

From "Goodnight Moon"  

~ Story by Margret Wise Brown ~    


Illustration by Clement Hurd from "Goodnight Moon"


Goodnight Moon

By: Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illustrator)

  • Board Edition
  • Hardcover
  • Published by Harperfestival
  • Publication date: September 1,1991
  • Dimensions (in inches): 5.07 x 5.92 x .87
  • ISBN: 0694003611

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