We live in the digital age, the cyber age and the age of mass depression. We are used to hearing bad news personally and globally. Every time we make a personal effort to make change we immediately become aware of obstacles plotting to prevent our growth and success, these tests quickly can allow us to drop our heads and our vision.
When our vision is aimed at the ground our sight reaches less than our own height, or not much longer (unless we are looking to the horizon, but that wouldn't exactly be looking down, unless we are in an air balloon or on a mountain or something).
People of the past who were not so polluted by their own machinery had a dynamic relationship with the sky. They used the celestial bodies not only for navigation, but also for telling the time and the seasons but also their place in the cosmos, spiritually and psychologically.
“Blessed be He Who has placed in the heaven mansions of the stars, and has placed therein a great lamp
and a moon giving light!” (QURA'N al Furqaan [The Criterion] 25:61)
When we look to the moon and stars we not only see a dazzling display of beauty but a reminder of the order and greatness that surrounds us in the universe. When we are surrounded by the sight of greatness and order, it can help us to align our minds with the aspiration for great actions and an ordered and purposeful life.
If we had never seen the moon before and we were to view it for the first time it would be an amazing sight, which would surely inspire deep thoughts and powerful feelings. Yet we are in the time when we see people with their gazes aimed downwards at their smartfones or busily texting some irrelevance to their friends who probably direct their mind into a trivial place.
"Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth,
and the alternation of night and day,
there are indeed signs for men of understanding."
(QURA'N aali I'mraan 3:190)
We are used to being tuned into the noise on the ground rather than the tranquillity of the heavens and thus our attention lowers our mood.
When we expand our vision by looking upwards air fills the lungs, the universe expands and we escape the prison of our own misdirection.
What may we see up there? The moon, the stars, a constellation, a tremendous cloud, a beautiful sunset, a majestic lightning display, a soaring free bird, a tall noble tree, or a shooting star or man-made satellite, a sign of human advancement, providing us with television because some men decided to look up rather than down?
"Men who celebrate the praises of God, standing, sitting,
and lying down on their sides,
and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth,
(With the thought):
"Our Lord! Not for nothing have You created (all) this!
Glory to You!..." (QURAN aali I'mraan 3:191)