Man is his own star and the soul that can render an honest and perfect man commands all light, all influence, all fate.
To be a perfect man is a difficult achievement. I don't know if anyone has managed it. But surely the first, baby step in that direction is honesty, to be honest with others, honest with ourselves and honest in our approach to truth itself.
To be honest is to be loving. Loving our neighbor as ourselves and the greatest love of all, the love of wisdom. Shakespeare calls love "the star to every wandering bark, whose worth's unknown although his height be taken." Once mariners discerned the constancy of the North Star navigating the oceans became easier and more profitable. "Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds" Shakespeare also says. The same is said for honesty, truth. It is a constant amid all the lies, opinions, theories, beliefs and fantasies. It is the star to every wandering soul through the uncertain sea and which leads to the shore of the perfect man.
For centuries we have depended upon the stars for light in the darkness, for illumination, and for inspiration. Poets and scientists have pondered the stars and now they are probing into their secrets for knowledge of the universe.
The astrologers of old and new have seen constellations and read them to make choices that affect the fortunes of men and nations. I read somewhere that when Alexander the Great was born the doctors held off the delivery until the stars were in their exact location to produce an auspicious birth.
The reading of stars has also been one of the world's most popular forms of predicting the future, the fortunes and fates of people and civilizations. People have given over their destinies to what it says about them in their constellations. Zodiac signs are used to describe the influences and fates of everyone. I'm a Pisces, two fish swimming in opposite directions. What does that make me?
And yet Shakespeare again says "The fault ... is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings." And John Fletcher is saying "man is his own star." That asks the question are we really responsible, after all, for our own light, our own influences and fates? And the answer is, we are, or else we are reluctant, we refuse or we are ignorant.
I may be ornery, but I choose to shine my own light on my life, as dim as it may be, than to wait for two fish to tell me who I am and what to do.
Dana Bate - The Vagabond
Never Give Up