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Quote on stardust, "We are made from the same stuff as stars" inspires all poems, songs and images of cosmic humanity

Updated on October 23, 2014

We are stardust...

"We are stardust,
we are golden, and
we've got to get back to the Garden."

After the massive gathering at Woodstock- which she did not attend- Joni Mitchell wrote this song titled Woodstock.

But was she accurate? Are we made up of the same stuff as stars?

NASA study

According to NASA, YES, we are!

Their Xenia project claims, "You, I, the air we breathe, the stars, and the other normal matter in the universe are all composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons. These are the ingredients that make all elements from hydrogen to iron and beyond. Astronomers call elements heavier than hydrogen and helium metals ... Metals are essential for star formation and their subsequent evolution, and ultimately for the formation of planets and development of life as we know it."

Poetic response of Physics

For us to live, a star must die?

How is this possible?
Does a well-lived life honor a star?
Were we born to further the shining light?


From this, draw courage.

In 1916, Serbian Orthodox Bishop Nicholai Velimirovic wrote,

"Be humble, for the worst thing in the world is of the same stuff as you; be confident, for the stars are of the same stuff as you."

Such a perspective most likely aided this Bishop when imprisoned in Dachau Concentration Camp during World War 2. He admitted relying on a conversation he had as a young man, speaking with an elder monk on Mount Athos.

Father, what is your main spiritual (practice)?

The monk said, “The perfect visualization of God’s presence.

Bishop Nicholai mused, “I tried this visualization of God’s presence. And as little as I succeeded, it helped me enormously to prevent me from sinning in freedom, and from despairing in prison. If we kept the vision of the invisible God, we would be happier, wiser, and stronger in every walk of life.

On May 19, 2003, Velimirovic was canonized Holy Hierarch (Bishop) Nicholai (Velimirovic) of Ochrid and Zicha, Serbia.

Expand perspective.

Katherine Paterson's protagonist in Same Stuff As Stars gains courage from this connection to stars while struggling to make sense of her fragmented world. A stranger offers this perspective as he teachers her about stars, constellations, and planets.

Angel encounters more difficulties than she can bear, until she remembers what this stranger told her; she is made of the same stuff as stars.

"I once read somewhere (can't recall the reference now) that we are all made of star dust!" Tony MacGregor, South African Hubber, April, 2011

“We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.” Jalal ad-Din Rumi , Persian Poet and Mystic, 1207-1273

Raise consciousness.

Grateful Dead's lead guitarist Jerry Garcia told an interviewer, "I do think there’s a drive towards more consciousness. There are huge setbacks all the way along, but all the aberrations that we see, holy wars etc.. are metaphors for more consciousness. They are expressed as conflict because we haven’t come up with enough good (paradigms) to express it in other ways. We are it. We’re the same stuff as stars and galaxies, so we’re indivisibly part of it. We’re the part that speaks, that plays music, that creates abstractions."

In Dark Star, the Grateful Dead sang:

Shall we go, you and I While we can?
Through the transitive nightfall of diamonds

spinning a set the stars through which the tattered tales of axis roll about the waxen wind of never set to motion in the unbecoming round about the reason hardly matters nor the wise through which the stars were set in spin...

Me and my star dust.

  • We are bits of stellar matter that got cold by accident, bits of a star gone wrong. Sir Arthur Eddington, 1882-1944
  • “We are star-stuff” Dr. Carl Sagan 1934-1996
  • “It really opens a completely new window on the universe. It tells us that we're going to be seeing gravitational waves in the near future, in addition to knowing how stars die and how the material that we are made of and the earth is made of came to be and how life came to be possible.” Dr. Don Lamb, Prof Astronomy & Astrophysics at University of Chicago
  • "You and I are not merely separated from the galaxies by unimaginable immensities of space; we are also connected to them by unimaginable immensities of time. We are literally made from stars. We are their descendants. The only difference between us and stars is time." Dr. Gerald Grow in We are literally made from stars.
  • "We are the bright new stars born of a screaming black hole, the nascent suns burst from the darkness, from the grasping void of space that folds and swallows--a darkness that would devour anyone not as strong as we. We are oddities, sideshows, talk show subjects. We capture everyone's imagination." Dave Eggers in A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.

Do you feel part of the Universe, particularly made of star dust?

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    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      tsmog, I love the expansion!

      Shalini, how lovely to have you read this hub. I think it is my favorite of the year's work.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

      What a wonderful thought! Brings to mind a line of a song - 'We're all the same - stardust and stuff.'

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 6 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Awesome. I never thought of it that way before. I like this

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      WillStarr, is dust expressive enough for such magnificence as a star? I think you would be fascinated to read this discussion of man's creation: I found it amazing, actually. Hugs!

      BlissfulWriter, I learned so much from that video! Thank you for watching it- and for stopping by. I enjoyed your hub on heroes.

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 6 years ago

      I like the BBC video.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      We are indeed made from dust, the one thing upon which both science and the Bible agree.