Hymn to the Sun

Once I saw two suns in the sky
and asked a passerby which is real.
He shook his head "I don't know"
and ever since I'm still wondering—

O glorious Sun—
you light up the world at sunrise
sweeping away the darkness of night
giving shape and form to all things.

O bountiful Sun—
you embrace all with warmth
to kings and paupers alike
giving us illumined freedom.

O kind Father Sun—
you impregnate Mother Earth
with spermatic rays of light
bringing life to everything.

O creative Sun—
building block of the elements
air, fire, water, earth, aether,
the tabernacle choir in you.

No wonder they worship you
as Ra in Egypt, Suriya in India,
Apollo in Greece— O giver,
sustainer and destroyer of life.

But Rumi says the sun in our sky
is a metaphor for the Real Sun—
What? The sun Copernicus placed
on the royal throne is not even real!

Reality proclaimed the rishis
does not change in time and is
ever-present in waking, dream,
and deep sleep— then it is real.

Our sun will die in the future
cooling and fading as a white dwarf—
not existing when we dream and sleep,
not being ever-present, it is unreal.

O then, show me the Real Sun—
that Apuleius saw shining at midnight,
Dante praised as Sun of endless spring,
and Philo called the Sun behind the sun.

The Real Sun is the door
to wisdom— the Grail vessel
breathing life into the cosmos,
the fiery chariot of the Soul.

The Real Sun flashed out
when Archimedes leaped out of his bathtub
shouting "Eureka!" running down the street
having found a way to assay real gold.

The Real Sun lit up
Edison's mind when he discovered
carbon as the best filament
for his incandescent light bulb.

The Real Sun shined on Beethoven
while composing his Ninth Symphony,
on Klee when he said "I am a painter"
and in the eyes of those deeply in love.

The Real Sun is timeless, boundless,
center & circumference, light & shadow—
the philosopher's stone of alchemists
to transform base metals to gold.

The Real Sun is brighter than
a thousand suns, outweighing
ten thousand eyes— no wonder
Socrates gazed at it all day & night.

The Real Sun lights up
the dream world when our eyes are closed,
dims its glow while we rest in deep sleep,
opens our mind at dawn when we wake.

The Real Sun is seen
when we make our eyes sunlike—
then we see the First Beauty
whose roots and fruits are everywhere.

      — Peter Y. Chou
           Mountain View, 2-22-2009