The above was taken during the Lo Krathong on Yi Peng (Full Moon Day). It is a festival where wishes are made and lanterns are floated in the sky. It is a very awe inspiring experience that feels magical.
We can garner a lot of insight on certain topics by the metaphors we voluntarily choose to use. Light is associated with good and darkness is associated with evil. If we simplify, evil could be associated with absence and good could be associated with presence. If we strive to create more presence, we are doing good and if our actions are creating absence, we are doing evil. To save a life creates presence and to murder creates absence. In these two examples we are talking about a literal physical presence.
Sometimes in life we are confronted with difficult moral and ethical situations. If the issue is complex we will have internal conflict regarding selfishness vs selflessness. In our world filled with technology and shifting cultural/social norms figuring out what is right vs wrong is sometimes not as easy as we would like it to be. The answer is we should try to be as present as possible in not only our lives but the lives of other; walk a mile in their shoes so to speak.
To look at the stars is awe inspiring. To look at the stars and feel present in the universe, realizing that the atoms that make you up are as old as the universe and will persist even after your current form, can be profound. Being truly present can be very difficult but also very rewarding.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, actually being present somewhere is worth trillions. There is a substantial difference between pictures and real life because in the case of a picture we are only seeing a thin layer of atoms where as actually viewing something in real life is the results of viewing billions if not trillions of atom compiled into a single view. Being some where also contributes to other senses such as taste, smell, and hearing.
Our ability to view things from afar is improving rapidly but even with all our advances in technology we cannot yet emulate the experience an astronaut has when looking at earth from afar. Certainly there is no amount of pictures that could truly replicate an experience like being in space. What pictures do help with is to create a deep longing within us to immerse ourselves in the universe. It can be difficult for us to express our experiences with others in a way that they can truly understand. Perception integration is a critical part of our future because without it we can not stop the misunderstandings which is the cause of so many human problems.
As a small side project I have created http://www.createdivinity.org. It is simply a selection of pictures put against music. A personal interest of mine is to discover ways of inducing different perceptions and introspection without drugs. I have discovered that for me personally the best perception shifting occurs at sunrise, sunset, or night. Looking at a city at night makes us aware of human capability. When there should be darkness we have created light, where there should be nothing we have created civilization. Night time also gives us a glimpse of the universe and our potential for exploration.