Photo by Josh Mills

How I Discovered the Word 'Firmament'

A long time ago, back when I was first researching the topic of creation in the late 1980s, when rapid internet access to information was only an emerging possibility, I came across the perfect word to define this first condition of the universe. It was during the period that I was being moved by strong inner guidance, and on this particular day I was sitting on a low brick wall in a small park, in the middle of a shopping plaza in Cairns, Australia. I was waiting for guidance/direction.


I did this often in the years after my mystical experience; I would sit―sometimes for hours or even days―until I was moved from within to do whatever it was that moved me. I found that operating in the world like this was―and still is―an extraordinary way to live that is full of wonderful surprises. It is a way of being that does not involve thinking and planning what to do next, which, by comparison, can often be an imposition upon the world and a process that rarely brings the same level of enjoyment and deep fulfilment.


I would sit and wait, although the word ‘wait’ conjures the wrong picture, suggesting that it was maybe not such an enjoyable experience. On the contrary, it was an entirely enjoyable experience to sit and wait like this, and although I was feeling good in myself, I think others might have seen me as being quite ‘odd’, just sitting around by myself in public places, passively observing the world until I knew what to do next.


So, there I was on a low brick wall that day in Cairns, and then finally the prompt from within came and walked me to the local library. Once inside, I was directed to a very specific book, and upon opening it I was drawn to a section that presented the word in question. Unfortunately, I was not prompted―and neither did I think of it at the time―to take note of the reference, and I have since been unable to find it. Nonetheless, there are sufficient references from various other sources that point in the direction of this meaning that I discovered.


The word is firmament, and the ancient meaning of it that I discovered, is ‘the structure that supports all creation’. One aspect of the firmament is its appearance as a ‘vault in the sky’, rather like viewing the inside of a sphere. And other definitions range from the firmament being total expansion to something ‘firm’ or solid. Consequently, it is the best word to describe the mysterious nature of this first creation.