Three Images Donne Uses in Meditation 17 to Develop the Idea that We Are All Part of a Common Humanity
Donne uses the images of bells, the stars, and the sun to unify all of humanity.
The example of the bell is a particularly effective point that I have not thought of before. Sound is used as a universal unifying stimuli which we can all presumably relate to. "Who bends not his ear to any bell which upon any occasion rings?" It is true; any language and dialect, any people, any place, none matter, for the bell's sound is the same to all.
I often look up at the starry sky and look out into the vast expanse of an unknown space. While I look, I always wonder "How many other people are doing this exact same thing right now?" I don't care where in the world you stand and look up, the sky is the biggest thing around. It is always there, always has been, and always will be until the end of this universe. And ever since man developed conscious thought and higher emotions, we have looked up at the sky, all over the world, for a number of reasons. "…but who takes off his eye from a comet…"? Definitely not me.
"Who casts not up his eye to the sun when it rises?" Again, a universal happening. The day begins, the day ends, and begins again; it is the same for all of humanity. The beautiful sunrise, inspiring and humbling, is an event that we cannot control, that we experience with every other human being on this Earth.
These images are very true: they break down walls between religion, race, language, sex, age, geographical location, and any other differences that occur within the human race, humanity.