The Boat Moves Away from the Shore
"The reputation of a thousand years may
be determined by the conduct of one hour."
"Telluris ingens Conditor terram dedisti immobilem," creation's mighty maker bade the earth stand firm, a note in the sunset evening hours from Gregory the Great (540-604).-1 Another innocent Latin saying for the ages, and how true, as Dr. Johnson said, that "every thing intended to be universal and permanent should be inscribed in Latin."
Keep going, therefore, keep going come what may, sunlight and stars in knot gardens and parterres by the sea. A new Moon too, and looking over the bridge of humanity, where it can be found, "innocence is indeed a glorious
thing"(2), they say, as much as an axiom, and also where a greater innocence pulls one through. For the simple fact is the starting point, and if sufficently plain it will not need too much
reasoning to go as well as it will. So endeavor to persevere, and if not as much as innocence in the universe, if not once or twice, the third time is a charm.
again, again and again, where it comes to particular and universal, all navigation is based on a fixed-Earth assumption. In the age of discovery, Prince Henry the Navigator, Cousin, Columbus, Cabot, de Gama, Magellan, Elcano, and Cartier, for example, and
all the other sea captains of those days, as down to present times, followed charts derived from Ptolemy not Copernicus. After all, everyone knows that as landfall fades away into the distance, and sight of shore runs out, it is the boat moving away from land's
end, not the beach or harbor that is moving away from the boat.
In terms of physics, that is what is meant
by the medieval Carthusian motto "stat crux dum volvitur orbis": the cross as much as the earth stands firm, while the spheres of the heavens revolve around it.
Of course, if true that money cannot buy poverty, or a proper religious vocation, then it must be the spirit that counts, for "it is not too clever, if wrong opinion makes one judge
as false what seems new to the ear, or strange to the eye, or too hard for the intellect to grasp, but which on closer investigation proves not only true, but even obvious." Similarly, an immature
and false argument many wags still indoctrinated in heliocentrism sometimes make against geocentrism is that if someone denies that the earth orbits the sun, then he must believe also that it is flat.
However, if geocentrism is so poor, it is not for lack of vision or the right derivative; and it does not teach that the Sun, the Moon, or the Earth is flat, or incomplete, or that space is two-dimensional, and neither did the Carthusians
or the Church. Saying that the sun orbits the Earth does not mean that the Moon is painted in the sky and beyond the horizon hangs the abyss. Would the Earth be at the center of the ecliptic and of the cosmos, and also be flat, with the Moon painted in
the sky, going by in Oriental picture frames? Certainly not, no either way, that could not at all be.
Since poverty as much as fate or form is the discoverer of all the arts, even the bearded homeless with a cup of pennies, and a bag of french fries by chance, can tell that space
is always full and roundabout in 3-D. "Paupertas omnium artium repertrix", and the Earth’s true horizon has a constant 360 degree view, all around in complete circles,
wherever anyone goes. Then overall it must be as three dimensional as a sphere. That is the only way that it would be natural and continuous in space. The things that make sense by virtue
and assimilation also must make sense, in real properties too, as much as there is a balance for time as for space.
The early medieval Anglo-Saxon monk Venerable Bede (672-735) wrote in "The Reckoning of Time", that "the earth is not merely circular like a shield or spread out like a wheel, but resembles more a ball, being equally
round in all," and has no end except the surface.-3 In the classic and medieval concept, the Earth is presented as the sphere within the center of the universe -- "orbis in medio totius mundi positus". And Bede added that it should be considered perfect and
simple in terms of a sphere, for surface extent, "because even the highest mountains produce no more than an imperceptible ripple on a globe of such great diameter."-4
Science from a motel or any bank teller's window with a view outside can see that the horizons are circular and continuous in all directions, all formed in beautiful 360" tableau
from point to point; and since space is carried out in 3-D, one could have guessed from Thema Mundi, and the first footprints of Adam, that the Earth is a sphere of vanishing flatness. After all, a circle that is complete in three dimensions
becomes only another sphere.
"You can observe a lot just by watching, yet if you do
not know where you are going, you might wind up some place else". Imagine, therefore, being transported to a lonely and forgotten place, with unbroken desert vistas, under a cloudless
abandoned sky: a desert scene of desolate stillness near the deepest silence, with only some yucca trees and
cactus in the distance, yet with the least hidden touch of the sublime, even if in a low degree. By contemplating a mere immensity in space and time, over quiet solitudes, at least a vague impression may filter into the mind of what some likeness to the
sublime could be. An "immeasurable greatness dwindles the individual to nothing".-5 As when we "meditate on the thousands of years that are past or to come, we feel ourselves pass away and vanish into nothing like drops in the ocean".-6
The four corners of the oceans, in fact, and of the earth are the four corners of a circle. The Book of Isaiah says, "it is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are as grasshoppers".-7 At first it may not seem clear whether
the passage refers to Earth as a sphere, or whether it describes a flat circular form, but some things do not need to be said outright. When already it is plain that space is 3-D in total between
all, anywhere one goes, and any circle in 3-D becomes a sphere, it does not take so many words to be understood. In the Book of Job, lectio divorum, et cetera, "He has described a circle upon the face of the waters at the boundary
between light and darkness".-8
the whole Heaven he lets it go, and his lightning to the corners of the earth".-9 In Proverbs, the voice to mirror the ages says, "When he established the heavens, I was there,
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep ... when he established the fountains of the deep ... when he marked out the foundations
of the earth."-10
simple Biblical view is that within the will of the Almighty, the Supreme Being, "all things are established", and there is none that can resist his will. For he has "made all things, the heaven and the earth, and all that is held within the circle of
heaven."-11 Besides the coils of mortal life, and the essentially circular nature of being as existence
itself, ens inquantum ens, the sky above is in circles, and with the clouds and stars would represent heaven.
Isaiah 11:12, Ezekiel 7:2, Revelation 7:1 and 20:8, all refer to the four corners of the earth, which are the four round corners of a circle. Whichever distant co-equals in the extremes, out of the very many places of perspective possible from around the earth, they also are four corners of a natural sphere: and a repetition of the four corners
of a cross in a circle in three dimensions.
From many centuries ago the ancient Greek philosophers already knew the Earth was a sphere, even in the generations before Aristotle. In Phaedo, Socrates declares as much, as if it already
should be well known and he learned it from others and experience a long time ago. He says, "my conviction is that the earth is a round body in the midst of the heavens, and therefore has no need of air or any similar force to be a support, but
is kept there and hindered from falling or inclining any way by the equability of the surrounding heaven and by her own equipoise. For that which, being in equipoise, is in the center of that which is equably diffused will not incline any way
in any degree, but will always remain in the same state and not deviate."
He adds later that "the earth, when looked at from above, is like one of those balls which have leather coverings in twelve pieces, and is of diverse colors, of which the colors which painters use on
earth are only a sample."-12 Socrates also thought that the sun was called helios, ήλιος in Greek, "because he is always rolling in his course (aei 'eilein ion) about the earth".-13
Rolling in a course in the divisions from all this or all that, like the sun in any sign, there is no way to quantify the infinite in any
shop or warehouse of lights except by the sense of the quality in endlessness, since between the infinite and the finite there is not a difference that can be quantified, except for the ineffable. "Before the Lord, the whole universe is as a grain from a balance
or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth."
Even for aeons and aeons, numbers by themselves do not create the original distinction in identity and difference, except
perhaps to help for sense of direction, the sense of how far and separate, as things may be, or how much may be close if at once, since all quantity is indifferently related to the infinite. The character of the first instance sustains or affects the
second subditum. Any process in equilibrium and harmony as much as infinity, the greatest isonomia, την kαλύτερη iἰσονομία, with its quality of continuous return, would balance
all finity, and so it goes throughout all mathematically correct combinations.
the resources of geometry are everywhere, and inexhaustible to any point, how far a sense of the difference in proportion between the two, the infinte and the finite, may create an impression. Like the round edge of infinity in a wheel, in a contest
between mankind and geometry, on grass or whatever surface, who could win except geometry, since geometry cannot be defeated -- since there must be space in which to think and hear, to sort things out, and in consequence also to act on what is believed to
be thought or thought to be believed.
The Earth is like center court -- as far away
from the ends as close to the balance of the middle. The isonomia and keystone of the arch for the breezeway of the cosmos, stabilized equally in all directions from the center, in the middle of both whatever directions of either two of any opposite sides,
around the circle, it comes out as far away to wander one way or another, to go far far away, as things may go anywhere around its sphere everywhere.
Therefore, like being itself, as it so happens with unique and universal placement between any potential infinities, the best way is to weigh any sides with ultimate simplicity in this regard, where perhaps
the simplest sign for the infinite or the ineffable is through the uniform curve of a circle. To represent the sense of proportion and relation in the infinite itself,
and the difference between the infinite and the finite, the circle should be complete, of course, since if the circle is not complete, neither is the sphere, and lack of completion
is a sign of imperfection.
Although the natural sphere of creation is not infinite,
it is perfect enough for any circle. One sign of that is the perfect sphericity of space, in 3-D, in bubbles after bubbles, from microcosm to macrocosm, and so the Earth. The infinite has its own perfect symmetry in a superior placement beyond measure, beyond
extension and convexity, and represents a perfect balance of forces acting upon creation. As much as quantity is indifferent before it, and as much as something cannot move away from itself, neither can the middle move away from the center.
Anaxagoras when he was at the point of death at Lampsacus was asked if anything should happen to him would he not wish to
be carried to Clazomenae his home country to be buried, and he said that there should be no occasion for that for all places on Earth are at an equal distance from the infernal regions. A condition like death is equally separate from life. Hippolytus wrote, "the Earth is aloft, not dominated by anything, remaining
in place with similar distance from all points."-14 Not flat or an oblate spheroid either, for the greatest indifference of the middle, it is complete and perfectly spherical. Balanced in the means of the extremes of the cosmos, which overall is spherical
in shape too, it is not moving and not orbiting the Sun. According to Bucalino, creation stands on three supernatural fish, in the relation of the ultimate derivative to service and kind, if one
could compare it also to a magnitude of hypostasis, or pleasant state of inebriety, in between all the signs of the ecliptic all the time. If to describe it through symmetry of
proto-elemental forces, one could say "electro-magnetic hypostasis" perhaps, if that helps to describe the equilibrium.
The Legend of Er from before Plato and the Dream of Scipio describe the Earth as a globe transfixed at the center of the cosmos. Many early medieval manuscripts also, drawing on earlier sources, include maps of the
Earth as a sphere, labeled as globus terrae, located at the center of the hierarchically ordered planetary spheres.
Since they recognized like Euclid that space is 3-D, as much as round in the instance, it was always fair to assume that the Earth must be spherical; otherwise, contra naturam, it would not be complete, and if not complete
that would not be natural. Space, however, must be natural at least as much as common sense, and knowledge of the natural roundness and sphericity of the Earth has been more or less in existence perhaps since as far back as Thales, in the 8th century BC.
"There never was a period of flat earth darkness among scholars (regardless of how any uneducated
people perhaps may have conceptualized our planet both then and now). The ancient Greek knowledge of sphericity never faded, and all major medieval scholars accepted the earth’s roundness as an established fact of cosmology."-15 And by further examination
of the apparent angle of elevation of the sun, in close comparison from two different latitudes in Egypt, Eratosthenes from the 4th century BC was able to calculate and record its overall size with amazing accuracy.
He recorded two simultaneous observations, one from Alexandria to the north, and another near Syene, 5,000 stadia south, when the Sun was directly overhead on the day of the summer solstice. The Sun's
rays appeared to beam straight down to the bottom of a deep well in Syene, as close to directly from up above as they could tell -- and in Alexandria to the north, at the same time they shone at about a 7.2" angle from the
zenith, when measured there by the shadow cast by a long pole.
7.2" represents about 1/50th of a circle, and Eratoshtenes reasoned correctly that if the earth were a complete sphere,
the noonday sun could not appear in the exact same angled position in the sky, as seen by two observers of widely separated latitudes. Also, because the Sun is so far away, it could be assumed that the sun's rays at the two distant latitudes were running parallel,
and that the angular difference in the sun's rays between Syene and Alexandria, therefore, were due to the spherical curvature of the earth. So by comparing the angular displacement of the sunshine with the distance between the two towns, he could elaborate
an educated guess at the actual size of the earth, and he came very close.
Even so primitive
without TV, satellites, smart phones, or the internet, ancients like these then were not so dumb. If at times not far from the caves, or at times still living in them, not
far removed from the gods either, "viri a diis recentes".
"Orbis terrarum", the orb of lands, is an old Latin expression for the Earth, and any orb also subsists within the curved plane of
a sphere, for sure. Geometry would have a voice to speak for itself in all occasions, and in the prayers of the ancient Catholic mass, the words "in toto orbe terrarum" refer to the Earth as the world. These words have been there for almost two millenia, declaring
the knowledge that the Earth is a sphere, from the ancient days of its creation, not that it is flat. The "Te Deum" from the 4th century says as well, "Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia", you the Holy Church praises from around the world, etc.
By logical intuition then, or common sense, any reasonable man who wandered his way across the face
of the earth, from Thema Mundi to the modern era, from Adam to Enoch to Noah, could have figured out that such an Earth is a sphere, and that as well it is not moving, and that the Sun and the Moon and the other planets and stars, obviously, are all revolving
If some people imagined that the earth could be flat, if it seemed to be, perhaps
it was because they recognized at least that it was not moving, that indeed it was still. If there was an appreciation without understanding, in the subconscious mind they associated its profound stillness with the flat surface of calm water. Laying down flat
on the ground at night, for instance, and looking up at the stars, the sky also can look flat, from an angle of perspective. Another sphere of vanishing flatness in the heavens then, and cirrus clouds and the earth can look flat as the sky; yet the sky is
not flat, but domed all around from above, and the earth is a sphere too, of course.
"None of the great eighteenth-century anti-clerical rationalists -- not Condillac, Condorcet, Diderot, Gibbon, Hume, or Benjamin Franklin, for example -- accused the scholastics of believing in a flat
Earth, though these men were all unsparing in their contempt for medieval Christianity".-16 The myth of the flat Earth
falsely associated with geocentrism has been a devious hoax that started in the 19th century United States and France, where Washington Irving, Andrew Dickson White, Robert Ingersoll,
and Antoine-Jean Letronne were four of the key authors who helped develop and advance this false impression of history, that has been made so common among modern school
Ingersoll even went so far as to put false words and an utterly false characterization in Magellan's mouth, in his ridiculous essay "Individuality", where he wrote:
"I believe it was Magellan who said, 'The church says the earth is flat; but I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more confidence even in a shadow than in the church.' On the prow of his ship were disobedience, defiance, scorn, and success."-17
Magellan, however, was a pious Catholic throughout his life. He even prayed the rosary, practiced the sacraments, did not eat meat on Fridays, especially during Lent, and was a generous donor to the Church; and he never wrote any
complaints against the Church for teaching a doctrine of the "flat Earth". The Church Magisterium never taught a flat Earth either, of course, what it taught instead was the ultimate order of creation, and the existence of the Holy Ghost, and that the Earth
was immovably transfixed at the center of the cosmos.
Contrary to the myth of
the flat earth, "it was conventional wisdom among both early and late medieval thinkers that the world was round."-18 Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) wrote in the Summa Theologica that "sciences are differentiated according to the various means through which knowledge
is obtained. For the astronomer and the physicist both may prove the same conclusion: that the earth, for instance, is round."-19 In the Divine Comedy, written two centuries before Columbus, Dante describes an obviously spherical earth at rest at the center
of the spheres of the cosmos.
Bacon(1220-1292), Jean Buriden (1301-1358), and Nicholas Oresme(1320-1382) all affirmed the roundness and sphericity of the Earth. Christopher Columbus did not prove to the Western
World that the Earth was round by sailing to America. In the universities and monasteries across Europe, it was already recognized that it was so. Even from the earliest medieval period,
to show the power and sovereignty of the almighty over the sphere of creation, Catholic art commonly depicted the orb of the earth as a sphere with a cross set on top, the cross-bearing orb, the globus cruciger.
Between Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Eratosthenes, Hipparchus, Ptolemy, Venerable Bede, Thomas Aquinas, Tycho Brahe, Giovanni Riccioli,
Dante, Prince Henry the Navigator, and others, there is a clear record of scientific knowledge of the sphericity of the Earth. In 1492 they only did not yet comprehend so well that America would be there, where they discovered it, although there were
rumors about it ... of Iceland to Greenland, and then land to the west, and thus further along the Caribbean islands were a discovery when Columbus sailed West.
Posidonius, a geographer
and astronomer from the 2nd century BC, estimated that by sailing westward from Cadiz, India could be reached after 70,000 stades, and this remark recorded in various books later became some part of the foundation of Columbus's confidence.-20 There is the
account also that Jean Cousin, a French navigator from Dieppe, discovered Brazil in 1488, and that one of the captains from his voyage, Alonzo Pinzón, who later returned home to Spain after they had returned to France, advised Columbus on the westward
Ferdinand and Isabella referred Columbus’s proposal to a royal commission headed by Hernando de Talavera, Archbishop of Granada. This commission composed of both clerical
and lay advisers met at Salamanca among other places and posed some objections to Columbus, but all assumed the earth’s roundness. As an advisory they advised that Columbus would not reach the East Indies in his own estimated time because the earth’s
circumference was too great. China and India were too far away, with too much ocean to cross, not that he would sail off the edge of the flatness, and they were correct. Therefore, the Columbus idea did not seem so worthwhile to some, since nobody in his right
mind wants to die at sea going the wrong way, and for a journey too long. It seemed a better idea to others to sail around Africa, the corner of Arabia and India, and then on to South China. Yet Ferdinad and Isabella later decided it was worth a try, and he
discovered America instead by some happy coincidence.
On the door of Plato's Academy the admonition was engraved, "No one ignorant of geography may enter here", and it always has
been obvious for starters that the full limit of skyline everywhere is one complete circle around. As much as the country of the human mind would have a home and the eye would have a thing, the land and sea are everywhere in circles after circles.
Complete as they are from all points
of the compass, the visible and true horizon go round and round, and if the bar of the horizon seems straight for a time, it obviously is from looking at only a lined section of it. The line of section in the far-away distance may seem straight, because
of the limited miles involved, but in totality the Earth's horizon shows the aspect of a curved round edge. As the flatness in the distant tableau disappears, the 360 degree perspective
of Earth and sky continues round the bend; and there is no debate, not even over a crate of gin, that seeing the entire horizon at once is seeing a circle.
Any straight line
in a drawing has two edges, 180 degrees shared on one side, and 180 degrees on the other. A sketch cannot be drawn without all lines sharing two edges -- and any of two semi-circles always add up to 360 degrees, for one side of the curve and the other. There
are two ways in each side of the line and its curve. So, clearly then, the horizon of the Earth is a complete circle, with as much natural duality in space from any point around as much as from any sketch paper. One side or the other is how most people live,
yet the circle is the symbol of perfection, and in creation should be complete as a sphere, and all whatnot.
average bulb of human perspective from Earth is like an Evel Knievel helmet, the visor of a daredevil or quarter section of an orange. There is the level semi-circle in the distant skyline, and then the vertical quarter that angles up into the sky 90" from
there. Behind the view and to the opposite side is the same mathematical distribution, and science knows that two quartered sections of an orange make a complete half. This half is the half from where one sees day and night passing in their balanced measures
through the seasons and the years. The semi-circle loop of the ecliptic, where the sun and moon and the planets pass overhead is only 180" for a view, so there must be another half of earth and sky, and another 180" of the ecliptic, around the other side.
"The existence of the half necessitates the existence of that
of which it is a half", and half a dome of sky is a quarter section of a sphere, and anybody who has a quarter section of an orange should know that he has only one of four parts. With two quarter sections, there becomes the half, and with two more, there
becomes the whole. There is not any quarter section of cantaloupe or orange without there having been another three equal parts, and it is the same way with the Earth. If the hand of heaven, or the hands of time, are in oranges and cantaloupes, or spheres, then it must be so in the world and the cosmos as well, and
the Earth then clearly is one complete sphere.
As much as one side of
the line and the other, there are two perpendicular planes from an intersection, and wherever the four corners of the world go, the semi-circular patterns always come back around in a sphere, continuously around all points on Earth. Wherever someone may
be, the 180 degrees of a straight line plays the middle, with east on one side and west on the other. Looking to the east, everybody knows there is another 180 degrees on the other side in the west. Even as world science would spin around and around, dizzying
itself with relativity and various frames of quantum reference, and peculiar states of denial, all the balanced perspectives in the skylines never stop.
Yet cave man know, the way to pay attention is also the way to be, and if stars and planets of ecliptic pass beneath earth and sky at end of day, out beyond horizon, then there must be equal curve,
"beneath earth and sky", on other side as well, around corner of west -- and circling back to east, from where they rise again in morning time. The geometry of space is already full, without anything annoying like heliocentrism being set in motion, and the
best balance is always reflected in measures of equal parts.
If there is any peace in geometry or proportion, it is in the properties of wholeness also. So it is natural to know
the 180 degrees on the other side of the line to the farthest west, running from north to south, just beyond view of eyesight at sunset, is also the interface of another great semi-circle, not only the other half of a straight line from nowhere. In whatever
direction, east or west, north or south, the parallel lines in the distance are the curves of semi-circles coming back around to the ends continuously.
Even as weight by itself
does not constitute a source of motion, it does, however, distribute with a center; and Aristotle described the generation of the Earth as spherical, to the center, for every portion has weight until it reaches the center, and the evidence of the senses further
corroborates this when lunar eclipses always show segments shaped as we see them. The Moon itself shows itself to be a sphere through all its phases, since it waxes in such a manner because it is spherical, and in lunar eclipses the outline of the Earth is
always curved as a circle.
"Since it is the interposition of the Earth that makes the eclipse, the form of this line will be caused by the form of the Earth's surface, which is
therefore spherical". Also the fact that relatively small changes of latitude cause changes in the perspective of constellations and stars as seen overhead, that they are different, show the Earth is circular. For otherwise the effect of such relatively slight
changes of latitude would not be so quickly apparent in them. Since changes in longitude do not have the same pattern of effect, it also shows that the stars orbit the earth from East to West, as it naturally appears.
It only makes sense that space and geometry should be the same difference in whatever dimension: and curiously perhaps "the Earth is the very quintessence
of the human condition"-21. Between tropics, solstices, and equinoxes, therefore, the passing of the sun and the moon and the planets always works out overall in a balance of motions reflecting equal parts.
From before Themistocles, and going back to Noah, ancient mariners could tell that across the Earth there could be 10,000 ways to get lost at sea or as many ways around. Since the true horizon of the oceans is a uniform curve of 360 degrees, that descends equally at all the distant corners of the Earth, on open water
a ship is sailing on the swell. As though elevated a little on a central hill, gradually higher above the horizons, to see from there is from a slight spherical elevation, and it is the reason why objects in the offing appear marginally from the top down.
What is beyond the offing -- "where the sea and sky are welded together without a joint" -- is hidden by the curved surface of the Earth, a round sphere, and things come into
view gradually from top to bottom. When a ship's mast first appears at the bar of the horizon, the lower part and the deck are invisible due to the curvature of the sea. Only the top of the mast appears first, and then gradually the rest, from top to bottom. Elevated
towers and higher city lights and higher bluffs of shoreline in the distance are visible first, when coming in sight of land's end -- and, like the masts of ships, coastal mountains appear to rise out of the sea from the top down, rather than the bottom
Because the Earth is a sphere, and space is consistent in three dimensions, the procession
or sequence or dynamic of Earth and sky, including rainbows and the ecliptic, can only confirm that space and the world are spherical in nature. It is simple enough to see that the sky overhead looks spherical like a dome, and as a dome, half a sphere.
So for the better balance and better reflection of parts, to compose the whole, there must be an equal half, another similar dome of sky, around the other side of the earth, that is there, although one cannot see it because no one is that tall. One would have
to be a fantastic antediluvian giant, perhaps one with six fingers and six toes, 24 in all, and two rows of teeth, or a god, or great demonic entity, to see the other side. If one were as tall as Saturn or Jupiter, or as far away for eyes, then one could see
around the sides better, and at least half of the sphere of the earth at a time.
The arc of
a rainbow is another sign that the earth is formed in circular bands from top to bottom and side to side. The uniform curve of a rainbow that partially encircles the earth is created along its plane by the interaction
of sunlight and the earth's atmopshere that are continuous in 3-D. And the four corners of the earth, anywhere in all the repetitions, are always smooth and continuous wherever anyone roams. And the earth never spins away from underneath
or across a rainbow either, but the sun keeps moving across the sky day by day.
in fact, is not an oblate spheroid as heliocentrism would like to pretend. It does not have an equatorial bulge and is not squeezed-in at the polar caps. Rather there is a balanced perspective of day and night in the seasons, from the planets and stars moving along the ecliptic through the horizons, over
all longitudes and latitudes. Since the 180 degrees of the ecliptic in the halves of the sky overhead curve roundly in an arc, like a semi-circle, it must be that the Earth and the cosmos are spheres, since the best balance and best reflection
are in similar measures.
Cave man not need camera for right answer, since likeness goes all the way around, and satellite photography shows that the Earth and its atmosphere are spherical. Wth uniform curvature overall, even with variations in terrain, the true horizon
is everywhere the same balance, whether seen from the surface or high altitude in space -- as it should be for a sphere. The horizon is not subtended in a funny or disproportionate way anywhere along the equator or towards the polars caps, as if it were
an oblate spheroid.
For example, heliocentric astronomer Fred Hoyle wrote: "It is well
known that as a consequence of its rotation the equatorial diameter of the Earth exceeds the polar diameter by about 27 miles -- the earth is slightly squashed at its poles in other words."-22
Such would be the fool's figure for an error in abstraction rather than reality: and heliocentrism has the shape of the Earth wrong not geocentrism. Geocentrism says the Earth is a simple
sphere, perfect as much as not moving, and heliocentrism argues, without any evidence, that it is an oblate spheroid with an equatorial bulge and squeezed-in polar caps.
one can notice any of the gigantic motions and stresses that would create the supposed equatorial bulge and squeezed-in polars caps in the first place, and no one and no satellite photography can notice any evidence of the equatorial bulge or squeezed-in
polar caps themselves, either. Rather the horizons are always perfect parallel after parallel, on all sides equally rounded from whatever angle of vanishing flatness, as it could be only in a true sphere, not an oblate spheroid.
If the diameter of the earth along the equatorial axis were 27 miles greater than along the polar axis, that is a substantial amount
in size: a difference equivalent to two and a half bekadeks or 142,560 feet. The highest mountains in the world are around five times less than that, yet quite noticeable for the seasons, easily visible for verification, while the equatorial
bulge and squeezed-in polar caps, and the tremendous forces of spinning rotation that supposedly create them in the first place remain utterly hidden away.
Twenty-one years before Copernicus published "De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestibus", the
sailors of the Magellan-Elcano voyage completed the first recorded circumnavigation of the globe; and none ever reported seeing any signs of a so-called equatorial bulge or squeezed-in polar caps. Rather then as much as now the convexity of space predominated
in spheres, and the horizons all the way around never gave evidence of any odd oblate distension, as Newton would describe it one hundred and sixty-five years later, without leaving Cambridge or the Bank of England for the equator or the poles.
Neither Magellan, Elcano, or any of the crew thought that the Earth was flat, or that it was revolving to orbit the Sun; yet a somewhat legendary sophism was started that in the journey they
had lost a day from sailing west around the world. They had sailed over many thousands of leagues for three years, and when surviving Captain and crew arrived at the Cape Verde Islands, they put a boat ashore for provisions and supposedly discovered to their
astonishment that they had lost a whole day from the voyage. The story goes that the crew thought it was Wednesday but the islanders said no, that it was Thursday.
But the history books say the arrival in Santiago was on July 9, 1522, which was a Wednesday, not Thursday, July 10, of the Julian calendar. It was almost sixty years before the Gregorian reform of
October 1582, and perhaps events somehow became confused with time, with later changes in the calendar and so forth. So in some circles the idea spread that mysteriously they had lost a day from wandering west, where the sun sets so distantly around the Earth
The fable today may have fallen out of popular knowledge but brings up the circumnavigator's paradox, an old paradox from the Middle Ages, that said one would lose a day by
going West around the world, and gain a day by going East. So somehow the story spread that Magellan's voyage had proved it. Yet for whatever it is that people enjoy paradox, sophism, and fables, the Magellan-Elcano voyage did not really lose 24 hours or a
day from going west around the world.
From the continuous projection of the Sun around the
Earth, not by motions of things across the surface of the Earth, nor by any motion of the Earth itself, the days after all are as simple as one by one, in a singularized index zone. The supposed confusion of days that could result from ships going
so far west or east or with such great inimitable speed is another false dilemma, a fool's paradox, to imagine that one would lose a day by going west around the world, and rather gain a day by going east.
Some sort of arbitrary medieval joke, like trial by clutter or silly sidecar, if not combat or drowning, since there is no natural diminution or extension of time because of the Earth itself. There is no dilation of time because of relativity stuck between rocks or continents either, or because of motions of clocks and things across
the surface. All the days are in stereo, of course, simple as parallels within a plenum, and all resolved as one, one by little one.
No matter how many angels can dance on a thimble
or beading needle, there is only one center to any circle, and everywhere in a pin some mysterious relation to the center, if the legendary would really exist at all. Even the smallest needly point or the smallest remnant of a bead possible represents better than nothing a circle, or the circle within it; and there is only one center to any day, and all the minutes and hours, and astral mysteries and aspects of cosmic secrets that go with it,
and that is the Earth.
The Earth and so many cans, where one day ends and another begins over
cannery row, the new day consumes yesterday as the point of the circle where the snake swallows his tail, going round and round. Where aforetime burns out and runs out of extent,
the present abides, and tomorrow consumes today, when it passes away. Yet it seems perhaps arbitrary in abstraction to say that the point of completion and the new beginning are different in a perfect circle. If there are many similar circles same as the first,
it is the same question again, sicut pons asinorum de integro, like Euclid's bridge of asses. The one is the same as the other, duo duo, for the sameness all around.
It was an arbitrary decision, of course, therefore, to say that the Great Meridian should correspond to Greenwhich, England,
so close to the Bank of England and a matter of custom to judge whether the old day ends at sunset, or at midnight, or even at dawn. But wherever the old day ends, the new would begin, and everywhere the sequence is one day at a time.
Stereoscopically, from the big picture in full 3-D, the actual dimensions of the Earth are such that 15" of the ecliptic equal about one hour of any day: and along the Equator that corresponds
to about 1,037 and a half miles. The correspondence of time and space may seem peculiar at times; yet as many different days as there are, they resolve as each one, one by single one, in circular patterns per diem; and if any old boat did sail off the edge
of the world, it would be a wreck for one specific day's sailing not two.
Even Superman cannot reverse time. Even if he could change the weather, he cannot reverse the past by flying backwards into the west from the east, as fast as he can,
as many times as he can. There is no skipping time and fast forwarding into the future by flying into the west either, as fast as he can, as many times as he can. Neither way west or east recovers old losses or saves shipwrecks, or changes reality good or
bad, as though they had not been, or prevents a future poorly foreseen. In fact, the simple accomplishment of the days is within such an order of sublime achievement
that it cannot be explained by random theories or the Big Bang either.
Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
had another sophism about the confusion of space and time, in which he imagined that there was a strip of land circling the Earth in which everyone speaks English. He embarks on a journey due west from London, Tuesday at 9 am, and speeds quickly enough along
to keep the Sun in the same relative position in the sky. As he travels along, he checks the time by asking the locals, "what time is it?" They always answer "9 am". Indeed, everything goes so smoothly that that is the answer when, 24 hours later, he returns
to London. "But the Londoners also report the day as Wednesday rather than Tuesday. So where did Wednesday begin"?-23
This kind of thing could become annoying, yet if arbitrary to say which one it is, which is which is not to say what kind of thing it is or where. Since the cosmos is spherical and much intelligence is innate, the feeling and
shape of eggheadedness may not be unnatural. Even if time and space may become something peculiarly transcendental, at times baffling, people know the difference between midnight
and high noon without having to consult an astrologer or think tank. Therefore, like the unending enumerations of Pi, plain experience may represent at times something in the continuation
more mysterious than mundane, even in simple calendars and sandglasses, et cetera.
it is less possible to lose time by going west around the world, or gain time into the future by going east, than it is to square the circle. And comparatives among things that are impossible do not really make that much sense anyway, because, of course, what
is impossible is simply not possible, and does not bear much comparison with other things that are also impossible. And it is impossible to square the circle, as much as it is to lose a day by going west, or gain one by going east so fast or by keeping up
with 9 o'clock am around the world.
Mortal tabulations are not so transcendental as the abstract thing in question, the thing itself in the limit and beyond it, like existence that
keeps going in circles like a ghost in the machine and on up to Heaven. The ephemerides benefit all the averages, certainly, as much as any continuous probability distribution, where every day is as simple as 24 rows in a column, and every week 24 rows in
seven columns, with a column for each planet: and 168 hourglasses make a week.
However, the quintessence of the
quantum leap still mistifies, from alpha to omega, from one instance of a moment to the next, where the 24 hours are 24, like the letters of the Greek alphabet. Arranged in a neat circle around the Earth all the time, the dance of the hours and
Thema Mundi, for example, were before Sesostris and Sosigenes, who were after Gilgamesh and Utnapishtim, who were before Don Quixote and St. Paul, and "until death it is all life, as every new beginning comes from some other beginnings ends".
When the rows in a column have all been filled, the day moves forward to the next column. After a day, the Sun even changes an average .9863 degrees in background, or about one for the eclitpic. Simple
enough, but still it seems that some mystery about time and space must escape the minds of mortals, which may be hidden somewhere in the forever ever nature of Pi, perhaps, that days and time could possibly get lost.
"Un grand peut-etre" subtends, as it will seem the same over all conjunctions, to say maybe this or maybe that, ens inquantum ens; yet
the habitable world of being could still be simple as circles, and apples and oranges, and whether one is or is not in a certain place on a certain day does not have to be too complicated. If an old medieval caravel did sail too far for commerce, to fall off
the edge of the world, it would at least have been an accident that occurred at once, as a single mistake during one day of the week. The same vessel taken together could not fall off the edge of the world twice, at the same time and place, not even for quantum
mechanics or Schrodinger's cat.
After all, if Zeus defeated Cronus, it is because he figured out and understood that in the essential relation of forms space has ultimate precedence
over time. Part of the precedence of space over time established by Jupiter long ago is that signs and aspects, like living or not living, for example, are impossible to avoid in the instance. Nature has its cues and its limits, of course, like Saturn too,
such a planet and other things since each parallel goes some place and everybody has to be somewhere. The creaturely is conditional as much as orthographic projection. So it goes, and even eagles that see it from the sky can only go so far and then the parallel
For instance, if Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation of the globe did not go as well
as Magellan's, and ship and crew fell off the face of the high seas one day, over an apocalyptic waterfall by some odd chance, they could not fall off twice. For something like that, to fall the first time in such a way, on such a scale, would be enough. However
it would look for the boat and final proof, then to where in the world would they and the Golden Hind descend except down, resolved to the center, in the direction that is perpendicular to still water?
Wabi-sabi the Japanese say about tea, and what would come to nothing must end in something -- and if by the size of it, a boat of sailors sailing sailed too far to
the edge, and fell straight off the face of the Earth, it would be a mysterious disaster indeed, per misadventure into the fateful face of the deep, yet not one that could go on without end. It may seem unclear where it would go, and how long to fall before
hitting rock bottom, but free-fall in a straight line cannot continue forever, even for the weirdest of accidents.
Since the Earth is not flat, the direction called
"down", perpendicular to the surface of still water, is distributed around the world gradually, scoped within circles as with a center. The center is as important as the collection of facts, of course, since if the Earth were flat, the lateral terminus of
departure for a drop into the abyss, between a parallel that is high and one that is low, collected at the end point of an edge, would be beyond relief of earthly terrain. Over the edge, it would lead to some other place: parts far away and unknown.
Tattoo from "Fantasy Island" used to sing when
he was drunk, "O the deepest deep, and me so cheap, if my voice dies on land, carry it down to the sea, 'twas a sunny day when I went to play down by the sea", even if he did not know the rest of the words, and he would say,
"Boss, the plane, Boss the plane". If short and high in the perspective, like him, the world holds together in the round, perfect as a sphere; and all the waterfalls and boats that would go over the edge can only fall down according to the range of vertical
descent, that goes further and further down and to the center.
Experience has shown that in such cases too, that a vast and perhaps larger portion of truth arises from the seemingly irrelevant, and some say any true philosophy will always show the same, yet there must be some
center, of course, as much as the all-in-between: and there things would collect even where they land, if in some strange way, if more than one went off the edge, down and to an area far below -- such a place not only in abstract obscurity, but even as they
would if the space of the Earth were absolutely flat in overall extension.
The expression of flatness in the case is only a matter of resolution, like the bottom line, where
falling is falling as falling to an end. Another metaphor, and like the poets, "if the skies fall, one may hope to catch larks". Boats and watefalls that would go preciptously off the edge of things and exit the surrounding terrain will collect and land as
coordinated to a center. Why because how, as much as how because when, as they go deeper down into the sphere of what, where, how much so, which one and who, and so forth, it should not be that different for things like that from a picture from any decent
Cartooning at times may also be called preaching, and "si fractus illabatur orbis, impavidum ferient ruinae." If the orb of creation shoud break and fall, the ruins would
strike him fearless.
To the boat as person, or the persons as boat, as whatever between corporate and service code, the face of the Earth is curved as the surface of a sphere, and
to fall off any elevation is to fall off the edge, since every point on the surface of a sphere is also an edge. Yet some edges are higher and more precipitous than others, and it is a poor hypothesis that will not explain more facts than it is designed to
meet. When some people imagined that the Earth was flat, because it looks flat in so many acres, they imagined that it was that way overall because otherwise people and animals on the other side would fall off. However, as Ptolemy and others noticed, there
is not the normal sense of up or down in regards to a sphere. In all places the way up or down is merely assigned by a label, as the situation seems appropriate, yet in pure terms the up or down is simply motion away from or to the center.
As all that and the consentium gentium may be, the simple memory of the best place, and the best way to live under the orbit of stars, this way or that, appears at times to have been lost.
With heliocentrism, for example, the notion of an original garden paradise, comite optimo omnis, is gone. "Was there a garden or was the garden a dream? Amid the fleeting light, already it is imprecise in the memory, the clear Paradise, but somehow some would
know that it exists in flower and profusion", et cetera.-24
With deep thoughts, intuentes abyssos, as one sign
and gesture meets another, as much as Don Quixote in the cave of Montesinos, to dwell is to garden thought Heidegger, and going deeper down into the sphere of the Earth is going deeper down into the sphere of the cosmos and of space itself. It is the most
reasonable conclusion and scientific, since the direction called down, perpendicular to the surface of still water, is only one of six cosmic directions that assimilate with a center, and way of return, which happens to be the Earth, resting in grand hypostatic
suspension in the middle of the six and the stars, et cetera.