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, wrote 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."
Looking over the bridge of humanity, therefore, 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. 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.
Likewise and again, and again and again, where it comes to particular and universal,
all navigation is based on a fixed-Earth assumption. 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 that is 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.
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 poor, it is not for lack of vision; 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? No, no, of
course not, that could not at all be.
Since poverty is the discoverer of all the arts, even
the bearded homeless with a cup of pennies and bag of french fries 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, 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.-3 In the classic yet totally 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 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 likeness 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 and 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 you go, 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
"Under 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
The 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. 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, "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 by the Greeks, "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 and all that, there is no way to quantify the infinite except by 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 do not create the original distinction, except perhaps to help for a sense of direction, since all quantity
is indifferently related to the infinite. The character of equilibrium and harmony of the first sustains the second subditum, as much as infinity, with its quality of continuous return, balances all the finity, and throughout all mathematically correct
How far a sense of the difference in proportion between the two may create an impression of admiration. Since the resources of geometry
are everywhere and inexhaustible, like the round edge of infinity, 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, and in consequence to act on what is believed to be thought or thought to be believed.
is like center court, as far away from the ends as close to the middle. The keystone of the arch for the breezeway of the cosmos, it is stabilized equally in all directions from the center, in the middle of both directions of either two of any opposite sides.
It comes out as far away to wander as things may go around its sphere everywhere.
Therefore, like being itself, with unique and universal placement between potential infinity, as it so happens, the best way is to weigh 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 place 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.
Hippolytus wrote, "the Earth is aloft, not dominated by
anything, remaining in place with similar distance from all points."-14 And it is not flat or an oblate spheroid either, for the indifference of the middle, but 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. One could compare it to a magnitude of hypostasis, in between all the signs of the ecliptic all the
time, if through symmetry of elemental forces, and say "electro-magnetic hypostasis", 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, 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. As much as common sense, 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 many uneducated people may have conceptualized our planet both then and now). 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 examination in close comparison of the apparent angle of elevation of the sun, 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 came very close.
Even without TV, satellites, smart phones, or the internet, ancients like these then were not so dumb. If at times not far from the caves, 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.
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 that the 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 around it.
If some people imagined that the earth could be flat, perhaps it was because they recognized at least that it was not moving, that indeed it was still. If there was 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, 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 kids.
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, but what it taught
instead was the ultimate order of creation, 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.
Roger 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 the Earth
was so. Even from the earliest medieval period, to show the power and sovereignty of the almighty's cross over 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 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 further along the Caribbean islands thus 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 later became some part of the ultimate 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 left for Spain after they had returned to France, advised Columbus on his 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 a critical advisory, they argued 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 flatness, and they were correct. Therefore, the Columbus idea did not seem so worthwhile, since nobody in
his right mind wants to die at sea going the wrong way, and for too long. It seemed better to some to sail around Africa, Arabia, India, and then on to South China. Yet Ferdinad and Isabella later decided it was worth a try, and he discovered America instead
by 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 mind, 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 disappears in the distant tableau, 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 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 as any sketch paper. One side or the other is how most people live, yet the circle is the symbol of perfection in creation, and should be complete as a sphere, and all whatnot.
The average bulb of human perspective from Earth is like an Evel Knievel helmet visor 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 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 any 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 hand of time, is in oranges and cantaloupes, or spheres, then it
must be in the world and the cosmos as well, and the Earth then clearly is one complete sphere.
As much as there is one side of the line and the other, there are two 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 is in 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 as well. Even as world science would spin around and around, dizzying itself with relativity and various frames of quantum reference, and 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. 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.
Aristotle described the generation of the Earth as spherical, 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 constellations and stars 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 dimension: and "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.
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 up.
Because the Earth is a sphere, and space is consistent in three dimensions, the procession 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.
The Earth, 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 -- with 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 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.
No 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: 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 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. So in some circles the idea spread that mysteriously they had lost a day from wandering west, where the sun sets around the Earth ...
fable today may have fallen out of popular knowledge but embellishes 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 and around the world.
The days after all are as simple as one by one, in a singularity 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 supposed confusion of days that could result from ships going so far east or west, or with such great 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 between rocks 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. 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.
Where one day ends and another begins, as the point of the circle where
the snake swallows his tail, going round and round, the new day consumes yesterday. Where aforetime burns out and runs out of extent, the present abides, and tomorrow consumes today, when it passes away. Yet it is arbitrary 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
It was an arbitrary decision, of
course, therefore, to say that the Great Meridian should correspond to Greenwhich, 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 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, 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 east 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.
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 in the continuation something
more mysterious than mundane, at times even in simple calendars and sandglasses, et cetera.
instance, 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, 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 itself 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, where
the 24 hours are 24, like the letters of the Greek alphabet, arranged in a neat circle around the Earth. Thema Mundi, for example, was before Sosigenes, who was after Gilgamesh and Utnapishtim, who were before Don Quixote, 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.
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 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, 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 accident.
Since the Earth
is not flat, the direction called "down", that is perpendicular to the surface of still water, is distributed around the world gradually, scoped within circles as with a center. 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, even if he did not know the words, and he would say, "Boss, the plane, Boss the
plane". Like him, if short and high in the perspective, 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. 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 is only a matter of
resolution where falling is 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 why, they go deeper down into the sphere of what, when, where, how much, which one and who.
"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, 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 assigned by an appropriate label, and in pure terms the up or down is simply motion away from or to the
As all that and the consentium gentium may be, this way or that, the simple memory of the best place, and the best way to live under the orbit of stars, appears
at times to have been lost. With heliocentrism, for example, the notion of an original garden paradise, comes omnis optimus, 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, 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.