Space and Time

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Consciousness flickers round the edges of dreaming and I become vaguely aware of the delicious luxury of warmth and comfort and a body relaxed and sleepy. It is dark and silent, the dawn will be long in coming, and dreams hover on the edges of mind. The eastern horizon waits for sunrise… and the thought flits through my sleepy mind, that actually, there will be no ‘sunrise’.  The sun does not rise. Ever.

Okay, that woke me up.

It is neither as radical not as weird a thought as many that occupy my mind… it is simply true. The sun does not rise. It hangs in space and we, our planet, are the ones that move. Yet in language, thought and imagery we paint a moving sun that arcs across the heavens, marking the dance of time through our days.

I wonder for just how many millennia we have accepted that idea unquestioning? For a long time we accepted a geocentric model that placed the earth at the centre of a revolving universe. Before that there was a flat earth… and earlier still was the poetry and wonder of myth. Heliocentricity didn’t emerge as a fully formulated idea till Copernicus in the 16th century… and it probably didn’t make its way into the popular mind for a long time after that. Even now, knowing that the truth is other than the evidence presented by our eyes, we still watch the sun ‘rise and set’ aware only of ‘its’ movement, seldom ours. Although we all know the planetary dance these days, few really need to understand it in any depth or detail. We don’t, on a day to day basis, even care whether the sun moves overhead or we circle it.

Perhaps it is more comfortable that way.

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It is a similar story with time… physicists, mathematicians and philosophers all have their own ideas that we, the general public, are unlikely to ever question enough to understand. We look at a clock and that is enough. We do not have to understand Newton, Einstein or Hawking in order to know the moment we have to leave for work or make dinner. Between the apparent motion of the sun and the hands of our clocks we can function within the frame of days.

As the kettle boils, Ani pretends she is a cat, leaning against my legs and rubbing, with one soulful eye on the milk carton. I wonder if she is any more aware of her place in the universe than we are. In some ways there seems little difference. She is aware of what she needs to know… and although insatiably curious and willing to learn, the patterns of behaviour … or misbehaviour… go deep. She knows she will be fed without recourse to a clock, knows she has warmth and cuddles and tennis balls… why should she worry about any more than that? Yet she does and is always on alert. Though that may just be being nosey.

We are not all that much different in many ways and spend our days focussed on the needs and desires that move us through the hours from dawn to dawn. ‘Had we but world enough and time’ what else could we see? Sometimes something will catch our attention and we find ourselves considering new things, or new ways of looking at old ones. Sometimes we make that conscious decision to step outside of the tramlines of need and begin to question a world we seem to be seeing for the first time with a new awareness. It doesn’t take much to bring us to these realisations of possibility if we are open to them… it might be no more than seeing an object with fresh eyes or questioning a long-held belief. Or realising that the sun never rises… it is always there in the heavens.

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19 thoughts on “Space and Time

  1. Most of us are in too much of a hurry to ever stop and think about our lives in such detail. In fact, I would go so far as to say that most people are quite happy to go along with all these popular misconceptions. They don’t care if the sun rises or we do, as long as their little worlds stay safe and comfortable…
    Personally, I worry about time. I’m sure there is something we are missing there…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You bring up a good point, Sue… why do we continue with an outdated view about the sun? Maybe it is easier to use our eyes to see the sun move, than our brains to reason that it is we that are moving, hurtling through space. That is a much bigger picture!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting, Sue. I was thinking today about the fact that there is so much information available at our finger tips and yet so many millions of people don’t know anything about what is happening in the world. They are unaware of genetic engineering and the fourth industrial revolution and climate crisis and what they mean for mankind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very excellent observation, Robbie. In many parts of the world, these things are unknown to the general populations, but they also don’t know many other things we take for granted. So many are unable to read or write and are living at the most basic level a person can survive. And many of them don’t.
      In ancient times, i think things were much different because the people lived by observation of what the earth and the universe and all that is in it was doing. They celebrated and revered those things because they meant the difference between life and death. So at some point in all these cultures, something has happened to send them back before knowing, and it is hard to tell what is happening to cause such things. People on this earth are starving when there is enough to feed everyone if we but used it all wisely and tended it properly so that it would continue to feed everyone. But this would take cooperation on a planetary level, and it seems that human beings are incapable of getting along today. It is strange because I have been to many farmer’s markets where there were many cultures who were also different colors, different languages, probably different religious/spiritual beliefs and different political beliefs and yet we all sit together happily enjoying our different foods and sometimes trying to communicate and share about our special foods, or laughing together at the antics of children. What would it take for everyone on this planet to be able to learn equally, and to be treated equally, or could that even ever work. So many things are brought up and all of them worthwhile to consider along with whether it is we who are rotating around other planets and the sun and moon. I am of that belief and had read it somewhere back in my memory, but at times it is easy to believe the opposite. I thought it was interesting that I was talking about the ocean and how it goes out but does not come back, and the person thought I was looney tunes, but really is it the same ocean that went out that comes back, or has it changed? Well, there are so many good issues connected with this, but thank you for bringing it up.

      I like that we are getting a lot more interesting comments from so many more people. I thank everyone who contributes something. You really make it interesting to participate and there is this wonderful feeling that we are all on the same page even if we might not be. And thank our leaders for being so good with bringing up so many wonderful topics. I wish I had known all of you so much earlier in my life, but I am glad that I know you now for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really thank Sue and Stuart and Steve for bringing up these majorly interesting subjects and helping us all to learn and understand our universe and life itself in a totally different way that makes so much sense. Schooling, even in the universities, was so shallow compared to this. I can hardly remember any of the things I learned in school and yet the things that I learn here from our leaders and from all of you are opening my mind to so many new things and for that I am so grateful.


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