Spinning Earth Meditation

Four hundred years after Copernicus we still see the sun going down, although we all know that it is really the earth spinning round. Nevertheless, it is possible to see it the other way. I find it an instructive exercise to go somewhere where I have good view of the sky and horizon, and see myself standing on this huge ball of rock we call planet earth. With a little discipline, I can see in my mind's eye the myself and the whole earth turning in space from West to East. As it slowly spins round new parts of the sky come into view in the East while others disappear from view in the West. The sun “sets” because the horizon has moved up and obscured it, while the full moon “rises” as the opposite horizon moves down opening up new vistas. When I do that the Copernican shift becomes an experienced reality.

It is much more difficult, however, to do a similar exercise with our image of reality. Try as I may, I cannot directly experience the fact that my perception of the world is all taking place within me, rather than around me.


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