The Cosmic and the Terrestrial:
Chapter 1: The Nature of the Outer Cosmic Environment
The Cosmic & Terrestrial Environments
Additionally, we observe in the diagram, that although the terrestrial environment appears to be a subset of the cosmic environment, it is also infused with the nature of the cosmos: that of sunshine - starshine. The impregnation of sunshine into the terrestrial realms has generated the myriad phenomena of life. Born, it is told, in the primeval oceans of a young half-billion year old planet and its tidal moon, the first stirrings of microbiological Gaian life appeared.
The terrestrial atmosphere, it is said, was then (some 4 billion years ago) very much like both the Martian and Venusian atmospheres are now ... about 96% carbon dioxide. The very first living things - single celled organisms known today (yes - they still exist) as prokaryotes - were single celled organisms without a cell nucleus, and largely functioned as living photosynthetic systems - taking in the carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen. These primal living organisms took just 2 billion years, by the processes of photosynthesis, to convert the earth's atmosphere to its present levels of life-bearing oxygen, and set the stage for the furtherance of life in the evolution of multi-cellular and aerobic organisms.
Thus, by systematic prevalence over vast geological time spans, we may clearly perceive how it is that the nature of the cosmic environment represented as sunshine in the above diagram, has infused the nature of the terrestrial environment, and has given rise to living systems.
The above configuration of earth, sun and moon represents a first order approximation of the relativity of our own physical bodies to the cosmic and the terrestrial environments in which we survive. Although this specification reflects the scientific facts concerning the local cosmological environment, these specifications have become only recently available to generic mankind.
The ancients proposed a number of cosmologies to account for the natural phenomena which were to be observed from the planetary surface of our terrestrial world, and many of these cosmologies were drawn together around the central figures of gods or goddesses. From the scattered tribes of man upon the surface of the earth, grew nations large and small, each flourishing in their time - each purporting to answer and explain the mysteries of the kingdom of nature in accordance to their own culturally derived beliefs.
Insofar as my research has taken me, I have found no evidence of any ancient culture that accepted the notion of the heliocentric cosmos (ie: sun centered) and taught their children that the days and the nights were caused by the spinning of the earth. Certainly, many cultures gave homage to the sun, but the cosmology concerning the configuration of the earth and moon and sun appears absent. Certainly too, there were on an individual basis, exceptions to the generic rule. Individuals who somehow understood the fact that the world that was known as a spherical planet was spinning on an axis, and that the sun and stars only appeared to orbit the earth.
The following outline attempts to delineate the different natures of the terrestrial and the cosmic environments, in preparation for the ability to clearly specify the nature of the ecosystem of the sun.
On the one hand, the sun is part of the greater nature of the cosmic environment of the Milky Way galaxy, and on the other hand, the sun is the central fountainhead and source of energy for all living things and for many natural processes and phenomena apparent in this terrestrial environment wherein we dwell.
The Outer Cosmic Nature
Now the next step is quite easy ... move a short distance away from where you are now. It doesn't matter if this change is one mile or one inch - just so long as your eyes are in a different place. Again look at the star and observe this river of light. If you need to travel further, do so, but I think you will be convinced that the following summation is sound. At each place here on earth at which you choose to stand or sit, unless the star is not visible - either because of the shadow of the spinning earth or because it is being outshone by Sol (the name of our SUN) - the river of light from that one single solitary star is always visible.
It is visible at each place where your eye might visit. Anywhere in the cosmos, unless in the shadow of some ponderable matter, this river of light from this specific one little star will always be running - like a perennial mountain stream. This implies that through all points in the entire known cosmos, no matter how close together or how far apart, the light from this one star is continually flowing.
Multiply this conclusion by a billion billion suns ... and the cosmos is thus observed to be an ocean of light, an ocean fed by the tributary streams of stars and galaxies. A vast and deep cosmic ocean of light, in which our planet earth is an isolated and remote terrestrial island. An outcrop of terrestrial nature braving the eternal cosmic swells of the local and the distant universal cosmic environment.
Accordingly, light is represented as only one part of the electromagnetic spectrum, a very specific band of energy to which the human eye is sensitive. Visible light is centered on a frequency of about 10^15 cycles per second (and corresponds with a wavelength of 5.55 x 10 -7 meters). and extends from the beginning of the Infrared light, with a frequency of just over 10^12 cycles per second, and extends through to the end of the Ultraviolet light spectrum at just under 10^17 cycles per second. Below the lower end of the light spectrum occurs infrared light, then microwaves, then radio waves, and then down to power - as the frequency drops. Above the upper end of the light spectrum occurs the ultaviolet light spectrum, then X-Rays and then Gamma Rays where the frequency of the vibrations are greatly increased.
Light travels at almost 300,000 kms (186,000 miles) per second, capable of circulating around the planet seven and one-half times in one second, taking around eight minutes to reach us from the sun, over four years from the nearest star, and 400,000 years from the nearest galaxy. Because of this huge vastness of the cosmos, one common unit of measurement of cosmic distance, is the light_year, which represents the distance which light travels in one (earth) year.
The nature of the sunlight must not be confused with the nature of the artificial and man_made electric lights which are used to illuminate the dark side of the spinning planet. The man_made light is generated specifically only for the small visible spectrum of energy known as light, whereas the energy generated by the sun spans the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
The Milky Way galaxy of which the sun is a part, is itself part of the Local Group of galaxies which contains two large spiral galaxies (M31 and M33) and at least 18 small and irregular and elliptical galaxies. The Local Group itself is part of a large supercluster of galaxies known as the Virgo Supercluster, containing 1,000 known galaxies.
Typical large galaxies are symmetric (spirals or disks) which can be
50,000 or 100,000 light years in diameter, and are composed of a
combination of stars, gas and dust. Galaxies (such as our own) are
in a process of regular rotation which may take a few hundred million
years. The nearest galaxies to the Milky Way are the large and small
Magellanic Clouds which are located at some 150,000 light years distance,
and are visible in the southern hemisphere. The brightest of the closest
galaxies is the Andromeda Nebula
In the case of the cosmic light, this energy is generated by nuclear processes at the center of the stars, and this cumulative and persistent transmission may be seen as a type of cosmic groundswell. Top notch contemporary scientists would rather have me say instead that the resultant environment consists of the vacuum of space, and that within this quantum vacuum exists fluctuations of the quantum zero point field. Unfortunately, I am convinced that mathematics and mythology have a common ancestor, and I would rather try and fail at the expression of the infinite in simple terms rather than try and express the infinite in terms of mathematics and then succeed in confusing everyone, including myself.
Furthermore, the entire spiral galaxy of the Milky Way, taking the sun and all our neighbouring stars with it, is in the process of slowly spinning. One revolution of this great cosmic wheel of time, corresponding to one orbit of the sun about the Milky Way has been calculated to take some 200 million years, which equates to an orbital velocity of 225 kilometres per second.
The central source of the cosmic environment of light are the engines, springs, fountainheads - whatever you would call them - of the stars (of the innumerable suns). The state of matter attributed to the stars is known by modern science as the fourth state of matter - plasma. Plasma physics is the study of high energy matter such as that found in the heart of suns. The huge scale atomic and nuclear processes which are evident in the processes of stars must be clearly differentiated from the processes which occur in the terrestrial environment.
The nature of terrestrial matter is described by modern science in accordance to its state (solid, liquid or gas) and its properties which are manifest under scientific analysis. Before we examine the merit of this analysis and cover the subject of the terrestrial environment which has arisen on this planet, and from which these splendid visions of the nature of the cosmos are afforded, we will firstly examine the outline and put forward a working definition of the local cosmic environment, as distinct from the seemingly infinite extent of the cosmic oceans of starshine.
The Local Cosmic Environment
We are connected to the cosmic nature through the proximity and presence of our own local star which we know as the sun, and which has been given the name of Sol from time immemorial. Completely dominating the generation of life within the terrestrial environment in which we all have co_evolved, the sun has nine planets in orbit about itself, the planet Earth being the third planet out, after Mercury and Venus. Beyond the Earth is Mars, then the asteroid belt, then the outer planets of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and lastly, Pluto.
The processes which power the sun, and their history and cyclic periodicity are only just beginning to become known. The distribution of the planets in their respective orbits about the sun, their means of formation, and their means of evolution, are as yet not satisfactorily explained, although a number of respected theories have been put forward.
Yet it should be noted that the sun is a huge cosmic fire, which was first commissioned by the processes which govern the birth of stars amidst the galactic envelope. It spends its fuel of hydrogen by way of nuclear processes, to generate huge amounts of energy which is continually radiated out and away from the sun's surface, and across the expanse of the solar system, out into the inter-stellar spaces. Unwritten by the scientific equations which constitute man's approximate understandings of the cosmos, it then must conjoin with the flows of neighbouring stars, and also the dominant groundswells set up from the galactic hub.
It is interesting to note that only recently another observation has been made concerning the relationship of the distribution of the planetary orbits and the observed periodical fluctuations of the solar energy. Quite surprisingly, it would seem that the planets orbit the sun at the nodes of what might be deemed standing waves if such could be generated by the cyclic fluctuations in the solar energy output. Interested parties might like to browse a report on this hypothesis which I have archived.
Clearly, each star - each sun - is a further beacon in this cosmic sea of star-shine, and the energy which it generates into its own local cosmic environment is considerably dominant. However, at some point in its outward bound journey through the immensity of the cosmic expanses, the energy must be attenuated and conjoined with the energy of all the cosmic suns, such that this ever-present ocean of light represents the contribution of the very great and the contribution of the very small. In all likelihood the nature of such an ocean would exhibit its own tempers dependent upon the local environment and the prevailing groundswell. Probably exhibiting the equivalent of tidal properties but over long time cycles according to circulation about a galactic hub, this ocean, could conceivably form the necessary boundary conditions for the establishment of standing electromagnet waves centered on each of the stars ... and in particular, in our own local cosmic environment, centered on the sun.
Most folk have investigated at least some information concerning the nature and the subject matter of astrology. Being such a popular and often culturally practised activity, there is often a great deal of misconception surrounding astrological science, as distinct from the disciplines of the western technological sciences. In order to clarify my position in relation to my personal opinion on the integrity of astrological data, I would like to make the following two statements:
Secondly, I have just as much respect for researchers in the field of the astrological sciences as I do for the researchers in the fields of any of the other Life sciences, for I do not believe that information is proprietary to any one discipline, no matter how entrenched in the culture it may have become, or no matter how commercial its lure would appear to benefit. Thus I will glean what I can from the wisdom of all cultural pursuits, and try and offend none in this process.
As is indicated by their absence in the above diagram (Fig 1), the other planets do not form part of the first approximation of the specification of the local cosmic environment. Subsequent refinements to this first approximation will have to examine the contribution of the effects of both the other planets, and the distant cosmos by way of the characteristics of the local galactic environment, and that of the galactic hub itself.
Note that this does not imply that the other planetary influences might not be one day found to somehow infringe this first specification, as it is common knowledge that, for example, the size and magnetic properties of Jupiter are large, and it has a greater angular momentum than the sun. (It spins once every 11-12 hours compared to the sun 26-36 days).
For the purposes of this article however, we are looking at the greatest apparent influences from the cosmic environment from the perspective of a living being upon the surface of the planet earth. And in this context, given the current state of scientific knowledge, the influences of energy radiation (ie: the shining of the sun) and of the influence of cosmic gravitation which is dependent upon both mass and distance. And this brings us to our final consideration in the local cosmic environment, one consideration which is often overlooked in the specifications of natural environment, and this is the moon.
The Earth/Moon System
That the moon is considered a satellite of the earth is not simply a matter of black and white, for such an ancient relationship should be granted something more related to the natural circumstances. A satellite is the name usually given to a body in orbit about a planet when the mass of that body is quite small in relation to the mass of the planet. Commercial satellites are aptly named. There is very little gravitational influence on the planet by the satellite.
The natural moons of planets however, are substantially of greater mass and while they are often referred to as satellites, they are large enough in many cases - and especially in the case of the earth's moon - to effect the planet itself. The earth is only 81 times more massive than its moon.
More appropriately, the gravitational systematics of the earth and moon are better described by means of a binary system, where both bodies are in orbit about a central point called the barycenter. A barycenter might be seen to be much like the central pivot on a see-saw. When the weights are equal then the pivot is in the middle, but where the weights are disproportionate, then the pivot must be moved toward the heavier body. In the case of a commercial satellite then pivot is exceeding close to the center of the earth as to be the same point, but in the case of the moon, this barycenter is located a fair distance away from the center of the planet earth.
The average distance of the moon from earth is 384,400 kms, and it is 81 times less massive than the earth. The radius of the approximately spherical earth is some 6,350 kms, while that of moon is 1,738 kms. The barycenter of the earth moon system is a point located some 1,600 kms beneath the surface of the earth, remote from the earth's center by some 4,750 kms, and located beneath the crust, in the midst of the earth's mantle. The earth and the moon both revolve around each other about this point - the barycenter, the gravitational center of the earth/moon binary system. The moon does not rotate about the center of the earth.
It is the barycenter of the earth/moon system which describes (in terms of the solar system) the annual ellipse about the sun, About this barycenter in its journey, the earth and moon carve out 28 day cyclic trajectories in space and time like the tightly co-joined double helix of the DNA molecule. And as the solar system moves with the sun in its 200,000 million year pilgrimage about the hub of the Milky Way, this greater annual ellipse too assumes the geometry of an open ended double spiral.
The earth and the moon orbit their common barycenter, located 1600 kms beneath the earth's surface, once every 28 days. During this time the earth spins on its axis 28 times (28 days), whereas the moon only spins once. That the moon spins on its own axis each 28 days is seen by the fact that is constantly presents the same face to the earth. It has been calculated this capture of the moon by the earth, by way of the dampening of the moon's intrinsic spin is attributable to an energy loss correspondent with the friction_loss generated over large time scales in the gravitational movement by the moon, on the earth's oceanic tides.
The binary systematics of the earth/moon system no doubt form the substrate for many natural processes, for it is clear that the nature of our terrestrial environment is as tightly coupled with the moon as is the earth itself. The emergence of life did not come forth from a geocentric Gaian environment, but instead from within the geologically scaled binary systematics engendered by the presence of both the earth and the moon, under the constant out-pouring of energy and light from the sun - the central cosmic fire of life.
From a scientific perspective, the Gaia Hypothesis is a great start to envisaging a specification of the life processes which are regulated by the earth's specific terrestrial environment. However the time has now arrived to expand the scope of the hypothesis, and to include its holistic charter, the formative specifications of the nature of the cosmic environment. It is these formative specifications which this article attempts to address.
As the earth and moon revolve about their common barycenter once each 28 days, the relative positions of the earth/moon pair in respect to the light giving sun, give rise to the phenomena of the lunar phases: The new moon, the full moon, the first quarter and the third quarter. Since pre-history and even today, the lunar months provide the natural division of time over and above the day, and within the larger span of the year. Both the Islamic and the Judaic calendar still adhere to the natural cycles of the lunar orbit.
In conclusion, it is interesting to note that, up until a few dozen generations ago, all the celestial bodies (the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars) were thought to exist in a geocentric cosmology (ie: earth-centered). In today's scientific world, it is only the moon which retains this remnant geocentric status.
The moon and the earth are a tightly coupled system, and have been so arranged in nature since their beginnings, according to current theory, for a period of 4.5 billion years. It will therefore come as no surprise, to those who are cognisant of the relevance of this fact, that the emergence of life on the terrestrial environment of the earth's planetary surface, a process which has been occurring for the last 4 billion years, will in some manner or in some form, exhibit such dual centering of global functioning. In short, it will be my expectation that somewhere deep in the specifications of life-processes, and the systems inherent in living organisms, there will be a reflection of the binary nature of the local cosmic environment of the earth/moon system, and that this will be superimposed over the reflection of a deeper cosmic environment which is governed by principal of the continual shining of the sun.
Conclusion & Summary
There is our individual body, and then there are the cosmic three bodies of the earth, the moon and the sun. And to each of these three bodies, our own body is related - for in the final anaysis, they represent our body's cosmic chariot which has borne our emergent species down through the evolutionary pathways of geological time spans to the present day, and which will continue to bear our individual bodies into the future evolution of our kind.
These three bodies are not of the same nature, for whereas the earth and the moon are constituted of terrestrial elements, the nature of the sun is akin to a cosmic fire - a fourth state of matter. Additionally, like a fountain-head, or the headquarters of a perennial stream, the sun is responsible for the saturation of the entire local cosmic environment with the life-giving phenomenon of sunshine - as is indicated in the diagram (Fig 1) above.
If our research is to continue outwards into the cosmos, then it will follow the secrets hidden in the nature of the sun, for the universe is filled with the stars, and one star will hold the key to this universal nature. Conversely, should our research continue inwards towards the investigation of terrestrial life, then we must examine the nature of the earth - and we should therefore be cognisant of the earth's environment. For there is no doubt that the future evolution of scientific theories must tend towards the specifications of systems within systems, for such, it would appear, is the nature of environmental systematics, and the way in which nature seems to work.
We should therefore also expect to find evidence of cosmic influences within the phenomena of terrestrial life, since there is an open interface between the cosmic and the terrestrial environment, and there can be little dispute that all the terrestrial eco-systems look to the cosmic environment as their primal source of energy and reference.
Having thus presented a reasonably coherent ontology of nature in its guise as the substrate of the external world of man, I intend to use these working definitions and outlines to establish that there exists a more than coincidental isomorphism between the nature of the outer cosmos and the nature of the inner cosmos of man.
Perhaps this intention may disappoint some of the more materially oriented, less poetically inclined readers, however the results of my research leave me little choice. For I have little doubt in the matter that there is a parallel evolution of outer form and inner form, and when in the final analysis, the works and labours of men and women in their life times are evaluated, it will be found that their contributions to their children, and to their families, and to their culture, and to the global human tribe in general, will be contributions in the form of an evolving consciousness - and of the cartography of inner human nature.
The ecosystem of the sol (sun) will be shown to be an environmental system which may be mapped to the inner world of human life and specifically to the ecosystem of the human soul. For each of us has within both a terrestrial and a cosmic environment, and it will be shown that the nature which spans the inner spaces and the outer worlds is the One Nature.
For in no other manner may the secrets of the kingdom of nature be hidden from the eyes and ears of man except that they be hidden in the midst of a great simplicity. For, like the nature of the cosmic environment, while it might appear remote to his location, and thus distant from the necessity of his understanding, it is certainly extremely close to the creation, the evolution and the continued maintenance of his living survival.
The Cosmic and the Terrestrial:
Chapter 1: The Nature of the Outer Cosmic Environment