Tagged: cosmos

Collecting Planets

I have a city-dwelling student who has recently begun to take a keen interest in the special wonders of the night sky. She sometimes sends me urgent messages to alert me to a perfect crescent moon, or to ask me which star is shining so bright on the horizon this evening. On a couple of occasions, the objects she is noticing, as though...

Circles and Self-Corrections

The cosmos self-corrects, and that certainly includes the human portion of the cosmos, to the extent it may be regarded separately. One might object that to say the cosmos self-corrects is to suggest that “The Whole” itself is flawed, which might reasonably lead one to ask, “Flawed against what standard?” Nevertheless it is so, although I prefer to say incomplete rather than flawed...

Light Pollution and the Stars

As the city aggrandizes itself, it carelessly obliterates the night sky. On the clearest night these days, no more than a few stars are visible from my neighborhood. Artificial light spreads and engulfs all with its perpetual gaudy clarity, hiding the natural obscurity that once provided the divine backdrop highlighting the distant presence of the most ancient light, thus serving as man’s daily...

Empedocles and Us

Empedocles is the only evolutionist whose theory impresses me in the least, because he is the only one who is rational enough not to imagine he is describing a rectilinear development, and expansive enough not to harbor any self-flattering hidden premise that he is living in an “advanced” stage of the process he describes. On the contrary, he saw all too clearly what...

Socrates on the View from Our Hollows

Several days ago, I wrote a short piece about Socrates’ description of the Earth to his companions, as he sat in his prison cell awaiting the hemlock. Today, as a spiritual escape from the moral prison formed of modern politics and the mass hysteria of coronavirus, I would like to reflect on one of the key themes of that famous episode in the...

Meanwhile, back in the cosmos…

Some weeks ago, a student who knows a great deal about my character and interests contacted me with the urgent advice to run outside as quickly as possible, so as not to miss the gorgeous moonrise she was witnessing from a bus across town. Yesterday, the same young woman contacted me with similar urgency, at roughly the same late afternoon hour, to ask,...