Re: Ch. 2: On Earth as in the Heavens
I have not read this chapter yet, but Penelope has inspired me.
It is interesting that Tyson (can I call him Iron Neil?) uses such Biblical chapter titles, this one tweaking the line from the legendary Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Himself, reputed author of the well known Lord's Prayer 'on earth as in heaven'.
This paraphrase from The Lord's Prayer is of great theological interest, raising the problem of the relation between Heaven and the Heavens, which are generally considered identical in Gnostic Platonic theology. The vision of cosmic unity comes from the Hermetic mystical tradition of Thoth, Hermes Trismegistus. The version 'as above so below', which means the same thing as 'on earth as in the heavens' appears most famously in the legendary hermetic text called the Emerald Tablet as translated by Sir Isaac Newton
, who used it as the axiomatic basis of his theory of gravity, a basic law of enlightenment which applies equally as an inverse square across all space time, on Earth as in the Heavens.
The Hermetic sacred geometry rests on the axiom "as above so below" which came to Europe with Giordano Bruno
and his reading of the Egyptian Corpus Hermeticum in the Renaissance. This activity questioning traditional Christianity led the Pope to burn Bruno at the stake in front of Saint Peter's in Rome in the anno 1600 of our domini. Bruno was executed for such heretical observations as that the stars are a long way away, now seen as the logical basis of the modern assumption that we have one universe that obeys coherent consistent laws of nature, making Bruno a martyr for science.
Now I know 'as above so below', or the Biblical 'on earth as in heaven', have traditionally been misinterpreted as solely magical concepts, as the basis of astrology and miracles. However, that is a very limited and incorrect reading.
Rather, with the great genius Leonardo Da Vinci, we should assume that microcosms reflect macrocosms, that the universe obeys a complex chaos of fractal geometry, that man is a model of the world
, with our blood and breath circulating like ocean currents and tides. Such renaissance philosophy enabled the unity of science and spirituality, seen in the accurate stellar anatomy of The Last Supper fresco by Leonardo
The modern separation of science from spirit occurred as a result of atheist dogma, and sits at the psychological root of the modern epidemic of mental illness, as a main social cause of alienation, depression, anxiety and loneliness.
Science found the old idea that we are intrinsically connected to the cosmos as part of a single whole difficult to square with the method of isolating the individual enquiring subject from the objective facts of nature.
Hence the modern myth of the individual, with its indifference to belonging to a community, is closely associated with the rejection of hermetic mysticism, and abandonment of the original logic of scientific law, as above so below.
To paraphrase Gandalf and channel Newton, one law to rule them all
.Edited 5/11 for clarity.