Shards of Consciousness

Sunday Reading 24 February 2008

I sit with my coffee. The sun is shining from a cloudless sky on a chill, white landscape. The night sky had its touch of beauty earlier this week as the moon underwent a total eclipse. That was a lovely sight.

Most of the planets of the solar system orbit the sun in the same general plane as the earth. This plane is called the ecliptic. The moon, too, orbits the earth in the plane of the ecliptic.

All the orbits are inclined somewhat to the ecliptic, so as they make their way around the sun, the planets and the moon rise above, and fall below, the centerpoint of the plane.

The moon, as we all know, orbits the earth. It's orbit is inclined about 5° to the ecliptic. Monthly it passes north and south of the ecliptic. The points of passage are called the lunar nodes. The point where the moon passes to the north is called the head of the dragon (Caput Draconis) in European astrology. The point where the moon passes to the south of the ecliptic is called the tail of the dragon (Cauda Draconis). If the moon is on a node at the new moon, a solar eclipse occurs. If it is on a node at a full moon, a lunar eclipse occurs.

In How Politics Has Become the New Sports (at Least for Me) Terry Starbucker talks about how, now that football is over, politics and the race for the presidential nomination, and then election, has become his new sports focus. Terry's  comparison between sports and politics is quite apposite. The only place I disagree with him is when he says the winner of the presidential election is important because it will make a difference in our lives.

I know I'm in the minority here, but I don't think so. By the time the election results are in, the major decisions have been made. The president is a symbol of the national psyche. Just as we create our personal worlds from the inside out, we create our social world from the inside out. The person of the president is an externalization of who we are as a society and a culture. He or she is a personification of mass belief.

This makes it all the more important to know that, as Trevor Hampel says, we can change the world, by what we do and who we are.

The elections are important. The most important part of them is what we as individuals do in the time leading up to them, and in the act of voting itself. The winner is always a result, not a cause. Their acts while in office are the exteriorization of what we believe as a people. An election is to the social world what an eclipse is in the sky, the result of forces that came long before. Just as a painting is a result of an artist's work or a story that of a writer, a presidency is the result of we as a society.

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2 Responses to Sunday Reading 24 February 2008

  • Hi Rick, thanks for the link. Interesting point about the President being the "personification of mass belief". Yep, we disagree on that one point, but you really did make me think with your take on this. Many thanks for sharing your views! All the best,


  • Hi Terry,

    Your comparison between sports and politics was what really caught my eye. I had never thought of comparing them before that I recall, and the comparison just fits.

    The best news is I made you think, just like you made me think! Seriously. You open my eyes and I open yours, and we both see better. What more can we want?

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