The World Machine: The First Phase: the Cosmic Mechanism

The World Machine: The First Phase: the Cosmic Mechanism

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The World Machine: The First Phase: the Cosmic Mechanism

The World Machine: The First Phase: the Cosmic Mechanism

Read FREE!

Excerpt

It was by an extraordinary mental effort that man came to know anything of the world wherein he lives. It was in the main a disillusionment, a struggle against and an overcoming of primitive impression--that is to say, of appearances . There was, there is, little enough in his surroundings, in his daily life and experiences, to suggest to primitive man that the firm earth he treads is the periphery of a wheel that is whirling him and all the things he looks upon--his habitations and his temples, the mountains and the seas--round and round with the velocity of a rifle bullet. No distance-posts flash by to tell him, or us, that between two beats of his pulse he has been shot through a space of 1500 feet, a quarter of a mile. The farthest stretch of level plain or even the boundless expanse of the ocean but dimly suggest, if at all, that his earth is round like a melon or a pumpkin. As we journey from Liverpool to New York we have no sense to make us realise that the engines below are driving 30,000 tons over a mountain 350 miles high, but with no more effort than as though the Atlantic were as level as a floor.

If the earth be curved like a ball, are there, then, folk like us on the other side of it, straight beneath us, at the antipodes as we say--their feet to our feet, and hanging head downward? And if there are, what is there to hinder them from dropping headlong into space? So men reasoned once. And if this ball is revolving like the fly-wheel of an engine, at an incredible speed of 1000 miles an hour, 17 miles a minute, for any given point near the equator, how can anything be held to its surface; why do not we and the oxen of the field, and all other things, go flying off at a tangent? How does the atmosphere stay on; why are the clouds not brushed away?

Again, as the thoughtful shepherds of Minor Asia, guarding their flocks, looked up into the sky, what could tell them that . . .

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