Without going into great detail, I’d like to begin with a reminder: For a very long time, the earth was considered to be the center of the universe. Everything, including the sun, revolved around the earth… (except those things that seemed stationary or fixed, the most distant specks of light. These were thought to comprise a ceiling of sorts around the universe). How quaint.
Depending on who wants to pick a fight with me, I’ll just say that in 1543 (Western culture time) a guy named Copernicus wrote his book proposing a heliocentric (sun at the center) view of things. Reportedly, he died on the same day that he held its printed copy for the first time. Make of that what you will.
In the absence of social media, it took nearly 70 years for the theological and psychological implications of his theory to reach full controversial levels. The excrement and the fan, while they were slow to hit, created quite the storm which involved the full weight of the Catholic Church (in particular) on one hand and Galileo (as notable figurehead) along with the fledgling scientific community on the other.
Looking back at it all with the luxury of 400 or so years, it’s not hard to understand how this all played out rather necessarily and somewhat naturally. As advanced they considered themselves back then, and they did, I have little doubt we will also be looked upon 400 years from hence as being rather youngish and ill informed.
Remember how it was when we were infants? Life did indeed begin with us (as far as we were concerned) and everything did revolve around us. We were the center of our own universe. If something wasn’t directly in front of us, it didn’t exist. If something wasn’t directly affecting us, it didn’t mean anything to us. We were raw stimulus and response, sensation and reaction. We were also quite demanding, made frequent messes of everything and often had to be restrained to prevent us from hurting ourselves. As my mother used to say, ‘If you hadn’t have been so adorable at times, you never would have made it past three.’ (she had nine children by the way, telling us each the same thing)
Necessarily and naturally, we must each individually develop and outgrow our self-centeredness. Otherwise we will always be demanding, always be making messes out of things and not always have someone around to prevent us from hurting ourselves.
I am speaking from personal experience.
There was a period in my life during which I was the king in the kingdom of me. Nothing mattered unless and until it directly related to me. The sun rose and set as I wanted by the simple drawing of the windows curtains. I did what I wanted when I wanted and how I wanted to.
What I believed was that I was being true to me.
What I discovered was that I was being trapped by me.
Being the center of my universe nearly killed me.
Being centered in the universe is what has brought me back into life.