The Centre Can Hold
One piece was missing from the solution to the relativistic loss of a centre of meaning and purpose. As a universe-making cosmologer I could act as if I were the subjective centre of the universe (which included all other cosmologies as cultural subsystems). Of course this was only provided that I could successfully defend my cosmology from falsification by a rival, or fall victim to the sudden intervention of any supernatural being to crush the trickster in me. But if there was no objective centre I had not solved the problem completely. Then by one of those remarkable strokes of luck, some good and some bad, which have accompanied me all my life, I came across the answer. I was touring with my fun revolutionary show in Western Australia when I was informed that there was a model of the physical universe that would interest me. This was a valid Geo-peripheral physical model of the universe! The impact on me was like Copernicus’ heliocentric model must have had on Kepler.
The first appearance known to me of this speculative scientific model, based on the relativistic assumption that there is no absolute frame, appeared in Newnes Practical Mechanics in 1938. It is produced by performing a conformal inversion of the coordinates used for the usual model which hypothesises that the earth is a sphere located in the midst of the physical universe. This turns the earth inside-out! The earth becomes a huge hole and the entire universe is now inside it! Since the Enlightenment belief in the Death of God there has been no absolute frame in modern physics and hence no absolute size or absolute location, so this is a perfectly valid model. The periphery and centre of the model are of course mysterious singularities. This applies to all models of the universe which have parameters chosen by the human model-maker. Obviously it is over-complicated for calculating trajectories of ballistic missiles as Occam’s razor would show, and will therefore have no appeal to the military-industrial complex. The scientific cultural elite has been supporting mainstream science since Galileo sold his telescopes to the navy of Europe’s first capitalist state, the Republic of Venice.
There are a number of attractive non-militaristic aspects to the model which I recommend we adopt for psychological, social and cultural reasons. The effect on the psyche of portraying the earth as huge and enclosing us all, and not just a mere speck of dust lost in the immensities of space, would be extremely therapeutic. Moreover in this model the galaxies are now converging on the new centre faster and faster and no longer diverging from the old centre, the Big Bang. What beautiful harmony and what meaningful purposive movement. Another important aspect of the geoperipheral model is that leaving the earth’s surface is no longer going directionlessly into outer space but “going up” into inner space.
It was the materialistic Greek scientists of the sixth century BCE, serving the needs of the merchants for better navigation, who introduced the model of a spherical earth. Another problem with the spherical earth model is that since there is no “up” there is no highest place in the universe, in other words no Heaven. Since “down” remained, as a direction which converged on the centre of the earth, it meant we were living in a Hell-centred universe. In this new model the centre is now located directly above all observers on the earth’s surface and is a singularity, like the Big Bang. It answers wonderfully to the pressing need to bring Heaven back into human consciousness as a place as real as the Big Bang. It is even an improvement on the flat earth model of the Bible, Koran and other religious texts. No city or sacred place can claim to be the only place directly under Heaven and so spiritual egalitarianism is encouraged.