By Tony Hooker
In ancient Egypt, no god was worshipped more than Ra (pronounced Ray, and not Raw, as I always thought) the sun god. Ra was considered the bringer of light and life and was considered the ruler of the skies, earth and the underworld. Ra of course, was different than other gods because he flew above the earth and could therefore look after all his people. The Egyptians believed that he was born each morning, in the east and as the sun, which they perceived to be his chariot, passed to the west, he died each evening and descended to the underworld, only to be reborn again in the east the following day.
The Aborigines in Australia, had a slightly different view of the sun. According to Roslynn Haynes in Sky and Telescope magazine, the Aborigines viewed the sun as a woman who would wake up every morning in her camp in the east, light a fire and carry a torch across the sky to the west. At night, the sun-woman began her long journey underground back to the east, and her torch would heat the earth, causing plants to grow.
Native Americans such as the Hopi often displayed the sun as a marker of creativity and natural energy. The sun was a symbol for their supreme god because they depended on it. It represented the heart of the cosmos, along with their passion, vitality and growth.
The Maya, on the other hand, tended to internalize the sun’s powers, thinking about how it could bring philosophical productivity into their lives in addition to bringing them healthy crops. The Mayans used the sun in their meditations to bring warmth into their consciousness and allow their divinity to blossom, per the wonderful world of the internet. I for one, fully support this theory. After not seeing the sun for the first 13 days of 2021, my spirits soared when it made an appearance last Wednesday.
By 100 AD, Ptolemy had put forth the theory that the sun and planets all rotated around the Earth, a geocentric theory that is embodied by teenagers everywhere to this day.
Later, before the invention of telescopes, Copernicus used mathematics to put forth a theory that the Sun, and not the Earth was the center of our solar system, and in 1543, at the request of Pope Clement VII, published his findings.
Finally, around 1600, Galileo created a telescope and began to study the heavens. Among his many discoveries, he discovered that Jupiter’s moons orbited around the planet itself, and from this was able to discern that not everything was orbiting the earth, and came to fully support the heliocentric theory.
Of course, in 1632, he was called before the Inquisition and made to recant his claims, but he supposedly muttered that the earth does move as he exited the court.
Why the history lesson? Because too often, these days, we are being asked to believe things without being shown any scientific evidence. Any studies that show that playing high school sports, or eating in a restaurant, or going bowling promote the spread of COVID-19 should be widely shared. Instead we get crickets. While life goes on in every state that surrounds us. By checking tracking data, it’s become pretty apparent that prolonged close exposure, like that in senior centers or crowded apartments or factories, are where the real spread is coming from. Not from short bursts of contact from little Jimmy’s football game or while having a burger and a beer at the local pub. It’s time to give serious consideration to the voices of the athletes and their families and let them play, just as it’s time to give serious consideration to re-opening unless there is definitive evidence that says we shouldn’t.
(The views and opinions expressed in the submitted columns are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of The Journal.)