A COPERNICAN RE-VISION OF SEX
A True Turnaround, A Real Revolution

July-August 2012By Mary Rosera Joyce

Mary Rosera Joyce, a former teacher of philosophy and psychology, is the author of many books and numerous articles. Her latest publication, about the meaning of active receiving, is The Future of Adam and Eve: Finding the Lost Gift (LifeCom, 2009). Her website is www.lifemeaning.com.

Imagine the shock of learning that the obvious is not what it seems. In 1543 the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus shook up scientists, philosophers, and theologians by proving that the sun does not revolve around the earth, and that the earth is not the center of the universe, as taught by Ptolemy. Although Copernicus, and others before him, had suspected this and theorized about it, his book On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres became regarded as the defining proof.

Though to the human eye the sun appears to rise in the east and set in the west, it actually does no such thing. The earth is not the center of the physical universe; it is a rotating sphere that revolves around the sun.

This change in view did not come easily. According to a letter from Galileo to Johannes Kepler in 1610, some of the intellectuals at that time were so opposed to this new concept of the cosmic world that they refused to look through a telescope to see the evidence.

The new awareness of reality provided by Copernicus was an opportunity for philosophers and theologians to develop their own “turnaround way of thinking.” But they failed to see its relevance for their own particular areas of truth-seeking. Other matters besides the cosmic were waiting, and are still waiting, for a Copernican-like revolution. One of the most urgent of these is our way of interpreting human sexuality.


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"In 1543 the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus shook up scientists, philosophers, and theologians by proving that the sun does not revolve around the earth, and that the earth is not the center of the universe, as taught by Ptolemy."

He did not "prove" any such thing. He merely demonstrated that the mathematics of representing the Earth revolving around the Sun were simpler and less cumbersome than those necessary to represent the Sun revolving around the Earth, and at most implied that this greater simplicity was an argument in favor of a heliocentric theory. As a man who had immersed himself deeply in Renaissance Neoplatonic mysticism during his student years in Italy, he may well have come to believe that the Sun, "the central fire of the universe" in this mystical schema, was the focus aroud which the Earth (as well as the whole universe) revolved -- but not for "scientific" reasons.
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