Well…… yes and no.
His theory that the universe revolves around the sun was definitely revolutionary for his time (no pun intended).
Until then it had been thought that the sun and all the planets revolved around the earth.
His revelation totally changed the whole understanding of how the universe worked. No small thing.
It definitely offered a superior explanation to what was available at the time.
And yet we also know now that the Sun is not the centre of the universe, but only the centre of our solar system.
In fact everything takes place in a context of much greater celestial movements of solar systems and galaxies on a scale that is too immense to really grasp.
~ A hidden metaphor ~
What I love about this progression is that with a little imagination we can see the evolution of an individual.
At first we think of ourselves as at the centre of the universe.
This is where we think the earth is the centre of the universe and all other entities and even celestial bodies revolve around it.
We can see this in the rather magical attitude of young children who can only really understand things from this very beautiful and very narrow perspective.
Don’t get me wrong there are many adults who live according to this way of seeing the world (certain leaders of important countries spring to mind…).
But it is a kind of arrested development for an adult to only see the world from this perspective. And a dangerous one at that.
~ As we grow we recognise a world separate from us ~
Then as we evolve we start to realise that there is a world that exists outside of us and that has a completely independent life from us.
This is where we realise that we really revolve around the sun and that it is this life-giving heat that is the real centre of the universe we experience.
It places us in relation to an external world where we have a context and a place that is at least somewhat defined by things we can see and sense outside of us.
And then still later we may, through intuition, revelation or introduction by someone else realise that we are part of something much greater that is way beyond our understanding.
This is the realisation of the immensity of the universe. We are on a rock spinning at over 1000mph travelling around a sun at 67,000mph.
This is pretty awesome. And terrifying.
~ Where we risk getting lost ~
At this point we may get lost in the awe of our sheer insignificance when faced with the size of the universe.
If we approach it at the wrong angle we may end up sliding off the face of our world into an abyss of pointlessness.
How can I possibly live a life of meaning when I am so miniscule in relation to the immensity of the universe?
But this would be wrong and it is here that we have a great opportunity.
As we evolve there can be a tendency to leave our old states behind and sometimes this is the right thing to do.
But here there is the potential for a better way which is inclusive rather than exclusive.
~ Having it all ~
As we grow we can bring all our previous states with us. We can become larger and wider and richer as a human.
Our interaction with the Sun and the outer world can be enriched not just by a recognition of the hugeness and beauty of the universe- that there are so many mysteries and worlds beyond our current understanding that a thousand lifetimes wouldn’t be enough.
We can also bring forward into the present moment the magical wisdom of our inner world that was so alive in us as children.
We don’t have to give it up when we enter and live in the world of everyday adulthood.
And if we have lost it we can get it back.
Copernicus made a huge breakthrough which took him to the frontier of understanding in his time.
We too can do this throughout our lives. And we don’t need to leave any of it behind if we don’t want to.