Linear Versus Circular

Posted Nov 18, 2010 by Michael Ebens in General Hits: 8,014

In my last blog, I talked about the deep and interesting subjects of general relativity, how it affects the universe, and how this relates to God. Continuing on from there, in this blog I will talk about a number of concepts, primarily the concepts of linear things versus circular (wheel-like, centre outward) things. I doubt this one will be as scientifically loaded, which I'm sure is good news for some of you.

Circular Objects in the Universe

Circular objects have a centre and go outwards. In the case of a wheel, it has a centre and then spokes coming out of the centre towards the rim, which marks the circumference of the wheel. A special thing about a wheel is that these spokes all have opposites on the other side, and all the spokes apply the right amount of tension to keep the wheel in proper shape; we'll talk more about this later. In the case of a solid, spherical or circular object, it goes from the centre out, and sometimes with different layers in between. We'll explore these concepts and how they relate to spiritual topics, but first, let's look some circular (from now on, when I say circular, remember I either mean it in the context of something wheel-like, or in the context of spherical objects that have a centre and go outwards) objects in the universe.

There seems to be a theme in the universe of circular objects and concepts. Let's start at the atom[1]. In all atoms there is a nucleus (the centre point), around which fly electrons, attracted by the electromagnetic force[2]. If you're wondering, the nucleus is composed of protons and neutrons.


Figure 1 - Diagram of a (what I believe is by the number of protons) Lithium atom.

Moving up to a much higher perspective, let's go to the Earth[3]. The Earth is made up of in general, three layers, the Crust, Mantle, and Core (though the Mantle can be split into the Upper Mantle and Mantle, and the Core can be split into the Outer Core and Inner Core)[4]. The earth, like any planet or even sphere, is structured from the centre out.

The layers, and atmospheres, of the Earth.
Figure 2 - Diagram of the layers, and atmospheres, of the Earth.

Now let's take a look at the solar system[5], which is truly a remarkable work of balance. At the centre of the solar system is the Sun. Around the Sun, the planets, as well as a collection of dwarf planets and asteroids, orbit in (for the most part) a near circular orbit.

As you probably guessed, the next thing in line is our galaxy, the Milky Way[6]. Our galaxy is a Barred Spiral Galaxy[7], which is a type of Spiral Galaxy. It has a centre and all the stars in the galaxy spin round it. What actually makes it spin is a bit mysterious to me, although I think it has something to with dark matter[8], which I understand to be some mysterious kind of transparent matter that inhabits the universe.

I think it is clear however that the universe is full of circular and spherical concepts. An interesting bible verse that mentions wheels in wheels is Ezekiel 1:16.

The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.

You can read Ezekiel 1 to get context on what that verse is talking about.

Linear Time

Now that we've talked about circular (or spherical) objects in the universe, let's talk a bit about linear concepts. In everyday life on Earth, time is a linear constant, as in, something that goes straight and does not change. Time on Earth, is a straight line, that moves a long at a constant speed. This is because we are all, at least practically, subject to the affects of the same mass (Earth). In the time that we experience, we can, if we wanted to, go from doing one thing to a another with no consideration for the last thing we were doing. In time the things we do are not linked or dependent on each other, we can just go sequentially from one thing to the next. Time does not build on top of or out from something, it simply moves from one second to the next, with no dependency on the last.

The main concept I'm getting at here is progression without dependence, or in other words, progression without the need for a foundation.

Truth

Truth is not like this. Truth is like a wheel (a circular object) which has a centre, and builds outward. For the wheel of truth to stand, everything must fit with everything else, meaning everything is dependent on everything else. This is very much unlike a linear thing like time, which has no dependencies at all.

Truth's centre is Christ. As Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." All truth is dependent on Christ, and links back to Him. This quote from Ellen White explains this very well:

Christ, His character and work, is the center and circumference of all truth. He is the chain upon which the jewels of doctrine are linked. In Him is found the complete system of truth. - OHC 16

If Christ is removed the whole wheel of truth is inevitably broken.

 

Christ the Centre

A wheel has spokes all connected to the centre and the rim of the wheel. Any given spoke has a spoke opposite it which is resisting it. If one of these spokes is not in perfect tension, then the wheel will eventually fail and collapse.

The character of Christ is like a wheel as well. Christ has many different aspects or roles to His character. For any given aspect of role of His character, there is (so far as I can see) a seemingly opposite aspect or role. For example, Christ is a judge, and yet He is an advocate, He is master, and yet a servant, and so on. If any of these roles were taken out, the character of Christ would fail, and so would truth.

Building Shaky Structures

Knowing that truth is a wheel like thing, with everything dependent on everything else, it isn't possible for us to "advance" in truth, when this "advancement" is completely opposed the truth we had before. For example, I have heard it stated that in adopting the Trinity, we have grown (or advanced) in truth, light or knowledge (whatever you want to call it). But how is this possible when this "advancement" is diametrically opposed to the doctrine we previously held? When in such a position, we either must admit that the previous wheel (doctrine, or truth) was made wrong, destroy it, and start over again with a new foundation, or admit that this new wheel is made wrong and stick with old one.

The Catholic church is an example of a heap of doctrines that are based (primarily at least) on two false doctrines, the Trinity and the immortality of the soul. They started on falsehood and built from the ground up. This makes a shaky structure. If we start on a true foundation, and then build on top of that something that is completely against that foundation, this will also result in a shaky structure (not to mention utter confusion).

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand. - Matthew 12:25

Conclusion

Truth is not linear, truth can't progress without regard for it's foundation. Truth must always progress with regard to the "center and circumference of all truth", that is, Christ.

Thanks for reading!


Footnotes

[1] The Wikipedia article that talks about atoms. Has a lot of information!

[2] Section in the Wikipedia article on atoms that talks about the components of atoms.

[3] The Wikipedia article that talks about the Earth.

[4] Section in the Wikipedia article on the Earth that talks about the internal structure of the Earth.

[5] The Wikipedia article on the Solar System. You'll find a good load of information to pour over here.

[6] The Wikipedia article on the Milky Way.

[7] The Wikipedia article on barred spiral galaxies.

[8] The Wikipedia article on dark matter.