Science is shaking our ideas again. Two recent articles from New Scientist question our former scientific understanding, and throw light on some of the spiritual traditions.
The first is about the relationship between the earth and the sun. The sun provides the warmth and light for life and earth, but, the solar wind is formed of very highly charged particles which would cause damage to the earth without suitable shielding. This is provided by the magnetosphere, and observations from satellites and from the ground are increasing our understanding of this.
The second article concerns recent results from the Voyager spacecraft about the boundary of the sun's influence. Voyager 1 was launched way back in September 1977. Its first and primary task was to fly by Jupiter and then Saturn, gathering information about the planets and their moons. It then set off towards Alpha Centauri on the second part of its mission, to examine the heliosphere, and it may have now left the solar system ........
Other experiments show that interstellar space is not a featureless void. It contains clouds of gas and dust which are being blown about by the force of ancient supernova explosions. Our solar system lies in a cloud about 40 light-years across, called the Local Interstellar Cloud, which contains about 1 atom per cubic centimetre – far denser than other areas. It seems there is also a “ribbon” – a prominent band across the sky caused by an external magnetic field. Comparison with earlier result also shows that the gas beyond the solar system has changed over the last 40 years – there are “gusts of wind” in outer space.
This brief summary gives an idea of what the scientist are doing, but how does this fit with the theosophical model of the universe? Well, theosophy speaks of a solar logos, and planetary logoi, and says that these are the great beings who ensoul these bodies and form the solar system. It is fascinating to consider that both the sun and the earth have mechanisms to protect themselves from the external conditions, and we are beginning to discover these mechanisms. Perhaps this is like the theosophical “ring-pass-not” which each living being has, each in its own way. The state of interstellar space may also interest astrologers when more information is available, as the particles and waves (energies) that reach us from the cosmos may be an important influence.