Eratosthenes Measurement of the Radius and Circumference of the Earth

The radius and circumference of the Earth were first measured in around 200 BCE by a man named Eratosthenes (276 BC – 194 BCE). A true polymath, Eratosthenes was an astronomer, mathematician, poet, and inventor, to name but a few of his arts. He also occupied the exalted post of Chief Librarian of the famed Library of Alexandria, and invented the discipline of geography.

His method for measuring the radius and the circumference of the Earth was truly ingenious, using nothing more than two sticks, basic trigonometry, and a single measurement within his actual experiment.

Eratosthenes Experiment

Eratosthenes was born in Cyrene, Libya, and studied in Athens where he became recognized for his outstanding ability in the arts and disciplines touched on above, which is what ultimately brought him to Alexandria, Egypt, at the behest of Ptolemy III. The position of chief librarian of the Library at Alexandria no doubt was the best possible situation for this man of wide learning to continue his search for knowledge.

His education in Athens certainly was important, because it was one of the hubs of knowledge and learning at the time. However, even the hailed knowledge and intellectual advancement of Greece, thus Athens, at the time must ultimately be traced back to the advanced knowledge of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and even India, from whence it seems clear that much of Greek knowledge finds its roots.

As an intelligent astronomer, privy to the advanced astronomical knowledge that seems to have been handed down since the dawn of civilization in Sumer and of recorded history (indeed, astronomical texts where some of the first written down), Eratosthenes knew that on the summer solstice in Syene, Egypt (modern-day Aswan) the sun would be directly overhead. Perhaps this phenomenon was popularly known at the time, or perhaps he learned of it through his continued education during his time at the Library of Alexandria, or from the other learned individuals he would have come in contact with there. Frankly, we do not know.

What we do know is that this phenomenon occurs due to the Earths axial tilt (about 23.5 degrees from vertical, vertical relative to the plane of our orbit that is) and the orientation of the Earths axis towards and away from the Sun throughout our yearly orbit. It turns out that at the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, when the Earths position in our orbit aligns the norther polar axis as directly towards the sun as it will get which it does at only this time throughout the year, it is from the latitude of about 23.5° N that the sun will be located precisely overhead. This latitude is known as the Tropic of Cancer. In other words, at precisely noon it will be about an equal 90 degrees in all directions from the true horizon.

This means that any vertical object on, or relatively close to, the Tropic of Cancer will not cast a shadow. Knowing this, and also being aware that in Alexandria at this time shadows where indeed cast, therefore that the sun was not directly overhead, and that the earth was a sphere, Eratosthenes devised an experiment that could take advantage of this phenomena and enable him to measure the radius and circumference of the Earth. He concluded that because the Earth is a sphere, if he erected a stick vertically in the ground in Alexandria, a shadow would be cast by the stick which, if measured at noon, would allow him to calculate the circumference of the Earth and then its radius.

The Measurement

At noon on the summer solstice in Alexandria, which is about 843 km north of Syene/Aswan, Eratosthenes measured the length of the shadow of a stick that he had previously erected. He did not need to take any measurements in Syene because he already knew that at this time the sun would be directly overhead, thus no shadow would be cast.The Calculation for the Circumference of the Earth.

By measuring the length of the shadow cast, and with the known length of the stick from the ground up, Eratosthenes was then able to use basic trigonometry to figure out the angle of the imaginary triangle drawn by the shadow and the length of the stick. The actual angle that he sought to measure was that created between the stick itself and the beam of light extending from the tip of the stick to the furthest length of the shadow. In the diagram to the right, this is the angle A.

This triangle was a right triangle, the right angle being that between the stick erected vertically, and the ground. With his two known values (the length of the shadow and the length of the stick), Eratosthenes then used the trigonometric relationship below to solve for θ, in this case angle A in the diagram, at the top of the stick towards the end of the shadow:

 tan\theta \quad =\frac { opposite }{ adjacent } =\frac { length\quad of\quad shadow }{ length\quad of\quad stick }

 

Now, this angle represents a couple of different things. Firstly, since the sun would be directly overhead in Syene at this time, an imaginary line extending infinitely into space through the length of a stick planted vertically in Syene would pass through the Sun. Yet at this exact same time an imaginary line extending out of the top of the stick in Alexandria would not point directly at the sun, which would actually be off by about 7.2 degrees due south of this imaginary line in space, according to Eratosthenes measurement. So the difference in position of the sun viewed in Alexandria at this time, compared to Syene, was that it would have been about 7.2 degrees further south in the sky (from directly overhead).

This phenomenon occurs because of the curvature of the Earth, and Eratosthenes knew this. Alexandria is 5000 stadia away from Syene not in a straight line to the north, but along the curvature of the Earth’s circular circumference, making Alexandria further away from the sun at this time than Syene along this curvature of the Earth northwards (see the illustration above). So a perpendicular line drawn to the level of flat (horizontal ground) in both places would both be pointing in different directions, due to the curvature of the Earth, which is why a shadow would be cast in Alexandria and not in Syene. And it was this relationship between the difference in the angle of the sun and the distance between these two places which Eratosthenes was using to calculate the circumference of the Earth.

So if you drew a line from the center of the Earth to both Alexandria and Syene, as in the illustration above, the angle between these two lines (angle B) is equal to the calculated angle between the shadow and the stick, 7.2 degrees, which is also equal to the angle of perceived change in location of the Sun in the sky as viewed from these two locations. In Syene the sun would be directly overhead, but in Alexandria at the exact same time the sun would be about 7.2 degrees south of directly overhead. This means that the distance between these two locations (5000 stadia) also equates to 7.2 degrees of a full circle (360 degrees), which represents a 7.2/360 degree fraction of the full circumference of the Earth.

Interestingly, this method works with any two locations so long as the distance between them is known, and the angles created by the shadows are measured at the same time. The difference in this case is that if shadows are created in both places, the difference in angle is what equates to the distance between them. So if the measured difference in angle between two hypothetical places was 14.4 degrees, the distance between them would then be about 10,000 stadia, because according to Eratosthenes estimates, about 695 stadia is equal to 1 degree of arc along the circumference of the Earth (according of course to the estimations of Eratosthenes, and not precisely to modern measurements or calculations). In the case of Alexandria and Aswan, the difference in angles is 7.2 because there is no shadow created in Syene, so the value of the angle in Aswan (essentially that of the vertical declination of the sun) is zero.

In Eratosthenes case, it helps that Syene and Alexandria are close to the same longitude, because this means that the timing of the measurement in Alexandria was the same time as the phenomenon in Syene (noon), without having to account for factors such as time difference due to difference in longitude (which is where our modern time zones come from.

Calculating the Circumference of the Earth

The distance between Aswan and Alexandria was estimated to be 5000 stadia. There are a few different theories as to where this value came from, but we do not actually know. The actual length of a stadia or stadion in modern units of distance measurement is debatable, as there were many different values for the stade that were used over time. (Refer to The Different Lengths of a Stadia for a table of these different values.)

Moreover, it is uncertain which length of stade that Eratosthenes actually used, which lends further uncertainty to the precision of his calculation. It is generally believed that he used the Italian/Ptolemaic stade (equal to about 185 meters), although this length apparently did not come into prominent use until roughly 300 years after Eratosthenes time. So we will do the calculations in the Olympic stades as well, measuring about 176 meters.

The distance between Alexandria and Syene was thought to be 5000 stadia, which equates with either 880 km (Olympic stade), or 925 km (Italian/Ptolemaic stade). The actual distance between Alexandria and modern Aswan is about 843 km. So either way that estimate is pretty good considering the level of technology at the time. However, if he did use the Olympic stade length, then this estimate was fairly accurate indeed, which will have made his estimate for the radius and circumference of the Earth correspondingly more accurate.

Eratosthenes knew that if he were to draw a sphere representing the Earth, and from the vertex in the center of the circle which represents the center of the Earth, draw one line to Alexandria, and another from the center to Syene, the resultant angle would be 7.2 degrees, as discussed above. And because he knew the distance between Syene and Alexandria, he knew that 5000 stadia of distance around the circumference of the Earth was equal to the 7.2 degree angle within the center of the Earth.

So in other words, 5000 stades along the circumference of the Earth was equal to 7.2 degrees of arc along the circumference of the Earth. And because 7.2 degrees is equal to 1/50th of a full sphere (360/7.2 = 50), he was able to do the simple calculation of 5000 stadia multiplied by 50 to estimate the value of the circumference of the Earth. As can be seen below:

 \frac { 1 }{ 50 } =\frac { 5000\quad stadia }{ Earth\quad Circumference }

 

And so:

 c\quad =\quad 50x5000stadia\\ c\quad =\quad 250,000\quad stadia

 

By this very calculation Eratosthenes arrived at his estimate for the circumference of the Earth being 250,000 stadions. This value has differing modern equivalents depending on the actual length of the stadia that Eratosthenes used. If we use the Italian/Ptolemaic length of the stade (=185 meters, or 0.185 km), from 250,000 stades we get a circumference of 46,250 km. The modern value, using all of our technology and advanced science is about 40,075 km. An error of only ~ 13%. If we use the Olympic stade, measuring around 176 m, we get a circumference of 44,000 km. An error of only 9%.

Though we are not certain of what the specific length of the stade was that Eratosthenes used (and the precision of his measurement depends directly on which length he used), the mathematical and geometrical principles, and the fantastic ingenuity of his method, still enable us today to acquire a relatively accurate measurement of the radius and circumference of the Earth using our far more accurate modern measurements of distance, as will be seen below. Thus his principles still apply, and the degree of error was due only in part to necessary generalizations and assumptions made in his method, but mostly due to the lack of precision in measurement of distance available during his time.

The modern measurement of the circumference of the Earth depends on how you measure it, because the Earth is not a perfect sphere. Moreover, it bulges at the equator due to the Earths rotation. However, derived from NASA’s value of the (presumably) average diameter of the Earth, 12,756 km, we can approximately calculate is circumference, using equations of the relationship between the diameter or radius of a circle, to its circumference, also incorporating π. Where c = circumference, d = diameter, and r = radius.

 c=\pi d\\ c=\pi \times 12,756km\\ c=40,074.16km

Calculating the Earths circumference in this fashion is assuming that the Earth is a perfect sphere just as Eratosthenes did, which it is not. Nonetheless, this value is quite accurate. Depending on the length of the stadia that Eratosthenes used, the value could have been anywhere between 39,250 km – 52,250 km. But what if we do his same calculations, but with the modern measurement of distance between Alexandria and Syene? The modern distance between Alexandria and Syene is about 843 km, so:

 c\quad =\quad 50\times (distanceA-S)\\ c\quad =\quad 50\times 843km\\ c\quad =\quad 42,150km

 

So using Eratosthenes methods and our modern measurement of distance we get a value of 42,150 km for the circumference of the Earth, an error of only 5%. Ingenious.

Radius of the Earth

Once Eratosthenes had estimated the circumference of the Earth, the radius of the Earth was easy to figure out. So using Eratosthenes own estimate for the circumference of the Earth, and the equation above rearranged with basic algebra to solve for radius (r), we get:

 c=2\pi r\\ r=\frac { c }{ 2\pi  } =\frac { 250,000 }{ 2\pi  } \\ c\quad =\quad 39,789\quad stadions

 

Once again, depending on the length of the stade used, this value of 39,789 stadions could translate to anywhere between 6,247 km – 8,316 km for the radius of the Earth. The modern value for the radius of the Earth being half the diameter used above, so about 6,378 km.

Closing :: A Spherical Earth

It has been noted that Eratosthenes made two important assumptions:

  1. That the Earth was a perfect sphere.
  2. That Alexandria was 5000 stadia away from Syene/Aswan.

This is perfectly true. However, the assumption that the Earth was a perfect sphere or not is besides the point in my opinion. Even today we would assume the Earth to be perfectly spherical in some cases for mathematical purposes in order to get an approximation of the radius and circumference of the Earth, as I demonstrated above by deriving an accurate circumference measurement from NASA’s value for the Earth’s diameter. We have to assume the Earth is a sphere to use that equation at all. And the value is quite accurate too, for the modern measurement of the circumference of the Earth is actually 40,075 km. Moreover, the 5000 stadia distance between Syene and Alexandria was probably the best measurement Eratosthenes had available at the time.

I believe that the most crucial aspect of this entire calculation was that the entire experiment was literally founded on the understanding and awareness that the Earth was spherical. (Aside from the fact that Eratosthenes achieved the first ever estimates for the radius and circumference of the Earth of course, which where remarkably accurate.) For the understanding of a spherical Earth was not deeply understood again until the work of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543 CE) about 1800 years later! And even then it wasn’t fully accepted and understood by the majority of people until around 100 years after Copernicus’ death, thanks to the work of Galileo, Tycho Brahe, and Kepler (and due also to the vicious resistance of the church). Even today there are people who believe the Earth is flat. To disprove this simply and conclusively, all one needs is a celestial understanding of the Earths season and the moon phases.

The fact is however, that Eratosthenes did not even set out to prove that the Earth was spherical. He knew this already. He was trying to determine the radius and circumference of the Earth, of our spherical Earth. Throughout his ingenious method he displayed his intelligence, creativity, and deep understanding of the advanced knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, and geometry which he was certainly well versed in. Knowledge that it seems obvious was far ahead of its time.

How is it that the knowledge in deep antiquity was superior to that of later times? The fact that Eratosthenes lived in Egypt and was the chief librarian of the Library of Alexandria is suggestive here, because it shows first that he had access to the most advanced – and ancient – texts and knowledge available at this time. A repository and storehouse of knowledge from antiquity, from the most advanced ancient cultures which Alexander the Great plundered from all of the great cities, libraries, centers of learning, and empires that he conquered on his way to India. But to his credit, he sought to preserve this advanced knowledge of antiquity, and sent it back to the library in Alexandria.

In fact, Eratosthenes was not even the first to say that the earth was round. Pythagoras from the 6th century BC taught that the Earth was round. Aristotle (385 – 323 BCE) also expounded on Pythagoras’ work, providing proofs such as that when one moves south, the southern constellations move higher in the sky. And when there is a lunar eclipse, the shadow of the Earth on the moon is spherical, and when a ship moves out to sea from the docks, its hull disappears first to an observer on land, eventually leaving only the tip of the mast visible as it moves further and further away. All of these being proof of the curvature of the Earth. Pythagoras’ students, the Pythagoreans, believed this also. That there where Pythagoreans who said that the Earth was a sphere is confirmed by no less a person than Nicolaus Copernicus in his landmark book derived from his own study of what was left of the work of the ancients:

“Some think the Earth is at rest; but Philolaus the Pythagorean says that it moves around the fire with on obliquely circular motion, like the sun and moon.” – Nicolaus Copernicus from On The Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, citing an excerpt from Plutarch.

It seems clear that in the above quote, Philolaus’ reference to the fire is a reference to the Sun, and that it was Plutarch who did not understand and then added “like the sun and moon”. Or neither of them understood and both where repeating an earlier, but fundamentally lost, tradition. Possibly that taught by Pythagoras himself. But he was known, or is at least believed to have studied in Egypt or the Near East, as most of the greatest thinkers of antiquity were known to have done. All where certainly the beneficiaries of this ancient advanced knowledge, yet their own contributions and development of this knowledge is not to be understated either.

There is other evidence and indications that there was high knowledge in antiquity, which we will cover in time. But beyond this we can speculate no further from the evidence at hand on the origins or extent of the advanced knowledge of antiquity. Nor where it came from. Nor the knowledge lost in the Library of Alexandria. For now let us leave the story there, and simply marvel at the work of an incredible man of antiquity, Eratosthenes, for giving us the first fairly accurate measurement of the radius and circumference of the Earth.

Meditation :: Processing Internal Information

In life, we lose ourselves – our awareness of our life purpose, Spirit, and our Genuine Self – whenever our minds are too full. When our thoughts are too loud, and our minds are not clear, quiet and focused. This occurs when our thoughts and emotions aren’t processed on a regular basis, which returns us to a state of simple openness and receptivity. But more importantly, we must process this information in order to return to our natural state. For when we always take in information, and never consciously resolve, process, and essentially amalgamate it within ourselves, it just clutters our minds and our awareness, eventually distorting it. Like throwing rocks into a stream every day. It doesn’t matter how big or small the rocks are, because if you do it every day without fail, then eventually it will dam up the stream. So it is with ourselves as well. Except in this case we obstruct the natural expression of spirit and who we really are.

A quiet mind is a clear lens through which Spirit can enter into our awareness. Or at least a higher energy and expanded state of consciousness which humans call Spirit. Yet that word might be misleading in our understanding of what that force is, due to all of the oftentimes erroneous beliefs, superstitions, and connotations of this word, and others like it, which have become attached to it.

In any case, when our mind is quiet – calm, peaceful, and focused – we are open and receptive not just to elevated levels of consciousness, but also to inspiration, creativity, insight, and direct knowledge. Moreover, when our minds are clear, quiet, and precise, our ability to think, to learn, and to understand is dramatically increased.

Meditation :: Processing Internal Information

A clear, quiet, and focused mind is achieved by directing our attention internally. I would say that it is directed towards Spirit, which is perfectly true. But only because when we direct our attention inwards, we move towards singularity. Which is an experience of pure awareness which we can only move towards by degrees as we discipline our attention internally, and our minds towards silence.

Singularity is not just a term, but a concept we will cover in detail in the future, from its understanding in physics, within the context of the nature of consciousness and energetic anatomy, its implications in spiritual discipline and practice, and our understanding of Spirit. But for now, all that is important to understand is that as we turn our attention inwards we begin to process all the information stored and unresolved within us at the present time, leading to silence, balance, and direct understanding and experience of ourselves and Spirit.

Each time we turn our attention inwards we process internal information, such as thoughts, emotions, experiences, desires, etc. What I mean by ‘process’ is that we first become aware of this internal information. Yet that awareness leads to us being able to accept and let go of those thoughts and emotions which are hindering us, while also being able to understand our desires and who we are on a deeper level so that we can act in accordance with them. And by this form of coherent action, we express them and thus let go of them in their own way by realizing what they were telling us about ourselves and how we wanted to be and act. Which is part of the path of moving towards a complete realization and expression of who we are.

This internal information is always inside of us. Yet we are aware of only a tiny sliver of what is within us at any given moment, let alone in the full spectrum of who and what we are. For there is always more to discover and learn. Moreover, the information that is oftentimes at the surface of our awareness is only what has been recently internalized. Thoughts on the movie we just watched, the book we were just reading, the argument we just had, or the thing which just happened to us.

Yet if we do not seek to resolve and process this information, it can stay with us for days, weeks, or years especially when the information of each successive day is just piled on top of it. Resulting in gradual blockages and obstructions in the expression of our true nature, and of course of our life purpose and potential. These blockages and obstructions take the form of distorted and imbalanced emotional states, worldviews, thought and behavioral patters, moods, desires, habits and lifestyles, goals, and a distorted understanding of who we are – which is perhaps the source of all other distortion and imbalance. Thus if we fail to process this internal information consistently, it also results in the gradual accumulation of information – thoughts, memories, emotions, and experiences – which piece by piece results in the formulation of a self-image that eclipses and suppresses our genuine self. And the awareness of our intrinsic spiritual nature.

Life is an act of taking in information. We do it every day, and in every way, because we are aware. We see, hear, taste, touch, smell, experience, think, feel, conceive, imagine, and desire all day, every day. This is our perceptual reality. But if we do not learn how to wield this energy-information, how to process it, and above all, how to direct our attention and energy consciously, thereby selecting that which we take in with more deliberation and coherence, we are only causing problems for ourselves.

The idea that I want to bring to you is that of changing what information we take in, and how we act on it. For not all of the information that we take in, or express, is in our best interest. Nor is it aligned with who we really are, or with higher states of spiritual awareness and understanding. Whatever we consistently direct our attention and energy towards is what we internalize, and is that which informs and ultimately determines our experience. When we direct our attention towards a subject every day for months, we become better at that subject. We develop knowledge and understanding of it. Likewise, when a musician practices their instrument every day, continuing to learn new things both in greater depth and breadth, they become better at it. They develop skill and knowledge which informs and raises their level of creativity and ability to express themselves through music. Thus when we focus our attention on ourselves and on spiritual awareness, we develop spiritual awareness, we experience Spirit, and we come to know ourselves. This is the only way to know Spirit.

It is for this reason that meditation is essential. Through meditation we direct our attention inwards, and we do two things. We process internal information (as I defined it above) so that we can learn from it, accept it, understand it, act on it, or conversely, let it go and move on. But we also open up space that is left behind by that act of mental-emotional processing, through which a bit of our natural, genuine self comes through. And through which Spirit can be perceived and experienced as the release of that information decreases some of the internal pressure and clutter of our consistent internal dialogue, thereby resulting in an increased depth and expansion of our awareness, and increase in our level of energy. As we process information, we are but removing some of the lines from that repetitive dialogue, replaced by genuine experience of a deeper reality of who we are, which comes through in the space between.

Emptying Your Cup

“Empty your cup so that it may be filled;
become devoid to gain totality.”
– Bruce Lee

Each time we sit down to meditate, we direct our attention inwards and process information on a collapsing path towards singularity – the place where we are Spirit, where we are one with the Universal Force of Consciousness.

The more information that we have within us which has accumulated in the mind-field, within consciousness, the longer it will take to reach a state of pure awareness: the experience of inner silence. But in reality, it does not matter quantitatively ‘how much’ obstructing information we have within us because our experiences along the way are always relative to our own personal experience. This means that we will experience degrees of silence, gradual shifts in our awareness, and changes in how we think, feel, and our level of energy along the path. Thus each stage of spiritual development is experienced as a positive shift relative to how we used to be and feel. So with consistent practice we increase the level of our ordinary state. On one level this can be described as a positive shift in our mood, which is our average emotional state over long periods of time. In the sense that we consistently begin feeling better, more loving, more focused, more creative, happier, etc., in stages the longer that we practice. This occurs as a gradual result of consistent realignment with Spirit and our Genuine Self through the practice of meditation, as an elemental practice along the path. But not an end in and of itself, for most people at least. For a major part of this process is learning to express ourselves in our actions, habits, and life in a different way as we discover new dimensions to who we are.

If we stay with a meditation for long enough, we will ultimately return to the greatest depth or expanded state of awareness that we have ever experienced. And eventually we will surpass that limit. This occurs because in that meditation we will have come to process all of the accumulated information within us to the depth in awareness that we have already achieved. And we surpass that present limit when we can maintain that new level of consciousness naturally in our lives and actions, which eventually allows us to go deeper – which means piercing deeper inwards and thus processing new depths and levels of internal information on a path towards pure awareness. And also cultivating and ‘gaining access’ to new levels of spiritual awareness and information as well – knowledge and experience of consciousness-spirit, reality, who we are, our life purpose, and so on. This also results in deeper levels of understanding and creativity in our subjects, arts, or disciplines.

Yet this doesn’t happen every time we sit down to meditate. It occurs in stages. I find that at each stage (level of energy, level of consciousness, and degree of understanding of who we are) that we reach persists until we can effectively express and sustain this level of energy-consciousness naturally. In other words, until we have learned how to amalgamate that new level of consciousness and energy through a balanced expression of it in our lives. A balance, I might add, which can only be achieved when our expression is in perfect coherence with who we are, at our present level of awareness and understanding that is. And we cannot proceed to the next stage until we have done so. In each case I have spent years figuring out how to express that new knowledge and level of consciousness at each stage in my own growth and development. And yet I have only just recently realized that this is what has been occurring. Learning to be patient along this path is one of our greatest assets.

Another reason why we do not reach new levels of spiritual awareness every day we practice is due to the fact that the quantity and quality of information within us changes from day to do. Which is precisely why the meditative experience changes each day we practice. No practice is the same as the day’s before because we are slightly different each day.

What I mean by this is that ideally we are learning something new each day. Working maybe on the same projects but different aspects of them because we are progressing and learning, and because our experiences are different every day, so the information we are taking in is different each day. Also, when we focus daily on a spiritual practice or regimen of self-development in some way, we are growing each day. Thus, ideally we are different every day. Which means that meditation must be an act we engage in every day so that we can continue growing the next day, and each day after that, because we are not stuck in the same cycles due to unprocessed internal information.

Returning To Center

What I have found is that the greatest difficulty resides in the art of consistently bringing ourselves back to center. There is a saying in meditation that goes, ‘Remember to remember.’ Which means, to always remember to bring ourselves back to center, back to our breath, back to observing our minds and emotions instead of attaching ourselves to them and allowing them to drag us away from ourselves and spirit by participating unconsciously in them and the events they are linked to – again.

Ultimately this practice brings us back to pure awareness – Spirit – whenever we are dragged away by a train of thought or roller coaster of emotion, which happens all of the time in meditation. It is part of the process. Which is why the art of bringing ourselves back to center is so crucial, for it has profound repercussions in our life as well, as we will discuss.

It does happen less the more often we practice, as we are able to remain as a detached observer of what is taking place within us due to a greater degree of presence and attention. Yet it still occurs, because it is part of the process of living and learning. That is, part of processing thoughts, ideas, knowledge, information, experiences, and emotions.

However, this event of being pulled away from center happens in life in exactly the same way. We are carried away on tangents of thought and emotion, desires and aspirations, habits and action, or are simply caught up in the pace of everything around us. Sometimes it is pleasing and enjoyable, especially when it is in perfect alignment with who we are and the direction we have chosen to grow and that process.

But what happens when we are dragged too far away from ourselves that we lose touch with who we are? What do we do then, when we find ourselves in a place we don’t remember how we got to, with no direction home? Furthermore, what do we do when we cannot remember what genuine spiritual awareness is? As opposed to belief, faith, or dogma? Which is an extremely crucial issue in the world today for most people, I believe, for how many people can say with complete certainty that they have experienced profound spiritual states directly? (Naturally of course, without the use of drugs.)

The answer is simple, and it is always applicable: to sit without distraction, turn our attention inwards, and meditate. For a period of time each day, for as long as it takes each day to notice a shift in our mental-emotional state, and the quality of our awareness.

For these reasons, meditation is an accumulative practice. If we stop meditating, then we gradually do lose the depth and level of awareness that we attained, at least to a point. Only because we have not been regularly processing the information within us on a daily basis, returning back to center, to balance, to spiritual awareness, and ultimately to degrees of higher consciousness.

Each time we direct our attention inwards for any length of time we strengthen our connection to Spirit, and our awareness of our true nature. And in so doing we gradually fix our attention on One Consciousness so that we may live more and more in heightened awareness. But also so that we may act and live more creatively and vitally, with more freedom and power, because over time we learn how not to be dragged away from ourselves. And thus we can choose when and how to silently step away from everything around us and express ourselves honestly and genuinely in our own way, instead of being repeatedly pulled away from ourselves and manipulated by everything going on around us.

And when we can do this consistently, only then are we on the path to true freedom and liberation. Because we are not distorted by the world – the people, the events, the opinions, and the limitations – of all that is around us. For so many people get caught in patterns and habits that they know will only lead them down a path they have gone before which leads to a dead-end. Which has led them before to low emotional states, imbalance, and limited (or non-existence) spiritual awareness, which only obstruct our growth and development.

It takes time to develop the self-awareness and self-knowledge to firstly recognize the path which leads us to the realization of our highest potential, among a myriad of possibilities. But it requires even more self-awareness to be able to avoid those actions which obstruct that path. Usually only because we have fallen into that trap enough times – but gotten our as well, which is important to note – that we don’t need to do so again.

Meditation in order to process internal information consistently, cultivate a quiet and receptive mind in order to discover our true selves and spiritual awareness, and also to return back to center each time we are pulled away from ourselves, makes this process infinitely easier. Not easy, but easier because we have the right tools to get us back on the path each time we wander. Which we inevitably will.

For this tool in particular always takes us home: back to higher consciousness and knowledge of our unbounded nature as consciousness. We just have to remember to remember to use it, whenever we need to. And ideally without any conscious thought so that we can remain on this path of spiritual evolution, growth and development, as consistently as possible. Always moving forwards. Always evolving.

Be Patient To Realize Your Full Potential

The first thing to understand about patience is that patience is a state of mind. Learning to be patient is a quality which we apply to our actions, to our work, and simply to how we mentally and emotionally go about acting in general. But … [Continue reading]

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