Whilst researching my book The Illusion of Reality: A Public Servant's Secret Essays I found, perhaps not so unexpectedly given the nature of the book, that I was taking stock of examples of phenomena that on first blush seemed somewhat intuitive and understandable (even by me) and yet behind which lay paradigms seen (sometimes only as faint glimpses) only by a few of the brightest minds in history. Pythagoras and his contemporaries saw the Earth as round, Einstein understood that space and time are effectively one and the same; Watson and Crick described the structure of DNA and the double helix.
So, history tells us that there is always more than what meets the eye, there is always another story. Where there’s smoke there’s fire; behind indulgent binges, benders and late night capitulation; behind the corpse in the reserve, behind the ghost on the road, behind exaggerated, audacious prerogatives there is always another story.
Other stories, other views are not necessarily always a product of choice, a product of intentional abstruseness. Some stories are best attempts at making meaning of the time. Many ancient cultures, for example, subscribed to a flat Earth cosmography. The Israelites, Mesopotamians and others conceived the Earth as a flat disc floating on water beneath an arced firmament separating it from the heavens; a flat land at the bottom of the universe.
Today, looking up at the night sky; we see stars as far as our eyes can see. Through telescopes we see more. But not even the best telescopes can glean the elements of the universe. It turns out that stars, planets, moons, galaxies, and other oddities like human beings and black holes make up only 5% of the known universe. The remaining 95% of the universe is made up of something; something we haven’t the foggiest about - dark energy and dark matter. Stuff that can't been seen, detected or explained.