Longer observation (17): The Center of Everything: It is usually as clear as a bell to young children that the sun and moon are the largest and closest objects in the sky; that the sun is the brightest object in the sky and the moon is the second brightest; that the sun is the center of the daytime sky and moves around our earth; and that the stars are the faintest and most distant objects in the sky.

It comes as a shock to the intellect of a child that this isn't the truth, that no part of it is true: That the earth with us on it is revolving around the sun (as is the moon); that we are all on a speck (comparatively speaking) in a massive universe; that the sun is a star, a faint one that is on the small side; and that we are part of a larger system which is part of still larger systems; and so on.

All this contradicts our senses, our experience, and our common sense. Realizing the truth is often felt as a massive upheaval of ones intellect that can perturb the emotions and imagination and cast a shadow over the bright senses and our clearest thoughts. Some never accept the evidence.

It is parallel with many children's sense of their individual selves. Nothing is more evident than that we are the center of everything; that the world unfolds around us with us as its center. 

And there can be a massive shift in us when we learn that there are other people who are, each one, as much the center of everything as we are; that we are one of many, not unique particularly or more outstanding or of a different kind and nature than anyone else. We are all people

And it a greater shift to realize we are, to others, as they are to us, objects in the universe that surrounds them; that our view is not special, not the only valid one; and that it is imperfect and limited, essentially and by the nature of things.

Many get used to these shocking and difficult truths in the same way they learn to grudgingly accept the shocking truths about the sun and moon and earth and stars. But not everybody does. Just as some hold out, against the evidence, and refuse to admit that the earth isn't at the center of the universe, there are those who hold out, also against all evidence, and refuse to admit that they aren't the center of the social universe.