Is Earth Fluid or Solid ?

I just flew from Delhi to Los Angeles and observed the earth from above as I always do. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran into Europe, I look at the incredible landscapes and realize how beautiful our planet really is. I peer carefully to see if I can see remote civilizations – small settlements and try and guess how people live there and what it means to live so far away form major cities. I also see no barriers and the earth flows seamlessly from one landscape to another, and not from one territorial nation to another. I have been flying for so many years but I can never stop myself from glueing my nose to the window every time….

and today I had another thought as we flew over the mountains in California, that looked so much like the terrain in Afghanistan. That from above the Earth looks like it suddenly froze in time as if caught in mid flow. Like a wave caught in a painters canvass. Or a child suddenly pointed a finger and said ‘stop’.
And I then realized that it is our perception has frozen in time and not the Earth. Over a billion years the earth is still fluid – caught on a very long time lapse camera – all the mountains would be rising ad falling, the deserts would be shifting, as would the rivers and the oceans. Our Earth would be perceived as then – and actually is – completely fluid. Like a vast restless churning sea.

18 thoughts on “Is Earth Fluid or Solid ?

  1. hi shekhar !
    oh…….so thats where you’ve been……..glueing your nose to the window of your LA flight………! for a moment one thought it was a case of ‘now you see him……now you dont ! πŸ™‚
    bon voyage ! have a good flight back !

  2. Yes, same was the feeling, when i flew first time and always wonder “Its one world”, how humanity can be better…
    It’ll be great if meet sometime, if you want can email me your contact to meet you in LA this time. Do you stay at Hollywood Roosevelt ?

  3. Dear Shekhar,
    Thanks for the wonderful post and I have also wondered at the same things looking out from the flight, that the world from the top looks so integrated i.e. no national or geographic boundaries. I specially love when we leave the sea and just enter the land – often when we enter America we just see Snow all around – well I used to see it as I was studying in Michigan, and it was so wonderful. Life everywhere – all so different, there own stories, and day to day activities.
    Earth just appears solid to us based on the timeframe of our lives but everything is persistently changing and that’s what makes life so exciting. Your words instantly reminded me of your commentary on the first Elizabeth’s DVD (I just took it out and it is playing on my laptop right now as I write) where you talk about the huge stone pillars in the cathedral and why you took overhead shots from the top that make Elizabeth look small, to show that she had a human destiny – you talk about stone as the ultimate survivor, that we are going to be here for a short time and the cathedral is going to stand for generations. But, maybe in 10000 or more years there’ll be something else in its place as well, and change will inevitably take over.
    Often, when I was flying from Sydney back to the US, I was awed by the beauty of the world – the vast blue pacific ocean, it looked spotless, sometime scary as the nearest place to land was Hawaii or back in Australia, but it looked so great. I felt blessed just looking at our pretty planet, to be alive, sometimes I’d choose the drink based on the weather outside i.e. some nice beer if it was sunny or Cognac when it was cold, like when flying to the US in winter. I’ll stare outside for hours, then turning back to my book, and then again looking outside – it is always wonderful.
    I hope you had a wonderful experience flying to LA and enjoyed the vast Nevada/California country side which looks quite picturesque from the top. Flying is addictive and often if you travel a lot, you want to keep traveling more. Sometimes we feel it’s best to stay home for a few months, but whenever that happens I want to get on a plane again as soon as possible. Like Robert Louis Stevenson said in this wonderful quote, “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
    I am sure you are enjoying your travels. It is a wonderful destiny to have the good fortune of seeing the world.
    Best Regards,

  4. Beautiful description Himanshu, Thank You.
    Journey is the goal
    It is infinite
    It is eternal
    Life is Journey
    The pilgrimage itself is the sacred place
    We have opportunity to be part of this life called journey
    Let us spread love, wisdom …
    Make this planet a little better

  5. Our beautiful Earth!
    Solid yet fliud!
    So obvious, yet very mysterious
    Gorgeous and Rugged!
    The Power, the Calm!
    So old, still young!
    Unique with endless variety!
    Home to life of many forms!
    Gives so much and doesnt take much back!
    Just like a mother!
    Love her, respect her, worship her!
    Theres none like her!
    Take good care of her!

  6. indeed, part of California looks very much like the terrain of southern and western asia. asia is considered harsh and ugly while california ‘lush’, yet from above they all look the same. we are all equal from above

  7. this reminds me of a beautiful description of the illusory status of time and the whole maya of it in a Bertolluci’s 10 minutes film based on vishnu purana verse – “It is as if the mountains when seen through many millenniums would rise and fall like waves of water”
    You can’t afford to miss it. grab it if you have’nt seen it, pd

  8. amazing…you keep visualizing CHANGING earth and suddenly you become centered and the rest keep moving…

  9. Thank you AJ and I hope your Sunnyvale Cool Cities Initiative is going on great. I even visited your website yesterday and learnt about all the things your city is doing to keep environmental emissions low, and it looks like lot of progress is being made.

  10. Life gives so much and its fun to give back to communities. Yes, Cool cities is getting great support. Enjoying raising $3M to renovatelargest temple in bay area, we relased 1st CD and is hit. I worked with Immigration reform to help community, good results. Lot more things going on. Pls send me email, so we can be in touch. This is my spare time fun… I’m tryihng to meet Shekhar today/ tomomrrow, let us see…

  11. Hi Shekhar,
    The logic is simple. The ‘higher’ you go the more you are able to see.
    PS: Did I just give you a koan? πŸ˜‰

  12. …for me, it’s so breathtaking ahhhhhh to view the earth from an airplane, I find it also amazing to view airplanes from the earth…then my nose is glued to the sky πŸ™‚

  13. Man, Earth is such a beautiful planet, but the trueth is, it’s fate is in wrong hands , dont know how long will this last..
    I am reading Hitch hiker’s guide to the Galaxy and now am on the 5th volume. This is an amazingly written book. Philosophy, comedy, sarcasm, it’s got everything..that can expand our brain to a “size of a planet”.
    If you haven’t already read it, send me an email and I will reply to it with the soft copies of these : or mehul.rahul@bajaj oh and you can delete this para of the comment after you have read it.

  14. Hi AJ,
    Hope you are well and I hope you have a fruitful meeting with Shekhar. I didn’t get your exact email address on the cool cities website so you can always email me at
    Also, I hope you meet your fundraising objectives for the temple and have fun celebrating Holi this Friday.

  15. Earth is Fluid …
    surface is solid…
    core still fluid and thats why we’re alive
    what a circle!

  16. Is earth flued or solid ? Scientist may have give us a different kind of answer and poets may the different and so are the mystique people. So what is the reality. Or is their something like reality. When we are in relaxation and lost in the beauty some borderless and vast thing fills our heart. And that is the real thing.
    I have remainded the lines from Robindranaths
    “Thou hast made me endless
    Such is thus joy
    such is thus beauty”
    Shall with such kind of experience we need to correct the social scenerio. Or beacouse we do not feel like that we belive in partitions.

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