Every 24 hours, the Dipper makes a full turn around the Northpole. A huge clockhand, sometimes visible at dawn, sometimes at dusk, sometimes the entire night.
Everything which turns, does so around a center. All stars, the sun, the moon, the earth herself are like the spokes of a wheel, rotating around the big axis of the world.
"Thirty spokes join at a single hub,
But it is precisely where there is nothing
That the utility of the wheel resides.
Having a thing is beneficial,
But having nothing is useful."
The master said: "To conduct government by virtue may be compared to the Northern Asterism: it occupies its place, while the myriad stars revolve around it".
Confucius compared the 'de' (virtue) of the sage ruler to the Pole.
The 'Supreme One' is identified throughout China's history with the celestial Pole.
In the Warring States Guodian manuscripts from Chu, in the text "The Supreme One Springs From Water", Taiyi sheng shui: "Supreme One [Taiyi] is here an alternative appellation for the Dao... ". Taiyi in these texts is what is referred to as the Dao in the pre-Chin period.
The Supreme One dwells in the center, which is also the position of the Son of Heaven. There is a parallel between the position of the ruler among the people and that of the Supreme One among the heavenly bodies.
(Pankenier page 88-89)
Finding the center of the heavens in 3000 BCE.
The Big Dipper (bottom) is part of Ursa Major, the Little Dipper (Little Bear, top) of Ursa Minor
The character dì: Supreme One; emperor. The one who represented the center of the heavens on earth. At left an old version of the character.
In the time of the Shang there was no star in the center of the rotating world. The spot could be found by connecting other stars, and where the lines intersected, was the exact center of the rotation. The character dì seems to be an image of a tool which might have been used for this - and then became the emblem of the emperor. (Pankenier p.103)
Liji: "Now the rites necessarily have their origin in the Supreme One, which divides to become Heaven and Earth, revolves to become yin and yang, and changes to become the four seasons".
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