The earth and moon from 4 million miles out.
I was thinking about the concept of reality and the way certain ideas illuminate and transform our reality. 21st century Americans generally hold the opinion that all people at one time believed the earth was flat. I have never read specifically about an ancient civilization that knew the earth was round. But I think there are people who knew the earth was round and always knew it.
Great past civilizations of master astronomers had to have known it. The Egyptians and Mayans come to mind. The Lakota people have their own astronomy knowledge. Their entire culture is steeped in the idea of circles. They would have known intuitively the earth was round. The aboriginal people of Australia who are intimately familiar with and travel consciously in the Dreamtime would have always known the earth is round.
We hail our culture's great scientists for their discoveries. As the centuries roll by, one observation illuminates another, and the awareness of a round earth moved out of the Dreamtime into the waking consciousness of all.
As a child I imagined myself in space looking back. I had no notion of what I would see. The earth was illustrated in my elementary school books as a lifeless blue and brown ball. I could never have guessed the white and blue glowing presence! Since those days, photographs from space have permeated human consciousness with living images of the planet. In turn, the idea of earth as a living entity, Gaia, has illuminated the collective awareness. Indigenous people around the world have never forgotten what Western civilization now consciously knows. Our earth is round and alive. And beautiful.