Galileo was an Italian physicist and astronomer credited with building the first effective telescope. He used this telescope to prove that the earth moves around the sun, confirming a theory originally put forward by the Polish astronomer Nicholas Copernicus.
Alas, this notion went directly against the teachings of the church at that time. The church held that the earth was the centre of the universe and that the Sun revolved around the earth.
Needless to say this conflict ended in tears and Galileo appeared before the Inquisition under the charge of ‘grave suspicion of heresy’.
Some might say that Galileo should have used his nous and kept his controversial views to himself. He was compelled to abjure and was sentenced to life imprisonment for his trouble.
A.A. Milne wrote that “The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.”
Happily Galileo had a first-rate mind, his spirit was never broken and he went on using his nous, went on thinking up until his death at 78, and went on publishing discourses that changed our thinking.
How will you use your nous today?