An Astronauts Guide to Life pt1; Towards a Cosmic Consciousness- The Overview Effect and Orbital Perspective.
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Back in the early days of the manned space program there had been a lot of concern about something that psychiatrists were referring to as the “break-off phenomenon,” the notion that you would feel disconnected from the earth and it’s people when you were above it, particularly when you were in orbit.
But when Manned spaceflight actually began to occur something unexpected happened.
Apollo 14 astronaut, Edgar Mitchell reported experiencing a profound sense of connectedness, with a feeling of bliss and timelessness. He was overwhelmed by the experience.
“Every two minutes, a picture of the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun — a 360-degree panorama of the heavens — appeared in the spacecraft window. And I’d studied astronomy, and I’d studied cosmology, and I fully understood that the molecules in my body and the molecules in my partners’ bodies and the molecules in the spacecraft had been prototyped in this amazing generation of stars — in other words, it was pretty obvious … we’re stardust.”
He became profoundly aware that each and every atom in the Universe was connected in some way, and on seeing Earth from space he had an understanding that all the humans, animals and systems were a part of the same thing, a synergistic whole.
This sermon was recorded on Jan 18th, 2015 at Unity Church of Flint in Michigan. In it I share a fascinating phenomenon that I recently discovered, that each of the 538 people who have viewed the earth from space has been indelibly altered by the experience. Each and every one has reported the feeling of a profound sense of interconnectedness, that each and every atom in the Universe was connected in some way; that all the humans,
animals and systems were a part of the same thing, a synergistic whole, that “there are no borders or boundaries on our planet except those that we create in our minds or through human behaviors…
That all those things that separate use from each other; geographic boundaries,
politics, religious ideologies and creedal differences are all created by man,
not by the universe, not by God.
Harvard trained science writer Frank White call this the “Overview Effect,” and formed an institute to study this. Working with Astronauts and Neuroscientists, and astronauts they have determined that this shift in consciousness actually seems to “rewire” the same areas of the brain that are lit up when Buddhist Monks meditate, and religious people pray. I point out that 21st century scientist such as Neil deGrasse Tyson, and 12th century mystics such as Hildegard of Bingen both used the same terms to describe this same thing. I then explore the idea that many, including Astronaut Ron Garan and others believe that this “Orbital Perspective” will be put in the hands of more and more people as low cost spaceflight and high definition video will become the norm, and with that shift may come the true Cosmic Consciousness that spiritual practitioners have yearned for… and we can save the world.
This sermon was greatly inspired by this amazing video that I stumbled upon in my research. I don’t know whether to suggest you watch it before or after my sermon, you’ll have to decide.