Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from the outside, is available, a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose.
— attributed to Sir Fred Hoyle, 1948.
After Astronaut Edgar Mitchell had spent a whopping 9 hours and 17 minutes on the moon he was suddenly overcome with a sense of timelessness, bliss and absolute interconnectedness. For a moment suspended in infinity his privatized perspective dissolved into a cosmic whole, a zero point – Everything became aware it was Everything. This is what astronauts coined ‘The Overview Effect’.
The overview effect is a altered state of consciousness in which every petty thought that normally distracts us from realizing that we are one with everything shrivels up. When seeing ourselves “on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam” every goal other than taking care of our home pales in comparison.
After his space walk outside the Apollo 9 Lunar Module astronaut Russell “Rusty” Schweikart said “When you go around the Earth in an hour and a half, you begin to recognize that your identity is with that whole thing. That makes a change… it comes through to you so powerfully that you’re the sensing element for Man.”
This post will try to instill this sense of wonder in you.
- Sit up straight and relaxed
- Keep breathing rhythmically and smoothly till the end
- Meditate or ingest your entheogenic drug of choice
- Take the time to truly absorb the significance of our place in the cosmos
- Scroll down :)
- Note: (all pictures with italic captions are animated – this is why the post is split up in three pieces. If a picture doesn’t load, try re-loading the page.)
#1. Watch: Carl Sagan – Pale Blue Dot
Oddly enough the overriding sensation I got looking at the earth was, my god that little thing is so fragile out there.
— Mike Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut, interview for the 2007 movie ‘In the Shadow of the Moon.’
#2. Get your Mind Blown by Wittgenstein
Meeting a friend in the corridor, Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) said: “Tell me, why do people always say that it was natural for men to assume that the sun went around the earth rather than the earth was rotating?” His friend said: “Well, obviously, because it just looks as if the sun is going around the earth!” To which the philosopher replied: “Well, what would it look like if it had looked as if the earth were rotating?”
Found in this amazing book ‘The Ego Tunnel‘.
This is the same
(Sun moves across the earth)
(Sun moves across the earth)
Which perspective is true? Read the Nature of Duality to find out!
What beauty. I saw clouds and their light shadows on the distant dear earth…. The water looked like darkish, slightly gleaming spots…. When I watched the horizon, I saw the abrupt, contrasting transition from the earth’s light-colored surface to the absolutely black sky. I enjoyed the rich color spectrum of the earth. It is surrounded by a light blue aureole that gradually darkens, becoming turquoise, dark blue, violet, and finally coal black.
— Yuri Gagarin (Юрий Алексеевич Гагарин)
(Picture on the right: The first proof the earth was rotating that was not based on celestial observations.)
#3. Realize that:
The Earth is Carrying You.
But the Earth Herself is…
Floating in Emptiness. Suspended by Nothing.
A Chinese tale tells of some men sent to harm a young girl who, upon seeing her beauty, become her protectors rather than her violators. That’s how I felt seeing the Earth for the first time. I could not help but love and cherish her.
— Taylor Wang
#4. If you would hop on a rocketship…
And fly over the earth…
What would you see?
This planet is not terra firma. It is a delicate flower and it must be cared for. It’s lonely. It’s small. It’s isolated, and there is no resupply. And we are mistreating it. Clearly, the highest loyalty we should have is not to our own country or our own religion or our hometown or even to ourselves. It should be to, number two, the family of man, and number one, the planet at large. This is our home, and this is all we’ve got.
— Scott Carpenter
How vast those Orbs must be, and how inconsiderable this Earth, the Theatre upon which all our mighty Designs, all our Navigations, and all our Wars are transacted, is when compared to them. A very fit consideration, and matter of Reflection, for those Kings and Princes who sacrifice the Lives of so many People, only to flatter their Ambition in being Masters of some pitiful corner of this small Spot.
— Christiaan Huygens, The Immense Distance Between the Sun and the Planets, 1698
#5. Would you see a breathing Earth?
(Vegetation change – 1 year)
(Icecaps change – 1 year)
(Icecaps change – 1 year)
#6. Or her last breath?
(Brazilian Amazon Deforestation, 1984-2012)
(Las Vegas Urban Growth, 1986-2012)
(Lake Urmia Drying Up, 1984-2012)
(Columbia Glacier Retreat, 1984-2011)
Viewed from the distance of the moon, the astonishing thing about the earth, catching the breath, is that it is alive. The photographs show the dry, pounded surface of the moon in the foreground, dry as an old bone. Aloft, floating free beneath the moist, gleaming, membrane of bright blue sky, is the rising earth, the only exuberant thing in this part of the cosmos.
— Lewis Thomas, The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
#7. Perhaps just change we do not understand and can not predict?
(Dubai Coastal Expansion, 1984-2012)
(Saudi Arabia Irrigation. 1984-2012)
(Data usage around the world)
(Flights around the world)
#8. Does it matter in the grand scheme of things?
(The size of the earth)
(Two galaxies colliding)
(Travel at the speed of light)
(Our potential future – long but mind blowing!)
I really believe that if the political leaders of the world could see their planet from a distance of 100,000 miles their outlook could be fundamentally changed. That all-important border would be invisible, that noisy argument silenced. The tiny globe would continue to turn, serenely ignoring its subdivisions, presenting a unified façade that would cry out for unified understanding, for homogeneous treatment. The earth must become as it appears: blue and white, not capitalist or Communist; blue and white, not rich or poor; blue and white, not envious or envied.
— Michael Collins, Carrying the Fire: An Astronauts Journeys
The first day or so we all pointed to our countries. The third or fourth day we were pointing to our continents. By the fifth day, we were aware of only one Earth.
— Sultan bin Salman Al-Saud
#9. Or should we just focus on our own neighbourhood?
(One earth year viewed from above… or sideways.. or.. we don’t actually know what is up or down in space)
(We do know that relative to other galaxies the sun is moving!)
(Asteroid J002E3 trolling Earth)
(Earth’s Trojan Asteroid}
#10. And take care of our own home?
As I looked down, I saw a large river meandering slowly along for miles, passing from one country to another without stopping. I also saw huge forests, extending along several borders. And I watched the extent of one ocean touch the shores of separate continents. Two words leaped to mind as I looked down on all this: commonality and interdependence. We are one world.
— John-David Bartoe
(A home bombarded with rocks from space}
(Slowly being pulled apart by our mysterious companion)
(Terrorized by superstorms)
(And erupting volcanoes)
(Melted rocks stirring in the depths…)
(And intense solarflares all around us..)
#11. Watch: The Overview Effect & Shadow Of The Moon
Watch: In the Shadow of the Moon – Documentary
To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves a riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold—brothers who know now they are truly brothers.
— Archibald MacLeish
#12. Keep The Vision Alive
- Never forget: We are all brothers and sisters – children of the Earth.
- All borders are human constructs – a joke if seen from a cosmic perspective.
- We have one earth. One chance. That is it.
- To be united we need a global shift in our collective consciousness. A shift towards the Overview Effect.
- If you felt the cosmic connection – share this page and spread the unity.
- If you haven’t – try again. I assure you, it is worth it. (tips: Really imagine being outside our Earth, floating in space, looking back upon this single breathing organism, smoke more or silence your mind)
Look again at that dot. That’s here, that’s home, that’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there—on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
— Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space