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Seeing Earth from Space Is the Key to Saving Our Species from Itself

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posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 02:21 PM
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When Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth in April 1961, he carried centuries of hopes and dreams into space with him. Visionaries had long struggled to picture the expanse beyond Earth’s skies, with its mind-boggling scale and promise of a new frontier for human exploration. Taken on its own, Gagarin’s testimonial about Earth’s epiphanic loveliness could be chalked up to his exuberant personality. But over the decades, as hundreds of people have followed his lead into space and returned to tell their travelers’ tales, a pattern has begun to emerge. Regardless of differences in nationality, gender, or worldview, astronauts commonly report feelings of heightened awareness and profound rapture while observing the Earth from such a distant vantage point.

This phenomenon has become known as the Overview Effect, a phrase coined in 1987 by the author and space philosopher Frank White. As defined in White’s book The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution (currently in its third edition), it is “a cognitive shift in awareness” linked to “the experience of seeing firsthand the reality that the Earth is in space.”

“My hypothesis was that being in space, you would see and know something experientially that we have been trying to understand intellectually for thousands of years,” White told me over the phone. “That is, that the Earth is a whole system, everything on it is connected, and we’re a part of it.”


I thought this article was inspiring,informative and humbling and I wanted to share not only it's content,but the notion generated about viewing earth from space can deepen our appreciation for our tiny blue space ship, and unify us earthlings in an immersed awareness of appreciation, wonder and gratitude.

Several years ago I watched an IMAX film about earth, as viewed from space and the astronauts were brought to tears from the glory, perspective and fragility of our world. It moved me and I remember thinking that if we could get out there ourselves and experience this, it could change us. We live on this fragile blue ball hurling through space, surrounded by radiation and temps of -455 degrees F, protected by our ozone layer and magnetosphere. The scope of viewing earth against the backdrop of cold and empty space should humble anyone and deepen our value of protecting this ecological wonder. I feel that this vantage experience could dissolve much of our preconceived and literal separateness and differences.


"That beautiful, warm living object looked so fragile, so delicate, that if you touched it with a finger it would crumble and fall apart,” wrote Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin in his 1973 autobiography To Rule the Night. “Seeing this has to change a man, has to make a man appreciate the creation of God and the love of God."

“It is all connected, it is all interdependent,” said NASA astronaut Sandra Magnus in an interview with White. “You look out the window, and in my case, I saw the thinness of the atmosphere, and it really hit home, and I thought, ‘Wow, this is a fragile ball of life that we’re living on.’ It is hard for you to appreciate that until you are outside of it.”



“When I first looked back at the Earth, standing on the Moon, I cried,” confessed Alan Shepard, commander of Apollo 14 and the first American to visit space, in a 1988 interview.

Shepard’s crewmate, Apollo 14 lunar module pilot Edgar Mitchell, felt it too. "Something happens to you out there," Mitchell said, according to The Week.


This experience is like no other a human can have and certainly one of the most moving and powerful.


Fortunately, there appear to be a lot of overlapping elements to the experience of having one’s brain doped up on Earth’s beauty. Broadly speaking, space travelers report feelings of transcendence, spiritual awakening, euphoria, and epiphanic oneness with the planet and its inhabitants. Many cite the mesmerizing richness of Earth’s lush colors, or the obvious lack of artificial national borders. Astronauts may feel permanently changed by the Overview Effect, enacting lifelong modifications to their habits and outlook when they return to the planet.

Overview Effect


I hope to see space travel for common folk at some point instead of just VR. The VR experience will still be a powerful tool for shifting values and perspective. I think this will happen sooner than later, and sure, it will probably be reserved for those that can afford it, but hopefully over time we will be able to usher anyone up there. Talk about a cool field trip! Let's get the kids up there so we can instill this awareness in to future generations.


Our first studies on the Overview Effect will use existing VR platforms, but we are looking to partner with space tourism companies, virtual reality program developers, and even planetariums to expand the contexts in which we can evoke and measure the effects of awe experiences like those reported by astronauts,” he told me.

Image result for overview effect
"The overview effect is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts and cosmonauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from orbit or from the lunar surface."

IMAX has a new film coming out with some sweet HD footage. Here's a preview.




Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell came to the same conclusion, though he expressed it somewhat less diplomatically: “From out there on the Moon, international politics look so petty,” he told People magazine in 1974. “You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’


Source

This idea should be addressed by all politicians as a unifying project. I hope to see philanthropists include this endeavor in their efforts to better humanity. Crowd sourcing projects could also help with not only craft/travel development,but paying fares to get the most people up and out there. Maybe the Space Elevator , 2will become reality too. To me this is a big spoonful of epiphany that could begin the transformation of our species from homo sapiens to homo spacian, and bring us altogether and enrich our caretaker spirit.




posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 02:52 PM
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I had this thought when I first got the ISS live viewing experiment app on my phone. If you're stressed out, all you have to do is watch the live feed of the earth from the ISS and it all falls away. It'd be interesting to see an experiment where people watched the earth from above for a certain amount of time and the effects it would have.



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 03:13 PM
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If only it were true.

The Earthrise photo taken by Apollo 8 is widely credited with helping to foster the growth of the green movement, and one of the early campaigns concerned with protecting the planet used lapel badges to demand "when will we see a picture of the whole Earth":

en.wikipedia.org...

All of the astronauts I have heard speak have all said much the same thing: the best thing about going to the moon was the view of Earth, and how fragile it looked and how the idea of borders seemed a nonsense.

Sadly, 50 years on, were still shooting at each other and fighting over patches of dirt.



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 03:45 PM
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originally posted by: underwerks
I had this thought when I first got the ISS live viewing experiment app on my phone. If you're stressed out, all you have to do is watch the live feed of the earth from the ISS and it all falls away. It'd be interesting to see an experiment where people watched the earth from above for a certain amount of time and the effects it would have.

Ahh there's an app for that, of course, haha. Cool and yea it is such a source of awe and wonder.
I bet any tests done would reveal a calming effect and maybe even some beneficial humbling.



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 03:48 PM
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I think every human who wants to should be allowed to spend time in orbit.


Shotgun!
edit on 10/15/2016 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 03:52 PM
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originally posted by: OneBigMonkeyToo
If only it were true.

The Earthrise photo taken by Apollo 8 is widely credited with helping to foster the growth of the green movement, and one of the early campaigns concerned with protecting the planet used lapel badges to demand "when will we see a picture of the whole Earth":

en.wikipedia.org...

All of the astronauts I have heard speak have all said much the same thing: the best thing about going to the moon was the view of Earth, and how fragile it looked and how the idea of borders seemed a nonsense.

Sadly, 50 years on, were still shooting at each other and fighting over patches of dirt.


Yea we have a long way to go but at the same time we linger on the doorstep of beginning a journey outward into the final frontier. I always felt that big events, usually tragedies unfortunately, bring us together and refresh our perspectives. In this case this is one of those potential events/opportunities to do just that, not only in a kinship manner but in an actual direction towards benefiting our home, habitat and civilization.
It seems this kind of awareness transcends religious, territorial and cultural differences, putting us all under one umbrella. Human kind will have to come together at some point as planetary citizens, and I just hope it's sooner than later.



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 03:57 PM
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Back when the first picture of the the whole earth from space became public, it had that effect. Now its common and people are like meh...

I think a better 'peace mindedness' would come from having to spend 24 hours in a combat zone.

Nothing like protracted threat of imminent death to make one appreciate life.
edit on 15-10-2016 by intrptr because: spelling



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 04:08 PM
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a reply to: waftist I wish that were true for the majority of people who live on the blue marble called Earth. I agree with most philosophers that in order for most people to change the way they live or treat others is to bring them on the brink of destruction that would be so catastrophic it would spell certain doom for everyone who is alive now. Only then will people have a completely changed outlook on life and how we treat others.



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 04:15 PM
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a reply to: 4N0M4LY The Day The Earth Stood Still < a better idea to what the OP suggests



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 04:40 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr
Back when the first picture of the the whole earth from space became public, it had that effect. Now its common and people are like meh...

I think a better 'peace mindedness' would come from having to spend 24 hours in a combat zone.

Nothing like protracted threat of imminent death to make one appreciate life.

Yea but surely the 'meh' would turn to 'wow' once out there, no? That's the point I believe. I like your suggestion of dropped into combat zone, kind of the yang to this yin in terms of shaking folks at their foundation in hope of spawning real change amongst both individuals and society. Yes let the politicians be first dropped in combat zones, for it seem to me they are more in favor of wars than the general public.



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 04:42 PM
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originally posted by: 4N0M4LY
a reply to: waftist I wish that were true for the majority of people who live on the blue marble called Earth. I agree with most philosophers that in order for most people to change the way they live or treat others is to bring them on the brink of destruction that would be so catastrophic it would spell certain doom for everyone who is alive now. Only then will people have a completely changed outlook on life and how we treat others.


Yes, hence the proposed value in this notion. The first orbital ride should be filled with our leaders from all countries and of course Phage to come back here to report, and he can have shotgun too, any day.



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 06:10 PM
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a reply to: waftist

Cool story bro.



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 07:43 PM
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Cool thought,sign me up.

Also I wonder,hmmmmmmm




posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 08:10 PM
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a reply to: PoetryInMotion
a reply to: Black_Fox

Thanks guys



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 10:57 PM
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a reply to: OneBigMonkeyToo


50 years on, were still shooting at each other and fighting over patches of dirt.

You may be overly pessimistic. Fifty years on, the number of wars and warlike incidents worldwide has declined, as have deaths in wars, homicides and other forms of killing violence. Violent crime, too has declined.

These are facts the media rarely report, but they are facts all the same.



posted on Oct, 16 2016 @ 02:18 AM
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One of my favourite places to visit on the Internet is the latest photos of Earth from the ISS: Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

Lot's of full-size, gorgeous photos there. Our planet is really really beautiful.










edit on 16-10-2016 by wildespace because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 16 2016 @ 09:07 AM
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Unfortunately for a lot of people out there they just wont simply care.

Take for example this:


(My ex-partners Mother) "What is he doing at that University?"
Ex Partner: "He's just passed the entry exam to go into Astrophysics"
Ex-Partners Mother: "What, is that something to do with space or something???"
Ex-Partner: "Uh...Kind of, it's actually..."
Ex-Partners Mother: "I DON'T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT SPACE STUFF! I have OTHER important stuff to do in my life then think about space!"


This coming from a person who only went to a hair salon once a week, to the bank to get money (ATMs are too hard to learn), and went shopping and home, that's her entire week.

I've heard similar things from many other people who show dis-interest in even caring about the beauty of space and considering human nature I think it might be a distance dream.


*Sigh* The photos in this thread make me long for an experience I have wished since my earliest memories that I will never get to experience. *Sniff*



posted on Oct, 16 2016 @ 09:19 AM
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a reply to: waftist


Yes let the politicians be first dropped in combat zones, for it seem to me they are more in favor of wars than the general public.

Even better, if they had to go or send their sons and sighters, we would see a rapid change.

Good idea...



posted on Oct, 16 2016 @ 09:32 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: OneBigMonkeyToo


50 years on, were still shooting at each other and fighting over patches of dirt.

You may be overly pessimistic. Fifty years on, the number of wars and warlike incidents worldwide has declined, as have deaths in wars, homicides and other forms of killing violence. Violent crime, too has declined.

These are facts the media rarely report, but they are facts all the same.


What planet you from? Today war is far more destructive, more people are displaced than ever before in History. As far as deaths, more people on the planet means more deaths ongoing, just statistically speaking, alone.



posted on Oct, 16 2016 @ 02:53 PM
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a reply to: wildespace

Thanks for the link and pics wildespace



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