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Is space a new Zen Frontier?

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posted on May, 22 2008 @ 07:57 AM
I just got done reading an article titled Space Euphoria: Do Our Brains Change When We Travel in Outer Space? which recounts an intresting epiphany described by astronaut Edgar Mitchell.

In February, 1971, Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell experienced the little understood phenomenon sometimes called the “Overview Effect”. He describes being completely engulfed by a profound sense of universal connectedness. Without warning, he says, a feeing of bliss, timelessness, and connectedness began to overwhelm him. He describes becoming instantly and profoundly aware that each of his constituent atoms were connected to the fragile planet he saw in the window and to every other atom in the Universe. He described experiencing an intense awareness that Earth, with its humans, other animal species, and systems were all one synergistic whole. He says the feeling that rushed over him was a sense of interconnected euphoria. He was not the first—nor the last—to experience this strange “cosmic connection”.

Do you suppose this was just a natural reaction to experiencing the vastness of space for the first time or is there something more to it? Astronaut Rusty Schweikart and others describe similar experiences.

Rusty Schweikart experienced it on March 6th 1969 during a spacewalk outside his Apollo 9 vehicle: “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.” Schweikart, similar to what Mitchell experienced, describes intuitively sensing that everything is profoundly connected.

Their experiences, along with dozens of other similar experiences described by other astronauts, intrigue scientists who study the brain. This “Overview Effect”, or acute awareness of all matter as synergistically connected, sounds somewhat similar to certain religious experiences described by Buddhist monks, for example. Where does it come from and why?

One can imagine that such an overwhelming experience as space travel would indeed produce such epiphanies, but is there more to it?

After decades of study and contemplation about his experience, Ed Mitchell believes that the feeling of “oneness” with the Universe that he and others have experienced is a consequence of little understood quantum physics.

Andy Newberg, a neuroscientist/physician with a background in space medicine, is learning how to identify the markers of someone who has had the experience. “You can often tell when you’re with someone who has flown in space,” he says, “It’s palpable.” Andy scans brains for a living: praying nuns, transcendental mediators, and others in the act of focused states.

Newberg can pinpoint regions in subjects’ gray matter that correlate to these circumstances. Newberg is seriously looking at how to fly equipment that could study—in action—the brain functions of space travelers. If this Overview Effect is a real, physiological phenomenon—he wants to watch it happen.

If true, this is astonishing. Scientists and doctors have done countless studies into the effects of weightlessness etc. on the human body, but what if they are missing the bigger picture. What if a trip into space reallly does alter our minds and our conciousness?

The more I learn about DNA the more I begin to believe that we truly are connected to each other and to the entirety of the universe in ways which we do not fully comprehend. I truly believe that one day we will fully understand the way in which our conciousness and our DNA are intertwined. Perhaps they are even one and the same.

Interesting times we live in...

Additional article

posted on May, 22 2008 @ 09:07 AM
Interesting post, sorry you haven't got more of a response.

It'd be great if this research could lead to a brighter future, maybe it will.


posted on May, 22 2008 @ 09:52 AM
Thanks Xat,

I was just looking over the guidelines for Skunk Works and perhaps I put this in the wrong place as Skunk Works seems to be more focused on conspiracies and this is definitely not one. I was kind of at a loss when trying to pick a forum since this topic seems to be in a grey area.

posted on May, 22 2008 @ 10:08 AM
I read that same article on It was really interesting and reminds me of feelings I have had in the past. It almost sounds like an enlightened state of mind...

I bet a lot of people in the '60s felt this way too.

posted on May, 22 2008 @ 06:03 PM
I think the main reason for this is due to getting out of the frequency of confussion and negativity that is prevailing in the world. It allows the mind to return to it's state of Oneness. The spirit is not bound by space or time, but the mind is when it is not maintained and kept sharp through meditation and opening the crown charka to the astral. The mind is free and the spirit comes to it's true connection and unity with all. It comes into unison with the Almighty, who has no name, no gender. It IS the all encompassing Silent Majesty of the One, the very Essence of all life and all existance everywhere, the very Mind and Spirit of Creation itself.


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