Astronauts who have seen the Earth from space have often described the ‘overview effect’ as an experience that has transformed their perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it, and enabled them to perceive it as our shared home, without boundaries between nations or species.
OVERVIEW is a short film that will explore this perspective through interviews with astronauts who have experienced the overview effect. The film also features insights from commentators and thinkers on the wider implications and importance of this understanding for humanity as a whole, and especially its relevance to how we meet the tremendous challenges facing our planet at this time.
I spoke recently with Apollo 14 Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon, and we discussed his peak experience in space and how it still affects him 33 years later. He reports that what he experienced was nothing short of the magnificence of the universe, which was truly overwhelming.—Paula Bailey
Paula Bailey: Please tell us about your own "transformation."
Edgar Mitchell: I realized that the molecules of my body and my partners, and the molecules of the spacecraft were prototyped in some ancient generation of stars. And suddenly, instead of being an intellectual experience, it was an emotional experience, followed with an ecstasy! So my question was: Wow! What kind of a brain/body is this that causes this sort of experience?
How did you answer that question?
It was only after I came back to earth and started researching the mystical literature that I realized that the experience that I was having all the way back home had a name. It's called samadhi in the ancient Sanskrit—the samadhi experience. That's pretty wild!
Was your experience different from that of other astronauts?
Many of my compatriots, like Charlie Duke and Jim Irwin in particular, had very much the same experience, but they described it as looking on the face of God, which is a traditional, mystical or religious way of expressing such experiences. Others came back and began to express their sense of personal amazement and emotion through creativity—painting and poetry, for example.
Is the samadhi experience perceived differently when filtered through different belief systems?
What you are perceiving is information, and giving meaning to that information is what the conscious being is all about. It made me realize that in asking ourselves the deep questions, who are we, how did we get here, and where are we going, which every generation needs to ask, we probably needed to look at it from a new perspective now that we are a space-faring civilization. There wasn't anything in the scientific literature about this, so I began asking the question, what am I going to do about this? So that's the reason I started the Institute of Noetic Sciences.
I've long held the belief that we just don't use our brains, not so much to their full capacity, but in the wrong way and therefore missing out on harnessing the 'god' power within all of us to be so much more than the beings we are now.
I was reading Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, and one of the main characters is a noetic scientist. I googled this 'science' as I wanted to learn more and see where Dan Brown got his info from, of course it led back to Mitchel. All this was just last week, and now you have started a thread on it.....the power of noetic science hey!!!
“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say...