An Astronaut’s Cosmic Vision

In 1971 astronaut Edgar Mitchell was returning to Earth after having landed on the moon. As he approached that blue orb which he called home, he had a life-changing experience as he suddenly was captivated by what I would call a “cosmic” view of human existence. It is always life-changing when we deign to “think outside of the box” and viewing this fragile little planet from that distant perspective is an “outside of the box” perspective that most of us will never have. But when can listen to his report and gain awareness of our own boxed-in (ness) and perhaps look at life a little differently. We can look at our world differently, other people differently, and even ourselves differently. Someone has said, “We can’t change the world but we can change how we see the world.” And when we change how we see the world we can help to change the world in some infinitesimal but significant way. We tend to spend our lives trapped in our tribal identity, our pre conceptions that we acquired by the accident of birth and a particular neurological endowment. But, there is always another world outside of the narrow prism that we call “home.” I quote Conrad Aiken so often with his observation, “We know only the small bright world of our consciousness beyond which likes the darkness.”

I enclose a video clip of Edgar Mitchell, one that was shared with me by Neuro-notes on In this clip Mitchell makes profound observations about human intelligence and the role that intuition plays in this intelligence. Let me also suggest that probably a lot of his friends and colleagues must have thought he had “thrown a rod” out there in space and was completely nuts. For, trained as an engineer and scientist, he began to teach about an entirely different dimension of life, a dimension that complements the world of ordinary consciousness.



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