The spiritual awakening of an Astronaut

One of the most beautiful descriptions of the spiritual awakening I’ve ever read comes from an astronaut ….  😉

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“Instead of an intellectual search, there was suddenly a very deep gut feeling that something was different. It occurred when looking at Earth and seeing this blue-and-white planet floating there, and knowing it was orbiting the Sun, seeing that Sun, seeing it set in the background of the very deep black and velvety cosmos, seeing – rather, knowing for sure – that there was a purposefullness of flow, of energy, of time, of space in the cosmos – that it was beyond man’s rational ability to understand, that suddenly there was a nonrational way of understanding that had been beyond my previous experience. There seems to be more to the universe than random, chaotic, purposeless movement of a collection of molecular particles. On the return trip home, gazing through 240,000 miles of space toward the stars and the planet from which I had come, I suddenly experienced the universe as intelligent, loving, harmonious.”

***

“Then, looking beyond the Earth itself to the magnificence of the larger scene, there was a startling recognition that the nature of the universe was not as I had been taught. My understanding of the separate distinctness and the relative independence of movement of those cosmic bodies was shattered. There was an upwelling of fresh insight coupled with a feeling of ubiquitous harmony-a sense of interconnectedness with the celestial bodies surrounding our spacecraft. Particular scientific facts about stellar evolution took on new significance.”

***

“Our presence here, outside the domain of the home planet, was not rooted in an accident of nature, nor the capricious political whim of a technological civilization. It was rather an extension of the same universal process that evolved our molecules. And what I felt was an extraordinary personal connectedness with it. I experienced what has been described as an ecstasy of unity. I not only saw the connectedness, I.felt it and experienced it sentiently. I was overwhelmed with the sensation of physically and mentally extending out into the cosmos. The restraints and boundaries of flesh and bone fell away. I realized that this was a biological response of my brain attempting to reorganize and give meaning to information about the wonderful and awesome processes I was privileged to view from this vantage point.”

***

“The desire to live life to its fullest, to acquire more knowledge, to abandon the economic treadmill, are all typical reactions to these experiences in altered states of consciousness. The previous fear of death is typically quelled. If the individual generally remains thereafter in the existential state of awareness, the deep internal feeling of eternity is quite profound and unshakable.”

~ Edgar D. Mitchell

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Edgar Mitchell is the founder of the Institut of Noetic Sciences by the way. They explore the fundamental nature of consciousness and the connections of human consciousness with the problems we face in our times as a global community.  They reflect about very deep topics like “The Science of Interconnectedness — How does consciousness interact with the physical world?”  or “How does consciousness transform? How can we support individual and collective transformation?” 

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Merken