Have you ever looked up at the stars and felt small and insignificant? Imagine what it would be like to view Earth from space and see just how interconnected everything truly is. This is known as the “overview effect,” which occurs when people see the planet from far above and realize that borders, conflicts, and differences are all petty squabbles in the grand scheme of things.
In a recent interview, astronaut Ron Garan explains how his time in space gave him a new perspective on the planet. From high above, he saw the planet as a fragile organism that needs to be protected. He also realized that our current priorities, focused on the economy above all else, are a lie. Garan believes that we need to shift our priorities to focus on the planet, society, and then the economy in order to continue our evolutionary process and solve many of the world’s problems.
Actor William Shatner also had a similar experience when he traveled into space. He was struck by the contrast between the coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below, and the grief he felt about the destruction caused by humans.
Despite the challenges we face, Garan has hope that we can evolve in consciousness and embrace a larger reality. By recognizing the interrelated structure of all reality and moving beyond a “two-dimensional us vs them” mindset, we can create a future that we would all want to be a part of. This is our true calling, and it starts with seeing the planet from a new perspective.
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