Thursday, 22 May 2008

The Overview Effect: Enlightenment Made Easy

So you want to experience enlightenment, eh? Forget all the meditation, hours of chanting and animal free diets. Turns out all you have to do is become an astronaut. In a fascinating article at the dailygalaxy.com this week, Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell discusses his mind altering experiences in space. Apparently the phenomenon is quite common among space travelers and has even been given a name: the Overview Effect. Mitchell briefly touches on his ideas about the how and why of his ordeal including some comments about consciousness and quantum mechanics. Something tells me he might actually be one of us. ;-)

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/05/space-euphoria.html

13 comments:

RAC said...

Interesting side note I just now discovered: The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) was founded by Edgar Mitchell in 1973. You will remember this organization from Tony's IONS "Shift In Action" post a few days ago.

Anthony Peake said...

Weird how these synchronicities just build up is it not?

Indeed there are two or three IONS members who are full members of this blog.

As an organisation they are well worth checking out.

Robin said...

“All I can suggest to the mystic and the theologian is that our gods have been too small; they fill the universe. And to the scientist all I can say is that the gods do exist; they are the eternal, connected, and aware Self experienced by all intelligent beings."

Very well expressed!

My family and I are eagerly awaiting the Discovery Channel special "When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions" A six part series beginning June 8th. I would expect the phenomenon of the Overview Effect to be a topic.

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/nasa/nasa.html

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Yes, I can certainly comprehend that Astronauts have a unique perception of certain aspects of consciousness when free of the Earth's gravitational pull.

RAC said...

Tony: “Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried Alice

Robin: Thanks for the heads up on the upcoming Discovery special. It's on my must watch list for sure. And thanks also for highlighting that quote. I thought it was the most poignant part of the article and was struck by its truth and simplicity.

Karl: you due realize a statement like that requires further elaboration… even though I suspect it involves some complex formula that will only succeed in making my head hurt.

Karl L Le Marcs said...

RAC: OH YES!!! Indeed!!! I shall add it to my ever growing list of things to post about (I have 12 posts pre-written already that just need me to copy and paste and publish but I'll choose my moments carefully) and my list of things to write about grows longer every day.

But consider this!!! Gravity is a FIELD force. Its effects are experienced BUT it cannot be "seen" in field form. Even the search for the elusive Graviton (the alleged particle of gravity) is a fruitless exercise as far as I'm concerned as I rambled on about in my Quantum Gravity post. BUT, if consciousness is also a Field, as I assert, then two Fields interracting with each other have a causality of effect (see basic M-Theory (or Membrane-Theory within String Theory)), so by eradicating the Gravitational force whilst being in space, I assert, would free consciousness somewhat and provide an environment for its development that we cannot experience whilst lolling on this massive ball of matter we call Earth, matter being thus energy, thus a drain on consciousness.

*passes Robert the Paracetamol*

johar said...

Karl,

That makes perfect sense. Thanks for the explanation, it's so easy to comprehend. I realise there is a lot more to it but in those simple terms it's perfectly practical.

AND I don't need a paracetamol! YAY!

RAC said...

Yes, thanks Karl. Oddly, the only thing I had trouble with was the Paracetamol... had to look that one up. "Damn Yanks" ;-)

Karl L Le Marcs said...

BLIMEY! Two people that DON'T need paracetamol after listening to me ramble on, I must be starting to make sense, and we can't have that now can we?

Anonymous said...

What happens in zero gravity, has a much dirrent effect on the mind. As a pilot, doing zero G's in a 'stall' changes your perception of things (space, time and life itself). Astronauts experience 'Zero G's' for very long periods of time.

Karl L Le Marcs said...

anonymous: Did you mean to post that anonymously?
You are correct re Zero Gravity, please read my comments in the second half of my reply (4 places up from yours)

Anonymous said...

Hey 'karl I le marcs', yes I did read your comments now 5 places up from yours! Great read! With my limited mathmatical, yet some what scientific mind, I am still attempting to ingest your read! But am understanding it more and more each time I read it. Hi RAC from Ric!

Karl L Le Marcs said...

(Ric): Hi, and thank you, I'm glad you found it of interest. Hope to hear more from you on here.