Science and The Inner Experience with Dr. Edgar Mitchell
by Steve Stein
We are delighted to share with you this transcribed excerpt from astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell’s talk on “Science and the Inner Experience”
Move out now further into space. See the shape of the earth as a sphere. Let’s move on out until we see the earth about as we would see it — the size of a ball, a baseball held at arm’s length. Look at that magnificent little planet blue and white, peaceful. The turmoil that goes on underneath that layer of atmosphere and those clouds is not evident to us here. We recognize it as a haven of life, our home, our planet. As far as we know for sure, the only haven of life in our galaxy, but as we suspect, probably not the only one. But a beautiful little planet in the immensity of space and set in the background, billions and billions of points of light. Far more so — ten times more than we can possibly see from the surface of the earth. Representing stars, galaxies, galactic clusters, billions and billions of such points of light, and our tiny little planet about the size of a ball held at arm’s length. A beautiful peaceful haven for life. And in the immensity of the universe all of a sudden you feel connected.
We are all apart of the same thing. There is a connection. There is intelligence. There is a feeling of oneness, an extension of self. And it’s a joyous and wonderful experience. As I experienced it at this point coming back from the moon and looking at the earth, suddenly I recognized that our scientific description of the reality of this universe was far from complete. Our model was not yet filled out, and on the other hand, our religious descriptions of ourselves, of creation, of the universe — all of them were somewhat flawed and incomplete as well. In other words, our knowledge of who and what we are. How we got here. Where we came from and where we are going is very inadequate at this point in history, and yet there is a feeling of intelligence, of peace, of abundance, of process, that gives one comfort and joy in observing this magnificent universe of which we are apart. Contemplate that for a moment. See this little planet from that perspective, and see if you experience it as I did.