The Indian River Lagoon, an Overview Effect

Earth from Space
Earth from Space (Photo credit, NASA)

This past Tuesday, my father invited me to Kiwanis to listen to a very special speaker, Captain Edgar Mitchell, astronaut, Apollo 14, who is now 83. http://www.noetic.org/directory/person/edgar-mitchell/

The room at Manero’s in Palm City was packed and right off the bat, Captain Mitchell spoke  on his experience in space referred to as the “overview effect.” The overview effect is defined as a cognitive shift in awareness often experienced by astronauts while in space. Mitchell spoke about an experience on the “ride home” as he looked at the floating earth and moon, where an understanding of  life’s broader consciousness “hit him.”

“Seeing the earth in space as a tiny, fragile, ball of life…a pale beautiful blue dot,” changed him forever.

Mitchell returned home, retired from NASA and within one year founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences to study the science of “consciousness.” http://www.noetic.org

Mitchell was not alone in his experience as many astronauts described a similar feeling. They went on as changed men,  as men who went back to the world with a message, a message that in our language and culture is restricted to being called a “spiritual message.”

Captain Mitchell’s message in the crowded room of Manero’s in Palm City, Florida was that we as a species have to change our ways, and how we treat nature, or we will destroy all we have, including ourselves. He said we have have to start “saving the plant instead of consuming it.”

The crowd was slightly amazed, and seemed more interested in the safety of questions about what it was like to set foot on the moon, physically. Nonetheless, I believe the crowd left changed as well.

On my way home, I drove over the Palm City Bridge and nodded to the great St Lucie River, part of our Indian River Lagoon. “The time is coming.”  I said to the river.

It is time, and it has been time, to save it.

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