There are so many historical people who’ve since the 1960’s affected humanity through science, art, exploration and what have you. They are beginning to leave this realm and there’s no way of keeping track of all them. Almost a week ago one of my heroes and inspirations, the Apollo astronaut (6th man on the moon), Edgar Mitchell passed away. I have always enjoyed interviews with him and I’ve always been fascinated by the early NASA test pilots and their different ways up to space. Edgar Mitchell experienced something profound on the way to the moon and he shared that experience honestly.
Looking at Earth from space and seeing it was a planet in isolation… that was an experience of ecstasy, realizing that every molecule in our bodies is a system of matter created from a star hanging in space. The experience I had was called Samadhi in the ancient Sanskrit, a feeling of overwhelming joy at seeing the Earth from that perspective. – Interview with The Telegraph “Astronaut Edgar Mitchell: what I learnt from going to the moon”
My understanding of the distinct separateness and relative independence of movement of those cosmic bodies was shattered. 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 wondered if Stu and Alan were experiencing it as well… Somehow I never felt the urge to ask.
I realized that the story of ourselves as told by science – our cosmology, our religion – was incomplete and likely flawed. I recognized that the Newtonian idea of separate, independent, discreet things in the universe wasn’t a fully accurate description. What was needed was a new story of who we are and what we are capable of becoming. IONS Blog – In Memoriam: Edgar Mitchell, ScD, PhD
After his return from the moon Edgar got expanded his engagement in other areas. Like the questions of consciousness and sustainable future for humanity. He founded IONS, the Institute for Noetic Sciences that focuses on expanding science beyond conventional paradigms. He was also open about his work in UFO research. I still have to read the book he promotes in this great and inspiring interview below.
Men like Edgar, who perform physical achievements, have brains and then also are open about the limits to our understanding and tackle some essential philosophical problems. Edgar Mitchell had the right stuff!
Here is another, maybe one of the last interviews he ever did.