Several astronauts who have seen Earth from space have had profoundly awakening spiritual experiences. Here’s three of them.
Seeing Earth from space will cause you to lose your shit.
In Plato’s Phaedo, Socrates said that if you could see the Earth from space, you would recognize “that is the real heaven and the real light and the real earth.”
Your eyes, no longer bound to the horizon, see the Earth both from space and in space. Your whole perspective shifts. What was once the endless expanse of blue sky now appears to be just a thin halo surrounding the planet. You can now see above the clouds to the changing atmosphere, raging thunderstorms, and auroras of the Northern and Southern hemispheres. One half of the planet turns dark and the continents light up with networks of cities. Everything appears interconnected.
This view of Earth has only been in popular awareness since 1968, when the first color photographs were taken on the Apollo missions. It represents a major shift in consciousness. Twenty years earlier, the British Astronomer Fred Hoyle said that a photograph of Earth would be “a new idea as powerful as any in history.”
Only around 500 astronauts have ever witnessed this view first hand. For some of these astronauts, seeing the Earth was a profound, life-changing, and outright mystical experience.
Below, three astronauts recount their experiences of seeing Earth from space, and the profound effect it had on their perception.
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