ASTRONAUT Edgar Mitchell’s epiphany struck when he looked out the window of his spacecraft at the Earth, Moon, and Sun, surrounded by an infinitely vast universe.
Suddenly it came to him that the molecules and cells of our bodies “must have had their origin in those faraway stars.”
It was at that moment an overwhelming realization of the interconnectedness of all life dawned on him.
It was a life-altering flash of insight — not an “intellectual knowledge,” he said, but a “visceral knowing:”
It was accompanied by a very blissful feeling that I had never experienced before.
This feeling is sometimes called the ‘overview effect.’ “The overview effect is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from outer space. It is the experience of seeing firsthand the reality of the Earth in space, which is immediately understood to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, ‘hanging in the void’, shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere.”
This is doubtless the ideal evoked by the original First Object of the Theosophical Movement: (Objects of the Theosophical Society)
To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour.
Indeed: “From space, national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide people become less important, and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect this ‘pale blue dot’ becomes both obvious and imperative.” (Wikipedia)
Dr. Mitchell describes being completely engulfed by a profound sense of universal connectedness, in the below video excerpt from Renée Scheltema’s visionary film, Something Unknown is Doing We Don’t Know What.
Having had the life-changing experience of the Overview Effect, the former astronaut, along with parapsychologist Charles Tart, attempt to interpret the non-linear feelings and insights for the rest of us.
A Transpersonal Psychological Experience
Often under-appreciated, misunderstood or misquoted, the wording of the original “Third Object” of the Theosophical Movement proposes:
The Investigation of the Unexplained Laws of Nature and the Psychical Powers Latent in Man.
This third and last focus of the Theosophical mission statement is not just about so-called “astral” powers but is concerned with the importance of the psychic, or “psyche”— a word that in the Greek means soul or breath – of the human especially; a spiritual power.
The student is thus directed to study ‘soul’ powers. Such would certainly include the power of mind over matter (telekinesis}, and the power of thought, the keynote of Buddha’s teachings.
Sigmund Freud the “father of psychoanalysis,” reportedly named The Buddha “the greatest psychologist of all time.” Gautama Buddha, the awakened Indian Sage, with his teaching about the dynamic, formative power of human thought, may well rank as the world’s greatest healer.
The essential key to Buddha’s outlook is revealed in the opening verse of the Dhammapada:
ALL that we are is the result of what we have thought: all that we are is founded on our thoughts and formed of our thoughts.
AFTER 2500 years, the teachings of Gotama Buddha are being regarded as “really quite modern,” It would perhaps be less presumptuous and truer to say that the present growing-tips of Western psychology are now beginning to touch “The Problem of Man” where Buddha laid gentle but firm hand so long ago.
Fields of Knowing
The stature of Buddha’s words are confirmed by anyone familiar with recent scientific evidence revealing the potent interaction between our heart, thought, and body fields. The video clip below from “The Living Matrix” reveals new insights into our bodies, minds and health—information that will transform your understanding of how to get well and stay well.
This breakthrough film provides an up-close look at the science of information as medicine. Leading researchers and health practitioners share their discoveries on the “miracle cures” traditional medicine can’t explain.
The spirit and body bond, modulated by biofields, was originally taught by the ancient masters of Theosophy, and is critical to understanding the integral nature of personal development. This concept should be recognized as the practical keystone of physical, mental and emotional health.
Without stimulation of our biofield (energy body), altruism has no soil in which to grow and flower. H. P. Blavatsky referred to the growth of Altruism as “an integral part of self-development.”
In one of the most significant verses of The Voice of the Silence, that Blavatsky translated from The Book of the Golden Precepts,one finds a simple but profound description of the process.
The practice of Buddha’s heart doctrine, encapsulated there, is almost too simple a truth for Western minds to fully grasp, which declares:
“Self-Knowledge is of
loving deeds the child.”
The acquirement of self-knowledge means the effective bonding of our Spirit (or intuition) with our Mind. In Sanskrit this is known as the union of “Buddhi-Manas.” It is expected, in the course of spiritual evolution, a new human will at last emerge out of this self-initiated alchemy.
It is a process of occult transformation that will give birth to civilizations of the future, where every person will naturally manifest a permanent higher consciousnesses.
You Raise Me Up
The transformation, or raising-up, is not in interposing of an outside, personal god, but the overview effect and incarnation of our Higher Self—the only god man can ever know.
“Remember that the only God man comes in contact with is his own God,” H. P. Blavatsky explains (68), to her students. This God is called, she wrote:
Spirit, Soul and Mind, or Consciousness, and these three are one.
But she warns: “There are weeds that must be destroyed in order that a plant may grow. We must die, said St. Paul, that we may live again.”
“It is through destruction that we may improve, and the three powers, the preserving, the creating and the destroying, are only so many aspects of the divine spark within man.”
This process what Theosophy calls the synthesis of the ‘head’ and the ‘heart’ and its development is predicted to be the eventual savior of our humanity and our cosmic home, planet Earth.
It is a state of holistic awareness that we experience at times when we have a ‘gut feeling’ or an intuitive flash — much as did astronaut Edgar Mitchell looking out from the vantage of his spaceship.
For the advanced Masters of Life, the Self-Awakened state is not only an “aha” moment, however transformative, but an ever-present, continuous manifesting of altruism and selfless-ness.
Such spiritual genius is surely the antidote to human selfishness, the result of the constant and consistent practice of loving deeds affecting others and the whole of humanity.