There is an interesting parallel between the overview effect as it’s described by astronauts, and what’s described by those among us exploring our more fundamental nature.
THE OVERVIEW EFFECT I: SEEING EARTH FROM SPACE
Astronauts describe a shift that happens when they see the Earth from space. They see Earth as one seamless whole, without any visible borders. They are struck by the fragility and immense beauty of this living planet. And they experience a sense of awe and a wish to protect life.
This effect seems to be stronger the further out the astronauts were, it seems to bring lasting changes, and happens for many although not all astronauts.
THE OVERVIEW EFFECT II: SEEING THE CONTENT OF EXPERIENCE FROM BIG MIND
Something similar seems to happen among those who explore their more fundamental nature.
To ourselves, we are consciousness. We are this field of consciousness that any and all experiences happen within and as. And when we find ourselves as that, we view any content of experience more from the “outside”. Identification is released out of any particular content of experience.
Here too, we notice the world as a seamless whole, without any inherent boundaries. We are struck by the immense beauty of it all. And we experience a sense of awe and a wish to protect life.
And as with astronauts, there are some individual differences in how we experience and respond to it.
There is also an important difference between the two.
Astronauts literally leave Earth and see it from a point in space.
When we find our more fundamental nature, we find ourselves as the field that any and all experience happens within and as. It’s more as if space itself notices itself as all and as forming itself into whatever content of experience is here.
When the shift happened for me, in my mid-teens, it was much as I describe it here.
It happened suddenly and “out of the blue”. I found myself as the consciousness everything, to me, happened within and as. (This human self, the wider world, my human responses to this shift, and so on.)
I was struck by the immense beauty of it all. All was a seamless whole without any boundaries. And it brought up deep awe.
In my childhood and teens, I loved space, astronomy, and space exploration, and one reason was for the perspective it gives us on Earth and our life here. I also got into systems theories since they show the seamless whole we are all part of. And I loved Frank White‘s book The Overview Effect when I found it in my early twenties.Read More