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The Overview Effect

The Overview Effect, first described by author Frank White in 1987…

…is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it. Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.

The late Larry Hagman argued every politician should take LSD. Graham Hancock says our illustrious leaders should drink ayahuasca 10 times. A magical mystery tour may be a lot cheaper than a physical trip to outer space, but seeing the Earth from orbit is the ultimate way to alter one’s perspective of life, the universe, & everything.

As Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell noted, “in outer space you develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it.” Mitchell – who would be so moved by the experience of looking at the Earth from space that he formed the Institute of Noetic Science (IONS) when he returned – was especially critical of the small-minded views of politicians: “From out there on the Moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘look at that , you son of a bitch.'”

The Overview Effect by Planetary Collective is a terrific short film exploring this life-and-mind-changing phenomenon through interviews with five astronauts, as well as other commentators & thinkers. Hopefully with space tourism taking off in recent years, we can all experience the Overview Effect one day — but with private space companies currently charging a small fortune for a trip on their vehicles, most of us might have to make do licking toads for now…

Until then, we should all sit up and listen to the message astronauts are bringing back home.


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