August 16, 2017 at 6:19 am by Frank White
What does it mean to be a cosmocentrist? It means that you look at everything from the perspective of the greatest whole system of which we can be aware, which is the cosmos, or universe. The universe is evolving, and we human beings are evolving with it. It is understandable and somewhat appropriate that we are incredibly anthropocentric, ie, focusing on humanity, because that is where our consciousness is at the moment.
However, we now know enough about the universe of which we are a part to start identifying with it. I have noted that many of the astronauts interviewed for my book, The Overview Effect, speak about the universe almost as much as they speak about the Earth.
I am now working on a new book, The Cosma Hypothesis, and in it, I am documenting what astronauts have said about their perceptions of the universe as a result of their spaceflights. One of the most significant quotes in that regard comes from Al Sacco, Jr., a shuttle payload specialist. It was in The Overview Effect, but I think it is even more relevant to The Cosma Hypothesis.
People ask why you would risk your life to fly in space, and I tell them it's in response to a dream and a vision. Once you get into space, I tell them about something I call “The Astronaut's Secret.” It's a realization all of the astronauts have, which is that we are a member of the whole human family. It goes beyond even being a citizen of the Earth; you are really a citizen of the universe. When you are in orbit, you ask yourself, "Why do people have the differences they have down on Earth?" You see that the Earth is just a small part of a large universe, and you have a feeling about it that is hard to describe.
Al Sacco, Jr., in The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution, Frank White, AIAA, 2014
I hope this quote will explain why I am a cosmocentrist and why all of us are likely to become cosmocentrists as more people experience the Overview Effect.
(To be continued.)
Copyright, Frank White, 2017, All Rights Reserved
The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution is available at aiaa.org and amazon.com
The New Camelot: the Quest for the Overview Effect is available at Apogee Prime