Overview Effect

overview effect v1Source: Science Direct -Earth Rise


She took a breath of air,

This ….is…just….beautiful……..;

holding onto that breath, she could feel tears rolling down her cheeks,

so beautiful, so peaceful, so moving….


She could not focus on anything else, but that one blue dot,

hanging in there, against the forces, struggling…..

amongst the horizon, how pretty, unprepared, ahhhh what a beautiful shot,

turning, head and tails, floating, ohhhhhh…..


Where am I now?


At the centre of it, she could feel her heart move,

The way it jumps when something connects;

a shift in consciousness.


Listening to answers, to questions racing in her mind,

what is that?

Why now?

Why did I not sense this before?

This power…..


Time frozen, time stolen, beating of the drums……Apollo 8……

Images repeated flash before her eyes,

circling the Moon;

showing the Earth, hanging in space…..so profound.


Shocking philosophers, shifting our focus, looking at ourselves,

a new kind of self awareness;

We never expected this,

perhaps the greatest reason for going to the Moon….


Rediscovering, reconnecting, a quartet starts….

such overwhelming sense of getting here,

fire, fire, engines cutting off, floating off the seat;

looking down coast of Africa and realising – We are in Space – says Hoffman.


How beautiful it really is, says Scott,

Doing what we always wanted -Kimborough;

Looking down on earth, separating day and night – Garan,

Watching earth coming alive……


A spectacular firework show, dancing curtains of auroras,

The colours, beauty, motion….

Mitchell – starting home, looking out the window, responsibilities….

Moon, Earth, Sun…360….astronomy….cosmology….molecules in our bodies prototyped by generation stars….as stardust….


Reflective, thinking ….awe…..

How do we describe this planet?

Transcend the sense of separation,

At a deeper level understanding the beautiful interconnectedness.


Earth gazing, for hours and hours,

the biosphere, asthetic impact, the beauty of earth….

a wonderful experience – The Overview Effect,

flying across the sky.


Looking down at planet, we always have an overview,

one system, one world, unity and co-herence;

seeing the sun in a black sky, from the cosmic perspective,

from the beginning of evolution, understanding life in space….


Spaceship earth, already in space,

a sudden recognition and all the implications of life on earth;

amazing, fragile, blue skies….

a thin line, barely hugging surface of planet….


Striking, sobering, a paperthin layer,

the only thing protecting it from harshness of space;

no boundaries from space – though not true,

of human impact.


Erosion, pollution, degradation from space,

what was this experience all about?

Turning to humanity for sight,

ancient literature – see them with their lives…..


Unity, oneness – a precise experience,

nothing new, but important to our formation;

great traditions, wisdoms – recognises this,



The self and world are not separated, but one,

Species as a whole is a manifestation of a greater whole;

A contemplative way of living,

More in tune of the natural world.


Such a shift, like meditation,

interpreting this differently;

science, religion – all wonderful, all it takes to build a civilisation,

Earth from space perspective a true symbol.


Communicating this idea, one species, one destiny –

If we wish to survive,

If earth becames sick, we all become sick;

what are the roots of the problem.


A basic world view that is at stake,

a new story, a new way to shift our behaviors;

leading to a sustainable civilisation,

fragile planet, who will look after you if we don’t?


Our one ecosystem – earth, left affects right, East affects West,

We are responsible for ourselves;

if we endanger ourselves, we burn ourselves,

How do we stop self destruction?


For a common goal, how can we work towards it,

with our connection to Earth;

how can we come back and not change?

Collectively a shared memory, the way Earth looks.


Blessed to see,

A beautiful oasis of nothingness, in the milky way and infinity;

an enormous Universe, moving, shifting – to see with our eyes,

The sun takes care of us, we need to take care of it too.


Appreciating life,

Appreciating Earth,

Appreciating Universe.


by Helen Tung

Inspired by Prof. William R Kramer‘s talk

and The Overview Effect film by Planetary Collective

3 August 2018