Saturday, July 25, 2009

Becoming Like Star People

Where science, psychology, and psi events meet
If you drew a 200 mile circle from where you are situated right this minute, it’s not likely that anyone within that radius is experiencing daily life very differently from the way you live. However, if you’ve been outside on a cloudless evening recently, you may have had a chance to see folks just over 200 miles above you who are traveling over 17,000 mph, and experiencing a day that is very different from yours. For instance, they are floating around in zero gravity and have seen about 15 sunrises in the last 24 hours. I’m, of course, referring to the current occupants of the International Space Station.

The station routinely houses a crew of multi-nationals who daily cooperate with each other to accomplish agreed upon goals and, ultimately, rely on each other for their well-being, both mentally and physically. They work in tight quarters under stressful conditions and must find a way to continually coordinate their focus on the group’s success. There is very little room on the station for a “me” attitude.

How amazing would it be for small groups of folks, who barely know one another, to come together regularly for a few weeks to accomplish specific goals in a spirit of cooperation while bringing to the project a profound delight to participate?

In this situation, each person has already done their own homework, both mentally and emotionally, to be considered an asset to the project. And, even though each one will be personally transformed by the experience in their own way, that is not their goal. Their individual and collective participation serves a larger purpose that is far beyond the people who are in the group. It directly serves all of humanity in a continuum that stretches back to the pioneers of space flight and ahead to those who will eventually walk on Mars.

The space program has rendered technological advancements that enhance daily life. Many of them seem mundane now, like the Teflon coated surfaces of pots and pans. As I watch the brightly lit star with people aboard pass by overhead, I delight in the idea that perhaps the program is also delivering a new way to think about living that simultaneously serves the individual and collective aspirations of the whole.