Astronaut who spent 178 days in space shares the big ‘lie’ he discovered after seeing Earth

You can imagine what thoughts go through an astronaut’s mind when he or she looks at our planet from space. But I think that ‘that’s still far away’ might be a good option.

But for 62-year-old former NASA space cadet Ron Garan, there was only one thing on his mind… the “sobering realization” that we Earthlings are “living a lie.”

And no, it’s not that the Flat Earth brigade was right all along. In fact, it’s something a lot of more convincing.

Imagine sitting in Garan’s spacesuit and imagining what he was thinking as he had an unobstructed view of our globe and experienced the so-called ‘overview effect’.

For those who don’t know, this term describes the cognitive change many astronauts experience when they look down at Earth while floating in space. Researchers liken this change to a “state of awe with self-transcendent qualities.”

This phenomenon can trigger an “unexpected and overwhelming emotion” in those brave enough to board a rocket, which, frankly, shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

I mean, they’re seeing something that only a few mortals will ever experience. I’m sure I’d be thrilled too.

That is exactly the experience Garan gained during his 178 days in space, traveling more than 114 million kilometers in 2,842 orbits during his career at NASA.

Thanks to the unique perspective on the world he gained during his stay on the International Space Station (ISS), he drew some very interesting conclusions about the way we live while looking out the window.

Speaking to Big Think, the New Yorker said he realized that the things most people worry about aren’t ultimately big problems, but they’re ones we should be aware of. a lot of more concerned about global warming, deforestation and biodiversity loss.

NASA astronaut Ron Garan had a strange awakening in space (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)

NASA astronaut Ron Garan had a strange awakening in space (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Garan said of what he saw: “As I looked out the window of the International Space Station, I saw flashes of lightning that looked like paparazzi. I saw dancing curtains of aurora that seemed so close it was as if we could touch them.

“And I saw the incredible thinness of our planet’s atmosphere. At that moment I was struck by the sobering realization that that paper-thin layer sustains every living thing on our planet.

“I saw an iridescent biosphere full of life. I didn’t see the economy. But since our man-made systems treat everything, including our planet’s life support systems, as a wholly owned subsidiary of the global economy, it’s clear from the perspective of space that we’re living a lie.”

It seems Elon Musk needs to get that SpaceX rocket in order ASAP so we can all take a look at it for ourselves.

“From the perspective of space, it is clear that we are living a lie,” Garan continued. “We have to go from thinking in terms of economy, society, planet to planet, society, economy. Then we will continue our evolutionary process.

“A light goes on and they realize how interconnected and interdependent we all are.”

The 62-year-old returned to Earth with a new perspective after experiencing the 'overview effect' (Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

The 62-year-old returned to Earth with a new perspective after experiencing the ‘overview effect’ (Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

Now that he is back on the ground, Garan is passionately committed to caring for our planet, while encouraging people to put each other before the rat race of modern life.

“We cannot have peace on Earth until we recognize the fundamental fact of the inter-structure of all reality,” Garan added. And he is not alone in thinking so.

Astronaut Michael Collins, who piloted the Apollo 11 mission, said he was stunned by how “fragile” and “small” the Earth looked. Edgar Mitchell of Apollo 14 said the experience gave him a “blast of awareness.”

Leave a Comment