By Frank White
I asked my good friend and colleague Felix Hoch to review my previous two essays on the topic, “We’re All in this Together.” He did so and said his only disagreement was with the notion of the virus as the “immune system of the planet,” because, as he put it, “seeing humanity as a plague further promotes a mindset of separation. I experience it more as a balancing move of the biosphere that has huge potential to facilitate and initiate global coherence in the noosphere.”
As is always the case, Felix’s words are full of wisdom. I hesitated using the term “immune system of the planet” because I do not see humanity as a plague and I do not want to promote a mindset of separation. However, that was the phrase that came to mind and engendered the writing of the essay, so I had to be honest and share it as the starting point for my thinking.
In this document, let’s use Felix’s phrasing that it is a “balancing move of the biosphere” and understand that it has great potential for how we view the future. In particular, I am encouraged that the astronauts’ experiential understanding that “we are all in this together” is also becoming experiential for surface dwellers. The number of people repeating that phrase is growing rapidly and I have now heard it said by the Surgeon General of the United States, Bernie Sanders, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Bill Gates, and Vice President Mike Pence. (People with quite diverse world views, as we know.)
Moreover, “One World In Dialogue,” a great online gathering place for what I would call “overview thinking,” sponsored a global meditation on 3/29/20 titled “We’re All in This Together:” https://oneworldindialogue.com/be-together/
Coming full circle, we have this excellent article that concludes with exactly the same sentiment from astronaut Jessica Meir: https://www.thespacereview.com/article/3903/1
If the reality of the Overview Effect, which astronauts understand so well and have been striving to communicate for so many years, now permeates global society, then this very difficult and—for many of us—tragic period, will leave humanity and the Earth with something of tremendous value.
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