Hear Why William Shatner Was Brought To Tears After Flight Into Space
90 year old William Shatner set a new record becoming the oldest person in space following a trip on one of Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Missions. Shatner describes his experience as nothing short of profound.
Access to space travel for wealthy citizens here in 2021 is a story on its own. Hinting at one day people from all socio-economic classes having accessibility to space travel. But what struck me about this story is Shatner's sincerity, depth of words, and the interview he gave on CNN's Prime Time show with Chris Cuomo.
In speaking to Bezos upon arrival back to earth, Shatner said,
"What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine. I'm so filled with emotion about what just happened ... it's extraordinary,"[...] I hope I never recover, that I can maintain what I feel now. I don't want to lose it. It's so much larger than me and life."
In the a video below, a clearly moved Shatner is seen in true disbelief of what he saw and felt in space. Launching from earth, heading up beyond heights most have never experienced, and launching into low space orbit with a view of earth, Shatner had an experience that reminded me of what Apollo 14 astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell described when he came back from space.
For Mitchell, it was a feeling of oneness. A transition beyond the everyday focus of our individual experience into a consciousness that transcended individuality and awakened to a connection with all. Mitchell's profound experience led him to found the Institute of Noetic Sciences, an American non-profit parapsychological research institute that studies anything from meditation to consciousness and other paranormal aspects of the human experience.
"You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, “Look at that, you son of a bitch.”
- EDGAR MITCHELL ON SEEING THE EARTH FROM THE MOON
Mitchell's experience led him to shift the focus of his life's work, it was that profound. For Shatner, while his realization was slightly different, I feel we can all take something from what he has shared.
"It doesn't have anything to do with the little green men, it has to do with the enormity at the quickness and the suddenness of life and death."
Shatner shares these words as he reflected on the vastness, coldness, and darkness of space. Life on earth is apparent, while in space, it's a different feeling all together. This stark comparison led Shatner to feel how supported and nurturing the environment is on earth. Shatner became emotional when noting this feeling while contemplating the way in which the earth is treated.
While not all of us will agree on the political nature of topics like global warming and C02 reduction, I think we can all agree we do not treat the earth, which cares and nourishes life on earth, as well as we probably should.
"Space is cold, and ominous, and ugly.. and it really threatens death. There is death there. And you look down, and there's this warm and nurturing planet. We've all heard it's cliche - how vulnerable and fragile it is. And it's even more than that. That's death up there and life down here. And between the two, ruining this planet as we are, we're on the verge to bring the good news, that we are at the tipping point."
The tipping point Shatner is referring to, at least in my eyes, is the realization that our ways of abusing and taking from the earth are coming to an end - at least I hope. Sure, maybe not in the ways the faux green movement suggests, but in the ways brought about by a deep connection and realization that we are connected to earth and if we wish to play here for much longer, living in harmony with it must be a top priority.
I invite you to check out the video below, and take a moment to first, set your pulse as we ask at the beginning of each of our pieces, and then connect with what is being felt by Shatner following his experience.