When asked about what he remembered from the 1968 Apollo 8 flight, Jim Lovell had this to say: “We had pictures before of the far side of the moon, so we knew what to expect. What we didn’t expect was to see the Earth as it really is. I put my thumb up to the window and could hide the Earth. Suddenly, I realized that I am 240,000 miles away, but behind my finger is a planet with about 4 billion people. That told me in a moment just exactly what we are in the universe.”
He also added, “There’s an old saying, ‘I hope to go to heaven when I die.’ Suddenly, it dawned on me that we went to heaven when we were born! We arrived on a planet that had the right amount of mass to have the gravity to contain water and an atmosphere, just at the proper distance from a star. It appeared to me that God had given mankind sort of a stage to perform on. I guess how that play will turn out is up to us.”
Here’s my appeal for sanity:
“We are all crew members and passengers of spaceship Earth, and we need to work together to preserve this vehicle that is taking us through the cosmos. We have to look at the big picture. We are all interconnected and interdependent. We are all in this together. We must stop all this ridiculous and pointless fighting, and cooperate unreservedly with each other, because we will either succeed and live, or fail and die, all of us together. Let’s change the focus, stop worrying about ourselves, and start thinking what we can do for others. Rather than asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’ let’s ask, ‘How can I serve?’ We are all responsible for preserving Planet Earth and building a sustainable future for all life. Let’s work together for the common good, for the greater good. And working together for common goals is completely possible. We just need to let go of fear and selfishness, and have the resolve to make it happen. So, let’s stop the nonsense and the pettiness! Heaven is here, if we want it to be.”
On December 24, 1968, in what was the most watched television broadcast at the time, the crew of Apollo 8 read in turn from the Book of Genesis as they orbited the Moon. Bill Anders, Jim Lovell, and Frank Borman recited Genesis chapter 1, verses 1 through 10 verbatim. Anders began by saying, “We are now approaching lunar sunrise, and for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.” He then read verses 1–4, Lovell read verses 5–8, and Borman read verses 9–10, concluding the transmission saying, “And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.”
Here’s an idea: Every elected official, or better, every person running for public office in the world, as a requirement, should spend time in outer space looking at our world from above.
Piero Falci is an author and educator who believes that the inner work that leads to personal awakening and transformation is indispensable to create a wholesome world. He is an explorer of the mysteries of life who loves to observe, reflect, and write, and who not only strives to live a life that matters, but also hopes to inspire others to do the same. He is a promoter of peace who believes in advancing the idea that Heaven is here if we want it to be. He teaches mindfulness meditation, mindful living, and the acclaimed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program as taught at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He organizes Silent Peace Walks.
Take a look at these books at the Peaceful Ways online store
– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”
– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”
– “Silent Peace Walk”