Imaginary Cosmos


I had this dream where I was floating in a spaceship, looking out the window and watching the universe pass by. The landscape was surreal, so I created photomontages with rocks and dried vegetation, mixing and superimposing them. I invented my own space travel!

Not long ago, I read about something called the "Overview Effect," which cosmonauts experience. According to Wikipedia, it's when astronauts see Earth from space and feel a profound appreciation and perception of beauty, unexpected and overwhelming emotions, and a stronger connection to other people and the planet. This experience can change their self-concept and values, and be truly transformative.

The Overview Effect is described as "a state of awe with self-transcendent qualities, precipitated by a particularly striking visual stimulus." Voski (2020) found that it significantly influences astronauts' attitudes and behaviors towards the environment, giving them a new level of awareness and consciousness.

For those of us who have wandered the world, learning new languages and meeting people from different cultures, this sentiment isn't new. We understand the incredible opportunity we have to live on this tiny rock in the universe. We feel a deep connection with other human beings and the fascinating cycles of nature.

Maybe we should send everyone into space so they can come back with a newfound respect for our species and nature as a whole. Maybe, just maybe, we could start caring more about everything that makes our existence on this planet possible and see our neighbors as gifts. From above, national borders don't make any sense.

Imaginary Biology: Flora

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