Cultural Quandaries: We Are In Space

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Mar 4, 2013 by Rua Lupa

Earth and Sun from Space
(Image Credit: NASA)

This is a continuation of the “Referencing the Sun” post. Many views were expressed there after and some excellent points made. This post will take the extra step out to describe the bigger picture of our relationship with the cosmos, and hopefully better describe what I had been trying to express before with better understanding thanks to the responses made.

Many have expressed that speaking of the sun rising and setting is completely fine in that is how it appears to us on earth. This takes a very regional outlook, you are here and this is how you see things. Everything else is out there and the happenings out there are not something to overly concern yourself with because it doesn’t impact you. Well, I’ll argue that because it is out of our purview makes it all the more important to bring it in our view; because what happens with the moon, sun and the other side of the earth does impact us. On the largest scale this becomes all the more apparent when asteroids are poised to strike our planet, on the smallest scale the spinning of our planet causes winds, winds that carry everything that we express into the air. Winds that all creatures share in breath. That from earth the sky looks vast and seems impossible to fill it with things that change it. Which from space this ocean of air looks extremely fragile – seen as a thin line that just barely covers the surface of the planet, protecting everything on earth from certain death of the harshness of space.

We often have the perspective of being on earth and everything else in the cosmos is out there, far in the distance. But not only are we of the cosmos, with our molecules originating from the “chemically enriched guts” of an exploded ancient star, we are very much in Space right now. Some describing this as being on Spaceship Earth “…finite and lonely, somehow vulnerable, bearing the entire human species through the oceans of space and time.”- Carl Sagan

Knowing all this it seems awkward to not describe our relationship with the cosmos in a way that reflects this.

To engage in a way that brings all these interconnections into focus aids in not only feeling that connection, that is described in many various ways through philosophy and religion; but in this feeling brings to the forefront a need to work interconnectedly for the well being of ourselves through the well being of the planet. That is the root reason for the topic of ‘referencing the sun’ to establish that interconnection of the cosmos beyond the experiences of our immediate location. “The beauty of seeing earth as a planet as opposed to being down here among it is a wonderful experience – to then start to get into what we call the big picture effect or overview effect.” – Edgar Mitchell, Apollo Astronaut. The overview effect has been described as follows, “to see things that we know but don’t experience which is that the earth is one system, we’re all part of that system, and that there is a certain unity and coherence to it all.” – Frank White.



(11 Artiodactyla 7 A.E. – 1 November 2013 C.E.)

Here is a short film of earth spinning in space from an on earth perspective. It is fun while watching to figure out which direction the earth is spinning – it creates a new appreciation of our view from our planet.


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