A Yoga in Space
"It's been an amazing journey up to the new station what with my head pointed out the window the whole time like a first time visitor to the Louvre... I just couldn't take my eyes off the 'Art'! And art it is indeed! No random mistake, the earth. You couldn't take it for that if you tried from this altitude. Only an earth bound... no, mind bound view could have come up with that explanation. It's a masterpiece! Intelligence swirling and circulating over every inch. It moves! It's no 'rock'... and it floats... in Infinity! Unbelievable! And infinity is not random either... just staring at it... you can't even fathom... no place to 'land' in the mind! You can't even define it... you wouldn't even want to define it... it's beyond definition... it informs you! Freedom from the need to define... that's the best I can do in words. Non-verbal, unspoken, deep... deep satisfaction... that's what infinity is. It's "liberation from definition!". I could die right now and it would have been worth the risk. I 'die' a little more every time I gaze at it and I still can't get enough of it. I couldn't imagine the earth without infinity. Now that would be a dead planet!" Journal entry one. 10:23pm GMT, 11/19/15 -- on station Lotus 1.
It's taken me 3 days to gather my will to even write my first words. I promised the owner I would keep a daily log but it's just not been a priority as the experience is just beyond the need to catalogue. No live streams or tweets, no website, no press interviews. What would be the point? It would have just been a circus, endless distractions -- and detractors. No... better off keeping it to ourselves. Just mind our own business and let the results speak for themselves when the mission is completed. Besides, we have no way of knowing if anything will happen. I mean the whole thing could be a colossal mistake, but the fact is our backs are against the wall. What do we have to lose?
It all started a little over a year ago. I'd met the owner through a mutual friend... just a casual discussion. But I soon found out, he has no casual discussions. Every interaction with him has purpose and intention, if not on purpose then to demonstrate purpose. It's a bit of a shock to even come face to face with such a force. But I held my ground and didn't back off when he pummeled me about my ideas. In fact he took them seriously. And now I'm here with no one to point the finger at but myself -- literally -- if it doesn't pan out. But every time a doubt arises all I have to do is look out the window again... and it all disappears. It just doesn't matter... my 'future' doesn't matter so much as the reality of the reality that stares me in the face every time I gaze out there. It put's 'me' in my place... and then I go back to work.
This is a place of work after all and I have to consciously remind myself of that. Dharma in the highest meaning. But not a laborious work... more like a labor... a conscious labor. More so than anything I've ever done back on earth. The mind space here is just not 'there' - as in 'down there'. It's here. And I'm here. And I'm happy to be here. It fits my hermit ways. My cave in space.
Actually it all began in a dusty bookstore I love to visit. I had been browsing around sifting through the funky old tomes on every topic I loved to swim in and against the back wall in the metaphysical section were a couple of geodes...bookends! Half broken open globes of crystal... like fractal stones. It never failed me that this place was a place to be but for some reason this afternoon I felt particularly present and then it occurred to me... the geodes... they were new. I'd never noticed them before.
Just that morning I'd been watching the news and they were talking about the challenges of keeping humans healthy in space -- the 'missing muscle' thing. And then standing there in a flash it hit me. If you lose muscle when you leave the earth then bringing the earth to space might help! Living, transmitting energies of the earth. And it kinda took on a life of its own from there. I mean... how could we have missed it.
One thing led to another... sound tapes -- not CD's but live audio analog tapes -- tapes of the earth! NASA tapes. They'd recorded the 'sounds' of earth from space a long time ago. And then a whole catalog of sounds appeared -- all kinds of healing sounds came out of nowhere -- as if there were a nowhere. And when I mentioned to the owner that I had a 'practice'... well 'we'll do that too'! And supplements -- like a 'Whole Foods' in space... we got supplements... live supplements... and raw foods... no dead stuff. Just energy... compact energy... ready to consume. A regular algae orgy. And water... living water... energized with the sounds on board... the sounds of the Good Earth!
But logistics was the easy part. How to hold a pose in space was another matter. I mean you have nothing to hold you 'down'... or 'up'!. Nothing to work against -- no edge! So we devised a whole Rube Goldberg arrangement to deal with that -- Velcro and footholds and straps -- a regular 'spider' web of resistance. It may not be Jivamukti... no 'mats'... but it works... and it's a trip. It takes me 30 minutes just to get it all adjusted and fitting correctly before I can even begin. Even Mountain pose is a monumental effort. But 'corpse pose' is to 'die for'!
So what used to be a casual 30 minute routine on the earth is now an hour and a half of intense effort -- focused on the body in ways I never knew before. When you move in 'space' on the earth... you just 'move'. But up here, in the 'web', every movement brings new sensations all brought on by the device, so you have to adjust... stop and adjust... and start again. It's a process so far. A work in progress. But I feel great! I can't believe we've gotten this far. Even if this whole thing gets laughed into oblivion its been worth it. Asana in space.... who would have ever thought!
I mean just to contemplate it on earth was enough to make me think I needed to have my head examined... but up here... it's a whole other world... no mental strings attached. No one to answer to but my self... and so far my self is just fine with it. I'm an independent, stand alone operation. I have all I need.
Not so for the last guy to occupy this space. He had a hard slog. Needed an attendant just to keep an eye on him. Pulse rate through the roof! I mean he had bicycles and exercise equipment and treadmills galore! He sweated a whole Mississippi working his 'self' to death. And he still lost mass. He was wired from head to toe, had the best dehydrated food and pills that money could buy... High Octane tunes and ‘motivational lectures' on the 'pod'. He 'ran' like a mad man for hours on end it seemed... worked like a demon. But he still lost mass. When I got here I could feel the pain... it was palpable. The poor guy was in a rat race to nowhere -- like he had to go to space just to find that out. Data to make you cry. I had to smudge the place just to get started. You don't even want to know his station name.
But the good news was we had a baseline... no place to go but up from there. It was grim. But it was a starting point.
"Finding more time for log entries now after the initial euphoria. I'm getting used to the setup now as well... what took a half hour before takes 10 minutes now... and it requires only a handful of adjustments on the device whereas it took at least an hour of my practice time before just to deal with the unexpected. Steep but fruitful learning curve. With the extra time freed up I can concentrate on my routine now... hold my poses longer... adding poses... repeating them... the workout is much more of a joy and less of a labor now. The whole practice is spontaneously evolving... I'm adapting... trying poses I wouldn‘t try on earth simply as there is less resistance to them in some ways yet unexpected resistance does occur due to the changes in the muscle groups employed in a weightless situation. I should have done this years ago, I laugh to myself! PS - the lack of an electromagnetic field strength like we have on earth is clearly an issue. You have no idea how much you literally 'feed' off of it till you get to a place like this." Journal entry 4, 08:43am GMT, 11/22/15 -- on station Lotus 1.
The interaction with that field is clearly part of the magic of life on earth. We aren't just "pulled down" by "gravity"... we interact with a living electromagnetic field. I mean the so called "effects of gravity" don't even begin to describe the magnitude of the problem. In any case, I'm betting there are benefits to poses that come by default irregardless of the field strength and I am determined to mine those to the full extent... maximize the benefit to compensate for the loss. To me, the loss of this field strength is all the more reason to work with the energy we've got -- maximize it to compensate for the lack of flow at the source. And it's not like there is no energy up here... it's just harder to come by. So a scientific approach to energy management is a must in this environment and yoga is exactly that... almost like it was made for places like this.
"Tried out a little Pilates today... just simple stuff." Someone suggested it so I'm giving it a shot and the equipment handles it just fine. Should be a nice compliment to the asana. "After the workout when I‘m done, all the bungee straps and Velcro fold up into practically nothing - a fantastic savings in space and weight -- gives me more room for living space. My predecessor had to bump and grind around his equipment everywhere he went -- there was just no avoiding it. And what if it breaks? Added a lot of unnecessary stress he didn't need.... his crowded 'Mir' to my spacious ISS... it's that different. Simple is good." Journal entry 8, 12:02 pm GMT, 12/11/15 -- on station Lotus 1.
Did a lot of housekeeping chores for the most part today. Keeping the place clutter free is important up here. Being organized on any expedition is a must. Everything has its place and to know you can find things at a moments notice, like in an emergency, breeds confidence. I know where every single item on this station is and how to get it if I should ever need it. Procedures are practiced and modified when needed. It's a tight ship. The focus and mental discipline required to manage the systems and environment is welcomed. If it were up to me I'd be glued to the windows and then we'd really have a problem.
One of the many benefits of the poses is just the act of stretching. When the body gets too tight the nerves and nadis can get pinched -- constricted -- and we're cut off from the flow. Energy then builds up in the channels like a dam and it takes on an excited 'irritation' that you can feel. It's irritating -- and then we 'get irritated'. Body/mind 101. Stretching, especially regular stretching, helps to keep those channels open and the energy in them flowing... we feel more relaxed... balanced. Balanced energy gives a balanced mind and balanced minds make better decisions. But just stretching as we normally think of it is not enough. There are nooks and crannies in the body that are rarely touched unless we go out of our way to tweak them. That's where asana comes in. It stretches and compresses the body in places we didn't even know we had! Places we forget. But the body never forgets and sooner or later it will remind us. So the more we relieve those stress points the longer it may take for that reminder to arrive, if ever. And fewer stress points means less 'stress' and stress is a Big issue in long term space flight.
So these are not just "poses" -- there's a logic to this.
And in addition to the stretching in the web there is resistance training going on as well, helping to build muscle strength and cardio but without excess energy expenditure -- no 'Mississippi' going out while the 'Hudson' flows in. So with a lower metabolic rate than rigorous exercise we put less stress on the ships environmental systems which produce the oxygen we breathe and filters out the Co2.
"Had a major breakthrough with the device today. I was tiring of going through the lengthy process of attaching and adjusting all the straps every time I got in the web and then suddenly it dawned on me that if I sewed some Velcro patches in strategic places on some sweats I could attach the web to them and just crawl in and out of the suit, leaving the adjustments as they are. It's a major time saver. I'm very pleased with this as it was tiring to deal with all the adjustments all the time -- like doing an EVA every day!" Journal entry 16, 01:30pm GMT, 12/12/15 --- on station Lotus 1.
It's a well known side effect of yoga that one feels calmly energized after a practice -- an even and alert surplus of energy is typically reported in a way that is not always the case with ordinary exercise. We're getting 'free energy' from the routine -- and anything that's 'free' in space is a nice bonus -- like having an internal fuel cell. It is a suspicion of mine that the compressions in the asanas have a 'piezo-electric' effect on the cells of the body -- energy created from compression. It's a well known phenomena and the crystalline structure of the body is known to produce it, like when you rub your eyes and see those bright rings of light. So to some extent we become our own energy source when we practice asana -- we‘re our own light. In a remote place like this it doesn't get any better than that.
And then there's the breath. Unlike rigorous exercise which inevitably increases our breath rate, we have a choice in yoga. We can consciously regulate our breath when we work. So in addition to the environmental systems benefit to be gained by keeping us from getting too spooled up as the routine goes on it allows us to regulate the amount of energy we expend -- even transmutes it. And this transmutation has a curious side effect... we become more aware. .. more focused... more conscious. Conscious of the body, our environment and most especially of our being conscious. It's obvious... if you pay attention. And in an unforgiving environment, focused awareness can literally be the difference between life and death.
"Plank pose is 'posing' a unique challenge up here! On earth it is not particularly unique but in the web it takes a certain amount of effort on my part to keep my arms extended as ordinarily I rely on the ground to push back on them -- so I don't even give it a thought. But up here I have to tense the arms and wrists to hold the position. Takes some conscious thought. This is true to some extent with every pose I've tried but this brings up another interesting point... there is no particular benefit from upside down poses in a weightless environment! This is fine with me as I only have a limited routine but it will be something to consider with a more advanced practitioner. In that sense I am not the most qualified yogi on the planet for this mission, but maybe that's not as big a drawback as I originally thought. PS -- I also have no need to 'lift the kneecaps‘ in Warrior. No strain on the knee. But I've decided to do it anyway as it has other benefits. Plus I want to maintain the habit for when I get back to earth." Journal entry 15, 09:27 GMT, 12/15/15 --- on station Lotus 1.
This last entry brings up an important point. One 'effect' from asana that I wish to explore is actually something that has to do with the concept of 'shape' and how the shapes we take with the body shifts the character of the energies in our body. This shift in the energies in turn affects our conscious experience as well as our health. One way to think of this is to think of asana as a sort of 'bodily sacred geometry' and the effect of this sacred geometry is to produce something of an energetic and experiential equivalent of a Cathedral when we practice. Individual poses produce specific and predictable types of energy and these energies have an effect on our consciousness. So it follows that this shift in consciousness from the different shapes that we take with the body is influenced by the changes in the 'shapes' of the many subtle, extremely low amplitude energetic waveforms inside the body -- IE "mindforms" -- and we plan on recording these.
You see, the mind doesn't just 'think'. As long as we limit ourselves to such a definition of the mind we will never be able to rationalize a 'whole-istic' viewpoint. The mind is a collection of discrete frequencies, each with its own unique waveform (mindforms) all acting in concert -- yet each in its own way is simultaneously in its own world -- its own dimension -- yet they all occupy the same space. It's a paradox. As such it's a microcosm of the universe. The multidimensional universe. There's a lot you can learn from the mind. But you first have to see it for what it is -- not just 'think' about it. And the best way to see it is to record it... and then present these ‘mindforms' in all their mysterious shapes -- realtime -- in parallel -- as 'they' go about their simultaneous multidimensional business... while 'we' go about our business in everyday life. Then there will be no doubt about what the mind is.
Driving all this is my suspicion that in space, it may actually be easier to measure and record these "mindforms" electronicly and the reason for this is precisely because of the lack of a dense outer background field. Thus our body's native energy field -- the 'mind fields' -- will stand out even more to the recording devices. And since I'm the only living being up here there should be minimal electromagnetic interference from other living systems. So it is my intention to take advantage of this uniquely pristine environment to gather data as I go about 'my' business up here -- thinking, emoting, moving, dreaming and transcending. There are discrete frequencies for all of that. And in our view, the best way to bring all that 'out' is with a similarly multidimensional bodily practice -- as in asana. We're going to 'squeeze the lemon' and watch the 'juice' flow out.
So we'll be paying particular attention to the shapes of the 'mindforms' before, during and after each pose and we'll be tracking them realtime as they 'shape-shift' in sync with the changes in the shapes that the body takes. Then we'll correlate that with the results manifested in the physical body as well as my own subjective report on the state of my consciousness from the overall routine. But we won't be wiring me 'up' -- no need for that -- we've got sensors in the equipment that will do that from several feet away -- something we couldn‘t do back on the planet. So we're not just recording 'brain waves' or EKG's here... we're talking the subtle, extremely low amplitude, delicate frequencies that are integral to ones mental, physical and spiritual existence... the mind... transmitting... naturally... radiating to the sensors... 24/7. All of these results will then be correlated with the effects of the 'grounding' sounds of the Good Earth... and all the healing sounds. Put it all together and what we hope to have in the end is positive trending and statistically significant data on the rate of muscle mass loss as compared to my predecessors baseline.
So if we're successful we will have the makings of an historically new 'whole-istic' connection... between the ancients and the 'modern' space farer... one that has the potential for overcoming the denial and stone walling that previous researchers have faced when presenting similar subtle electronic recordings back on the energetically crowded earth... recordings that were not from an 'isolated' subject. And if we're successful we will have given a realtime demonstration of how the body's business is the mind's business... the 'dreaded' body/mind connection. I mean there'd just be no denying the reality of it -- the practicality of it! Space industry people are very practical, 'down to earth', data and results oriented people... and we're going to give them the data.
The validation of such would have a ripple effect on our view of our body's... and our minds back on earth. The plain fact is, science has yet to even define the mind... yet they believe their 'minds' about what the mind is. We are going to break this 'endless loop' and record it in such a way that there will be no doubt about what the mind is and how it's interwoven with the body and that will be profound... well worth the trip to say the least. To confront the world for the first time with irrefutable scientific evidence of the true nature of the human mind would be like seeing ourselves -- literally -- for the first time. And it wouldn't just be 'one thing'. Oh! so that's what the mind is! It doesn't just 'think'! And it's not just our mind... it's connected... connected to other minds... you'll be able to see that now! it's a waveform... ("I've been running from a waveform!") It's a frequency... and frequencies radiate! They resonate!... with other frequencies... other minds... with the field... the Mind Field! Just that thought alone in the general consciousness would be a game changer.
When you think about it, it's really shocking to think that an entire race of sentient beings have been running around on the planet for ages raising hell and mayhem in every conceivable form with each other and other beings -= all driven by a force we can't even see. Till now. If you didn't know better... you'd call it madness!
This will change everything.
At the very least, if I can manipulate these mind/body waveforms through the variations in the routine then in fact we are regulating the character of the body's energy in spite of the depleted energetic atmosphere. This in itself has value in terms of long term space flight alone, irregardless of how the effects from the yoga turn out. I mean at the very least, if the yoga only just buys us time while we 'squeeze out' the mind body connections it will have been worth the effort. After all, regular exercise just wouldn't produce the full spectrum of multidimensional frequencies that we're looking to record. So yoga, in that sense, is the perfect 'full spectrum' workout... perfect for our 'data collecting' needs up here. And with the shift in the emphasis in the muscles employed in each pose due to the weightlessness and the device I suspect there will be some shift in the types of energy developed in any one pose from what we would expect on the planet so that alone will be brand new data. So in that sense, we're in entirely unexplored territory here which is good. This is the value of a scientific approach. Clearly we're going to run into the unexpected up here.
"Had a bit of a situation today. After my routine, while resting in Savasana an outside thruster misfired and wouldn't shut down -- spun the station like a top! If it hadn't been for the quick disconnect ability of the new 'suit' in the web I'd have been unconscious in less than a minute. As it turned out I was able to pop right out of it and troubleshoot the issue at my leisure as the station was in no immediate danger. Since the station was spinning and I was stationary I just waited for it to come to me and then I grabbed on wherever I needed to be for a moment and then let go till I got to the checklist and resolved it by throwing a breaker on the thruster system. The whole episode had an intensely focused but simultaneously effortless quality to it like I was in observer mode. It was gratifying to know the training - and yoga! had paid off. Funny thing how when you're still, luck has an easier time finding you." Journal entry 26, 06:42am GMT, 12/19/15 -- on station Lotus 1.
"It's Christmas Eve and I have hung up a plastic cut out of a tree with floating ornaments attached... Christmas Carols in the background. This is a special place and time to reflect on the meaning of all that. I've logged some significant window time today and am deep into infinity once again. Couldn't think of a better place to 'be' on Christmas Eve. Silent Night indeed. Tomorrow morning, to celebrate I am planning a Kirtan... just me and the tape! Call and response... to no one in particular!" Journal entry 27, 11:32pm GMT. 12/24/15 -- on station Lotus 1."
I've been noticing more and more that there is a 'strange' quiet character of the mind up here that is pleasantly surprising. When I 'sit' and meditate it's much easier to observe the mind then when I am back on earth... as if the interactions with the dense 'mind fields' on the earth helps to stir up 'mindforms' in ways that are just not necessary. Resonance is a two way street! So much of what we take to be our 'minds' (thoughts!) is simply not necessary to function fully... in fact it clearly interferes with full functioning... it's very easy to see that up here now. And after all the trouble we've 'gone to' to record the mind, it sounds ridiculous to even say that. But parts of it are a huge distraction. There are times when 'we' think... and times when thinking 'just happens‘. And up here, it's a lot easier to think... and observe... because there's less 'thinking' going on 'without me'... so to speak. I can think and observe more deeply because there is a whole lot less thinking 'going on'... because up here, I'm starting to notice, thinking is more of a choice than a burden. And what you observe is that awareness is where 'you' are at. It all comes down to awareness. It's simply not trampled on up here... it's given its 'space'... it's given 'its due'. There's 'space' for awareness in space. You become 'primarily aware'. It's no longer in the 'back of your mind' and that makes all the difference. It just stands out... you start to see that you are resting in awareness... you get a 'fix' on it... and then you 'fixate' on it... and then you become aware that... it's you that's aware! You are awareness. It just stands out. And as you rest in awareness you can choose to think and this thinking is a joy -- the whole experience is so immediate, so lucid, so profound... the ability to think is now a gift... a gift that allows you to reflect on this lucid awareness. Amazing. And it's obvious that this is all you ever really wanted... this is all you ever really needed. This is home... finally! And you could stay there... forever.
The whole workout, procedures, and all, has taken on an almost automatic and familiar feel, just as I'm ready to complete the mission. Ordinarily this 'automatic-ness' would be something to look out for in a practice but with this whole experience coming to an end I let it unfold. In fact we have counteracted it in a counterintuitive way -- we've up'd the routines to twice a day! I hadn't expected to be able to do that but it just turned out that way. The whole deal takes less than an hour now and with the increased efficiency and cycle times it's quite doable. So I now have a 'wake up' routine after rising to energize me and a 'power down' routine in my 'evenings' to help facilitate sleep. The sleep thing wasn't planned but with all the excitement at first I had trouble logging enough so we worked out a routine towards the end to help with that thanks to the folks on the ground. This is bound to pay dividends with future crews as sleep cycles have got to be an issue with all the circadian confusion up here.
I've been experimenting with poses without the web. I can do standing, lying down and sitting poses if I wish with my feet or hands (or both) 'attached' to the 'floor' (if you will) by Velcro on some gloves and socks as well as on the suit. Good for 'downward dog' pose -- stuff like that. We are going to experiment with this as opposed to doing the poses in the resistance web to see what differences there are in the data. Also, at times I've just ‘broken into' spontaneous poses floating in free space in the cabin and its been a blast. The grin on my face is just plastered there when I play with this... it's a hoot. Especially with a little music going in the background. Yesterday I had a little Cat Stephens on... 'Peace Train!'... as I went round and round. When I do this I tend to break into more of a flow routine rather than just holding static poses as it just seems the natural thing to do... it's hard to be still when you start to move in free space so you just naturally flow... too much!
The data recording looks encouraging but we won't know till it's analyzed on the planet by experts. And now that were winding things down the hope is that with the Pilates resistance training any muscle groups neglected with the asana will have been worked so that there should be no major weakness when I return. I've scheduled a practice right after my physical so we can gather data as soon as possible. And we have expert Ayurvedic practitioners to guide me through the transition phase so I have no doubt that it will be a quick progression. Hopefully quicker than the time it took my predecessor to adapt. So the benefits would not only be up here in space but in a quicker recovery on earth. That way you could cycle experienced crews back up more quickly -- a possible side benefit.
"Docked with the return ship today... time to wrap up this mission. Packing up and stowing away on board all my personal items, recording equipment and the web. The next crew won't be using it till we decide what to do with all this. It's New Years Eve and they brought a little 'sip' of grape -- just juice, but it‘s the thought that counts -- we'll toast heartily anyway!" Journal entry 34, 06:30am GMT, 12/31/15
"Successful landing! Just low tech old school 'bit and rudder' flying -- but a very professional operation. The new EM anti-grav machines are impressive but they are still too "bleeding-edge" in our opinion so we're sticking with what works for now. For a low budget, low-earth orbit operation like ours you just can't beat the reliability of the system we have employed. Besides, we have enough variables with the energy work we're doing in orbit -- we just don't need any more unknowns right now. So I suspect there will still be a need for simple operations like this for at least the foreseeable future -- at least in the vicinity of the planet. I mean you don‘t need a wormhole just to get to a station."
"I felt kind of heavy as we entered the atmosphere but not as bad as I had expected. And I was able to exit the ship under my own steam. My predecessor had to be helped out but I declined as I wanted to test my legs. As I stepped onto the tarmac I instinctively 'snapped' out a Warrior II in a sort of spontaneous celebration -- I couldn't help it! It was definitely an effort, but somehow I think we may be onto something. Only the data will tell for sure but somehow I'm all smiles. I just know everything is going to be all right! Even if we only slowed down the losses it'll be a major victory." Final Journal entry, 12 noon GMT 01/04/16 -- It may not be New Years but it's a New Years Day! -- here on station Earth!
The debriefing with the owner, the Flight Control and support crews lasted for several days. Line by line we went over the logs, the 'situations', data, procedures, improvements, suggestions... all the time the owners intensity never let up... always questions... relentlessly probing for any information I may have discarded or incident I'd overlooked. After he was satisfied I'd given him all he'd asked for he dismissed the others. When they had all finally left he turned to me and asked about the one thing in the logs he'd somehow 'overlooked'. He wanted to know what I meant about the earth being a "dead planet" without "infinity". He has his first space flight -- to the station -- scheduled for later in the year. I thought about it for a moment and then I asked him... "have your ever seen The Truman Show?"... and he slowly looked away, out the windows, towards the wide open desert beyond... and nodded slightly.
Awareness and infinity are truly difficult to describe to people who have been deprived of them... best to just give them an experience of it and then there‘s no going back for them... then they just naturally do what needs to be done... they do what they came here to do. It puts everything... I mean everything... in its proper perspective. So my guess is that for an individual like the owner, when he gets to orbit, his 'purpose' is going to take a whole new direction. And I suspect that the experience of that will be like having a huge weight lifted off his shoulders. And somehow I think he knows that too because later on that night... he went out and bought a yoga mat.
Space changes people. Deep and life altering experiences are routinely reported by those who've been to space. Their values shift. And since any psychologist worth their diploma will tell you that change is the hardest thing for an individual to do, it would seem that something special and unique is going on 'up there'. And since humanity as we know it is desperately in need of 'change' it would appear to be in our interest to take a deeper and on going look at what's going on with us... when we go 'up there'.
In any case, I guess it was inevitable that we had to go all the way to outer space just to be able to see what was already there... what was always with us the whole time. It says a lot about the times we live in that we have to go to such lengths. But then again, given our track record on earth, in these times, how could it of been any other way.
I began this project in order to gather the data in order to prove a point. But now that I've had time to reflect on it I'm not so sure that 'scoring points' is what space travel is primarily about. To me now, space is more about an experience of space itself... and the experience of space itself is the point of going there... the real bounty. Somehow this was overlooked in our rush to get 'to space'.
Historically, yogis have been giving demonstrations of their feats in an ongoing basis in order to respond to those who doubt their claims. In the beginning I saw this mission as being a modest version of that sort of demonstration... IE: Gather the data and then we shall see. But compared to the rewards of ones own lucid awareness, validating this agenda has taken something of a back seat now to much broader view.
One possible side effect though of this experiment is that for those who plan on 'vacationing' on a Space Station in the future, we may have just provided a model for a more prolonged -- and rewarding stay as there is no room on smaller privately owned stations for bulky exercise equipment. In fact they are not likely to ever accommodate more than a few individuals at any one time. So for those who wish to extend their stays while expanding their experiential possibilities, our model may be just what they needed.
But there is a more intriguing possibility and that is that going to space is about going home. As such, it's a place where we can more easily realize that 'home' has never 'left us'... and that our 'home' is just a 'look' away. And since that 'look' is more likely to happen in an atmosphere of prolonged exposure to our own awareness, such as we had repeatedly recorded with our equipment on the station, then perhaps we can develop a protocol in space for scientifically tracking the process of becoming 'aware of our own awareness'. If so, then perhaps that can be replicated back on earth, thus helping to facilitate this lucidity on a much broader scale in the population at large. It's funny how these things evolve.
So perhaps, if we're lucky, in the future space will be more of a 'retreat' to an ashram than a destination in itself... a retreat to an aware inner space... rather than outer space -- an inner space that we can take back with us to the Good Earth! If that turns out to be true, then perhaps in the end, all the fortunes we've spent on space will pay off in ways that no one could have ever predicted... and then there will be no doubt in anyone's mind that it will have been worth every dime.
Image courtesy of NASATweet