Something profound happens when astronauts see Earth from space for the first time
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When you are so far away from Earth, you gain a unique perspective. It is the realization that the Earth is one system and that we are all the art of that one system. There is a certain unity and coherence to it all.
This state of mental clarity occurs when you view Earth from far away and become overwhelmed and awed by the fragility and unity of life.
One of the astronauts on the Apollo 8 mission said that they originally went to focus on the moon, but looking back at Earth may have been the most important reason they went.
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