Innernaut not Astronaut
By Wallace Huey
There is growing awareness of and support for setting up a colony on Mars, as the next step in humans exploring outer space. These projects are attracting huge funding and great media profile. But is setting up a colony on another planet the most beneficial next step for the people involved and for humanity?
Elon Musk gives the rationale for such expenditure and commitment of time, energy and resources as needed, because there is bound to be some form of apocalypse of Earth at some future date. This seminal event is unspecified by Elon musk, but is given as the sole rationale for the commitment that he and others are making.
So how does this stack up from a personal development perspective? Is this justification a true rational basis for the investment needed? Or are Elon Musk and his companions fundamentally misguided? Where is the appreciation and gratitude for our culture’s art, music, history, literature, etc., not to mention the phenomenal beauty of our natural environment and wildlife? For what purpose would we abandon all of our responsibilities? Do we really want to leave our friends and loved ones behind, to never see again the people we admire?
Firstly Elon’s fundamental premise for his vast and expensive enterprise is based on fear, and an irrational fear - an apocalypse for which there is no evidence. From a personal development perspective, to be motivated out of fear, does not lead to harmonious and beneficial results, however clever the people are who are creating the project and no matter how much money is spent.
In personal development, for a project to be meaningful, for it to add to the advancement of civilization, it must be founded on love and not fear.
Secondly human problems in our own life, at home and at work, obviously all happen on Earth - this planet. It is by each of us addressing and mastering our problems, that the future direction and health of the whole planet will be assured. What does it achieve to run away from the Earth and its problems, hoping to set up some new utopian civilization on another planet? From a personal development perspective, whenever people run away from facing their responsibilities, and from dealing with the issues that are in front of them, they end up in a much more stressed and disadvantageous situation that only induces increased suffering.
We have drawn these problems to us both individually and as a collective, to learn the spiritual lessons of compassion, love and harmony. When we run away, by leaving for another planet, all we do is hugely expand the extent of our suffering. This is because our problems exist not externally, in the world, but inside each of us. So even if we did succeed in conquering the technological problems of establishing a city on Mars, our problems within us would follow all the way to Mars, and would be greatly heightened by leaving Earth and all our relationships, through traveling to that hostile, lifeless environment. This would ensure we experienced huge suffering at best and an early death at worst.
Thirdly Elon Musk and Co are driven primarily by a need to explore the material universe. They have a solely materialistic, scientific and commercial view of the universe - that the universe is there for us to explore, colonize and exploit for human profit.
From a personal development perspective, the universe is a wonder, divinely ordained, of which we are an intimate part and with which we need to live in harmony. If we persist in our inner quest, we may be able to eventually expand our empathetic relationship so that the universe actually is contained within us! It is only then that we can understand the universe because we have become one with it.
This awareness is realized not by exploring outer space, but by diving deep into inner space, to answer the age old questions - Who am I? What is the purpose of my life? and What is love? In short, becoming an innernaut instead of an astronaut.
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