Stardust Contemplating Stardust: Inner Space and the Science of Illumination

May 23, 2011 § 25 Comments

By Tai Carmen

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” Ferdinand Foch 

From the Greek noetikos, meaning “mental,” (noein, “to perceive with the mind,” and nous, “mind, understanding, intellect,”) the noetic sciences apply a scientific lens to the study of human consciousness.

Through the noetic lens, human consciousness is a mystery to be studied. Rather than dismissing moments of profound personal insight as ineffable and subjective, the noetic sciences seek to probe deeper into the implications of such instances.

from Stellar Series by Ignacio Torres,

For centuries, philosophers from Plato onward have been using the term noetic to describe experiences beyond human reason.

The Institute of Noetic Sciences was co-founded in 1973 by astronaut Edgar Mitchell. The studies focus on typically metaphysical concepts, such as the survival of human consciousness after bodily death, the measurable benefits of meditation, influence of the observer on the observed, alternate healing, extrasensory perception, wisdom capabilities, and so forth.

Before founding the Institute, Edgar Mitchell had an epiphany while looking down on the earth from space, during his three-day journey back from the moon on Apollo 14:

“The presence of divinity became almost palpable, and I knew that life in the universe was not just an accident based on random processes . . .  the knowledge came to me directly.”

Mitchell’s exploration of outer space lead him to a profound awareness of the mysteries and potential of inner space. Reality, he felt, was infinitely more complex, nuanced and mysterious than conventional science had lead him to believe.

Such an experience is of prime interest to noetics. The qualities of a personal revelation have an interesting universality, notes philosopher-psychologist William James. They are all “states of insight into depths of truth unplumbed by the discursive intellect. They are illuminations, revelations, full of significance and importance, all inarticulate though they remain; and as a rule they carry with them a curious sense of authority.”

A 1995 study showed that individuals who meditate show higher levels of melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone produced by the pineal gland.

Interestingly, the pineal gland has long been associated with the spiritual “third eye,” considered a key to accessing higher consciousness. A quick glance at the list of benefits produced by Melatonin is enough to warrant attention: studies have shown melatonin to have both cancer and Alzheimer’s fighting properties, as well as anti-aging and stress-relieving effects. It has been shown to help with weight lossautism, fertility and mood disorders. A veritable miracle hormone, studies suggest melatonin has radioprotective properties, acting as a defense against nuclear fall-out. Though the common administration of melatonin is through synthesized supplements, connections between meditation and enhanced melatonin production suggest more effective and efficient means: why not simply foster activities which increase the production of melatonin in our own bodies?

These are the kinds of fascinating questions currently being pursued by the noetic sciences.

“There can be a tendency to label something in order to negate its impact. It is easier to brush off or control what is perceived as solid instead of fluid.

“As Becker stated man cuts out for himself a manageable world because the real world is too overwhelming […] Freud implied that a healthy mind often suppresses reality to some degree. How often do we sacrifice fluid reality in order to balance ourselves with a manageable world? Dualism is a false dichotomy. Beauty is the beast. Labels and language are tools humans use to simplify a complex reality. There are no borders or boundaries it is a singularity not a compartmentalization.

“Knowledge and imagination … must work together to break the frozen sea within us. It is beyond the labeled box of scientific materialism it is embracing life with open eyes. Greater awareness. Raising consciousness. The human imagination and consciousness is not out of nature it is nature! “As Carl Sagan stated we are made of stardust. Stardust contemplating stardust… Life contemplating death. Imagination and knowledge of Cosmic evolution flows from mortal limited decaying flesh! This is the nobility and the burden of human evolution.” (Pangea Progress.)

“There is no doubt that [Freud’s idea and the accepted model of] healthy-mindedness is inadequate as a philosophical doctrine,” agrees William James, “because the […] facts which it positively refuses to account for are a genuine portion of reality; and they may after all be the best key to life’s significance, and possibly the only openers of our eyes to the deepest levels of truth.”


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§ 25 Responses to Stardust Contemplating Stardust: Inner Space and the Science of Illumination

  • robert says:

    this place is a totally awsome website

    • Tai Carmen says:

      Thanks, Robert! So glad you found us and are finding the site inspiring!

      To receive notifications of new posts, look in the upper right hand corner of the main page where it says “Email Subscription” and click “Sign Me Up!”

      Peace and love in 2013!

      Tai Carmen

  • This was an amazing post! I found your page by searching for a image of the Earth from space on Google, and although I didn’t have time right then I came back hours later to read your post because it looked so interesting. I love the title – Stardust Contemplating Stardust… Beautiful.

    • Tai Carmen says:

      Oh, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I so appreciate hearing from readers.

      Hope you check around the site and explore some more articles ~ there are more on related themes to the post you read. 🙂

      Happy New Year & cheers!


  • Hey there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

    • Tai Carmen says:

      I’m so happy you found it a satisfying read! Wonderful to hear. Thank you for putting into to words. 🙂

      Do consider signing up to receive notification of future posts (upper right hand corner of main page.)

      I do believe this subject deserves a follow up piece…!

      On on,


  • […] Foto Portada:… […]

  • […] Foto Portada:… […]

  • lija says:

    universe is beatiful

  • Kevin says:

    Hi Tai, Great photos!
    If I wanted to use your ‘Earth From Space’ photo (full res) for 2 to 3 seconds in a YouTube video, what would you charge?

    • Tai Carmen says:

      Hi Kevin! I’m so sorry my reply here is so late. I must have missed it when it first came in. I appreciate your courteous inquiry, but the image does not belong to me & unfortunately I just got it off a sort of random site that didn’t credit the photographer & just used stock footage. I think you have done your due diligence & I’m sure it would be fine to use the photo in your (awesome-sounding) video.

      Hopefully the image is high rez enough, I’m sure you can find one. Perhaps peruse the public “Hubble” library—honestly, this image is so good, I bet it was originally a Hubble image. has a large catalog of downloadable high rez space photography. Check it out!

      Best of luck.


    • Tai Carmen says:

      Additionally, in researching the legality of using images for my own site that are not mine, I’ve found that essentially, as long as you are not making money, you are legally safe. It is, of course, good blog etiquette to credit image sources, quotes, etc—-but legally, if you can’t find who to credit & it’s a free video, I’m sure you will be fine. Best of luck!

  • 64doors says:

    I am currently reading Roger Penrose’s “Shadows of the Mind” which attempts to tackle the “hard problem” of consciousness in relation to some scientific explanation for it. It’s exciting to live in such times, when at last the logical community is beginning to consider spirituality’s place in the scientific process. We can only observe so much physically, we must look to non~physical research to complete the bigger picture.

    • Tai Carmen says:

      Oh! Very interesting. That is perhaps the most delicious bridge between fields, science & spirituality, consciousness explored with a serious approach beyond dogma. YES! Have you heard of The Institute of Noetic Sciences ( ) founded by astronaut Edgar Mitchell? It is a serious scientific institute dedicated to exploring & measuring consciousness. Mitchell had a satori experience of oneness, an ecstatic experience he had no language or reference for, upon looking down at planet Earth from space…I write about it in my post “Stardust Contemplating Stardust: The Science Of Illumination.” There is a great short film at the end of the post called “Overview” about his experience.

      I’ll have to check out Penrose’s book. Thanks for the recommendation! And for spreading your enthusiasm about the time we are living in. It’s easy to get down about world circumstances sometimes…but enthusiasm is contagious! 🙂 And I agree, we do live in a miraculous age!

      I agree that we must bring consciousness into our scientific research to complete the picture.

      On on!


      • 64doors says:

        I had not heard the word “noetic” until your Stardust post. This is very exciting to me, as I had no idea there was a name for the field I am moving into. I am in my third year of study of physics, moving towards quantum mechanics. I am still very green on the subject, but have been exploring with my mind for years now and know that I will have much to add to the subject. Imagine, being able to leave my body and discover the secrets of the universe, coming back with sufficient scientific data on the subject in question! Whether or not this noetic science is taken seriously it definitely needs to be explored, and this is that time! Much appreciative of your sharing. Thank you. 🙂

      • Tai Carmen says:

        I absolutely love that idea. Certainly, multiple scientific studies have been discovered in dreams (see my post “Dreams: Symbolic Keys & Subconscious Communications”) (Oh, and please forgive me recommending you read the very article you had just commented on. I thought your comment was to my recent post, “The Mind’s Eye,” (Which incidentally, it sounds like you might also enjoy!) ;)) Why not extend scientific inspiration (of what should be studied further in the lab) to out of body experiences & astral travel?

        It sounds like you are gathering momentum to make a marked impact on your field.

        I do find a lot of heart in the fact that more & more students of physics & quantum physics are advocating for the study of consciousness. Have you read Michael Talbot’s “The Holographic Universe?” Might be of interest to you.

        On on!


      • 64doors says:

        Thanks for the insight. I have not read that book but it sounds delightful! The professors that I am learning from are so profoundly beyond me, hard to imagine myself making any sort of impact in the field. Yet, I am eager to simply be a part of it. I just want to get my hands dirty, if anything comes out of it fantastic, if nothing else it will be my own satisfaction. 🙂 See you around.

  • DragonRose says:

    *eats popcorn* continue. *crunch munch devour* thanks this really helped me out for school and other things i was really curious about this stuff and what most of it means! salutations 😉 😛

    • Tai Woodville says:

      That’s great to hear, Dragonrose, thank you for telling me! 🙂

      Consider subscribing (upper right corner of main page) to be notified of future posts on related subjects!

      On on!


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