Edgar Mitchell

I’m very saddened by the death this week of Apollo 14’s Captain Edgar Mitchell, astronaut, pioneer, visionary. He was a friend whose revolutionary life did not stop when he returned to Earth after walking on the Moon. He was a man who did not feel that he had no more worlds to conquer.

He explored outer space and then spent the rest of his life exploring inner space and what it means to have the human capacities we all do: to reach into the unknown and to grow in ways unimagined. He was the founder of IONS (Institute of Noetic Sciences http://www.noetic.org) and challenged scientists and all of us to grapple with the question of what is consciousness. He said, “We went to the Moon as technicians and we came back as humanitarians.” How can you look back from the depth of space to our mighty yet little planet – a blue marble in the darkness – and not be profoundly changed.

This quote also relates to music. It is all too easy with a certain degree of talent, to become a master technician at the piano – but does your musical journey take you and your audience to the heart of your own humanity?

Chopin said, “Bach is like an astronomer who with the help of cyphers finds the most wonderful stars. Beethoven infuses the universe with the power of his spirit. I do not climb so high. A long time ago, I decided my universe would be the soul and the heart of man.”

I was so happy when Edgar agreed to write a comment on the back cover of my memoir, Chopin ….He spent his life in exploration and I hope he will continue to inspire all of us.