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San Francisco | One Year Later
Reflections on Mobile Monday: Space — May 30, 2011

Kwela Hermanns, global curator for THNK, a European think tank that provides international leadership seminars to senior executives from Fortune 500 companies worldwide, also founded in a collaboration with Chris Anderson, founder and curator of TED, was in attendance as I shared my vision that fateful day. Having arrived a bit late, she was seated all the way to the back of the audience. Yet more than a year after that final conference, she’d come all the way to San Francisco from Amsterdam to seek me out.

She told me she remembered the talk just like it was only yesterday. She said it brought her to tears—that it was one of the most gifted and brilliant talks she'd ever heard. She said I conveyed spiritual concepts, like a transformational shift in global human consciousness, like no one she'd ever heard before, seamlessly interlacing physics and technology with consciousness and spirituality, catalyzing the next paradigm shift in human evolution. She felt I'd conveyed the Overview Effect—the profound spiritual transformation experienced by astronauts on seeing the Earth from space—to the audience as if they were there firsthand, able to reach out and touch the stars.




We shared this conversation on a beautiful sunny day, sipping coffee on the patio of a café in downtown San Francisco, surrounded by people colorfully dressed up as their favorite superheroes. It was Superhero Day, a citywide festival and shared celebration. She’d traveled from Amsterdam to invite me to lead four-day seminars at her global center to guide interactive sessions on the future of spaceflight and the future of humanity together with industry leaders like Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, who would speak on the future of social networks and how they have the power to bring us closer together to see each other’s perspectives, and Aubrey de Grey, the world’s most prominent anti-aging researcher, who would speak on the future of aging and society, with his fervent belief that the first person to live to 1000 has already been born.

I asked her again: "Mark Zuckerberg, and Aubrey de Grey. The three of us, representative of key developments that will wholly transform humanity’s future?" She answered in the affirmative. I replied, “That’s quite esteemed company.” She reaffirmed the sentiment. “You haven’t yet realized the greatness of your potential. I have.” She said she’d seen a clear vision of that potential from her seat in the back row of the audience that day, and she was only doing her small part to bring that future into our world.

Spencer Grow took on a more cheerful and lighthearted tone in our prior discussions, extolling it as “brilliant and lofty prose in the spirit of the age—waxing eloquently on nature, physics and life in the universe.”

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually, who are we not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us. It's in everyone, and, as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. 
                         — Marianne Williamson



— with thanks to Kwela Hermanns and Spencer Grow —

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