The vision for creating the Institute of Noetic Sciences came in 1971 when IONS’ founder Dr. Edgar Mitchell landed on the moon as one of the Apollo 14 astronauts. Space exploration symbolized for Dr. Mitchell what it did for his nation as a whole—technological triumph of historical proportions, unprecedented mastery of the world in which we live, and extraordinary potentials for new discoveries.
On the trip home Dr. Mitchell sat in the window seat of the cramped cabin of the space capsule; and as he saw Earth floating freely in the vastness of space, Dr. Mitchell was engulfed by a profound sense of universal connectedness. He stated:
“On the return trip home, gazing through 240,000 miles of space toward the stars and the planet from which I had come, I suddenly experienced the universe as intelligent, loving, harmonious. My view of our planet was a glimpse of divinity. We went to the Moon as technicians; we returned as humanitarians.”
In honor of IONS’ founder Edgar Mitchell, his historic trip to the moon, his viewing rising Earth from the moon, and his epiphany about the interconnectedness of the universe while returning to Earth, the Retreat Center is named EarthRise.