Astronauts of the Mind

Robert Thurman, former Tibetan Buddhist monk, scholar, lecturer, translator, and yes, father of Uma Thurman, talks about Tibetan Buddhists as being “Astronauts of the mind” (he actually uses the term “psychonauts”).

I find this idea quite fascinating, particularly when I think about it in conjunction with another idea of mine.

We tend to think that the world outside us is big and the world inside our minds is small (since our heads are smaller than most of what’s around us this makes sense). But what if it’s really the opposite. What if the world outside us is small and the world inside our minds is truly bigger and more vast?

I remember in college that one time I was in an altered state of consciousness shall we say, that I had this mental image of myself with my head being hollow and the entire Universe was inside it.

What if that’s more than just a nice vision?

As it is, I find myself playing with this idea more and more. Even if it’s not scientific truth, the poetic truth of it is powerful. And so, often, when I’m going to sleep, particularly when it’s nap sleep, I think of myself as going walking and travelling through the vastness of inner space.