Richard Whitehurst
Director & Founder, Planetary Human

As I look out to the rising sun from a cliff near my home in Queensland, Australia, with the vast Pacific waters giving birth to a golden road of awe, with my vision being overwhelmed by the shimmering resplendence – with the horizon curving off to my right and my left suggesting the spherical immensity of the planet – with the Earth’s gravity holding down all those vast waters – with the thin film of the Earth’s atmosphere cloaking a limitless cosmic abyss there just above my head – with the swarm of life permeating land, sea and sky all around me – with my own inscrutable biological and perceptual circumstances ... within all this and more, I begin to feel my heart warming and opening through a palpable, visceral upwelling of deep emotions in the centre of my chest – to beautiful surges of astonishment, and excitement and love. These kinds of powerful feelings, so compelling yet so private, are what have brought about the development of Planetary Human: the website you are visiting and the sense of personal identity that has composed these words.

This involvement is both a ‘head-trip’ and a ‘heart-journey’ – intensely contemplated and emotionally interfused by the astounding discoveries of the sciences. This identity extends into that of the ‘possibilian’ – which means I avoid fixed ideas about any ultimate model of reality and remain open to possibilities rather than closed by things believed, or by things supposedly known, or unknown, or seeming to exist outside current methods of empirical investigation. Mine is an open, unfolding process-orientation. Like the wandering albatross I remain aloft. I refuse to land on any final belief, story or conception about reality. I revel in unanswered questions and I adhere to a kind of ‘cognitive deficitism’ – an orientation that the human nervous system, its questions, and its conceptual frameworks are utterly incapable of encapsulating the totality of reality, no matter how intensely they try. To me, a story about reality – scientific, mathematical, theological, or otherwise – is never ‘The Reality’ itself. I embrace ineffable Mystery. 

Planetary Human is an outgrowth of my decades of work as a transpersonal psychotherapist and clinical hypnotist. It is also an outgrowth of my more recent work in the development of The Overview Institute of Australia. www.overviewinstituteaustralia.org The O.I.A. is specifically focused on the phenomena of the ‘overview effect’ - the powerful cognitive shift that occurs when  astronauts see the Earth from space. The goals of Planetary Human are broader. They aim to bring the overview effect down to Earth by engaging individuals and groups from this whole-planet-perspective to enrich, amplify and re-contextualise their innate human potential. Positive change resulting in life-enhancing action is the desired outcome. I am confident that this transformative work will add to the diverse global efforts of the many millions of individuals and organisations now engaged in creating biospheric regeneration and beyond.

"Becoming a Planetary Human is one of the most positive, immediate and attainable contextual paradigm-shifts that modern humans are capable of making." 

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© 2017 Richard Whitehurst

All photos of Earth from space are courtesy of NASA.

All quotes by astronauts courtesy of the books: (1) The Overview Effect by Frank White - and - (2) The Home Planet by Kevin W. Kelly.