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Five Minute Speeches - Russell Schweikart

SB:. Of all of us here, Rusty Schweickart's I think the only one present who's seen the whole Earth with his bare eye. He's also the first person who was an individual satellite, himself.  On Apollo 9 he was the first space-walker who went out without an umbilical connected up for air and other essentials. All he had was a leash.

He worked with NASA Headquarters in Washington for a long time on applications, then last year Governor Brown brought him out here on a temporary assignment to work on California Space Day in association with the first landing of the Space Shuttle. Space Day was organized by Rusty, and it was the smoothest piece of organization of a public event I've ever seen. So now he's here full-time as Governor Brown's Science Advisor, at a reduced salary from what he was getting in Washington (no one knows that). In that capacity he's been involved in some policy decisions which you would be glad of.


Somebody said I look like the Flying Nun.  I figure it's more appropriate with my interests that I be the Floating Monk. The real reason for this headgear is that yesterday I decided to go the appropriate technology way and turn my nose into a personal solar collector.

Paradigm shift is always an interesting process. This spring, while the river was high, I went floating on the Stanislaus which I hope a lot of you have now written letters about saving; if you haven't yet, you can go over the berm here and find out to whom. On the Stanislaus, after you make it through the more daring parts, you get a respite in relatively calm waters.  And unlike others who were going down in rafts, my friends and I were going down in inner tubes and wet suits, which I invite you to try at your own risk.  You're much more with the river than in a raft.

At one point after lunch we floated a calm part of the river, and I lay in the inner tube on my back.  Almost by chance I lay my head back to the point where my head was fully upside down, and the water came right up almost to my eyes.  Obviously this has to be done in calm water.  And laying there on my back in the inner tube, I looked at the world.  And it was a totally different world.  It was a world in which I lived on the ceiling, a reflective ceiling, and the spectacular hills and trees and beautiful scenery projected down out of that ceiling. And as I turned around in the inner tube, I saw this bird-like creature, which Was in fact my friend Dave Carnegie in another raft doing the same thing.  He Was a bird coming along the ceiling.  In fact, all of us lived on that ceiling. The situation was such, without getting too descriptive, that that was real, and the whole world turned over.

Okay.  Break break. What I see from my experience in life, I want to relate this afternoon not in any way to persuade or convince you, because I don't care about that. What I do care is that we are all involved in this process of evolution. And I mean all, not just those of us here, but all. We sense it, especially here in this kind of group, as a process shaped by human events.

I, as you, have wrestled nightly with the angel of responsibility.  But I've also experienced, both academically and directly, a larger evolutionary context. It's difficult to see the connection between a star as it evolves from a blue giant to a neutron star and my wood stove that I've put in in the place of gas. But in fact, we connect those two worlds. We consciousness, self-awareness, intelligence, God manifesting, God unfolding, in the creation of that dimly viewed organism of which we are all part.  God unfolding in the seas, of consciousness now beginning to emerge" from Mother Earth, Gaia. Bucky Fuller wrote me a poem:

"Environment" to each must be
All that is
Excepting me.
"Universe"in turn must be
All that is Including me.

The difference between universe and environment is me, the thinker, feeler, doer, lover. Thank you.