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I was ten minutes late to the seminar.

I had no idea when I walked into the monthly “innovation forum” that the speaker was going to be discussing interstellar flight. The fifty odd scientists and engineers – or should I say, explorers – gathered in the room sat with rapt attention as the speaker from the British Interplanetary Society talked about travel beyond our solar system. To near and distant stars. While on the surface, this may sound like the stuff of science fiction and Star Trek, I decided to go along for the journey with the speaker for a little while.

“I had the ambition to not only go farther than man had gone before, but to go as far as it was possible to go.” ~ Captain Cook

He talked about being inspired as a kid by the likes of Jules Verne and Arthur C Clarke and Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov. He discussed the heydays of interstellar flight research in the 1950s and 1960s, when concepts and fission and fusion energy gathered steam. He showed a lot of artists renditions of moon-landers and cities on distant planets – these renditions gave life to the elaborate vision. There was mention of Breakthrough Propulsion Physics and warp drives and what it will take to get to the nearest solar system in, say, the next 100 years.

“We go into space because whatever mankind must undertake, free men must fully share.” ~ President John F. Kennedy

As I sat there listening, I couldn’t help but marvel at the energy and belief, drive and passion of the speaker. It reminded me of the saying ~ “You catch a dream by hanging out with big dreamers”. He took us on an exploration journey into the future, where the future was made believable. Or at least, it seemed feasible, if the challenges could be overcome. He painted a vision, a dream that was so huge and so big, that it made the technical problems that I work on every day very minuscule. And, once again, I was led to re-examine my place in the universe. It made the ninety minutes that I spent in the “energy field” of that seminar very worthwhile.

So, why do I tell you about this experience? And what does it have to do with #SpiritChat? Well, the exploration of what lies without, the vast cosmos, has a close connection to what lies within. Or so I believe. Those of us who gaze at the stars and wonder what lies beyond, who explore the connection between the suns, the moons, the planets and the galaxies, are perhaps also explorers of what lies within. We know that we may not physically be capable of interstellar flight, but the flight within can perhaps give us a glimpse of that experience.

“A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.” ~ Carl Sagan

I invite all star-gazers and spirit-explorers to come on a brief journey of exploration, as we traverse the frontiers of the spirit within ~ the beauty that we will see, the surprises we will encounter, the lessons we will learn. And perhaps answer the question ~ why do we explore? Join us February 10th, 9amET/2pmGMT on twitter.

Be well. Dream big. To the stars…


Update:Here are the filtered transcripts for Qs 1 to 8 only. You may find the entire chat at full transcript version – Enjoy! Thank you to all who shared!

Questions asked during the live chat on Exploration. Please use the link next to each question to respond, and add #SpiritChat to your response so the entire community can see your reply. Thank you! (You can respond in the comments below too, if you prefer. Thanks!).

Q1. The Spirit of Exploration. What feelings does this invoke within you? #SpiritChat

Q2. Where does our desire to explore come from? Where do we truly feel it? #SpiritChat

Q3. What do we risk by NOT undertaking our journeys of exploration? #SpiritChat

Q4. Unguided or Guided exploration. Which do you prefer? Why? #SpiritChat

Q5. How do we prepare for, handle the storms that we may encounter during exploration? #SpiritChat

Q6. The experiences of exploration are personal, can’t be shared, even if we try. Agree/disagree? Why? #SpiritChat

Q7. Exploration will lead to discovery. What may we discover? What will we do next? #SpiritChat

Final Q8. What new frontiers are you exploring as part of your life mission? Please share. #SpiritChat