Edgar Mitchell was a NASA astronaut, lunar module pilot of Apollo 14 and the sixth person to ever walk on the moon. On his way back to Earth he developed a powerful experience of Savikalpa samadhi – a state of consciousness which has entirely dissolved into unity with everything.
Having been asked what his thoughts were viewing down at Earth from space, he says:
“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’”
Later on, in his book The Way of the Explorer, Edgar dives deeper and describes what he experienced as he looked out of the windows of his spacecraft:
“It was all there suspended in the cosmos on that fragile little sphere. What I experienced was a grand epiphany accompanied by exhilaration, an event I would later refer to in terms that could not be more foreign to my upbringing in west Texas, and later, New Mexico. From that moment on, my life would take a radically different course. What I experienced during that three-day trip home was nothing short of an overwhelming sense of universal connectedness. I actually felt what has been described as an ecstasy of unity…. I perceived the universe as in some way conscious. The thought was so large it seemed inexpressible, and to a large degree it still is.”
Mitchell was then asked about his personal transformation – which he explains.
“I realized that the molecules of my body and my partners, and the molecules of the spacecraft were prototyped in some ancient generation of stars. And suddenly, instead of being an intellectual experience, it was an emotional experience, followed with an ecstasy! So my question was: Wow! What kind of a brain/body is this that causes this sort of experience?
It was only after I came back to earth and started researching the mystical literature that I realized that the experience that I was having all the way back home had a name. It’s called samadhi in the ancient Sanskrit—the samadhi experience. That’s pretty wild!”
Here’s a video of him describing his experiences.