Whenever we explore anything, we learn much more about ourselves. This is true of physical exploration, but it is also true of mental and spiritual exploration. We should not limit our understanding of this topic to the exploration of physical space, whether on the Earth or beyond.
When our minds get locked into one way of viewing the world, and that becomes the filter through which we process everything, exploration ends. Moreover, we find ourselves in conflict with others who may have locked into another ideology or theology. Exploration and open-mindedness are the solutions to these challenges.
This is a key element in the outer space/inner space interface and one of its potential contributions to human evolution. Exploration created a dynamic and ever-evolving society (or person), whereas a restriction on this vital human experience will result in stagnation and lack of resilience.
So the outer space/inner space interface is a very important element in human evolution, indeed in evolution as a general principle. It needs much more analysis and exploration so that we can do away with the false dichotomy that leads to statements like, "We shouldn't use resources to go into space until we have dealt with the problems of Earth."
In fact, as we know, the Earth is in space, it has always been in space, and it will always be in space. It cannot be anywhere else. So the two (Earth and Space) are connected in ways that we are only beginning to grasp.
(c) Copyright, Frank White, 2016, All Rights Reserved
The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution is available at aiaa.org and amazon.com