Therapist weighs in on why people are drawn to the solar eclipse

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Monday, April 8, 2024
Therapist weighs in on why people are drawn to the solar eclipse
Licensed therapist Dr. George James explains why people are so drawn in to watching the solar eclipse.

Many of us stepped outside to marvel at the solar eclipse that took place overhead Monday afternoon.

But are we just starstruck or is there a deeper meaning at play? Dr. George James says it's both.

"There's something about a solar eclipse that says there's something bigger than us in the galaxy," he said. "And also this thought of something that doesn't happen for many years that now is going to happen, and we don't want to miss out."

In layman's terms, the "FOMO" or "fear of missing out" is real, and Dr. James says people will have stories that begin with: "I was here or there when the solar eclipse happened."

That connectivity ties into a sociological concept called "collective effervescence." That's when humans come together over a shared experience, and the energy created is greater than the sum of its parts. It's similar to attending a large sporting event or a concert.

Dr. James says it's that sense that magnifies human emotions.

"That also builds bonds and memories and connections. Stories where we can say remember that time?"

Dr. James says we're not too old to be building core memories either. Especially if you have a little one, this experience will be a core memory for them.

And because you're in that memory, you remember that feeling and carry that with you too.

So he says, essentially, the eclipse reminds us that we're not just part of something bigger, but also all connected.