Cultivate Awe

Hubble Telescope "Cat's Eye" Nebula

Hubble Telescope “Cat’s Eye” Nebula

Are we becoming harder to impress? Harder to fall into states of awe?

I guess technology has the potential to do this to us. As we advance, the ‘awe’someness that once was becomes mundane. We carry computers/TV’s/cameras in our pockets, we’ve been to the moon, we’ve looked into the far reaches of space.

But should we be any less moved by life today than we have in the past? At its core, life is still a complete mystery and amazingly ‘awe’some.

As the great Walt Whitman once said:

“As for me, I know nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under the trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love,
Or sleep in bed at night with any one I love,
Or watch honey bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon…
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown,
Or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring…
What stranger miracles are there?”

Life is awesome and we need to treat each and every second as the miracle that it is. We live at an amazing point in history when the advancements seem exponential. Growth is speeding along, but we should not let this numb us to the awe.

In fact, it is in the best interest of our minds, our spirit, and our health to cultivate awe as much as we possibly can.

The title of a new Stanford study tells us all we need to know: Awe Expands People’s Perception of Time, Alters Decision Making, and Enhances Well-Being.

Apparently, watching awe-inspiring vidoes makes you

  • less impatient,
  • more willing to volunteer time to help others,
  • more likely to prefer experiences over material products,
  • more present in the here and now, and
  • happier overall.

We all need to cultivate awe, and to get us started, here’s a great video about “The Biological Advantage of Being Awestruck” from Jason Silva.

I mentioned Jason in a post earlier this year. This dude is RAD. He is out there in such a great way. Will all of his ideas come true? Who cares? He’s making us think with his “shots of philosophic esspresso,” and the Dude digs. Keep on preaching Jason.


The Future is Amazing…According to Jason Silva

Have you heard of Jason Silva? Odds are you haven’t. This dude is out there…in an awesome way.

He’s a “performance philosopher” that is spreading some crazy, but great, ideas about what the future holds. And some mainstream publications are listening. Here’s a lengthy article from The Atlantic, and below is a video of a talk he did for The Economist.

Both are filled with wild ideas about the exponential growth and potential that we have as a planet.

Silva merges ideas from a lot of varied areas, and the majority of his thoughts center around the rapid advancement of technology, which in his mind seems to lead us to merging with technology. A singularity.

A technological singularity is not a new idea, but Jason’s fast-talking approach to “performance philosophy” is captivating. And while he just scratches the surface on all of the ideas he puts out there, it’s intriguing, and he paints a positive perspective of the world…which is nice to see these days.

It could be 90% BS, and all areas require additional research and contemplation, but this dude’s worth watching. If for no other reason than he can help us get excited about the lives we’re living and the potential we all have…whatever that means.

I haven’t made it through all of Jason’s “philosophical espresso” on his Vimeo channel, but the Dude will definitely be tuning in for some more wild ideas.