The Biological Advantage of Being Awestruck – by @JasonSilva from Jason Silva on Vimeo.

This video was created by @JasonSilva and shot and edited with my friends at Bravo Media, and is non-commercial and for educational and inspirational purposes only. Full credits and clip attributions can be found below. This video was inspired by three big ideas:

1) The ideas of psychologist Nicholas Humphrey who has written of “THE BIOLOGICAL ADVANTAGE OF BEING AWESTRUCK”. Basically, our ability to awe was biologically selected for by evolution because it imbues our lives with sense of cosmic significance that has resulted in a species that works harder not just to survive but to flourish and thrive…

“Humphrey refers to consciousness as a magic show that you stage for yourself inside your head, which lights up the world and makes you feel special and transcendent… this magical theater provides a reason to live, a love of occupying the present moment, and a desire to sustain it into the future, that over time has proved stronger than anything else, and accounts for humanity’s swift and triumphant success–

Humphrey says “being enchanted by the magic of experience, rather than being just an aid to survival, provides an essential incentive to survive.”

“We relish just being here. We feel “the yen to confirm and renew, in small ways or large, our own occupancy of the present moment, to go deeper, to extend it, to revel in being there, and when we have the skill, to celebrate it in words..”

Our desire to understand brings exquisite pleasure… and feeds our exploratory voyage, our scientific inquiry, our technological development, and even our poetic self-regard..

More: online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703858404576214771893335998.html

2) The Stanford study that found that AWE is clinically good for you, expanding perception of time, increasing compassion and empathy and promoting well being:

More: theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/07/study-awe-inspiring-experiences-change-our-perception-of-time/260138/

3) Ross Andersen’s rapturous meditation on the ontological awakening of our psyches provided by the Hubble Space Telescope: “At first glancing the Deep FIELD “one might mistake it for gemstones scattered across black velvet, but a closer look reveals that each smudge of light, 2,600 in all, is a galaxy dense with billions of star-fired worlds, pinwheeling in deep time. … To that point, astronomy had imaged objects only four billion light years away, and poorly at that. Here a telescope reached 11 and a half billion light years into space and delivered an image legible to the layman: an unprecedented expansion of human vision.”

More: lareviewofbooks.org/article.php?id=331

**Music by John Murphy – “Kaneda’s Death Pt 2″ from Sunshine Soundtrack

**Featuring Stock Footage from Shutterstock
Still images courtesy of THE IMAGINARY FOUNDATION – imaginaryfoundation.com/
And clips from Knate Myers’ “ISS at Night” featuring NASA images: vimeo.com/45878034

Camera: Liam O’ Sullivan
Edited by Jess Betz and Jason Silva
Shot and edited at BRAVO MEDIA – bravomediainc.com/

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