A movie trailer for awe

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“Performance philosopher” Jason Silva creates brightly colored, fast-moving films about ideas. At TEDGlobal 2012, Silva delved into the concept of radical openness. In this new short film, Silva explores another big question: Is feeling awestruck good for us? In the movie trailer-esque video, Silva quotes recent research by three Stanford professors, which found that having regular incidences of awe has residual benefits for an individual, including a greater sense of empathy and general well-being, not to mention a more expansive experience of time. Silva also brings up the work of psychologist Nicholas Humphrey, who suggests that awe has been advantageous in an evolutionary sense. Says Silva, “Our ability to awe has been biologically selected for by evolution because it imbues our lives with sense of cosmic significance that makes us work harder to persist and thrive.”

And with that, let’s take a moment to awe at Silva’s latest video.