I didn’t know who Jason Silva was until about a couple of months ago. Someone shared a video of his “Shots of Awe” series on Facebook and my life changed. I was perplexed with awe – so well done Mr. Silva, because I had to reconfigure my thinking in such ways that it led to the culmination of a very dark moment in my life, and gave birth to a moment of self-love, self-acceptance, increased empathy, and compassion. I had what you call “an ontological awakening”.
I often speak about my reluctance to say “the universe is talking to me” because it sounds kind of dull… it sounds like the kind of thing Kim K could say about finding a purse that matches her mood: “The universe is totally talking to me, saying I should spend enough money to feed a starving village on a purse”. And I don’t relate to that kind of thinking process. But things in my life keep happening, coincidences that I believe I am a co-author of… things that could only happen with help of the universe. Getting to know Jason Silva’s work is one of them.
I know I constantly talk about this on my posts but I had a nasty breakup last year. I bring this up over, and over, and over again not because I am unable to get over it but because it was so painful that it has shaped who I am as a person. I am a different person now because of it. It is a part of my story, a transcendent one. It was a milestone in my life. This event was a trigger that unveiled a lot of things inside me that were broken and needed fixing. At first, I thought of it as a nightmare, but now I think of it as a miracle.
I’ve been seeing a therapist for a while now and I have discovered amazing things about myself in our sessions… things I already knew but seemed difficult to fully understand because in the beautiful complexity of my flawed self there were so many things happening inside me, weaving entangled scenarios that I couldn’t untangle by myself. I realized I felt like an outcast. I realized I’ve been living my life trying to mold myself into what others expect of me. I’ve been taught that I am too much of many “conflicting things” for my own good.
My mind is a train that never stops. I’m always curious, wondering, connecting dots, looking for patterns and trying to make sense of things… of me, of my reality, of the realities that are all around me. I’m always trying to get the “overview effect” Jason talks about in his series. Because of that, I’m someone who is constantly seen as too intense, too risky, too “self-absorbed”, too romantic, too ‘out of this world’ – always trying to express myself and put all these magical patterns I see out there for the world to see.
But I like who I am. I like being this way. I like people that do it. They inspire me. It makes me feel alive, and it gives a sense of purpose and meaning to my life. I hardly ever meet someone who gets as excited as me with ideas. And while I was having all these epiphanies, Jason Silva came into my life, and he represented some kind of hope – knowing that there are people out there who are just like me. He is undeniably much more cultured and educated than me. But that’s not the point. The thing is ‘it gets one, to see one’. I’ve been moving around all my life, making friends and falling in love, looking for my people, looking for my kind… trying to ease my longing for belonging… trying to save myself from my sense of separateness.
I am grateful. I believe I am lucky to live in this world, where boundaries are broken every day. This world in which technology has brought us all together, in which it dissolves geographical limits, giving us access to people all around the globe. I have never physically met Jason, and I probably never will… but because of his projects and his work I was able to connect with him. He has a gift, and he’s giving it to the world, to me. And while he doesn’t know who I am, he has helped me realize that I am not alone. That there are more of us out there. He has given me hope.
The other day I had one of those nights when your mind can’t stop and sleep seems like such a foreign task. I stayed awake until 7 am reading, writing, watching videos and acting like a detective solving a murder case. I watched tons of videos on Youtube, many of them of Jason Silva, and I felt something indescribable as I realized he was constantly talking about things I always think about, arriving at the same conclusions and citing so many people I often cite, connecting the same ideas I connect and helping me find the right words to accurately describe concepts that often seem so abstract to me that I just can’t find the right language to express them … he uses these words I’ve been needing in my vocabulary: numinous, ecstatic, ontological… It got to a point where I hugged my laptop (Yeah, I actually hugged my laptop, I am not kidding) and I felt this rush, experiencing these ‘You totally get it man!’ kind of moments.
I am very grateful for his work. He is one of the many people who has touched my life with their work. He inspires me. I talk a lot about a deep belief I have, which is that the responsible and moral answer to consumption is production: science, art, you name it. That’s how progress works. That’s how life becomes infinite. That’s how we keep humanity alive, by honoring those that came before us and giving something new to those that will come after. This is why I feel a moral responsibility to humanity whenever someone inspires me. I feel like it is only fair to take if what you have been given will be used to construct something new, in hopes that you can inspire someone else too. In fact, this is what this blog is all about. This is me, trying to make sense of my story, trying to share the universe inside my head, putting it out there, out of its safe but lonely and isolated place, so that maybe someone will hear my story and feel like he or she is not alone.
I know it is weird – maybe – that I speak so passionately about someone I barely know, and who has absolutely no idea who I am. And I know it is weird because I have experienced it myself – strangers having a sudden feeling of closeness to you. This blog started out as an experiment last year and one of my posts went viral – I think (1,000,000 views within a week). It was kind of a one-hit wonder, in my opinion.
I am bilingual, Spanish being my native language, and English the one I learned in school since I was 3… so I write in English and Spanish. The post that went viral is called “No me digas nena”, which translates to “Don’t call me babe”. Since then I have been exploring my creative life trusting that following my bliss will ultimately lead me to find purpose and meaning. I think of myself as a madwoman. I gave up a steady job to pursue a life of productivity found in feeding my hunger for knowledge and letting my curiosity lead the way. Now I have a part time job that I like, with a steady income that’s about half of what I used to earn, but in my spare time I get to do things I love, I get to freelance here and there, and most of the months I earn almost as much as I used to in my other job.
Since I started blogging, a lot of people have reached out to me, especially people who get to my blog through my ‘viral’ post. These are mostly people I don’t know, most of them speak Spanish, and live in places like Mexico, Spain, Venezuela, Peru, and Colombia, to name a few. They have shared their stories with me, and I am forever grateful for that. And as weird as it may still feel sometimes, I get it. I understand why they contact me and tell me all these things. It is amazing to know that maybe, my stories and my blog have inspired them in some way remotely close to the way I have found inspiration in other people’s work. There have been many brilliant minds that have expanded my perception with their work, but right now … right now Mr. Jason Silva is my man.
So thank you, dude. Thank you, Jason, for taking the plunge, for answering the call. Thank you for being bold, for transcending the “reality tunnel”. People might call us insane, but now I know I am not alone, I am not the only one listening to the music.
I’ll leave you guys one of my favorite episodes of “Shots of Awe”. I hope it speaks to your inner madman/woman. I hope it inspires you to be bold, to live life in a way that makes you happy.