Jason Silva will be presenting Hack Your Reality at Summerhill Winery, Oct. 17. - Contributed

Philosopher asks existential questions in Kelowna

Jason Silva will present Hack Your Reality Oct. 20 at Summerhill Winery

Futurist, philosopher and filmmaker Jason Silva is heading to Kelowna.

This will be the first time National Geographic’s BrainGames host will offer his perspective in a public format during his tour at the Hack Your Reality event at Summerhill Winery, Oct. 17.

“My presentations are a journey that walks you through my own response to the human condition. It’s based on this idea that what are we meant to do with our unique situation?” said Silva.

His presentations are inspired by American anthropologist Earnest Becker’s book Denial of Death.

“He was saying the source of human neuroses and existential dread… is that people are starved for meaning or purpose, which is obvious, but the question is why?” said Silva.

According to Becker, the source of anxiety and dread in humans is that no matter how successful we are, how creative, how rich, “we’re housed in heart-pumping, breath-gasping decaying bodies,” said Silva.

So, the question becomes “what are we meant to do with ourselves?” he said.

A media storyteller, Silva started creating short YouTube videos called Shots of Awe in an attempt to answer his own existential questions.

What he found were others who thought just like him, which made him feel less alone.

“When I say ‘hacking your reality’ it’s really saying ‘what are the things that we do in our lives… how do our creative and linguistic choices govern our experiences?’” said Silva.

Silva will start with his own response through videos where he said, people can empathize.

The talks will be broad-based to include general topics like technology, love, creativity and more.

Love, he said, is to put a person on a pedestal, making them divine.

“To fall in love, is for one person to take on a special meaning for you,” he said. “It is a religious problem ultimately, we’ve replaced this god in the sky and put them in the body of the person with the same results,” he said.

One of his first videos to go viral was one about love called Existential Bummer.

“No matter how holy, how divine our lovers are, they are tinged with a bit of sadness, the part of us that knows that we are temporarily lying to ourselves. It’s kind of like the part that’s aware that time will keep passing, that love will age and the bummer of that,” he said.

Silva believes we need our illusions, like the feeling of love, to keep us from going insane. “Our illusions are a healthy response to our situations.”

“Earnest Becker says people who are insane are suffering from the truth. So not to go mad is a form of madness, but a necessary form of madness,” he said.

These illusions prevent us from believing all is for nothing, he said.

“Just because I know love won’t last forever doesn’t mean I won’t consume the drug,” he said. “I like to inhabit both of these levels.”

The presentations are meant to share his viewpoints and not to be treated like answers to personal questions, he said.

Tickets are available online though Eventbrite.com.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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