Engaging in awe can actually have pragmatic effects of letting go of what you assume to be true already, enabling you to sit with difference.
So much of adult life is about learning the rules and then using those rules to navigate the world. We become certain that we know what we know — that we’re right, and we’re safer and more secure that way. But certainty, argues neuroscientist Beau Lotto, might actually be one of society’s biggest sources of emotional and physical unwellness. Certainty causes us to have less humility, less creativity, and less tolerance for difference. But occasionally, something amazing knocks us out of those patterns — we’re awestruck. Is it possible to use awe as a tool to make us more open, tolerant people? In Lotto’s talk from Aspen Ideas: Health, he walks us through how that effect actually works in our brains, and shares what he’s learned from researching the topic at his Lab of Misfits, where he’s founder and CEO.