Open Your Eyes: We Can Fly



JASON SILVA: Now I'm fascinated by airplanes.

Aviation is an engineering miracle,

a form of divine engineering.

Alain de Botton beautifully talked

about the awe-inspiring rapture one

feels when one bears witness to the power of a jet engine,

to the power of a flying machine.

And I remember the first I saw the A380 this hit me home.

But Alain de Botton says nothing prepares

you or the sense of agility and self-possession

of a jet airplane.

No structure of compare the size-- a building

or a cathedral-- can compare to that feeling of freedom,

of exhilaration that machine promises.

He talks about walking through a corridor that will lead you

onto a craft that will take you somewhere

where no one knows your name.

It becomes a kind of ontological journey.

It becomes a journey of self-realization,

of soaring above ones limits.

The jet airplane literalizes the human goal

of transcending our limitation.

It's always a symbolic journey.

Airlines don't realize this.

People talk about how the enchantment of flying,

the magic of flying, has faded.

And people are so bored.

Because they're closing their windows.

They're afraid to look out.

They're afraid to bear witness to what is possible.

Look at the appeal of those screens in the airports

with the promise of destinations of spaces of happiness,

places where the answers might lie.

Alain de Botton beautifully talks about it.

Thing of the imaginative allure or Paris,

of Amsterdam, of the Czech Republic, of Cape Town.

On my god these places sing.

They sing to us.

They beckon.

This is the power of these transcendent machines.

And we need to just open our eyes a little bit.

This is a daily reminder every day of what's possible.

This is who we are.

These are our technological skins, our scaffoldings.

We have wings, people.

We may be flawed stumbling primates.

But when we work together we are primates that can fly.

Hey guys, you want to take a look at Shots of Awe

behind the scenes, how it all comes to life?

Well then check out this episode I

shot on Seeker Stories, which explores my daily rituals