first act of awe, when a person was
with the beauty or wonder of
was the first spiritual experience.
Awe enables us to see in the world intimations
of the divine,
to sense in small things the beginning of
to sense the ultimate in the common and
the simple, to feel
in the rush of the passing the stillness
of the eternal.
Abraham Joshua Heschel
was struck by the fact that I hadn't been awed in a
while. Did that mean
awesome things had disappeared from
my life? No.
What it did mean was
I'd gotten too
caught up in distractions and mind mucking
as awe-inspiring. . . . I hadn't been paying
attention to the beauty around me.
Watch for glimpses of the divine order.
Find those experiences,
sights, and sounds which fill you with
awe. Any experience
met with awe can be spiritual:
a safari through an animal
kingdom, taking in a sunset, a hike
to an awesome mountaintop.
reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday
those transcendent moments of awe that change forever
experience life and the world.
stand in awe of my body.
I am mentally preparing myself for the
I want to come down to their physical
and up to their sense of wonder and awe.
people behind the words
Two - Year Three
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We should, all of us, be filled with gratitude
and humility for
our present progress and prosperity. We
should be filled with
awe and joy at what lies over the
horizon. And we should be
filled with absolute determination
to make the most of it.
The most beautiful thing we
can experience is
mysterious. It is
of all true art and all
science. They to whom this emotion
is a stranger, who can
longer pause to wonder
and stand rapt in
good as dead:
their eyes are closed.
Because philosophy arises from awe, a
philosopher is bound
in his or her way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables.
Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder.
awe is the same organic thrill which
we feel in a forest at twilight, or in a mountain gorge.
with awe on the slow and quiet power of time.
inspire awe in any human
person who has a soul. They
remind us of our frailty, our
unimportance, of the briefness
span upon this earth. They
touch the heavens, and sail
altitude beyond even the
imaginings of a mere mortal.
Two things awe me most,
the starry sky above me and the moral law within me.
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is the beginning of wisdom.
Awe is the beginning of education.
feeling of awed wonder that science can give us is one of the
highest experiences of which the human psyche is capable.
It is a
deep aesthetic passion to rank with the finest that music and
can deliver. It is truly one of the things that make
life worth living
and it does so, if anything, more effectively if it convinces
that the time we have for living is quite finite.
Unweaving the Rainbow
"Awe" is just a word to
denote a quality of spirituality that cannot be
described. It's a noble emotion of wonder.
It's having your mind blown while getting a glimmer of
the unfathomableness of God. It's getting an
understanding of who you are, individually and in the
larger scheme of things. It's catching a ray of
knowing the answer to where you come from and where
you are going. Getting closer to the answers of
these questions is receiving a peek of how exalted
things are. And it's a promise of what can come.
If you believe that you feel awe, even if you're
not really sure, just concentrate on it. Awe is
an evolving feeling that becomes more profound and
more full of wonder as your spirituality becomes
focused and mature. The answers, as inarticulate
as they may be, grow with the gathering of your
spirituality. For now, feel awe if you have any
deepening convictions about your spirituality.
These convictions may be that you can come to know
yourself, that there is an eternal power that is the
All-Knowing Creative Power, that you've had an inkling
that you can come to know God. Whatever
convictions come now, love them, and when you ponder
these questions, let yourself move with the awe.
thousands of years, it had been nature--and its supposed
that had had a monopoly on awe. It had been the icecaps, the
the volcanoes and the glaciers that had given us a sense of
limitation and had elicited a feeling in which fear and
into a strangely pleasing feeling of humility, a feeling which
philosophers of the eighteenth century had famously termed the
But then had come a transformation to which we
were still the heirs. . . .
Over the course of the nineteenth century, the dominant
catalyst for that
feeling of the sublime had ceased to be nature. We were now
deep in the
era of the technological sublime, when awe could most
invoked not by forests or icebergs but by supercomputers,
particle accelerators. We were now almost exclusively amazed
Alain de Botton
The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work
We must never lose our
sense of awe at the magnificence of our planet.
very act of planting a seed in the earth has in
it to me something beautiful. I always do it
with a joy that is largely mixed with awe.
Celia Laighton Thaxter
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children how to measure and how to weigh. We
to teach them how to revere, how to sense wonder and awe.
deep within me that the highest point a person can attain is
Knowledge, or Virtue, or Goodness, or Victory, but something
even greater, more heroic and more despairing: Sacred
Zorba the Greek
is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and
“This is better than we thought! The Universe is much
bigger than our
prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant?”
Instead they say,
“No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to
stay that way.” A
religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the
revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth
reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.
Pale Blue Dot
in life a few moments so beautiful that
even words are a sort
have lived by the assumption that what was good for us
would be good for the world. And this has been based
on the even flimsier assumption that we could know
with any certainty what was good even for us. We have
fulfilled the danger of this by making our personal
pride and greed the standard of our behavior toward
the world--to the incalculable disadvantage of the
world and every living thing in it. And now, perhaps
very close to too late, our great error has become
clear. It is not only our own creativity--our own
capacity for life--that is stifled by our arrogant
assumption; the creation itself is stifled.
We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that
it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption
that what is good for the world will be good for us.
And that requires that we make the effort to know the
world and to learn what is good for it. We must learn
to cooperate in its processes, and to yield to its
limits. But even more important, we must learn to
acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we
will never entirely understand it. We must abandon
arrogance and stand in awe. We must recover the sense
of the majesty of creation, and the ability to be
worshipful in its presence. For I do not doubt that it
is only on the condition of humility and reverence
before the world that our species will be able to
remain in it.
The Art of the Commonplace
an absolutely precious state awe is! When we are in awe,
we approach the grandeur of the knowledge of our place in the
universe. In experiencing awe, we allow the brilliance
of the child and the innocent to return to our awareness. . .
we are filled with awe, we are at peace with the knowledge
do not and cannot understand everything. A peacefulness
our being, descending upon us with this knowledge. Awe
glimpse the vastness of creation with the awareness that we
part of it. Awe is a knowledge that transcends
understanding. . . .
If we have trouble feeling awe, children are sometimes willing
to help us.
Anne Wilson Schaef
Meditations for Living in Balance
share Einstein's affirmation that anyone who is not lost in
rapturous awe at the power and glory of the mind behind
the universe "is as good as a burnt out candle."