The first act of awe, when a person was
struck with the beauty or wonder of
Nature, was the first spiritual experience.

Henryk Skolimowski

Awe enables us to see in the world intimations of the divine, to sense in small things the beginning of infinite significance, 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

I 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 that I'd gotten too caught up in distractions and mind mucking to recognize anything as awe-inspiring. . . . I hadn't been paying attention to the beauty around me.

Sue Patton Thoele
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.

Susan Santucci

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.

John Milton
I stand in awe of my body.

Henry David Thoreau


I am mentally preparing myself for the five-year-old mind.
I want to come down to their physical limitations
and up to their sense of wonder and awe.

Shinichi Suzuki


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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.

Bill Clinton


The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is
the source of all true art and all science.  They to whom this emotion
is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in
awe, are as good as dead: their eyes are closed.

Albert Einstein


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.

Thomas Aquinas


Religious awe is the same organic thrill which
we feel in a forest at twilight, or in a mountain gorge.

William James


Think with awe on the slow and quiet power of time.

Friedrich Schiller


Mountains inspire awe in any human
person who has a soul.  They
remind us of our frailty, our
unimportance, of the briefness
of our span upon this earth.  They
touch the heavens, and sail serenely
at an altitude beyond even the
imaginings of a mere mortal.

Elizabeth Aston


Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me.

Immanuel Kant


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Awe is the beginning of wisdom.
Awe is the beginning of education.

Matthew Fox


The 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 poetry
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 us
that the time we have for living is quite finite.

Richard Dawkins
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.

Michael Goddart


For thousands of years, it had been nature--and its supposed creator--
that had had a monopoly on awe. It had been the icecaps, the deserts,
the volcanoes and the glaciers that had given us a sense of finitude and
limitation and had elicited a feeling in which fear and respect coagulated
into a strangely pleasing feeling of humility, a feeling which the
philosophers of the eighteenth century had famously termed the sublime.
   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 powerfully be
invoked not by forests or icebergs but by supercomputers, rockets and
particle accelerators. We were now almost exclusively amazed by ourselves.

Alain de Botton
The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work


We must never lose our sense of awe at the magnificence of our planet.



The 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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We teach children how to measure and how to weigh.  We
fail to teach them how to revere, how to sense wonder and awe.

Harold Kushner

I felt deep within me that the highest point a person can attain is not
Knowledge, or Virtue, or Goodness, or Victory, but something
even greater, more heroic and more despairing:  Sacred Awe!

Nikos Kazantzakis
Zorba the Greek


How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded,
“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 Universe as
revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of
reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.

Carl Sagan
Pale Blue Dot


There are in life a few moments so beautiful that
even words are a sort of profanity.

Diana Palmer
We 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.

Wendell Berry
The Art of the Commonplace

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I 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."

Madeleine L'Engle



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