Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the morallaw within me. ~ Immanuel Kant
I would make Reason my guide, but she should sometimes sit Patiently by the way-side, while I traced
The mazes of the pleasant wilderness
Around me. She should be my counsellor,
But not my tyrant. For the spiritneeds
Impulses from a deeper source than hers,
And there are motions, in the mind of man,
That she must look upon with awe. I bow
Reverently to her dictates, but not less
Hold to the fair illusions of old time —
lllusions that shed brightness over life,
And glory over nature.
I had an experience... I can't prove it, I can't even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real! I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever... A vision of the universe that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how … rare, and precious we all are! A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater than ourselves, that we are not — that none of us — are alone! … I wish I could share that. I wish, that everyone, if only for one moment, could feel that awe, and humility, and hope. But … that continues to be my wish.
There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts.
In our reflection we must go back to where we stand in awe before sheer being, faced with the marvel of the moment. The world is not just here. It shocks us into amazement.
Of being itself all we can positively say is: being is ineffable. The heart of being confronts me as enigmatic, incompatible with my categories, sheer mystery. My power of probing is easily exhausted, my words fade, but what I sense is not emptiness but inexhaustible abundance, ineffable abundance. What I face I cannot utter or phrase in language. But the richness of my facing the abundance of being endows me with marvelous reward: a sense of the ineffable.
We manipulate what is available on the surface of the world; we must also stand in awe before the mystery of the world. We objectify Being but we also are present at Being in wonder, in radical amazement.
All we have is a sense of awe and radical amazement in the face of a mystery that staggers our ability to sense it.
Awe is more than an emotion; it is a way of understanding, insight into a meaning greater than ourselves. The beginning of awe is wonder, and the beginning of wisdom is awe. Awe is an intuition for the dignity of all things, a realization that things not only are what they are but also stand, however remotely, for something supreme. Awe is a sense for transcendence, for the reference everywhere to mystery beyond all things. It enables us to perceive 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. What we cannot comprehend by analysis, we become aware of in awe.
Knowledge is fostered by curiosity; wisdom is fostered by awe. Awe precedes faith; it is the root of faith. We must be guided by awe to be worthy of faith.
Forfeit your sense of awe, let your conceit diminish your ability to revere, and the world becomes a market place for you. The loss of awe is the avoidance of insight. A return to reverence is the first prerequisite for a revival of wisdom, for the discovery of the world as an allusion to God.
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. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.