Quotes for
the Journey:

Awe


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

Matthew Fox

wonder

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

   
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
   

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

   
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
   

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

    

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

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

    
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
    

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

   

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

   

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

   

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

   

I stand in awe of my body.       -Henry David Thoreau

    

"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

    
   

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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
  
What 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 and wisdom of the child and the innocent to return to our awareness. . . . When we are filled with awe, we are at peace with the knowledge that we do not and cannot understand everything.  A peacefulness permeates our being, descending upon us with this knowledge.  Awe lets us glimpse the vastness of creation with the awareness that we are 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
  
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
  
There are in life a few moments so beautiful that even words are a sort of profanity.     -Diana Palmer
  
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
  
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
  
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
  
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
  
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
  
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
  
Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me.      -Immanuel Kant
  
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
  
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
  

   

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