The Case for Awe

Thanks to Ann Kreilkamp, who pointed to this little gem of a video on her blog ~ Exopermaculture ~ about the Power of Awe.

The Biological Advantage of Being Awestruck

Matt Ridley interviewed Nicholas Humphrey, the psychologist mentioned in the above video, in a March 2011 Wall Street Journal article, The Magical Mystery Show of Consciousness. Ridley asked Humphrey, “What is the point of being conscious?”

I love his answer: “To impress the soul.”

What he means is that being enchanted by the magic of experience provides a reason to live. Rather than being an aid to survival, consciousness provides an essential incentive to survive. Enchantment is itself "the biological advantage of being awestruck." Or, as the poet and Pooh creator A.A. Milne put it, "It's awful fun to be born at all." ~Source

In his book, Not in His Image, John Lash writes in his introduction: “The case for awe is also a case for humility. ‘Remain true to the earth’, Zarathustra implored. To stand in naked awareness in the presence of the earth, in silent knowing – this is awesome. Intimacy with the planet keeps us wild, undomesticated, unwilling to submit to social condition… Without vision, the people die. Without awe, we lack the humility to live and the strength to protect what we love, all that makes life worth living.”

When were you last awestruck?

My most recent granddaughter being born was for me, an awe-filled and yes,

humbling experience.

The Mighty Julia

The Mighty Julia!

And from micro to macro, as below, so above…

I’ve always loved Big Sky country and here in Northern Arizona, there’s plenty of it ~ amazing sunsets, deep sky stargazing, cloud dancing and the most thrilling thunderstorms you can imagine. During the seven years I lived out on the land east of Flagstaff, I was blessed with the most incredible sunsets I’ve ever seen in my life. But then, after the sunset show was over, the night sky theatre began and this is when the wonder truly spoke to my very soul. The night sky vistas out there, away from city lights are well, Awesome! In seven years of stargazing on that land, it was never anything less than magnificent to behold.

What impresses your soul?

May you always remain true to the earth

and live in humble awe of the profound gift of life.


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