An Education in Wonder; Wednesday Wisdom

“We teach the children how to measure, how to weigh.  We fail to teach them how to revere, how to sense wonder and awe.  The sense for the sublime, the sign of the inward greatness of the human soul and something which is potentially given to all men, is now a rare gift.  Yet without it, the world becomes flat and the soul a vacuum.”

“Among the many things that religious tradition holds in store for us is a legacy of wonder.  The surest way to suppress our ability to understand the meaning of God and the importance of worship is to take things for granted.  Indifference to the sublime wonder of living is the root of sin.”

“To the prophets wonder is a form of thinking.  It is not the beginning of knowledge but an act that goes beyond knowledge; it does not come to an end when knowledge is acquired; it is an attitude that never ceases.  There is no answer in the world to man’s radical amazement.”

“As civilization advances, the sense of wonder declines.  Such decline is an alarming symptom of our state of mind.  Mankind will not perish for want of information; but only for want of appreciation.  The beginning of our happiness lies in the understanding that life without wonder is not worth living.  What we lack is not a will to believe but a will to wonder.”

–Abraham Joshua Heschel, God In Search of Man

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