Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The meaning of awe

Artist: Van Gogh

I think, perhaps, we have become strangers to awe or that we simply do not take the trouble to predispose ourselves to it. We so easily get immersed in the mudane to the point of becoming a bit jaded. Maybe the following sort of reflection would help:

We can never sneer at the stars, mock the dawn or scoff at the totality of being. Sublime grandeur evokes unhesitating, unflinching 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 the transcendence, for the reverence everywhere to the mystery beyond all things. It enables us to perceive in the world intimations of the divine; sense the ultimate in the common and the simple; to feel in the rush of the passing the stillness of the eternal.

-- Abraham Heschel


  1. Wow! That's awesome! ; ) Having once had a secretary who would say, "awesome" when I'd hand her a bulletin to be printed I just couldn't resist.

    Thanks for sharing Heschel's comments about "awe." His is a view that should be taught and learned by all who don't seem to have words for expressing the difference between experiencing fantastic sunset and ordering a coke at the local Subway.

  2. Ellie, I love the quote, and I agree.

  3. I am depressed. Can you send me money. Joe


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