Awe

Things not only are what they are but also stand, however remotely, for something supreme. Awe is a sense for the 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.

How can the divine Oneness be seen? In beautiful forms, breathtaking wonders, awe-inspiring miracles? The Tao is not obliged to present itself in this way. If you are willing to be lived by it, you will see it everywhere, even in the most ordinary things.

We feel God present in nature, whether in its awe or its beauty; and in human history, whether in its justice or its weird mysteriousness; and in the life of a good man, or the circumstances of a generous or noble act. Most of all we feel Him near when conscience, His inward messenger, speaks plainly and decisively to us.

The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring - the earth from here is a vast ovation to the big vastness of space.

In Totalitaria, jails and concentration camps by the score are built in order to provoke fear and awe among the population… In these centers of fear, nobody is really corrected; he is, as it were, expelled from humanity, wasted, killed – but too quickly, lest the terrorizing influence be diminished. The truth of the matter is that these jails are built not for real criminals, but rather for their terrorizing effect on the bystanders, the citizens of Totalitaria.

Contemplation is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life... It is gratitude for life, for awareness and for being. It is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being proceed from an invisible, transcendent and infinitely abundant Source.

To the reverent scientist… the simplest features of the world about us are in themselves so awe-inspiring that there seems no need to seek new and greater miracles as evidences of God’s care.

In the end, we must always return to our beliefs. From the mundane to the mystical, they inform us about reality and they shape our future lives. And if the ultimate reality remains a mystery, so much the better, for it is the questions that give us meaning, that drive us forward and fill us with transcendent awe.

Transcendent, mystical, and spiritual experiences have a real biological component. The neurological changes that occur during meditation disrupt the normal processes of the brain – perceptually, emotionally, and linguistically – in ways that make the experience indescribable, awe-inspiring, unifying, and indelibly real. In fact, the intensity of such experiences often gives the practitioner a sense that a different or higher level of reality exists beyond our everyday perceptions of the world.

Fear is the anticipation and expectation of evil or pain, as contrasted with hope which is the anticipation of good. Awe, on the other hand, is the sense of wonder and humility inspired by the sublime or felt in the presence of mystery. Fear is “a surrender of the succors which reason offers,” awe is the acquisition of insights which the world holds in store for us. Awe, unlike fear, does not make us shrink from the awe-inspiring object, but, on the contrary, draws us near to it. That is why awe is compatible with both love and joy.

The roots of ultimate insights are found not on the level of discursive thinking, but on the level of wonder and radical amazement, in the depth of awe, in our sensitivity to the mystery, in our awareness of the ineffable. It is the level on which the great things happen to the soul, where the unique insights of art, religion, and philosophy come into being.

Three correlative pairs: the sublime and wonder, mystery and awe, the glory and faith.

If death is one mystery, life is another, greater one… We can only fee awe before a mystery that both is what we are and surpasses our understanding.

The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is good as dead.

Respect is not fear and awe; it...is the ability to see a person as he is, to be aware of his unique individuality. Respect, thus, implies the absence of exploitation. I want the loved person to grow and unfold for his own sake, and in his own ways, and not for the purpose of serving me.

Ideas, when vented in a book, carry with them a kind of dignity and certainty which awe many into implicit belief.

The mind of the thinker and the student is driven to admit, though it be awe-struck by apparent injustice, that this inequality is the work of God. Make all men equal today, and God has so created them that they shall be all unequal tomorrow.

We cannot banish dangers, but we can banish fears. We must not demean life by standing in awe of death.

One wonders whether a generation that demands satisfaction of all its needs and instant solutions of the world's problems will produce anything of lasting value. Such a generation, even when equipped with the most modern technology, will be essentially primitive - it will stand in awe of nature, and submit to the tutelage of medicine men.

The conqueror is regarded with awe, the wise man commands our esteem, but it is the benevolent man who wins our affection.