Sunday, November 15, 2009

All you need is Awe and Humility – Finding the Right Attitude towards Life's Marvels

Winged Fortuna handing out gold and riches

On various occasions I cannot help but think that life is so much bigger than me. By life, I mean all the marvelous things that surround us. The simple state of being, the act of thinking, the astonishment and gratefulness we feel when contemplating natural beauty, the elements of friendship and love: All of these sometimes - on those rare moments of clarity - combine to a state of profound and deep-rooted happiness, a joy that is not necessarily related to an external event, but to how we regard and recognize the intricacies and interplay of life's forces.

All this accumulates to cause a sense of awe within. It is a state of wonder; it is seeing the spirit behind natural phenomena. I think it is not necessarily a religious attitude because it can be easily applied to science and scientific thinking as well. It is a childish amazement and curiosity when one finds out how things work or fit together, how one piece connects with another, that moment of discovery or illumination.

Throughout history, various philosophers and thinkers have tried to use the teleological argument to explain the masterful work of a deity or God who has created and designed everything and all perfectly. Yet this awareness transcends religious beliefs and convictions, and you could still feel this awe without recourse to any benevolent conscious Creator. You can refer to it as life force or energy, but the true essence of the matter still remains the same.

This awe would ideally lead to a state of humility. I see humility as the counterpoint of arrogance. There is so much we still don't know, and we as humans are a tiny fraction of all that surrounds us. We are part of it, yes, but we are not the whole itself.

The aforementioned deity or life force is always stronger because it has not only created, but in fact it maintains and sustains us. The breath of life or spirit can leave us at any moment regardless of how much wealth, knowledge or strength you may have.

So much is outside of ourselves and of our limited scope; it is something we often experience in our daily lives. It does not mean that we are slaves; it only shows that our powers are limited compared to the powers that filter from the great beyond.

1 comment:

Claude said...

Awe is easy. Life's Marvels (in any area) uplift our spirit, and give us a sense of well-being, une raison d'être.

Humility is harder to achieve. To accept being only a little speck of dust in the great scheme of things doesn't naturally appeal to human beings. It could be depressing.

Yet, it's very liberating. The burden of having to correct what could be wrong (to our eyes) is lifted up from our shoulders. Humility increases the wonder of what we discover, keeps our curiosity alive for what is still to come and annihilates our fears of the unknown. Not having to fight for my rightful place in the universe gives me a great feeling of serenity.

Thank you for your post. I was sent here by the blog Omnium. I'm very grateful.