Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The word wonder means two things that are, I believe, intricately connected. In the first place, wonder means to question, to be curious, or to search. It implies a journey towards something more than it implies a sense of absolute certainty or clarity. But in the second place, wonder is a synonym for the word awe. It means a sense of joyful bewilderment experienced when standing before something that is both utterly true and yet also utterly inexplicable. It means accepting, with genuine humility, just how small and powerless we are in the face of all that we cannot or will not understand or control. This awe is not to prevent us from asking, seeking or searching, but is precisely what makes us want to know more. Awe propels us into deeper things. This is why it's fair to say that wonder is the beginning of wisdom.