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 in not worth living. What we lack is not a will to believe but a will to wonder. Radical amazement has a wider scope than any other act of man. While any act of perception or cognition has as its object a selected segment of reality, radical amazement refers to all of reality; not only to what we see, but also to the very act of seeing as well as to our selves, to the selves that see and are amazed at their ability to see. -Abraham Joshua Heschel
Suggested Discussion Questions:
1. These words of Heschel's have become famous. What does he mean exactly?
2. How would your life be different if you carried this consciousness with you on a daily basis?
Time Period: Contemporary (The Yom Kippur War until the present-day)