Wonder of Being
What it is that dwelleth here,
I know not.
But my heart stands in awe
And the tears trickle down.
11th Century, Japan
My subject is wonder, and my starting point so obvious it often escapes us. It is me, sitting at a table looking out on the world. It is the fact that I exist, that there is anything at all. It is the givenness that astonishes: the fact that the mountains, the larch tree, the gentian, the jay, exist, and that someone called me is here to observe them. It is what the Cambridge philosopher Wittgenstein called 'existential wonder', and there is nowhere else to begin. Not with theories of the Big Bang, nor with what subatomic physics tells us of the nature of matter, but with the most disarming fact of all: the world is and it might not have been. It is: I am. That is the first wonder: what do we make of it? Michael Mayne, "This Sunrise Of Wonder"
Let him who seeks not cease till he finds; and when he finds he will be astonished, and when he is astonished he will marvel, and will be king over all. Gospel According to Thomas
When you eventually see through the veils to how things really are, you will keep saying again and again, This is certainly not like we thought it was! Rumi
Roo went into a corner and practised jumping out at himself. A.A. Milne, "The House At Pooh Corner"
And he that sat upon the throne said, "Behold I make all things new." St. John the Divine
Why is there anything at all? Why is there so much as a twinge or a
tingle of consciousness, or a speck of a speck of matter? Why isn't
there just nothing whatever? Does the miraculous (no, impossible!)
uprush of the Self-originating One from primordial chaos and darkest
night, without help or reason - hoisting Himself into existence by his
own non-existent bootstraps - astound and delight you? If so, I can
assure you that it is you as Him, and certainly not you as Jane or
Henry or whoever, who are amazed, who are filled with admiration, who
jump for joy into the very special Joy that's born of that very special
and never-ceasing Miracle. The "impossible" Miracle of his
Self-creation, after which the creation of billions of universes, all
going strong, is nothing special, a matter of routine. Douglas Harding. Article: "God."
The fact of my own existence as I write, as I exist at this second, is
so marvellous, so miracle-like, strange, and supernatural to me, that I
unhesitatingly conclude I am always on the margin of life illimitable,
and that there are higher conditions than existence. Everything around is supernatural; everything so full of unexplained meaning. Richard Jefferies, "The Story of my Heart" (1883)