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December 24, 2012

P1060295

I recently heard someone, a scientist, refer to what they saw as ‘awe-inspiring’.

To inspire awe? It’s a common notion, even in this age where we know how everything works and are masters of our own kingdoms. Supposedly.

An off the shelf definition: magnificent, amazing, astonishing, awesome, breathtaking, grand, impressive, majestic, mind-blowing, remarkable, stunning, wonderful…

Wikipedia quotes “Awe is an emotion comparable to wonder but less joyous… an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extreme…”

It quotes Paul Pearsall “…a sense of connection with a startling universe that is usually far beyond the narrow band of our consciousness.  …the 11th emotion, beyond those now scientifically accepted (i.e., love, fear, sadness, embarrassment, curiosity, pride, enjoyment, despair, guilt, and anger).”

Ah ’emotion’, that old chestnut.

What would the world be like without emotion?

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