Wednesday, January 21, 2009


As you will be aware I read an eclectic variety of publications. In 'Psychologies' magazine, I was reading an article on 'awe'. Supposedly a neglected emotion. I don't think it was neglected yesterday, after Obama's speach everyone was saying they were in 'awe'.

Awe has been connected with mysticism and religion in the past but the article argues that it is an innate experience that we all experience, atheists or otherwise.

The article states:

"Awe means feeling more totally and completely alive than we thought possible'

Whatever it means or implies, it is certainly something we need more of.

One of the benefits of awe is a deeper sense of humility. When we experience or glimpse something more significant than ourselves it is a great antidote to self-absorption. It also means that when times aren't as good we can return to that moment of awe to increase our resilience.

6 signs of awe:

1. Experiencing a sense of vastness that exceeds our imagination.

2. Feelings of fear beyond the level of surprise sometimes elevated to the level of dread.

3. Physiological changes including goosebumps, chills, increase in heartbeat.

4. Feeling a diminished sense of self, experiencing a blurring of boundaries between self and other.

5. A focus on what exists externally rather than internally.

6. An intense desire to connect with whatever inspired awe and to make a committment to more caring relationships with others and the world in general.

Some people have said that this sense of 'mystic experience' either proves God or disproves God because it seems to be in-built for us but whatever the reason behind it - go out and find it!

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