Awe

Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey has proposed that our ability to awe was biologically selected for by evolution because it imbues our lives with sense of cosmic significance that has resulted in a species that works harder not just to survive but to flourish and thrive.

Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey has proposed that our ability to awe was biologically selected for by evolution because it imbues our lives with sense of cosmic significance that has resulted in a species that works harder not just to survive but to flourish and thrive.

Erik Davis says, "Humphrey refers to consciousness as a magic show that you stage for yourself inside your head, which lights up the world and makes you feel special and transcendent... this magical theater provides a reason to live, a love of occupying the present moment, and a desire to sustain it into the future, that over time has proved stronger than anything else, and accounts for humanity's swift and triumphant success--

Humphrey says "being enchanted by the magic of experience, rather than being just an aid to survival, provides an essential incentive to survive."

"We relish just being here. We feel 'the yen to confirm and renew, in small ways or large, our own occupancy of the present moment, to go deeper, to extend it, to revel in being there, and when we have the skill, to celebrate it in words...'

Our desire to understand brings exquisite pleasure... and feeds our exploratory voyage, our scientific inquiry, our technological development, and even our poetic self-regard..

Erik Davis continues: "Collectively, Human societies can no more dodge sublime imaginings or spiritual yearnings than they can transcend the tidal pulls of Eros."   

"We are beset with a thirst for meaning and connection that centuries of skeptical philosophy, hardheaded materialism cannot eliminate.... Today we turn to "the cosmic awe conjured by science fiction, or the outer-space snapshots of the Hubble telescope as it calls forth our ever-deeper, ever-brighter possible selves."