Decline of Wonder

Brennan Manning will be long remembered for his book A Ragamuffin Gospel. On some of those pages, he wrote on our sad loss of notice of the planet we inhabit:

By and large, our world has lost its sense of wonder. We have grown up. We no longer catch our breath at the sight of a rainbow or the scent of a rose. We have grown bigger and everything else smaller, less impressive…We no longer run our fingers through the water, no longer shout at the stars or make faces at the Moon…We get so preoccupied with ourselves, the words we speak, the plans and projects we conceive that we become immune to the glory of creation. We barely notice the cloud passing over the Moon or the dewdrops clinging to the rose leaves. The ice on the pond comes and goes. The wild blackberries ripen and wither…We avoid the cold and the heat. We refrigerate ourselves in summer and entomb ourselves in plastic in the winter. We rake up every leaf as fast as it falls…We grow complacent and lead practical lives. We miss the experience of awe, reverence and wonder…Rabbi [Abraham Joshua] Heschel concluded, “As civilization advances, the sense of wonder declines.”

Perhaps lives less practical, and less busy, are what we all need.

Categories: Books, Nature | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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