For millennia people have made mountains move, while holding a good glass of wine in their hands. The wine, pushing them to step over the thresholds of what they already know and into our shared human abilities of curiosity, experimentation, wonder…
A reflection on the importance of soil.
Between 2000-2015, 20% of the earth's total land area was degraded (= loss of land cover, productivity and organic carbon in the soil).
-The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019, UN.
Bathe, sip & read a classic.
An insight into wonder itself.
Wonder arises "when something quite new and singular is presented… [and] memory cannot, from all its stores, cast up any image that nearly resembles this strange appearance."
He associated it with a distinctive bodily feeling—"that staring, and sometimes that rolling of the eyes, that suspension of the breath, and that swelling of the heart."
These bodily symptoms point to three dimensions that might, in fact, be essential components of wonder.
1) sensory: wondrous things engage our senses—we stare and widen our eyes.
2) cognitive: such things are perplexing because we cannot rely on past experience to comprehend them. This leads to a suspension of breath, akin to the freezing response that kicks in when we are startled: we gasp and say ‘Wow!’
3) spiritual: we look upwards in veneration; hence Smith’s invocation of the swelling heart.
History of Astronomy (1795) —Adam Smith.
Summarised by Jesse Prinz, 2013.