–by Paul Fleischman (Sep 25, 2014)
We do not possess either the intellectual capacity or adequate information to claim that we can speak for the universe. We cannot say we have reached a full and final understanding of it. But we also recognize the woven complexity and emergent luminosity within ourselves and the world. The complexity I am referring to means the galaxies and the cells, with their long history, their detail precision, their self generating cause-and-effect loops. The luminosity I am referring to is the green, sun-catching leaf, or our curious minds, or the astronomer, or the visionary poet. These presences within the world, these beings, constitute mirrors which have emerged from the universe and which look back at it with kinship, awe, dread, love and wonder. Through us the universe can become alive and gaze at itself with both alienation and recognition.
Therefore, our sense of wonder will lead us in the following direction: we will look at the world in a way that is free from arbitrary divisions imposed by our routine sense of time, space, and scientific discipline. All the connections we are aware of will be permitted to emerge. At the heart of the evocation of wonder is that sweeping emotion, that stretching across, that connecting: origins to immediacies, light years to centimeters. […]
Wonder is a type of complex awareness which participates in complex knowing and feeling. We, within whom the sense of wonder resides, must be studied, in order to understand how we respond to, mirror, and hold the world in wonder. […]
After traveling through light years, eons, molecular biology, and whales, it would be beneficial to bring our wonder down into the realm of our day-to-day psyche. Rightly perceived, the people we love and know best become our fountains of wonder. We can say that every person is a window on all spacetime, and here is my person…
Every person consists of atoms that have been sorted and arranged. The energy for this task explodes out of other atoms as they are being melted inside if suns, and then it ripples down to us as sunlight. In the black space between the Sun and us, the world undulates, and the waves of sunlight convey energy that can be used on Earth to bond, communicate, create, and transform. Energy has pulsed through the void, and bathed the Earth, and due to this glow the Earth has had the power to rearrange atoms in uncountable magnitudes m over eons, until the atomic world has been reshaped into whales and women, astronomers and novelists. Everything we see and touch consists of matter rearranged by information and energy.
Everything is in connections and bonds.
Life, mind, and love, our human nature, have been created in partnership with the rules that run the world. Our sense of wonder, which is a state of mind inside of a funny mammal, has within its grout the whole antecedent universe, its atoms, suns, electromagnetic waves, planets, and long-cooked constellations of cells and molecules that all within us who feel the wonder. Our personal wonder is the local glow from a cosmic fire. Just as the Earth gets sunlight, we get in our mixture of chemicals the capacity for wonder. Within our thoughts and feelings, small components of the universe itself are being rearranged.
The mind that sees and understands the star is no less radiant than her.
–Paul Fleischman in Wonder: When and Why the World Appears Radiant. [Illustration offered as an anonymous gift :-)]