“To see a World in a Grain of Sand / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, / Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand / And Eternity in an Hour.”
Life is full of wonders, but we have become so used to them that we often take them for granted. Our minds have the unfortunate tendency to become so familiar with the world that we experience life as “boring” and “dull.” Even if unicorns were to exist and started eating at our local restaurant, we would soon get used to them, become indifferent to their presence among us and look again for the magical outside our present reality.
However, what if we could rediscover our sense of wonderment and amazement in the world around us? What if we could find awe in the smallest details of life and the vast expanse of the universe? This is the goal of the project 1000 Reasons for Feeling Awe.
This project is a journey through life as we know it, with the intention of making us perceive this very same life in a radically new light. Its mission is to provide readers, listeners and viewers with one thousand reasons for regaining our lost sense of wonderment. This is a project for you to use and re-use on a daily basis, each time regaining some of this precious lost feeling.
In this project, we have invited established experts, such as biologists, cosmologists, philosophers, psychologists, artists, and poets from all over the world to contribute their own “reason” for feeling awe. The reasons will derive from their many diverse fields, but also from their own direct and daily experience.
The diversity of voices will enable a vast range of awe-experiences: poetic, scientific and informative, philosophical, and spiritual (or, in some cases, a blend of all) – from a biologist awestruck by the fact that life has given rise to more than 400,000 types of beetle, many of which are infinitesimal yet breathtakingly complex, to a psychologist awed by the human connections we form based on an utterly mysterious force of attraction.
For you, the reader, viewer or listener, participating in these experts’ points of view and realizing the miraculous nature of a certain dimension of their shareable reality should already be a direct experience of awe.
In actuality, there are not one thousand reasons for feeling awe but one million! Our readers, viewers and listeners will thus be encouraged to help us to develop the project further by adding their own “reasons.”
Awe is the feeling that results from our direct encounters with facts and realities which demonstrate that life is a miracle and that, in fact, we live inside a miracle. It is the feeling of being a part of something much greater than ourselves, and yet also an integral part of that something.
The feeling of awe has been researched in the last decades in the field of positive psychology. It is now considered to be an important quality that helps people to immediately return to a state of wellbeing. It has been shown that awe connects us to others, lowers our stress levels, enhances positive emotions, and increases our compassion and creativity.
But unlike gratitude, an emotion which has already been greatly discussed by positive psychology writers, awe is a relatively new field of exploration. We believe, however, that the feeling of awe does much more for us: it places us in our right place in the universe and endows us with a sense of meaning. Our minds are designed to mirror and reflect on the magic of the cosmos in its myriad appearances. Awe fills us with the most fundamental and essential feeling of oneness with the unfathomable mystery around us and within us.
Our aim is to inspire a widespread change of perspective towards the world we inhabit. We hope that through this project, people will be able to reconnect with the sense of awe and wonder they experienced as children and bring it into their adult lives. We believe that by fostering a greater appreciation of the beauty and complexity of the world around us, we can inspire a deeper sense of gratitude, compassion, and environmental consciousness. Through this project, we hope to remind people that life is not just a series of tasks to be completed but a miraculous and wondrous journey to be savored and relished.
I warmly invite you to visit our website and participate in this awe-inspiring project. Let’s rediscover the magic of life together!