Reason for Rapture


Anyone who is not lost in rapturous awe
at the power and glory of the mind
behind the universe is as good as
a burnt out candle.

–Albert Einstein

When Facts Become Wonders


Worship is an act of awe. Artists who have detached themselves from a religious grounding, don’t fly but merely float away. Their creativity has no reference point. They try to be original. They try to be different. They try to shock. But endless shock merely makes us senseless. We have lost our true appreciation of surprise because we have the purpose of creativity precisely backwards. “The function of imagination,” says Chesterton, “is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange; not so much to make wonders facts as to make facts wonders.

–Dale Ahlquist,
G.K. Chesterton and the Use of the Imagination

Artwork: Toil Today Dream Tonight, by Vincent Van Gogh

The Sea of Infinite Mystery

ocean-rolling-wavesUltimately, science and religion should serve rather than dominate the human societies from which they emerged. Each, I believe, serves best from a stance of awe and humility that assumes as little as possible. The best from both worlds — the greatest scientists and the most profound religious thinkers and teachers — have always practiced these two qualities. Childlike awe motivated Einstein. “All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren,” he accepted. “The real nature of things, that we shall never know, never.” Similarly, the German Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner invoked both humility and awe when he asked, “Which do we love more, the small island of our so-called knowledge or the sea of infinite mystery?”

–Dave Pruett,
Former NASA researcher; Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, James Madison University,
Science’s Sacred Cows,