Authentic spirituality and ‘radical amazement’

                                                                To read the full article go HERE

In exploring Abraham Joshua Heschel’s philosophy/way of living  ‘radical amazement’ I came across an inspiring blog post by Ellen Brown.  Here s a quotation from it;


Finding wonder in even the simplest and most common of things is the first step in appreciating the land. This mantra follows from the principle that humans are temporary tenants on the earth, not owners of it. Radical amazement is a form of thinking that goes beyond knowledge–its a constant attitude. It is one thing to understand science, history, math etc., but it’s another thing to be awestruck with the existence of how the world functions.

By studying and asking questions, we exhibit the will to wonder.  In the Jewish tradition, every moment and each act can become an opportunity to feel wisdom in all things. We use blessings to provide an opportunity for us to “ask permission” to use, benefit, and take pleasure from what we find in the world. According to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, “We are trained in maintaining our sense of wonder by uttering a prayer before the enjoyment of food. Each time we are about to drink a glass of water, we remind ourselves of the eternal mystery of creation.”

In this way, blessings channel us from the physical world to the spiritual world. Yet blessings are not the only way to enhance wonder. The principle of Bal Tashschit(derived from Deuteronomy 20:19) prohibits the needless waste of anything, from food to fuel. Today, using disposables, leaving lights on unnecessarily, over-utilizing the air-conditioning, or driving a car when it is not necessary might be considered a violation of this principle.

In this way, we can maintain amazement by not taking things for granted.

To read the full article go HERE

2 Replies to “Authentic spirituality and ‘radical amazement’”

    1. Hi Ellen – It was inspiring to find your piece when searching for a Heschel quote. His Who is Man and God in search of Man and Man is not Alone are amongst the greatest inspirations in my life – especially Who is Man. If I could I would make Who is Man the mandatory text for all young people and all university students whatever their specialism. Heschel was deeply influential in my main piece of writing so far –

      All good wishes



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