When was the last time you were in AWE?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by earllogjam, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. earllogjam

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    5,027
    Likes Received:
    21
    Yeah, dumbstruck, left speechless, totally consumed, giddy with delight. The experience of something so much greater than you that it left you humbled.

    It is a rare experience in any lifetime. I have encountered it twice - once as a child next to the sheer volume of water flowing off Niagra Falls, and again in the pristine beauty of the Canadian Rockies. I don't think the experience is exclusive to nature but mine have been. Would be interested in hearing what others have experienced.

    I invite you to share your experiences with the sublime.....
     
  2. sdg475

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    648
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NYC
    Verified:
    Photo
    Sticking with the nature theme...about two weeks ago I saw a huge black bear while hiking. It was the first time that I had seen a bear in the wild. It's amazing how jaded we become after seeing pictures of things, but then when we see them for ourselves we are blown away. The bear was very docile so my professor and I were able to get pretty close to it (40-50' i'm guessing). The sheer size and power of the bear was humbling, they really are magnificent creatures.
     
  3. B_Kshelby67

    B_Kshelby67 New Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    0
    After I graduated college, I went to Costa Rica. I have always wanted to see the rainforest. Even though I graduated with a psychology degree, I entered school a zoology major and had always wanted to be Dian Fossey. So, as a gift from my uncle, I was allowed two weeks anywhere I wanted in the world, and I could take any one person with me.
    I, without hesitation, chose Costa Rica. Stepping into the jungle for the first time was beyong incredible. I will never forget the sounds, the green everywhere, the unbelievable beauty that man had not tainted. It was overwhelming.
     
  4. SassySpy

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    1,277
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    23
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Seattle USA,
    I remember the first, and the last.
    the first was nearly like you earl- as we came over a hill nearing Denver and I saw the rockies, I got all choked up at the majestic beauty that had withstood so much. I never cease to be in awe of nature, in any form.
    the last time, was when a friend asked me to be in the delivery room when she gave birth. I have never been as awestruck as I was then. Wow. even the memory gives me goosebumps.
    For the longest time afterwards, I explored reincarnation theories, thinking I would get to come back and not get cancer and not lose my chance to give birth.
    Now I am just waiting for technology to figure out uterus transplants-:cool::tongue:
     
  5. ruffboy

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,766
    Likes Received:
    709
    Location:
    United States
    sea kayaking when a humpback jumped free of the water about 200 yards in front of me

    hiking the na pali coast

    discovering, off the mapped paths and trailss, native american ruins in the southwest

    sunsets and sunrises almost regularly

    the first few episodes of ty pennington's "exteme home makeover", seeing humanity and true caring in action never fails to bring me to my knees
     
  6. snoozan

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,568
    Likes Received:
    4
    sk-bum! long time no see! *smooches*

    To answer the OP...

    My son. At least once a day.
     
  7. SassySpy

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    1,277
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    23
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Seattle USA,
    Gosh how could i forget?? in the middle period of my two events, a lifelong and I mean all my life, dream came true, when some orcas got lost a little in a nearby inlet. I was in a tiny skiff, they were within arms reach, and never had I seen such gentle beauty from such a feared giant. They were so absolutely incredible.. and that night my horoscope for the day said I would have an 'opportunity for a lifetime dream to come true'. EErie, huh? I saved the horoscope and the pics i took- but the memory inside me can never be fully understood by another. :smile:
     
  8. earllogjam

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    5,027
    Likes Received:
    21
    I remember as a child standing right next to the side of the falls being mesmerized by the sheer volume of water going over the falls. I stood there dazed for about a half an hour. I became lost in that world of water and forgot about myself for a while. I was the waterfall. It was a very odd thing as a kid. I was very quiet after that for a long while. Being part of something uncomprehensible and bigger than me was a new sensation. I liked it and have been seeking it ever since.

    I took a trip to the Canadian Rockies - to Emerald Lake near Lake Louise. It was so incredibly beautiful there, surreal emerald water, other worldy mountains cutting into the sky, peaceful, calm, untouched, pristine wilderness.

    And the strange thing was that everybody I encountered, fellow hikers, and tourists were affected by the sheer beauty and had the same understanding and awe for it as I. We all kind of dumbly smiled at each other. People were giddy, bemused, and full of joy in the midst of such greatness. Lots of silence I remember as people just took the beauty in. It felt like like you were a part of something great, something beyond your understanding, sublime. Our national parks are truly a treasure to keep our connection with the sublime. I understand John Muir now and what inspired Ansel Adams. I think part of the experience about being in awe is that you forget about yourself for a while and become a part of this greater thing, connected.
     
  9. Ethyl

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Messages:
    5,476
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    495
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Philadelphia (PA, US)
    1) Last November my friends gave birth to their first child. Right before Christmas, I made a visit to see little Max. It's always a joyous occasion to see new life but observing his father as he was immersed in this child's presence, unbelieving that he had a role in the making of his son, made my heart melt. I felt privileged to witness that kind of awe and wonder.

    2) 2 years ago, I nursed a day-old sparrow to adulthood. The moment she opened her eyes and saw me, I became "mommy" to her. It still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it.
     
  10. No_Strings

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    4,100
    Likes Received:
    6
    Does seeing a pic in the LPSG gallery count? :tongue:

    Being dumbstruck, or certainly speechless, isn't a supremely rare thing for me, but the times when I have been in complete awe of something is.

    My long term memory isn't exactly astounding, but off the top of my head I can remember;

    -The first time I truly saw a sunset, on a beach in Northern Italy.

    -The first time I flew, I was in awe of the sights for pretty much 2 hours straight.

    -Replays of the 1966 World Cup Final :redface:
     
  11. biguy2738

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Messages:
    2,356
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    I went on an archeological excavation about four years ago. We worked on two sites:

    The first one was a the village of a tribe that had been burnt to the ground after they were completely annihilated by the Swazis. To sit and excavate portions of the wall that had baked hard as rock from the heat of the fire while being blackened by the ash and soot...whew, intense emotions...awe at being able help uncover their story, and sorrow in knowing that nearly every male member had been killed.

    The second site was a truly awesome experience...It was a stone age site where the entire area was littered with either stone age tools, or the remains of them. You could literally bend down and pick up a stone with the knowledge that you had about a 3 out of 5 chance of picking up a stone age tool. To be able to hold something that had been formed into a tool between 30 to 300 thousand years ago (I think I have the age right) was a very awe-some experience. The privilege still blows me away.
     
  12. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    August 1992 + Sunset + Angkor Wat + Alone = Unforgettable.

    Probably more, but that is a deathbed memory.
     
  13. IntoxicatingToxin

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    10,133
    Likes Received:
    152
    I have a five year old son, which means that I have mini moments everyday where he just boggles my mind. But the last time I was truly in awe, was about a week ago. My son had fallen asleep in my bed, and when I got tired, I crawled in bed next to him. He was so perfect right then. The way the dim light from my bedstand table slanted across his face. His sweet little breaths. His long eyelashes. His cute, perfect little lips. His soft skin. The way he sighs in his sleep. It was all too much for me.
     
  14. earllogjam

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    5,027
    Likes Received:
    21
    Mark Rothko retrospective at the Whitney.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. SpeedoGuy

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Messages:
    4,229
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    For me it was rafting through the Grand Canyon in June 1983, the year I turned 20. 1983 was the year of the record run-off of snowmelt water from the huge El Nino snowpack of the western slopes of the Colorado Rockies.

    The river rose, day by day, through the trip. By the time we reached Crystal Rapids (mile 97) the river was flowing at over 70,000. We stopped to scout Crystal before running it and the violence was fearsome to behold. There was a roar audible a mile upriver and spumes of spray lofted skyward from the violence of the turbulent water. Thousands of tons of water were cascading against submerged boulders creating giant standing waves that writhed with insidious fury for a quarter mile downriver. Crystal was so powerful the ground vibrated under our feet as we stood by the side of the river. The rapid was clearly capable of demolishing even the largest rafts handled by the most experienced river guides.

    http://web.umr.edu/~rogersda/grand_canyon_research/Crystal '83-1.jpg
     
  16. earllogjam

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    5,027
    Likes Received:
    21
    AWE

    There is something about the vastness and beauty of nature that makes the self feel small and insignificant, and anything that shrinks the self creates an opportunity for spiritual experience. Sages (and psychologists) have long written abut the many ways in which people feel as though they have multiple selves or intelligences which sometimes conflict. This division is often explained by positing a soul—a higher, noble, spiritual self – which is tied down to a body – a lower, base, carnal self. It’s as though the soul were a helium balloon tied to a brick. The soul escapes the body only at death, but before then, spiritual practices, great sermons, and awe at nature can give the soul a taste of the freedom to come.

    
Awe is the emotion of self-transcendence. The scientific psychology has almost nothing to say about awe. It can’t be studied in other animals or created easily in the lab, so it doesn’t lend itself to experimental research. But philosophers, sociologists, and theologians had a great deal to say about it. As we trace the word “awe” back in history, we discover that it has always had a link to fear and submission in the presence of something much greater than the self.

The emotion of awe happens when two conditions are met: a person perceives something vast (usually physically vast, but sometimes conceptually vast, such as a grand theory, or socially vast, such as great fame or power); and the vast thing cannot be accommodated by the person’s existing mental structures. Something enormous can’t be processed, and when people are stumped, stopped in their cognitive tracks while in the presence of something vast, they feel small, powerless, passive, and receptive. They often (though not always) feel fear, admiration, elevation, or a sense of beauty as well. By stopping people and making them receptive, awe creates an opening for change, and this is why awe plays a role in most stories of religious conversion. 


     
  17. ganja4me

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,335
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    U.S.
    Anytime I see the beauty nature has to offer.
     
  18. D_N Flay Table

    D_N Flay Table New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,757
    Likes Received:
    7
    when I nearly survived death on my motorcycle.
     
  19. D_N Flay Table

    D_N Flay Table New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,757
    Likes Received:
    7

    shit, that made no sense at all... did it??
    hahah its late..

    let me edit..

    :when I cheated death on my motorcycle"
     
Draft saved Draft deleted