Children are naturally curious and have a sense of awe and wonder at the world. It is beautiful to hang out with little people - who remind us to look at the world like we used to, to explore, be curious and to wonder. Yet, there are many messages in society that try and still our curiosity (and succeeds dramatically as we get older!). For instance, Saint Augustine wrote in Confessions, AD 397, that in the eons before creating heaven and earth, God "fashioned hell for the inquisitive"!
John Clarke, in Paroemiologia, 1639 suggested that "He that pryeth into every cloud may be struck with a thunderbolt". In Don Juan, Lord Byron called curiosity "that low vice". And, of course, we have the proverb ‘curiosity killed the cat’ which speaks volumes about the dance between curiosity and instinct.
How is your own internal scale of awe and wonder, magic and curiosity? Where would you put yourself on the scale of 0 (closed to it) and 10 (completely open to it)? Once you've pondered that, read some of the stronger calls to being open to wonder:
“I believe the most central function of the brain is to allow us a sense of wonder, which transforms itself into curiosity and awe. Whenever we learn, we are confronted by the enormity of what we still don’t know. This humbles us, but also challenges us to ask questions and to discover new truths, which would benefit all of humanity,”
Here's what the biologist Lewis Wolpert suggests: “Try many things; do what makes your heart leap; challenge expectation; cherchez le paradox; be sloppy so that something unexpected happens, but not so sloppy that you can't tell what happened; never try to solve a problem until you can guess the answer; seek simplicity; seek beauty.”
"The most beautiful experience in the world is the experience of the mysterious."
"One person with a belief is equal to a force of ninety-nine who have only interests."
John Stuart Mills
"All thinking begins with wondering"
“It is a great loss if we greet every day with clenched hands
stuffed with our own devices. We will never know what is
out there waiting for us if we don’t extend an empty hand to
the world and wait for the wonder to happen.”
Daniel Holman and Lonni Collins Pratt
Craniosacral sessions are available with Ri in Bristol, Cirencester and Cherington.