only wonder understands

Concepts create idols, only wonder understands.

- Gregory of Nyssa

a single grain of wheat

If you could understand a single grain of wheat, you would die in wonder.

- Martin Luther (quoted by Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace)

necessary angel of earth

Yet I am the necessary angel of earth, 
Since, in my sight, you see the earth again.

- Wallace Stevens, Collected Poetry and Prose (New York: Library of America, 1997), p. 423.

advent of the other

Wonder must be the advent or the event of the other.

- Luce Irigaray, An Ethics of Sexual Difference

steady radiance

God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.

- Dag Hammarskjöld, Markings

new way of looking

One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.

- Henry Miller, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch

thin place

"Ah! Iona is a very thin place...There's very little between Iona and the Lord!"

- A Scottish gardener to Evelyn Underhill, Collected Papers of Evelyn Underhill, ed. Lucy Menzies (London: Longmans, 1946), p. 196

dignity of artist

The dignity of the artist lies in his duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world. In this long vigil he often has to vary his methods of stimulation; but in this long vigil he is also himself striving against a continual tendency to sleep.

- G. K. Chesterton, "On Maltreating Words" in Generally Speaking.

fear and blessedness

...wonder is immediacy's sense of God and is the beginning of all deeper understanding...his expression of wonder is worship. Wonder is an ambivalent state of mind containing both fear and blessedness. 

- Sören Kierkegaard, 'On the Occasion of a Confession' in Three Discourses on Imagined Occasions (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1993), 18. 

astonishing place

The world is an astonishing place, and that the idea that we have in our possession that basic tools needed to understand it is no more credible now than it was in Aristotle's day. That it has produced you, and me, and the rest of us is the most astonishing thing about it.

- Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception Is Almost Certainly False (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 7.