I was fascinated to learn this week that it's possible to get a PHD in Awe.** I synchronistically stumbled across a website dedicated to the Project Awe team at the University of California Berkely. Well, technically I guess the degree would be in psychology and the focus of one's research would be awe. But still, my very cells were excited and quivered with the divine possibilities.
I spent the last couple of days immersed in my desire to write a blog post that would elicit the awe that I feel about life in you, dear reader. Its AwemaZing to go flow each day in the awe-streams as I experience every sense attuned to divine wonder and “radiant ecstasy, being absolutely ravished emotionally by the here and now.”
“We all know those moments are there. Those are the moments that would make final cut. Only in these moments we experience afresh the hardly bearable ecstasy of direct energy exploding on our nerve endings.” Jason Silva
Even now, the hairs are raising on my neck just [writing] about it.” (Piloerection is a telltale accompaniment to awe.) 1
I researched physical, mental emotional, and sacred aspects of awe and found many quotes that inspired and helped clarify the concepts of awe. It could be a starting point for my dissertation, but I'm taking pity on you and will attempt to stick to the good stuff like a bit of what Awe is and some ideas for how to activate it for a blog or two.
Can Awe Be Defined?
The traditional definition of awe is "a strong feeling of respect or amazement brought on by something that is beautiful or sacred." Doesn't quite inspire Awe does it?
I prefer the following upgraded definitions
Awe is 'the glories of the universe bursting inside your senses causing your energy to uplift, your vibration to accelerate, your being to soar and your genius to burst forth through every cell of you!' Soleira Green
It's the capacity of the human mind to be stimulated, inspired and to experience wonder....an experience of such perceptual vastness you literally have to reconfigure your mental models of the world to assimilate it.” Jason Silva
I really resonated with the divine aspect of this quote by Nikos Kazantzakas
I felt deep within me that the highest point a man can attain is not Knowledge or Virtue or Goodness or Victory but something even greater, more heroic ......: Sacred Awe!
How to Experience Awe
1. Ensure you interact with the world from its highest conscious perspective
Jason Silva says we need to mess with our perceptual apparatus in order to have the kind of emotional and aesthetic experience from life that we render most meaningful?”
One of the ways that we elicit wonder is by scrambling the self temporarily so that the world can seep in,” Silva says. “That’s what rapture is. That’s what illumination is. That’s what that sort of infinite comprehending awe that human beings love so much [is].”
"Inspiration", he points out, "comes from the Greek word to breathe in. “This is the rhapsodic, ecstatic, bursting forth of awe that expands our perceptual parameters beyond all previous limits and we literally have to reconfigure our mental models of the world in order to assimilate the beauty of that download,”
2. Be Aware of Life Itself
The author Henry Miller advised: “The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself;”
3. Live every moment as sacred,
If you are amazed and in awe most of the time when you find yourself breathing, then you are in a state of constant thankfulness, and live divinely.
4. Establish an Awe Set Point
I think we can live in Awe easily and effortlessly if we frequently remind ourselves so it becomes a habitual operating frequency or set point.
If you need a physical reminder, get a wide rubber band from a stationary store, write Awe on it and wear it around your wrist. (you might want to sweet talk your postal worker,...mine has a supply she wraps around the mail to keep it sorted.) Or set a happy chime on your phone. When it sounds breathe and get into the good AWE vibrations.
5. Become as a little child
Wayne Dyer taught about awe in so many ways. He noted that "to be more childlike, you don't have to give up being an adult. The fully integrated person is capable of being both an adult and a child simultaneously. Recapture the childlike feelings of wide-eyed excitement, spontaneous appreciation, cutting loose, and being full of awe and wonder at this magnificent universe."
6. Create your Own Definition of Divine AWE and Make a Mantra
Take a few minutes and write down a short definition of AWE that inspires you. Feel it resonate with the Divine You. Set an intention to be ecstatically transported by the wonder of your words. There is an interesting contemplative practice where you breath in half the words and breathe out the other half. Then pick one word from the in breath and one word from the out breath and use that as a mantra or reminder to feel transformed or transcendent in any moment.
7. Take an AWE Break
The following is similar to an energy Zing I recorded for people who participated in my offering at the Visionary Networks AWE FEST a couple of years ago. Try it when you want to take a few minutes for an AWE break
- Breathe and take in your new definition of awe.... Ask it to imbue into your cells and subatomic particles. Relish the awemaZing journey deep inside you.
- Embody the highest frequency of personal and infinite consciousness with respect to your unlimited and unrestricted abilities and heighten your capacity for experiencing each moment fully.
- Feel your personal AWE ripple powerfully thru you and into your life. Let it merge with Universal AWE and enjoy engaging with the Power of AWE
- Let the energy of AWE expand with you and ripple AWE out to everyone and everything.
- Celebrate this new upgraded version of Awe, as together we uplift its energy and create it AWE-new. Revel and enhance the awe even further, so you are moved beyond anything you have ever imagined.
- Envision how this new Awe is affecting the planet, the solar system and the universe,
- Remember YOU create your AWEsome Reality
- Keep it lighthearted when contemplating the awesomeness of the world and the cosmos.
" In awe, I watched the waxing moon ride across the zenith of the heavens like an ambered chariot towards the ebony void of infinite space wherein the tethered belts of Jupiter and Mars hang, for ever festooned in their orbital majesty.
And as I looked at all this I thought... I must put a roof on this toilet."
- BE the AWE in AWESOME
Next Blog I will share more ideas for imbuing your Divine Life with AWE and share some research on why experiencing AWE enhances your mind-body soul and society. In the meantime, I invite you to share your AweHa's and thoughts on my Divine You Facebook Page.
∞∞∞∞∞ ∞∞∞∞∞ ∞∞∞∞∞ ∞∞∞∞∞ ∞∞∞∞∞ ∞∞∞∞∞ ∞∞∞∞∞ ∞∞∞∞∞
** Project Awe. Dacher Keltner is a Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and director of the Berkeley Social Interaction Lab (http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~keltner/). Dacher also serves as the Faculty Director of the Berkeley Greater Good Science Center (http://greatergood.berkeley.edu).
Dacher's research focuses the biological and evolutionary origins of compassion, awe, love, and beauty, and power, social class, and inequality. Dacher is one of the leading scholars studying the psychology of awe and he recently secured funding from the Templeton Foundation (http://www.templeton.org/) to conduct research examining how awe is experienced across the globe. Utne Reader selected Dacher for one of its 50 2008 visionaries
He has a group of researchers and grad student who are part of the Project Awe Team. Project Awe is part of a University of California, Berkeley research project designed to explore the psychology of awe across the globe.They hope this website will be a way not only for people to help them better understand how awe is experienced around the world but also for you to learn more about yourself and connect with and inspire others through awe.
Traditional definition http://www.yourdictionary.com/awe#8qkWjvk6bu8uUgGe.99
Nikos Kazantzakas quote: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/awe_5.html
Les Dawson quote http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/awe.html