Sense of Wonder

Excerpted from Beyond Words by Carl Safina, ©2015:

At Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, a researcher watched two adult male chimpanzees separately climb to the top of a ridge at sunset. There they noticed and greeted each other, clasped hands, sat down together, and watched the sun descend. Another researcher wrote of a free-living chimpanzee gazing for fifteen minutes at an especially striking sunset. If they really are admiring the sunset, it’s probably for no deeper reason than it looks pretty to them. Same as us. Perhaps they feel a sense of wonder, that raw material for the questions to which humans hammered the answer of religion.

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One Throw

“As they say ‘to be in the world, but not of the world.’ You can go to the Himalayas and miss it completely, and you can be stuck in the middle of New York and be very…  I mean, I noticed in certain places, like New York, it brings out a certain thing in myself. If I go to some place like Switzerland, I find a lot of uptight people because they’re living amongst so much beauty there’s no urgency in trying to find the beauty within themselves. If you’re stuck in New York you have to somehow look within yourself— otherwise you’d go crackers. So, in a way, it’s good to be able to go in and out of both situations. Most people think when the world gets itself together we’ll all be okay. I don’t see that situation arriving. I think one by one, we all free ourselves from the chains we have chained ourselves to. But I don’t think that suddenly some magic happens and the whole lot of us will all be liberated in one throw.”  ~George Harrison