All of us experience a sense of wonder at some point in our lives. Perhaps you felt it when you experienced your first kiss; when you grasped the perfectly balanced beauty of an equation; or when you first saw the rose windows of Chartres Cathedral? Whatever the circumstances that triggered the feeling, you were left speechless by this extraordinary world of ours. We may speak different languages, cling to different ideas about politics, religion and love – but a longing for wonder connects us all through space and time.
Wonder is the impulse behind scientific and philosophical inquiry, artistic creativity and spiritual yearning. It is the most fruitful human sense: firing our curiosity; inspiring us to hope and dream. But our sense of wonder – that feeling we had as children seeing the Milky Way for the first time – gets used up. Faced with the practical demands of adulthood, we trade a sense of wonder for a sense of reality, which all too often brings anxiety and unhappiness in its wake.
By exploring the nature of wonder in many areas of human experience, from the natural world to the spirit world, from science to storytelling, Francesco Dimitri reveals how we can reclaim our sense of wonder – not to become children again, but to become happier and more fulfilled adults, better equipped to face the challenges of modern life.