Sunday, December 21, 2014


 The following piece is by Isaac Watts; it speaks to our sense of wonder. This topic interests me because it seems to be one of the great and driving forces in mankind, for good or ill. 

"When we perceive any object that is rare and uncommon, that is new and strange, either for its kinds or for its qualities; or when we meet with such an occurrence or event as is unusual or unexpected; or such as is at least unusual at such a particular time and place, we are struck with admiration or wonder, and that without any considerations whether the object be valuable or worthless, whether it be good or evil. We wonder at a very great or a very little man, a dwarf or a giant; at a very little horse, at a huge snake or toad, at an elephant, or a whale, or a comet, or at any large performances of art, or moving machines, such as clocks, watches with a variety of uncommon motions and operations: we wonder at a piece of extraordinary wit, skill, or learning, even at artificial trifles as a flea kept alive in a chain; at any uncommon appearances in nature discovered by a telescope, a microscope, etc. Admiration has no regard to the agreeableness or disagreeableness of the object, but only to the rarity of it. And for this reason wonder seems to be the first of the passions.

  Let it be observed that this passion has properly no opposite; because if the object be not rare or new, of it the appearance be not sudden or unexpected, but a mere common or familiar thing, or an expected occurrence, we receive it with great calmness, and feel no such commotion of nature about it; we treat it with neglect instead of wonder. Now neglect is no passion. The rest of the passions, at least the most of them, go in pairs."  Isaac Watts.

1 comment:

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Fantastic photo. She is stunningly beautiful. Excellent message. Best wishes