In this article for Life Connection Magazine, Cassandra Vieten explains the meaning of awe and why it is important to consciously immerse ourselves in experiences that create this powerful emotion. For Vieten, encountering something that doesn’t fit our current meaning system (something that elicits awe) pushes us towards two possibilities: the assimilation of this new experience to our current worldview, or the stretching of our worldview to accommodate the new experience. It is through the stretching of our worldview that we learn and grow [awe is closely connected with bewilderment, read Bewilderment: The Antidote To Scientific Reductionism to go deeper on this subject].
Implications for AI
Despite better technologies, we are no closer to fully understanding how the world works, and that’s a good thing. Not knowing keeps us naturally curious and inquisitive. It prevents us from going stale. If there is something that will prevent us from readily giving up on our humanity, it is this – the belief that learning never ends, that in every turn, a new discovery about the world will be revealed.
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