Jan 23, 2023
Awe as a Compass Towards Meaning
Play • 39 min

“From wonder to wonder, existence begins.”

Lao Tzu’s wisdom is the first invitation we receive in Dacher Keltner’s new book: Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How it Can Transform Your Life. It foreshadows the journey and revelation he offers in it: Awe is a compass towards meaning.

“If you listen to the feeling of awe, you’re pointed towards the truth of your existence.”

Dacher has been a pioneer studying awe, meaning, and compassion, as a professor at UC Berkeley and the Faculty Director of The Greater Good Science Center. I was first drawn to the book when I heard him share that while we often associate awe with nature, the most common source of awe is human connection.

Our conversation is an exploration of how we experience awe across the eight wonders of life, from music to moral beauty, art to the divine. By “claiming openness,” as he shares, we discover it’s closer than we think.

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