#271: The Power of Wonder

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Published Jan 20, 2017, 3:16 AM
We’ve all likely experienced those moments in life in which our breath is literally taken away; at the same time that we feel existentially small, our spirits seem to greatly expand. It’s a singular feeling that we call wonder.
But why do we feel wonder? What purpose does it serve in our survival and flourishing as humans? Why does it get harder and harder to feel wonder as you get older? Is it possible to recapture that lost wonder -- to manufacture it in some way?
My guest today explores these questions in his book Wonder: From Emotion to Spirituality. His name is Robert Fuller and he’s a professor of Religious Studies at Bradley University. Today on the show, Robert and I discuss the psychology and biology of wonder, why researchers haven't really studied wonder, and the benefits of experiencing it in our lives on a regular basis. We also explore how wonder shaped the lives and careers of men like John Muir and William James, how religion ritualizes wonder, and whether we can take action to experience more wonder in our lives. This podcast will leave you wondering a lot about wonder.
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