11
Apr
12

Will AWE Allow Us to Shift?

Will AWE Allow Us to Shift?

The link above is to a 1-minute video I had to make for TED. The transcript is below:

Why is it that a human can be moved to the experience of profound awe by viewing a mountain? This was the basic question of my first book, The Granite Avatars of Patagonia.

As a wilderness photographer and author, I have asked, “What is natural beauty?” And I’ve concluded that Natural beauty doesn’t exist. It’s a noun we use to label anything in nature that causes certain emotions, falling into 2 categories: comfort and shock. Comfort obviously serves us, but how can shocking awe serve us?  Maybe it’s to wake us up to the realization that there is something more important than our survival, our comfort and well-being, our freedom from suffering, even our freedom to pursue pleasure. Maybe Awe is what will allow us to shift attitudes and policies and laws so that we can live in a sustainable harmony with our precious environment.

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1 Response to “Will AWE Allow Us to Shift?”


  1. 1 sherry ackerson
    November 11, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Just listened to your comments and am looking forward to purchasing your book. I think that aboriginal cultures allow for AWE to be a daily experience so that children’s natural wonder are fostered as opposed to quashed, as is often the case in ours.


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