emotional state experienced as the result of an unexpected event
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Wonder is an emotion comparable to surprise that people feel when perceiving something rare, unexpected, or puzzling to their conceptions.

The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery. ~ Anais Nin


  • Wonder is the basis of worship.
  • In these troubled times it is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility.
    • Rachel Carson "The Exceeding Beauty of the World" (Words to Live by), This Week (1952), quoted in Karen F. Stein, Rachel Carson: Challenging Authors (Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2012), p. 54.
  • If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years.
  • If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.
  • A man is a small thing and the night is very large and full of wonders.
    • Lord Dunsany, The Laughter of the Gods, Act II, in Plays of Gods and Men (Boston: John W. Luce & Company, 1917), p. 102
  • Genius goes around the world in its youth incessantly apologizing for having large feet. What wonder that later in life it should be inclined to raise those feet too swiftly to fools and bores.
  • That kind of deep attention that we pay as children is something that I cherish, that I think we all can cherish and reclaim, because attention is that doorway to gratitude, the doorway to wonder, the doorway to reciprocity. And it worries me greatly that today’s children can recognize 100 corporate logos and fewer than 10 plants.
  • The core and the surface
    Are essentially the same
    Words making them seem different
    Only to express appearance.
    If name be needed, wonder names them both:
    From wonder into wonder existence opens.
  • The Piglet was sitting on the ground at the door of his house blowing happily at a dandelion, and wondering whether it would be this year, next year, sometime or never, and was trying to remember what it was, and hoping it wasn't anything nice...
  • The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.
    • Anais Nin, The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 1: 1931–1934, ed. Gunther Stuhlmann (1966).
  • Wonder is from surprise; and surprise ceases upon experience.
    • Robert South, "The Duties of the Episcopal Function", in Sermons Preached upon Several Occasions (Philadelphia: Sorin & Ball, 1844), Vol. 1, p. 75.
  • Wonder is not a disease. Wonder, and its expression in poetry and the arts, are among the most important things which seem to distinguish men from other animals, and intelligent and sensitive people from morons.
    • Alan Watts, in "The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are" (1966).
  • When we affirm that philosophy begins with wonder, we are affirming in effect that sentiment is prior to reason.
  • Philosophy is the product of wonder. The effort after the general characterization of the world around us is the romance of human thought.
  • Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophic thought has done its best, the wonder remains.
  • Man has to awaken to wonder — and so perhaps do peoples. Science is a way of sending him to sleep again.
    • Ludwig Wittgenstein, notes from 1930, in Culture and Value (1984), translated by Peter Winch, p. 5.
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