Listen to episode 228 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Aristotle & Wisdom | It’s a Wonderful Life. The Way of Wonder. Edited and adapted from a classic book of essays by Stephen Paget.
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Now on to today’s reading, which was edited and adapted from a book of essays by Stephen Paget, published in 1911.
THIS much I remember of Aristotle, that he calls Wonder the beginning of the love of Wisdom. To have a right judgment of our surroundings, we must wonder at them, and be surprised that they and we are met together. So long as we exercise this quickening sense of wonder, there is hope for us, and some justification of our presence here on earth — because we all are on the road that leads toward wisdom: and they alone are incorrigible fools to whom Nature comes natural.
Once we have fallen into the bad habit of taking for granted what Nature gives us, and have ceased to be amazed, it may be fairly said that in the midst of life we are in death. For one might as well be dead as alive, to look with dull eyes at the world, not finding it wonderful.
So excellent is Wonder that we must not profane its name in common use. For example, there is the phrase, “I wonder if”. You can be sure that he or she, who turns a sentence thusly, is careless in speech, and oblivious of the rights of words. It is impossible “to wonder if”: you simply are not thinking, nor even trying to think.