Our daily lives are filled with distractions: work, routines, the gym, children, or simply scrolling through our phones. But do we need to make time in our day to feel awe and wonderment? Awe has a long history in religion and philosophy as an emotion or feeling of reverence for something that is beyond our understanding of the world. Is there an evolutionary reason we feel awe, and does it serve a purpose?
On this week’s Life Examined, psychologist and co-author of “Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life” and “The Compassionate Instinct” Dacher Keltner talks about the science of awe and why we need a daily dose. We also talk with cultural psychologist Dr. Yuria Celidwen about how the practices of Indigenous communities enhance prosocial behavior, and how the appreciation of awe also helps forge community bonds.
*This episode originally aired on August 6, 2021.