“The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.” – Johannes Kepler
The loss of wonder is the first death. When you begin to abandon wonder, you may continue to breathe and roam the earth, attend to your affairs, but the quickness of your step, the lightness of your heart, and the twinkle in your eye will begin fade in proportion to the loss. When wonderment ceases, you cease drinking the pure and nourishing waters of the river of life and draw instead from the Stygian waters that lead to the second death.
Wonderment is the recognition of the novelty of invisible spirit and visible form. It is known and felt in the “present moment,” that is, the intersection of past, future, heaven, and earth. Outside of this junction, perception is skewed and wonderment gives way to other qualities of being. For example, when your focus is trained on the past, wonderment hardens to nostalgia or regret. Similarly, when attention is focused on the future, wonderment is supplanted by hope or dread. In either case, when you relinquish your crown or stray from your throne through fixation on what was or what shall be, vision is distorted and the beauty of the moment is disregarded.
Fortunately, all things are constantly being made new, regardless of your perception. What you miss, however, is lost. The awareness of newness nourishes the body, mind, and heart; in its absence, wonderment cures to familiarity. And as it is said, familiarity breeds contempt, for you were not born to die, you were born to live, that is, to provide a dynamic linkage between the treasures of heaven and the earth of your circumstances. Sadly, when the awareness of newness is lost by misplaced attention (e.g. focusing on lack, chronic worry, gawking greedily at the future, etc.), vitality is lost and the freshness and originality of life is slowly choked out of the outer material world and of your body, mind, and heart.
Refusing to delight in the newness of life is to place a choke hold on creation. Unfortunately, few retain the awareness of this newness beyond the days of their youth. It is slowly wrung out of their consciousness, not by others, but by the willful or ignorant refusal to dwell in the present moment.
Being present is a choice. Wonderment is known only when you are present. Judgment removes you from the present moment. Judge not, that you are not judged, but also that you never stop being nourished by the originality of the diversity of the phenomena of nature or the ever-present treasures in the heaven of your heart and mind.