wonder as the caress of truth

Wonder is not an obligatory element in the search for truth. We can seek truth without wonder’s assistance – but seek is all we can do: there will be no finding. Until wonder descends, unlocks us, turns us slack-jawed as a plastic shepherd, truth is unable to enter. Wonder may be the aura of truth, the halo of it. Or something even closer. Wonder may be the caress of truth, touching our very skin.

Philosophically speaking, wonder is crucial to finding knowledge yet has everything to do with ignorance. Only an admission of ignorance can open us to fresh knowing. Wonder is the experience of that admission: wonder is unknowing, experienced as pleasure. Wonder is a period at the end of a statement we’ve long taken for granted, suddenly looking up and seeing the sinuous curve of a tall black hat on its head, and realizing it was a question mark all along.

– David James Duncan, God Laughs and Plays

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