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Radical Amazement and the Power of Wow

April 16, 2010

What you and I need to rehabilitate is our own ability to be amazed and awed. The news media and technology have en-jaded us. And I say rehabilitate because awe and amazement were our birth rite as children, and we were born full of both!

There’s a guru who said it’s like people who go out on a clear night searching for an expected meteor shower or comet sighting. And there they are, waiting for the shower or the comet, hoping they get a good view. And they miss the transcendent glory of Creation’s majesty – the blue mask of day melted away to reveal the night time sky — a literal eternity of splendor and infinite space right over their heads!

“Did you see the comet?”

“Yeah, it was ok.”

But you missed the world.   

Radical Amazement is allowing yourself to lose all control, to be stripped of your ironic defenses and critical fences and let yourself be swallowed and feasted on by the gods of holy fuck! You need to break down!  Born again Christians and Sufis and Zen students and Hasidic Jews know what I’m talking about: Radical Amazement at the glory of All. (Like in “Heaven’s Gonna Burn Your Eyes” – by Thievery Corporation). You’ve got to submit. Surrender. I know a woman who went to Hawaii and visited what is known as “The Grand Canyon of Hawaii” on Kauai. “Yeah, it was nice,” she said. Nice? If you ever saw this place you’d agree with me that this gal was less than present to life. You gotta allow yourself to be ripped from your home and seduced by aliens; dissolved in acid; demised. Annihilated.

And let me say one thing about technology. Oh I find it fun and fascinating too. But do we need any more of something that takes us every day a little further away  from the natural world? Our ancestors were awed by earth; we download  Google Earth, interested in what’s been built upon a street a thousand miles away. We are not amazed at creation, but at what we create. We are awestruck by ourselves instead of It All. 

It doesn’t take time to become enlightened; only to learn how to make use of it. The Power of Wow can transfix and transform you in an instant. All you got to do is arrive…all the way here. Drown in the Now. Get your ass out of the way and let the love flow in till it owns you and shakes you free of all else.

Like right now, if you like.

People meditate or take powerful drugs or drive racecars or climb sheer cliffs just  to slow time down enough to totally arrive in the moment and come to, if only for a heartbeat or two. They do it to awake from the slumber of the sleepwalking trance you and I spend most of our time in.

Try this a moment: Sit up comfortably there in front of your screen, take a deep breath, and drop your attention down into your body, and notice what you notice.

…and another deep breath.

What are you aware of? The room you’re in. The feel of the air on your skin. What’s around you? Are there thoughts in your brain? What are the sounds around you? The colors in your view? The taste in your mouth?

And what are you aware of now?

The Power of Wow can redesign your worldview in the time it takes to say “Oh..!!!”

…and now?

It can rearrange your priorities and give you some perspective on your problems. It can pluck you up out of the dreck of your day for the Larger View, and drop you down again into your life and make you laugh till you wake from your bad dream.

…and now?

And that’s all I have to say.

…and now?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Niseema permalink
    April 16, 2010 12:30 pm


  2. Dave Abramowitz permalink
    April 19, 2010 4:19 am

    Chariley, you write. “You miss the transcendent glory of Creation’s majesty.” I wonder you could not bring yourself to say it. Waking is fine, getting “charged” shows you know it’s all about courage, honesty, but dare say and feel, you miss the transcendent glory of Our Creator”s majesty.

    Hillel said words to the effect if I am only for myself, then what or who am I, implying clearly we should be for each other, but if I’m not first and foremost for my Creator, and can’t acknowledge that from my heart, then I may charge myself up, but be somewhere ” missing in action.

    Yes, you’re right about “the power of wow,” unless that doesn’t become a kind of drug, an attachment, always needing, craving highs. I did love many of your insights, though Who graced you with the life you are waking to? . . ..

    • April 19, 2010 7:01 pm

      Just as you’re concerned about the Power of Wow becoming “a kind of drug” (a good concern to have) I’m concerned about people who acknowledge and focus on the Creator instead of focussing on what, and who, He created. I even sense that some people “love the Lord” partially as a way of expressing their distaste for human beings.

  3. Dave Abramowitz permalink
    April 19, 2010 3:47 pm

    Brother, don’t just be amazed by the creation, or refer to “the gods,” but, in Truth, dare be in love with The One Creator. We are “the truth-seed and some of us are the fruit and the unfolding, the blossoming, but have the grace first to thank “The Gardener” who makes it all possible and “waters you . . .”

  4. Dave Abramowitz permalink
    April 20, 2010 1:33 pm

    Hi Charley,

    I love people and I’m np religious fanatic and I’m not “hiding behind God.” However I do find a whole shmorgesbord of feel-good beliefs that you have primarily just self-indulgent,. It’s kind of like a whole pantheon of Hindu and Buddhist “gods.” It”s kind of nice to tell the kiddies, but let”s wake up, already. And I do more than just “acknowledge God;” as you say, but believe the primary adventure in life is to enter into personal relationship with Our Creator and know that is real, and only seel to serve. You’ve been a brother to me for morwe than half my life and I’ve been ever grateful for that. You”re right that if one just does a lot of God-talk and fails to love and honor one’s fellow woman and man, then it’s all bullshit, but pleace don’t suspect me of bullshit. I can say I’ve been sorely tested in my life and I’m grateful for my disillusionments, because I can see what”s real and I don’t need a joint toget there. So I salute your courage and often your magnificence in giving to others, but please truly factor God into the equation, so your whole mathematics makes sense. You greatly owe yourself the joy of that, to which all other joys are really very poor, I dare say, in comparison.

    I believe waking up to God for people who”ve been around as long as we have, is now “a choice,and a readical and life-transfrorming choice, at that.

    I honor your courage to dare speak your truth, as you see it. I see these biweekly transmissions are kind of Ram Dass-like “coming out party for you and yours, so forgive me if I gracefully bow out. I wouldn’t want to stink up the party with too many uncomfortable truths.

    Best, brother . . .

  5. Jeff Kelton permalink
    April 21, 2010 6:28 pm

    Brother Dave’s concerns about including God is important. I think this is inherently contained by what you are saying Charlie. I think the whole point of the Power of Wow is that not only do we not pay attention enough to this possibility but even when we do do we don’t go far enough. By going more deeply into the Wow we meet and connect with God (or what ever your understanding of what is All). Inner and Outer are all connected.



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