When I was a child, I was fascinated by lightning storms: the forks of light illuminating the night sky, accompanied by the “voice of God”, filled me with awe and fear. I would wake up in the middle of the night and stand by the window, watching the luminous sky in utter fascination.
Today, we seemed to have largely lost the sense of wonder in our disenchanted universe, due to the “abandonment of a premodern sacramental mindset in which the realities of this-worldly existence pointed to greater, eternal realities in which they sacramentally shared. Once modernity abandoned a participatory or sacramental view of reality, the created order became unmoored from its origin in God, and the material cosmos began its precarious drift on the flux of nihilistic waves.” (Hans Boersma, Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry, Eerdmans, 2011)
Awe has given way to AWE: Angst, Ennui, and Weltschmerz. The numinous has been eclipsed by the “normal.”