It’s a Jungian thing; a sense of awe evolved from the instinctual fear of our far distant ancestors, the egg-stealing, ratlike creatures who scurried in the shadows of the true Leviathans. They may be long dead, but they have rarely been “extinct”—the legends of dragons, feathered serpents, the Chinese Lóng…creatures of myth, but spawned from the base racial memory of the beasts burned into our genetic code; a strength not even held by any god still worshipped by modern man.
To have unenlightened faith in your deity can be a powerful thing; but, imagine the god being wrenched solidly out of legend, and into the realm of facts. But beyond that, one learns not only of that “god’s” incontestable reality, but sees all it’s secrets dragged into the light of understanding. What was once an incomprehensible being of unlimited power, the master of the world, has fallen like the Colossus. When our ancestors fled from their “God” in cracks and shadows, we, their decendants, keep their bones under glass: as specimens, and trophies. Die Götter sind Tot—and they are at our mercy. We cannot help but feel both stunned awe and triumphant dominance, bewilderment and total comprehension, fear and glee. A fundamentally spiritual experience.
If you don’t like that story, I have others.