French Philosopher, Paleontologist, Geologist, Jesuit Priest and Author
Teilhard de Chardin, fully Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
French Philosopher, Paleontologist, Geologist, Jesuit Priest and Author
Those who spread their sails in the right way to the winds of the earth will always find themselves born by a current towards the open seas.
All the communions of a life-time are one communion. All the communions of all men now living are one communion. All the communions of all men, present, past and future, are one communion.
Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come into being. Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves.
If I should lose all faith in God, I think that I should continue to believe invincibly in the world.
Love in all its subtleties is nothing more, and nothing less, than the more or less direct trace marked on the heart of the element by the psychical convergence of the universe upon itself.
Seeing. One could say that the whole of life lies in seeing — if not ultimately, at least essentially. To be more is to be more united — and this sums up and is the very conclusion of the work to follow. But unity grows, and we will affirm this again, only if it is supported by an increase of consciousness, of vision. That is probably why the history of the living world can be reduced to the elaboration of ever more perfect eyes at the heart of a cosmos where it is always possible to discern more. Are not the perfection of an animal and the supremacy of the thinking being measured by the penetration and power of synthesis of their glance? To try to see more and to see better is not, therefore, just a fantasy, curiosity, or a luxury. See or perish. This is the situation imposed on every element of the universe by the mysterious gift of existence. And thus, to a higher degree, this is the human condition.
The most telling and profound way of describing the evolution of the universe would undoubtedly be to trace the evolution of love.
Through the incarnation God descended into nature in order to super-animate and take it back to him.
Already, in the social and biological field, the fact of our recognizing that, as a result of the properties of love, the universe becomes personalized as it concentrates, was enabling us to avoid both fragmentation through individualization and mechanization through collectivism. Now, in the domain of mysticism, the same light shows us the channel between two equally dangerous reefs. Ever since man, in becoming man, started on his quest for unity, he has constantly oscillated, in his visions, in his ascesis, or in his dreams, between a cult of the spirit which made him jettison matter and a cult of matter which made him deny spirit: omegalization allows us to pass between this Scylla and Charybdis of rarefaction or the quagmire. Detachment now comes not through a severance but through a traversing and a sublimation; and spiritualization not by negation of the multiple or an escape from it, but by emergence. This is the via tertia that opens up before us as soon as spirit is no longer the opposite extreme but the higher pole of matter in course of super-centration. It is not a cautious and neutral middle course, but the bold, higher road, in which the values and properties of the two other roads are combined and correct one another.
Everything that rises must converge.
If the event that characterizes our epoch is a growing awareness of the convergent nature of Space-Time, then nothing can be more ill-founded than this pessimism. Transferred within the cone of Time, and there transmuted, the Christian system is neither disorganized nor deformed. On the contrary, sustained by the new environment, it more than ever develops its main lines, acquiring an added coherence and clarity.
Love is a sacred reserve of energy it is like the blood of spiritual evolution.
Since once again, O Lord, in the steppes of Asia, I have no bread, no wine, no altar, I will raise myself above those symbols to the pure majesty of reality, and I will offer to you, I, your priest, upon the altar of the entire earth, the labor and the suffering of the world.
The only way forward is in the direction of a common passion, for nothing in the universe can ultimately resist the cumulative ardor of the collective soul.
Thus a general human life is irresistibly being constituted around our own private lives. This is not a matter of a vague symbiosis' which would simply ensure, through mutual assistance, the continued existence, as individuals, of the members of the community, or even their further development. Certain 'effects' are already emerging from the association that has been formed, and these are specifically proper to collectivity. We take no notice of such effects, and yet we can see countless examples of them on all sides. Take simply the case of an aircraft, or a radio, or a Leica: and consider the physics, the chemistry and mechanics such things presuppose for their existence - the n-Lines, laboratories, factories, arms, brains, hands. By virtue of its construction (and this is undeniable) each one of these devices is, and cannot but be, only the convergent result of countless disciplines and techniques whose bewildering complexity could be mastered by no single worker in isolation. In their conception and manufacture, these familiar objects presuppose nothing less than a complex reflective organism, acting per modum unius, as a single agent. Already we see in them the work not simply of man, but of mankind.
As a result of changes which, over the last century, have modified our empirically based pictures of the world and hence the moral value of many of its elements, the ' human religious ideal ' inclines to stress certain tendencies and to express itself in terms which seem, at first sight, no longer to coincide with the 'Christian religious ideal '.
Evolution is gaining the psychic zones of the world... life, being and ascent of consciousness, could not continue to advance indefinitely along its line without transforming itself in depth. The being who is the object of his own reflection, in consequence, of that very doubling back upon himself becomes in a flash able to raise himself to a new sphere.
If there were no internal propensity to unite, even at a prodigiously rudimentary level — indeed in the molecule itself — it would be physically impossible for love to appear higher up, with us, in hominized form.... Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come into being.
Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world.... Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis.
So many things which once had distressed or revolted him — the speeches and pronouncements of the learned, their assertions and their prohibitions, their refusal to allow the universe to move — all seemed to him now merely ridiculous, non-existent, compared with the majestic reality, the flood of energy, which now revealed itself to him: omnipresent, unalterable in its truth, relentless in its development, untouchable in its serenity, maternal and unfailing in its protectiveness.
The outcome of the world, the gates of the future, the entry into the super-human--these are not thrown open to a few of the privileged nor to one chosen people to the exclusion of all others. They will open only to an advance of all together, in a direction in which all together can join and find completion in a spiritual renovation of the earth...
To be fully ourselves it is in the opposite direction, in the direction of convergence with all the rest, that we must advance--towards the 'other.' The peak of ourselves, the acme of our originality, is not our individuality but our person; and according to the evolutionary structure of the world, we can only find our person by uniting together. There is no mind without synthesis. The same holds good from top to bottom. The true ego grows in inverse proportion to 'egoism.' Like the Omega which attracts it, the element only becomes personal when it universalizes itself.
As I pointed out, for one form of synthesis that brings freedom there are hundreds of others that lead only to the vilest forms of bondage. We are only too conscious of this; but how can we come together in such a way as to free ourselves? In virtue of the laws of moleculization, the problem obviously consists in finding the way of grouping ourselves together not 'tangentially', in the nexus of an extrinsic activity or function, but radially', center to center; how to associate in such a way as, by synthesis, to stimulate deep within ourselves a progress that is directly centric in nature. In other words, what we have to do is to love one another because love is equally by definition the name we give to 'inter-centric' actions. By its nature, love is the only synthesizing energy whose differentiating action can super-personalize us. But just how can one ever contrive to love a multitude? if we set the two words side by side, love and multitude, surely they enclose a contradiction?
Faith in humankind does not appear capable of being satisfied without a fully explicit Christ... Any other method would only lead to confusion or to syncretism without any vigour or originality... What we lack is the clear perception of a well-defined (and real) Îtypeâ of God and an equally well-defined Îtypeâ of humankind. If each group maintains its own type of God and its own type of humankind... no agreement can be taken seriously: it will do no more than produce equivocations or pure sentiment.
In a concrete sense there is not matter and spirit. All that exists is matter becoming spirit. There is neither spirit nor matter in the world; the stuff of the universe is *spirit-matter*. No other substance but this could produce the human molecule. I know very well that this idea of spirit-matter is regarded as a hybrid monster, a verbal exorcism of a duality which remains unresolved in its terms. But I remain convinced that the objections made to it arise from the mere fact that few people can make up their minds to abandon an old point of view and take the risk of a new idea. ... Biologists or philosophers cannot conceive a biosphere or noosphere because they are unwilling to abandon a certain narrow conception of individuality. Nevertheless, the step must be taken. For in fact, pure spirituality is as unconceivable as pure materiality. Just as, in a sense, there is no geometrical point, but as many structurally different points as there are methods of deriving them from different figures, so every spirit derives its reality and nature from a particular type of universal synthesis. Whatever its purity, however great its purity, it is the crown and expression of a genesis. The higher a being is in duration, the greater and more finely unified the complexity that it contains in its solid parts. The reality of spirit-matter is inevitably translated into and confirmed by a structure of the spirit.