French Philosopher, Paleontologist, Geologist, Jesuit Priest and Author
Teilhard de Chardin, fully Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
French Philosopher, Paleontologist, Geologist, Jesuit Priest and Author
Bearing this in mind, the ultimate form to be assumed by mankind should not be conceived on the lines of a stem that is swollen with the sap of all the stems it killed as it grew. It will be born (for born it cannot but be) in the form of some organism in which, obeying one of the universe's most unmistakable laws, every blade and every fascicle, every individual and every nation, will find completion through union with all the others. No longer a succession of eliminations, but a confluence of energies -'synergy'. Such, if we have cars to hear, is the message of biology.
From this, as a final summary, I draw the following conclusion. To have become conscious of our condition as 'atoms patient of synthesis' is not merely to have attained a new vision of the general relationship which links matter to thought, and thought to God. It is in addition, and by that very fact, to redefine the line followed by the immutable axis of, and by that very holiness.
In the spiritual life, as in all organic processes, everyone has their optimum and it is just as harmful to go beyond it as not to attain it.
Meanwhile, they are growing firmer every day, under the combined action of all the forces that surround us; and history shows that, as a whole, their network (woven under the influence of irreversible cosmic factors) has never ceased to draw tighter.
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 into a new sphere. In reality, another world is born. Abstraction, logic, reasoned choice and inventions, mathematics, art, calculation of space and time, anxieties and dreams of love--all these activities of inner life are nothing else than the effervescence of the newly-formed center as it explodes onto itself.
The truth is, indeed, that love is the threshold of another universe. Beyond the vibrations with which we are familiar, the rainbow-like range of its colors is still in full growth. But, for all the fascination that the lower shades have for us, it is only towards the ultra that the creation of light advances. It is in these invisible and, we might almost say, immaterial zones that we can look for true initiation into unity. The depths we attribute to matter are no more than the reflection of the peaks of spirit.
Beneath our eyes, extending from the electron to Man by way of the proteins, viruses, bacteria, protozoa and metazoa, a long chain of composites is forming and unfolding, eventually attaining an astronomical degree of complexity and arrangement. Why should we not simply define Life as the specific property of Matter, the Stuff of the Universe, carried by evolution into the zone of highest complexity? And why not define Time itself as precisely the rise of the Universe into those high latitudes where complexity, concentration, centration and consciousness grow and increase, simultaneously and correlatively?
God is inexhaustibly attainable in the totality of our action.
It doesn't matter if the water is cold or warm if you're going to have to wade through it anyway.
One day after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity — after all the scientific and technological achievements — we shall harness for God the energies of love. And then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire.
The universe as we know it is a joint product of the observer and the observed.
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.
Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven't committed.
It has sometimes seemed to me there are three weak stones sitting dangerously in the foundations of the modern Church: first, a government that excludes democracy; second, a priesthood that excludes and minimizes women; third, a revelation that excludes, for the future, prophecy.
Our century is probably more religious than any other. How could it fail to be, with such problems to be solved? The only trouble is that it has not yet found a God it can adore.
The end of the world the wholesale internal introversion upon itself of the noosphere, which has simultaneously reached the uttermost limit of its complexity and its centrality ... the overthrow of equilibrium, detaching the mind, fulfilled at last, from its material matrix, so that it will henceforth rest with all its weight on God-Omega ... critical point simultaneously of emergence and emersion, of maturation and evasion.
The values of this world below the level of God, while Humanism finds room for a God above the level of this world. Inverse and complementary movements: or rather, the two faces of a single event which perhaps marks the beginning of a new era for Mankind. This double transformation is something more than a speculation of my own. Throughout the world at this moment, without distinction of country, class, calling or creed, men are appearing who have begun to reason, to act and to pray in terms of the limitless and organic dimensions of Space-Time. To the outside observer such men may still seem isolated. But they are aware of one another among themselves, they recognize each other whenever their paths cross. They know that tomorrow, rejecting old concepts, divisions and forms, the whole world will see what they see and think as they do.
Blessed be you, mighty matter, irresistible march of evolution, reality ever newborn; you who, by constantly shattering our mental categories, force us to go ever further and further in our pursuit of the truth.
He recognized with absolute certainty the empty fragility of even the noblest theorizings as compared with the definitive plenitude of the smallest fact grasped in its total, concrete reality.
It is not our heads or our bodies which we must bring together, but our hearts. . . . Humanity. . . is building its composite brain beneath our eyes. May it not be that tomorrow, through the logical and biological deepening of the movement drawing it together, it will find its heart, without which the ultimate wholeness of its power of unification can never be achieved?
Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.
The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.
The world can no more have two summits than a circumference can have two centers.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.