Meditation : Pierre Teilhard de Chardin+

Pierre-Teilhard-de-Chardin-660x350-1421748200“By definition and in essence Christianity is the religion of the Incarnation: God uniting Himself with the world, which He created to unify it and in some sort incorporate it in Himself. To the worshipper of Christ this act expresses the history of the universe.

But how does it operate, this gradual conquest and assimilation of Earth by Heaven? In the first place, by the addition to the Mystical Body of an increasing multitude of human souls, “until the number shall be complete.” But also qualitatively, by the steady growth, within the bosom of the church, of a certain Christological perspective. Through the living tradition of a faith and a mystique the Christian organism diffuses or expresses itself an ever more awakened sense of Christ present and active in the fulfillments of the world. We cannot continue to love Christ without discovering him more and more. The maturing of a collective consciousness accompanied by numerical expansion; these are two aspects inseparably linked in the historical unfolding of the Incarnation.”

~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin+, The Future of Man, Image Books, 1959


Pierre Teilhard de Chardin+ (1881-1955) was a philosopher, paleontologist, and a Jesuit priest. As a scientist and paleontologist he co-discovered the celebrated “Peking Man” fossils. His best known work, The Phenomenon of Man, is a work in which he seeks to reconcile science, evolution and the Spiritual Life. This above passage is from his book The Future of Man, and is part of an essay on the role of education in the development of two trends of collective human consciousness: one toward Christ, and the other toward Mankind, and asks the question as to whether these are simply “related phases, on different levels, of the same event”.

Teilhard concludes that “all human enrichment is but dross except inasmuch as it becomes the most precious and incorruptible of all things by adding itself to an immortal center of love: such is the supreme knowledge and the ultimate lesson to be imparted by the Christian educator.” He conceived the idea of the Omega Point, a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which he believed the universe was evolving. Another way of saying this is that the commandments to “Love God” and “Love One Another” stand at the center not only of the evolution of humankind, but that this “immortal center of Love” is the driving force for the evolving nature of the universe itself.