A Blaze of Holy Unease, Part 2

Continued from yesterday.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin saw creation as dynamic in matter and spirit, and understood the world and specifically human consciousness as continually evolving. He believed creation to be the process of divine incarnation, all of the world perpetually moving toward God. The process was not and could not yet be complete. As a result “nothing is profane here below for those who have eyes to see.” All is sacred.

In Chardin’s Mass of the World, written in the vast expanses of the Inner Mongolian Ordos Desert, he prays: “the offering you really want, the offering you mysteriously need every day to appease your hunger, to slake your thirst is nothing less than the growth of the world borne ever onwards in the stream of universal becoming.”

God is no passive player, as Chardin writes in The Divine Milieu:“God truly waits for us in all things, unless indeed he advances to meet us.”

“The world is charged with the grandeur of God,” goes the poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, a Jesuit in the century before Chardin. I imagine the world is filled with more dimensions and ways to understand it than we could begin to hold in our mind at one time, or even one lifetime.

Chardin saw that grandeur shimmering in every layer of his excavations of Peking Man; each piece he discerned with a worldview which seems increasingly contemporary. He saw in all things a “luminosity and fragrance which suffuse the universe” all moving toward what he called the noosphere, or one ultimate intelligence in God. “Throughout my whole life,” he wrote, “the world has been gradually lighting up and blazing before my eyes until it has come to surround me, entirely lit up from within.”

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