Wisdom of Life

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: On the Wisdom of Life, Love, and Man

Do not forget that the value and interest of life is not so much to do conspicuous things…
as to do ordinary things with the perception of their enormous value.

 

IMG_20191231_215748“Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation. We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other. Remain true to yourself, but move ever upward toward greater consciousness and greater love! At the summit you will find yourselves united with all those who, from every direction, have made the same ascent.

We, mankind, contain the possibilities of the earth’s immense future, and can realise more and more of them on condition that we increase our knowledge and our love. That, it seems to me, is the distillation of The Phenomenon of Man.

The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope. The most telling and profound way of describing the evolution of the universe would undoubtedly be to trace the evolution of love. The time has come to realise that an interpretation of the universe—even a positivist one—remains unsatisfying unless it covers the interior as well as the exterior of things; mind as well as matter. The true physics is that which will, one day, achieve the inclusion of man in his wholeness in a coherent picture of the world.

By means of all created things, without excaption, the Divine assails us, penetrates us, and molds us. We imagined it as distant and inaccessible, when in fact we live steeped in its burning layers. We are not human beings in search of a spiritual experience. We are a spiritual beings immersed in a human experience.

Love is the most universal, the most tremendous and the most mystical of cosmic forces. Love is the primal and universal psychic energy. Love is a sacred reserve of energy; it is like the blood of spiritual evolution. Love is an adventure and a conquest. It survives and develops, like the universe itself, only by perpetual discovery. 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. Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world. Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis.

What paralyzes life is lack of faith and lack of courage. The difficulty lies not in solving problems but in expressing them correctly; and we can now see that it is biologically undeniable that unless we harness passion to the service of spirit there can be no progress. Sooner or later, then, and in spite of all our incredulity, the world will take this step— because the greater truth always prevails and the greater good emerges in the end. The day will come when, after mastering the ether, the winds, the tides, gravity, we shall master the energies of love, for God. And then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”

“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.”

Excerpts from:

  • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, On Love and Happiness
  • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man
  • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Evolution of Chastity

***

~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of the Peking Man. He conceived the vitalist idea of the Omega Point, and he developed Vladimir Vernadsky’s concept of noosphere.

Excellence Reporter 2020

Categories: Wisdom of Life

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