When I was in high school, among the books I was attracted to was “The Phenomenon of Man” by Jesuit priest and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. I did not fully understand the book but somehow it impressed my young mind as a work of extraordinary importance.
It was decades later, when I was teaching at the Asian Social Institute’s doctoral program in Applied Cosmic Anthropology, that I fully grasped one of de Chardin’s insights: that the cosmos itself is evolving towards higher complexity and high consciousness. In fact, it had undergone a sequence of three creative quantum jumps:
- “Big Bang” of the cosmologists: the birth of energy-then-matter from nothingness
- Emergence of life and living forms
- Emergence of human consciousness: to Teilhard de Chardin, humans becoming conscious of evolution and its part in that evolution is like “the universe folding back in itself.”
Along the three creative quantum jumps, according to de Chardin, Earth is a geosphere from which developed a biosphere from which he foresaw the coming of a “noosphere” or the sphere of human consciousness. Many believe that the Internet is the physical beginning of de Chardin’s noosphere. He dreamed of a vision — both scientific and spiritual — of a noosphere among women and men of goodwill and love: “The day will come when after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” Indigo learning practices belong to these new “second fire” technologies.
Like many prophets carrying forth a new message, he was misunderstood and made to suffer from his message. Institutionalized mindsets defended itself: his superior in the Catholic hierarchy formally silenced him and the Vatican officially denounced his works after his death.
However his writings were circulated secretly in mimeographed forms among Catholic priests and non-Catholic sympathizers. His book “The Phenomenon of Man” was published after his death in 1955. The dream and vision of de Chardin must have a compelling truth in them that resonates with many people; as a result his works continue to grow in popularity. For samplers, read what cosmologist Brian Swimme and theologian Ursula King says.
It may take decades and centuries, but in the end, people wake up to discard smaller truths and embrace larger truths. Last 24 July 2009, the Pope finally acknowledged Pierre Teilhard de Chardin by saying “This is also the great vision of Teilhard de Chardin: in the end we shall achieve a true cosmic liturgy.”
PIERRE TEILHARD DE CHARDIN
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