Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881 – 1955) was a French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of Peking Man. He conceived of a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which he believed the universe was evolving. Teilhard’s life work was predicated on his conviction that human spiritual development is moved by the same universal laws as material development.
Quotes by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin…
From all these discoveries, each of which plunges him a little deeper into the ocean of energy, the mystic derives an unalloyed delight, and his thirst for them is unquenchable.
So many things which once had distressed or revolted him — the speeches and pronouncements of the learned, their assertions and their prohibitions, their refusal to allow the universe to move — are seemed to him now merely ridiculous, non-existent, compared with the Majestic Reality, the flood of energy, which now revealed itself to him: omnipresent, unalterable in its truth, relentless in its development, untouchable in its serenity, maternal and unfailing in its protectiveness.
When your presence flooded me with its light I hoped that within it I might find Ultimate Reality at its most tangible. But now that I have in fact laid hold on you, you who are utter consistency, and feel myself borne by you, I realize that my deepest hidden desire was not to possess you, but to be possessed.
Like the monist I plunge into the all-inclusive One. But the one is so perfect that as it receives me and I lose myself in it, I can find in it the ultimate perfection of my own individuality.
Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
We must try to penetrate our most secret self, and examine our being from all sides… And so, for the first time in my life perhaps (although I am supposed to meditate every day!), I took the lamp and, leaving the zone of everyday occupations and relationships where everything seems clear, I went down into my inmost self, to the deep abyss whence I feel dimly that my power of action emanates. But as I moved further and further away from the conventional certainties by which social life is superficially illuminated, I became aware that I was losing contact with myself. At each step of the descent a new person was disclosed within me of whose name I was no longer sure, and who no longer obeyed me. And when I had to stop my exploration because the path faded from beneath my steps, I found a bottomless abyss at my feet, and out of it came — arising I know not from where — the current which I dare to call my life.