Teilhard also spoke in terms of “giving birth to person.” For example, your colleague Craig is there across the room. But if you go back five billion years, all of the atoms in Craig’s body were strung out over a hundred million miles. The process, as mysterious as it is, of matter itself forming into personality or personhood, is what Teilhard regarded as the essence of evolution. Evolution isn’t cold. He saw the omega point as that same process of giving birth to or actualizing this new, encompassing Divine Person—through not just all the atoms interacting with one another, but also the “persons” of all the humans and other animals. All of us together are part of this same process, so that the entire universe becomes God’s body. To really get how radical Teilhard’s view is, think about an animal and dissolve the animal back in time in your imagination, back into individual cells. There weren’t any multicellular organisms until about seven hundred million years ago. For over three billion years, there were just single-cell organisms. If you get to know an animal well, the animal really has a personality. But the personality is something that is evoked by the cells of the animal. It’s truly mysterious. The animal’s personality is real, but that personality is evoked by the cells. So in Teilhard’s view, the individual members of the universe are actually in a process of evoking a Divine Person. We are actually giving birth to a larger, more encompassing, mind-spirit-personality.
January 27, 2007
Brian Swimme on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
What is Enlightenment? + Zaadz has an extremely interesting interview with mathematical cosmologist Brian Swimme in which he discusses the influential Jesuit mystic, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Here's an excerpt from the article, Awakening to the Universe Story: