Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Paleontologist, Mystic and Jesuit Priest
...I can now see quite clearly that the only effect that brilliant book had upon me was to provide fuel at just the right moment, and very briefly, for a fire that was already consuming my heart and mind. And that fire had been kindled, I imagine, simply by the coincidence in me...of the three inflammable elements that had slowly piled up in the depths of my soul over a period of thirty years. These were the cult of Matter, the cult of Life, and the cult of Energy.
(The Heart of Matter, p. 25)
During the time of the world wars
The Whole of History teaches us this lesson, that after every revolution and after every war Mankind has always emerged a little more self- cohesive, a little more unified, because the links that hold its organism together are more firmly locked together and hope of a common eman- cipation has become strengthened.... It will not be long before the human mass closes in upon itself and groups all its members in a definitively realized unity. Respect for one and the same law, one and the same orientation, one and the same spirit, are tending to overlay the perma- nent diversity of individuals and nations. Wait but a little longer, and we shall form but one solid block. The cement is already setting.
(The Heart of Matter, pp. 184–85)
Teilhard’s view of an evolving Universe
Because it contains and engenders consciousness, space-time is necessarily of a convergent nature. Accordingly its enormous layers, followed in the right direction, must somewhere ahead become involuted to a point we might call Omega, which fuses and consumes them integrally in itself.
(The Phenomenon of Man, p. 259)
Final years and posthumous works
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. For everything that rises must converge.
Teilhard and the information age
Teilhard imagined a stage of evolution characterized by a complex membrane of information enveloping the globe and fueled by human consciousness. It sounds a little off-the-wall, until you think about the Net, that vast electronic web encircling the Earth, running point to point through a nervelike constellation of wires. We live in an intertwined world of telephone lines, wireless satellite-based transmissions, and dedicated computer circuits that allow us to travel electronically from Des Moines to Delhi in the blink of an eye. Teilhard saw the Net coming more than half a century before it arrived.
Teilhard de Chardin was among the first to give serious consideration to the future of human evolution.... [He] is almost certainly the first to describe the acceleration of technological progress to a singularity in which human intelligence will become super intelligence.