Many / One

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The Divine Milieu
Pierre Teilhard deChardin

1 "This is what I have learnt from my contact with the earth – the diaphany of the divine at the heart of a glowing universe, the divine radiating from the depths of matter a-flame."

2 "All created things, every one of them, cannot be looked at, in their nature and action, without the same reality being found in their innermost being – like sunlight in the fragments of a broken mirror – one beneath its multiplicity."

3 "Our lives, and consequently the whole of our world, are full of God."

4 "By means of all created things, without exception, the divine assails us, penetrates us and moulds us."

5 "The world with all its riches, life with its astounding achievements, man with the constant prodigy of his inventive powers, all are organically integrated in one single growth and one historical process, and all share the same upward progress towards an era of fulfilment." Pierre Leroy, S.J., foreword

6 "Yes, the human layer of the earth is wholly and continuously under the organising influx of the incarnate Christ."

7 "Your essential duty and desire is to be united with God. But in order to be united, you must first of all Be – be yourself as completely as possible."

8 "The enrichment and ferment of religious thought in our time has undoubtedly been caused by the revelation of the size and the unity of the world all around us and within us. All around us the physical sciences are endlessly extending the abysses of time and space, and cleaselessly discerning new relationships between the elements of the universe. Within us a whole world of affinities and interrelated sympathies, as old as the human soul, is being awakened by the stimulus of these great discoveries, and what has hitherto been dreamed rather than experienced is at last taking shape and consistency. Scholarly and discriminating among serious thinkers, simple or didactic among the half-educated, the aspirations towards a vaster and more organic One, and the premonitions of unknown forces and their application in new fields, are the same, and are emerging simultaneously on all sides. It is almost a commonplace today to find people who, quote naturally and unaffectedly, live in the explicit consciousness of being an atom or a cititzen of the universe."

9 "Will not the work itself of our minds, of our hearts, and of our hands – that is to say, our achievements, what we bring into being, our opus – will not this in some sense be 'eternalised' and saved? Indeed, Lord, it will be – by virtue of a claim which you yourself have implanted at the very centre of my will! I desire and need that it should be."

10 "The substantial ONE and the created MANY fuse without confusion in a WHOLE."

11 "Every genesis presupposes inter-connections, mutual or reciprocal dependence, with no breach. It implies in the being that is forming itself a kinship between the composing elements; thus a static cosmos, fragmented in make-up, is unthinkable." Pierre Leroy, S.J., foreword

12 "Look upon the world as maturing – not only in each individual or in each nation, but in the whole human race – a specific power of knowing and loving whose transfigured term is charity, but whose roots and elemental sap lie in the discovery and the love of everything that is true and beautiful in creation."

13 "We must try to penetrate our most secret self, and examine our being from all sides. Let us try, patiently, to perceive the ocean of forces to which we are subjected and in which our growth is, as it were, steeped. This is a salutary exercise."

14 "No object can influence us by its essence without our being touched by the radiance of the focus of the universe…..In the divine milieu all the elements of the universe touch each other by that which is most inward and ultimate in them."

15 "You must let the clear spring water of purity of intention flow into your work, as if it were its very substance. Cleanse your intention, and the least of your actions will be filled with God."

16 "We find ourselves at every moment situated at the exact point at which the whole bundle of inward and outward forces of the world converge providentially upon us, that is to say at the one point where the divine milieu can, at a given moment, be made real for us."

17 "What is most divine in God is that, in an absolute sense, we are nothing apart from him."

18 "God, in all that is most living and incarnate in him, is not far away from us, altogether apart from the world we see, touch, hear, smell and taste about us. Rather he awaits us every instant in our action, in the work of the moment. There is a sense in which he is at the tip of my pen, my spade, my brush, my needle – of my heart and of my thought. By pressing the stroke, the line, or the stitch, on which I am engaged, to its ultimate natural finish, I shall lay hold of that last end towards which my innermost will tends."

19 "May the time come when people, having been awakened to a sense of the close bond linking all the movements of this owrld in the single, all-embracing work of the Incarnation, shall be unable to give themselves to any one of their tasks without illuminating it with the clear vision that their work – however elementary it may be – is received and put to good use by a Centre of the universe."

20 "From the smallest individual detail to the vastest aggregations, our living universe (in common with our inorganic universe) has a structure, and this structure can owe its nature only to a phenomenon of growth."

21 "In each one of us, through matter, the whole history of the world is in part reflected. And however autonomous our soul, it in indebted to an inheritance worked upon from all sides – before ever it came into being – by the totality of the energies of the earth."

22 "Throughout my life, by means of my life, the world has become almost completely luminous from within…Such has been my experience in contact with the earth – the diaphany of the Divine at the heart of the universe on fire….Christ; his heart; a fire: capable of penetrating everywhere and, gradually, spreading everywhere."

23 "To overcome every obstacle, to unite our beings without loss of individual personality, there is a single force which nothing can replace and nothing destroy, a force which urges us forwards and draws us upwards: this is the force of love."

24 "Matter and spirit, as we know them in our universe, are not two separate substances, set side by side and differing in nature. They are two distinct aspects of one single cosmic stuff and there is between them no conflict to baffle our intelligence." Pierre Leroy, S.J., foreword

25 "Humanity was sleeping – it is still sleeping – imprisoned in the narrow joys of its little closed loves. A tremendous spiritual power is slumbering in the depths of our multitude, which will manifest itself when we have learnt to break down the barriers of our egoisms and, by a fundamental recasting of our outlook, raise ourselves up to the habitual and practical vision of universal realities."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite