Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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Science and Christ
Pierre Teilhard deChardin

1 "There is ultimately one single physical reality developing in the cosmos, one single monad."

2 "However far back we may go in the history of philosophy and religions, the idea of a whole in process of formation has always been the pole with a magnetic attraction for the loftiest minds and the finest souls."

3 "Of all the ways in which we try to picture the world, that one alone is real which most completely satisfies our thirst for unity."

4 "It is not only in the thought of philosophers or the contemplation of mystics – but in the general consciousness of man – that the awareness of some divine presence underlying evolution demands to be clearly recognised as an ultimate and constant support for action."

5 "The forces that confront one another all around us are not forces of destruction: each of them includes positive components…..By sharing those same components, they are not moving further away from one another, but are converging, in a hidden way, towards a common concept of the future…And this explains their implacable nature, in each one of them it is the world itself that is on the defensive and is struggling towards the light. Fragments that are seeking one another, and not fragments that are parting from one another, a world that is striving for unity, not a world that is disintegrating. A crisis of birth, and not symptoms of death. Essential affinities and not undying hate. That is what we are witnessing."

6 "The elements contain in themselves the virtue of the whole: to hold the elements is to possess the whole. That is the principle implicitly accepted by a number of scientists and even philosophers."

7 "The One appears to us in the wake of the Multiple, dominating the Multiple, since its essential and formal act is to unite."

8 "The world can no longer be an agglomeration of juxtaposed objects: we must recognise it as one great whole, welded together and evolving organically."

9 "Everything becomes one by becoming self."

10 "I love the universe that surrounds me too dearly not to have confidence in it."

11 "It is the attraction of the whole that has set everything in motion in me, has animated and given organic form to everything. It is because I feel the whole and love it passionately that I believe in the primacy of being – and that I cannot admit that life meets a final check – and that I cannot look for a lesser reward than this whole itself."

12 "The present history of religious sentiment in men, whoever they may be, seems to me to be dominated by a sort of revelation, emerging in human consciousness, of the one great universe."

13 "The presence of the Incarnate Word penetrates everything, as a universal element. It shines at the common heart of things, as a centre that is infinitely intimate to them."

14 "It is Christ himself, in the very depths of our being, who seeks to be born and grow greater in our bodies and souls."

15 "The absolute, the intelligible, lies at the centre, in the direction in which everything is heightened to the point of being but one."

16 "The fact of religion is a biological phenomenon, directly associated with the increase in the release of the earth's psychic energy. The curve it follows is therefore not individual, nor national, nor racial, but human. Religion, like science or civilisation, has an 'ontogenesis' co-extensive with the history of mankind."

17 "The world we know does not develop haphazardly, but is structurally dominated by a Personal Centre of universal convergence."

18 "As we look around us and into ourselves, we can see that the universe is not merely a large static association made up of fully formed objects, but a specific whole, with a power of organic development."

19 "Every substance is held up by a series of Substances-of-Substance that support one another, step by step, up to the Supreme Centre at which everything converges."

20 "The cycle that sends man down to the bowels of matter in its full multiplicity, thence to climb back to the centre of spiritual unification, is a natural cycle. We could say that it is a divine cycle."

21 "The true evolution of the world takes place in souls and in their union. Its inner factiors are not mechanistic but psychological and moral. That is why the further, physical, developments of mankind – the true continuations, that is, of its planetary, biological evolution – will be found in the increased consciousness obtained by the activation of psychical forces of unification."

22 "In the integral totality of its tangible strata, the real is charged with a divine Presence. As the mystics felt instinctively, everything becomes physically and literally lovable in God; and God, in return, becomes intelligible and lovable in everything around us."

23 "The world is…a single sphere with countless centres from which it can be observed and from which action can emanate."

24 "Within the cosmos all the elements are dependent upon one another ontologically, in the ascending order of their true being (which means of their consciousness); and the entire cosmos, as one complete whole, is held up, 'informed', by the powerful energy of a higher, and unique, Monad which gives to everything below itself its definitive intelligibility and its definitive power of action and reaction."

25 "When we have fought to the bitter end to develop ourselves and win through, and find ourselves halted, beaten, by the forces of this world, then, if we believe, the power with which we clash so agonizingly suddenly ceases to be a blind or evil energy. Hostile matter vanishes. And, in its place, we find the divine Master of the world who under the 'species and appearance' of each and every event, moulds us, empties us of our self-love, and penetrates into us."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite