Your essential words – Example: Teilhard De Chardin

Your essential words …

One way at looking at any text … whether a book or books read, an article from the paper, a poem or even a few pages or paragraphs … is to define your own words that give your personal understanding to your reading.

If you work with mind-maps take a blank piece of paper in landscape form and start from the centre of the page. I suggest radiating five key words that reflect your reading. Each of these words could then be explored – this might result in changes to the first level words. These words could then be used in whatever way you wish in your own textual creation, including poetry of course.

The following is an example –

Looking at the philosophy of Teilhard De Chardin here are my five words associated with his thought …

God … providence … control … Christ
Evolution … progression … growth … complexification
Love … spiritual … energy force … connection
Order … physics … … harmony … relationships
Unity … christ in all … inclusive … communion of humanity

Teilhard De Chardin, Pierre (1881-1955), jesuit priest, geologist, palaeontologist, and philosopher-theologian, noted for his evolutionary interpretation of humanity and the universe and his insistence that such a view is compatible with Christianity. He was exiled. He spent time in China and India on scientific work.

Palaeontology is defined as the science of the forms of life existing in former geological periods, as represented by fossil animals and plants.

Scientific evolutionary theory is the key to Teilhard’s thought. Evolution, he wrote, “is a general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must bow and which they must satisfy henceforward if they are to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light illuminating all facts . . .

“. His major work, Le Phénomène humain (The Phenomenon of Man, 1955; trans. 1959), is an attempt to set forth a comprehensive evolutionary vision that speaks to both scientific and religious interests. Matter, argued Teilhard, has always obeyed “that great law of biology . . . the law of ‘complexification’“. He interpreted evolution as a purposive process in which the matter-energy of the universe has continually changed in the direction of increased complexity. With the emergence of humanity, he argued, evolutionary development entered a new dimension. From the biosphere (the layer of living things covering the Earth) has emerged the noosphere (a mind layer surrounding the Earth). This mind layer, or human consciousness, generates increasingly complex social arrangements that in turn give rise to a higher consciousness. Ultimately, the evolutionary process culminates in the convergence of the material and the spiritual into a super-consciousness that Teilhard called the Omega Point. ‘Love’ is the attractive force in a ‘God-Omega development’ and  gives direction to the whole evolutionary process. Such love, for Teilhard, is most clearly evident in a universal Christ.

Re: evolution …consider the evolution of man … the development of the brain … the jump with the development of language … and the attendant jump in social communication associated with language … and now in this age with the development of the Internet there is a quantum leap in communication … the development of social networking … the world-wide physical independence of human communion based on computer technology … and the speed at which a ‘common mental consciousness’ can develop.

Teilhard’s three components … Apologetics (a branch of theology concerned with proving the truth of Christianity)… defended by writing … Mystism … spiritual intuition and truth … Physics … natural laws, matter and energy

Some thoughts

As a scientist he understood the growth of humanity and the ever-increasing complexity of life especially that of the mind and the deepening of relationships based on his phenomenological approach. Christ is in all life. The emphasis is on an inclusive worldview of humanity unified by the personal presence of Christ within each individual.

Eventually the evolution of humanity will grow to a point where increased consciousness is the key to a new understanding in the relationship between man and God.

God is the destination and the love-force that develops and controls the development of both the collective and the individual.

I think he believed in the individual and the relationship to ‘the whole’ … the individual is not lost … the communion of the universe is seen through personal eyes and each person is defined by their relationship to all life. A person is seen as having no meaning outside their relationship to others, the common and to God.

definition – phenomenology

  1. 1.      the science of phenomena, as distinguished from ontology or the science of being.
  2. 2.       the school of the German philosopher Edmund Husserl, 1859–1938, which stresses the careful description of phenomena in all domains of experience without regard to traditional epistemological questions.

Your word in my ear ...

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