Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Teilhard’s life work was predicated on the conviction that human spiritual development is moved by the same universal laws as material development. He wrote, “…everything is the sum of the past” and “…nothing is comprehensible except through its history. ‘Nature’ is the equivalent of ‘becoming’, self-creation: this is the view to which experience irresistibly leads us. … There is nothing, not even the human soul, the highest spiritual manifestation we know of, that does not come within this universal law.” There is no doubt that The Phenomenon of Man represents Teilhard’s attempt at reconciling his religious faith with his academic interests as a paleontologist. One particularly poignant observation in Teilhard’s book entails the notion that evolution is becoming an increasingly optional process. Teilhard points to the societal problems of isolation and marginalization as huge inhibitors of evolution, especially since evolution requires a unification of consciousness. He states that “no evolutionary future awaits anyone except in association with everyone else.” Teilhard argued that the human condition necessarily leads to the psychic unity of humankind, though he stressed that this unity can only be voluntary; this voluntary psychic unity he termed “unanimization.” Teilhard also states that “evolution is an ascent toward consciousness”, giving encephalization as an example of early stages, and therefore, signifies a continuous upsurge toward the Omega Point, which for all intents and purposes, is God.
A co-worker asked me recently if I thought God was capable of empathy. I replied that if God was not an empath, then he was by definition sociopathic. He replied that the Old Testament God was certainly a sociopath, but that through the experience of Jesus in the New Testament, God gained empathy for mankind.
I indicated that if that was the case, then God is evolving and also betrays the reality that God is capable of error. Indeed, if we are made in His image, both would seem to be true.
Today, he introduced me to Teilhard and the Omega Point. If you believe in the scientifically verified concept of evolution, then it follows that human consciousness also evolves, although to what end I am not certain. However, of one thing I am sure: those who do not involve themselves in this “psychic unity” marginalize themselves from the rest of us.
I believe the teachings of Jesus point the way for such a psychic evolution and that the path truly begins with concern for the poor, the aged and the dispossessed. Acceptance of minorities, women and gays is also included in the pursuit of unconditional love, with one exception: the intolerant.
We know that those who practice the hatred born of intolerance are merely manifesting fear of those unlike themselves. For whatever reasons, the decision to discriminate is a personal choice and therefore a sin. They do not deserve unconditional love until they decide to accept the entire brotherhood of man.
It is ironic that just as the intolerant deny the science of evolution, they themselves, by their very actions, are an impediment to the evolution of the human conscience and thereby consign themselves to the historical dustbin of social Darwinism. In fact, the intolerant are actually the neanderthals and anachronists we accuse them of being. It is not too much to say that progressivism is the path intended for us by the universe and that authoritarian conservatism constitutes not only a political dead end, but also a societal one.
The facts indicate that Christ, like Teilhard, was undoubtedly a progressive. It also follows that those who practice intolerance are not true Christians.