Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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Writings in Time of War
Pierre Teilhard deChardin
Written at the front and in the trenches during World War I, these essays contain the core of Teilhard deChardin's thought. His central theme is the unity of all life.

1 "In each one of the souls that is born from it, the cosmos is incessantly fulfilling its finest hopes."

2 "Basically, the whole of the world's psychism [psyche] gravitates towards a single centre."

3 "The Real incessantly reawakens us to an impassioned awareness of a wider expansion and an all-embracing unity."

4 "There is only ONE SINGLE CENTER in the universe…it impels the whole of creation along one and the same line, first towards the fullest development of consciousness, and later towards the highest degree of holiness."

5 "Of one thing, at least, we may be certain: we have all the strength necessary to complete the work of Spirit upon earth. Our future is in our own hands."

6 "The condition of human progress is that men must at last cease to live in isolation; they must learn to recognize a common goal for their lives…and the fiery energies still undoubtedly smouldering in men must be fanned into flame and directed in common towards that end – not in an individual, not in a national, nor in a social, but in a HUMAN effort."

7 "Only a long and patient struggle can teach us the operative power of faith and show us what it can achieve."

8 "People are called to form one single Body, in an intensely intimate divinization."

9 "I looked around and I saw, as though in an ecstasy, that through all nature I was immersed in God."

10 "The interplay of the monads would be unintelligible if an aura did not extend from one to another: something, that is, which is peculiar to each one of them and at the same time common to all."

11 "God, who is as immense and all-embracing as matter, and at the same time as warm and intimate as a soul, is the Centre who spreads through all things."

12 "Each monad is to some degree the centre of the entire Cosmos, resting upon and at the same time supporting its fabric."

13 "The sum of our souls is the potentiality of Some Thing, not yet made, which is to emerge from their mass. Collective aspirations accompany and assist this organic work, greater than ourselves, which is effected in each one of us. It is the function of Morality to guide our free decisions into fruitful and obedient co-operation in this task."

14 "The bosom of Mother Earth is in some way the bosom of God."

15 "We are the countless centres of one and the same sphere."

16 "If the Will of God is seen with sufficient intensity and realism it positively transforms the universe. It animates and softens all that we suffer; it stimulates and directs all that we initiate; it abolishes chance. It makes it possible for us to live, physically and for ever, within the divine Unity."

17 "God is at work within life. He helps it, raises it up, gives it the impulse that drives it along, the appetite that attracts it, the growth that transforms it. I can feel God, touch Him, 'live' Him in the deep biological current that runs through my soul."

18 "Like particles immersed in one and the same spiritual fluid, souls cannot think or pray or act or move, without waves being produced, even by the most insignificant among them, which set the others in motion."

19 "The more we lose all foothold in the darkness and instability of the future, the more deeply we penetrate into God."

20 "All living beings are but one being."

21 "Evolution is holy. There we have the truth that makes us free."

22 "Morality is generally regarded as a system of actions and relationships that are biologically secondary, less immediate and less physical than material or vital relationships. This is a great mistake. One has only to study, from the point of view of creative union, its role in the evolution of living beings, in order to see how profound is the morphogenic power of the Good."

23 "In the domain of morality the Divine and the Terrestrial meet and are fused into one."

24 "To share in a hallowed unity, even for a split second, is enough to enable us to glimpse the future promised to our species, and to find the road that will lead us to it."

25 "Souls are not a group of isolated monads…they make up one single whole with the universe."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite