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

2 "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."

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

4 "I dreamed of a common centre into which all things would drive the most vital roots of their sensibility and energy; a universal Centre, living and benign, that would itself reinforce our desire to do what is right, when we are at a loss to express it, or preserve it, or realize it."

5 "Peace is the awareness of Unity."

6 "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."

7 "Like knots spaced out along a cord, or like the folds into which a single curtain falls, or the eddies forming on one and the same surface, everything that moves and lives in the universe represents, in one particular aspect, the modifications of one and the same thing."

8 "I believe that the world records everything good and useful that is done in it; it notes and assimilates to itself every movement and every impulse that is fitted to harmonize with its own becoming, of whose real goodness there can be no doubt."

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

10 "The deeper I descend into myself, the more I find God at the heart of my being."

11 "God has made good will the basis upon which our supernatural growth is founded. The pure heart, the right intention, are the organs of the higher life towards which all the soul's hopes are directed."

12 "Charity [love] is the force that stops beings from shutting themselves up in a self-centered folding-in of their energies, and makes them 'unbutton', open themselves and surrender themselves to one another."

13 "God, the personal and loving Infinite, is the Source, the motive Force and the End of the Universe."

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

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

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

17 "Seek in utter darkness the dawn of God."

18 "Unity is destined to become more and more fully realized."

19 "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."

20 "Every encounter that brings me a caress, that spurs me on, that comes as a shock to me, that bruises or breaks me, is a contact with the hand of God, which assumes countless forms and yet always commands our worship. Every element of which I am made up is an overflow from God."

21 "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."

22 "Blessings on the philosophy that shows us that the cohesion of things is destined to be completed!"

23 "Each one of us is linked by all the material, organic and psychic strands of his being to all that surrounds him. Not only is he caught up in a network, he is carried along, too, by a stream. All around us, in whatever direction we look, there are both links and currents."

24 "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."

25 "The final purpose of providence is the influence of the transcendent Centre whose unerring action can infallibly guide chance toward its determined end."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite