Many / One

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

2 "All living beings are but one being."

3 "If man believes with sufficient vigour in the force that is creating him, he will soon find that, for all its terrifying uncertainty, the future provides him with a solid footing as he advances."

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

5 "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."

6 "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."

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

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

9 "Human monads are atoms immersed in, nourished by, and carried along by one and the same unfathomable primitive substance; they are elements that are combined and given a special character by a network of intimate interconnections, in order so to constitute a higher unity."

10 "Love is the conscious mark in us of the act that creates us by melting us into one."

11 "We can count upon creative energy awaiting us, ready to transform us in a way that goes beyond anything that the eye of man has seen or his ear has heard."

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

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

14 "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."

15 "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."

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

17 "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."

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

19 "Charity [love] safeguards the development of the universe and keeps it to the true path of its progress. Moral effort is the continuation in our souls of the same dynamic effort that gave us our bodies."

20 "Precisely because there exists in all beings a common centre, scattered and separable though they are in appearance, they meet together at a deeper level. The more they perfect themselves naturally and sanctify themselves in grace, the more they come together and fuse into one, within the single, unifying Centre to which they aspire: and we may call that Centre equally well the point upon which they converge, or the ambiance in which they float. All these reachings-out that draw beings together and unify them constitute the axis of all individual and collective life."

21 "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."

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

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

24 "There is in the universe only one single individuality (one single monad), that of the whole."

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

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite