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 "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."

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

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

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

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

6 "Every being…has its own particular essence crowned by a certain quality, a certain form (common to all) which makes it an integral, rightly adapted, part of the single Whole with which it shares a natural harmony."

7 "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."

8 "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."

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

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

11 "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."

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

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

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

15 "From the pantheist point of view, everything in the universe is seen to be radically One, Absolute, and Divine."

16 "Peace is the awareness of Unity."

17 "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."

18 "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."

19 "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."

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

21 "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."

22 "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."

23 "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."

24 "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."

25 "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."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite