- November 1, 2014 at 2:13 pm #3471Carol Kilby –Participant
<p>What is the connection we can make between the Universe Story, the Evolutionary Impulse/God, and Remembrance Day? A Canadian, our Remembrance Day is November 11. As I prepare a reflection and conversation for my spiritual community on November 9th I am challenged to answer this question. I’d be grateful for some comments from the DTJN community.</p>
- November 1, 2014 at 10:24 pm #3477Brian TuckerParticipant
<p>Carol,</p><p>One connection to consider is the link between World War I and the inevitable deepening and continued development of a global consciousness. So many individuals and families (including my own) were disrupted during the Great War, and I have often wondered about this very same question on that connection we can make with the Universe Story and Veteran’s Day here in the U.S. Perhaps this time of chaos provided many seeds, some of which blossomed later into new forms of narratives concerning our Cosmic origins. For me, the writings of the French Jesuit Paleontologist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, provide some insight into one man’s integrative vision of the Cosmos (“an all-embracing unity in the Universe”) alongside the traumas he experienced while serving on the front at the age of 34 (see “The Making of a Mind” and “Writings in Time of War” by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin). </p><p><br />From “The Jesuit and the Skull: Teilhard de Chardin, Evolution, and the Search for Peking Man” by Amir D. Aczel:</p><p>While on the front, and in an effort to reconcile the atrocities he observed with his belief in a loving God, Teilhard wrote an essay that attempted to put these horrific experiences in perspective. He titled it “La Vie Cosmique”, and it contained the elements of his developing philosophy and his mysticism. Here is an excerpt:</p><p>”What follows springs from an exuberance of life and a yearning to live. It is written to express an impassioned vision of the earth, and in an attempt to find a solution for the doubts that beset my action — because I love the universe, its energies, its secrets, and its hopes, and because at the same time I am dedicated to God, the Origin, the only Issue and the only Term…All around us, in whatever direction we look, there are both links and currents. Countless forces of determination hold us in their grip, a vast heritage from the past weights down upon our present, the thousand and one affinities by which we are influenced pull us away from ourselves and drag us towards an end of which we have no knowledge.<br /><br />As Aczel writes: The essay (La Vie Cosmique) was rich in images, including the multitudes of the universe; grains of sand, and stars in the heavens; God permeating the ether; the good earth, and people’s communion with it; pain and pleasure and hell; the struggle with the angel; and finally, evolution.</p><p>Your question has prompted me to re-visit these pieces of writing as well. Am interested to hear what other connections members of the Deep Time Journey Network might help us make! </p><p>Thanks, </p><p>Brian Tucker<br />New Jersey</p>
- November 3, 2014 at 2:28 pm #3492Jennifer MorganParticipant
What a remarkable connection between your different interests Brian — the cosmic story and the horror of war as experienced by your uncle and portrayed so beautifully in the book you wrote about him. The Teilhard references directly relate to Carol’s question. I’m interested too to see if others make connections.
- November 5, 2014 at 12:16 pm #3497Terri MacKenzieParticipant
<p>Carol, I’ve been away and just saw this. Very impressed with your reply, Brian. My contribution might not directly relate, but perhaps there will be something that might spark a relevant thought: Tomorrow I hope to be posting a new blog on http://www.ecospiritualityresources.com/Connecting Remembrance Days. Its focus connects war and extinction of species, but I trust the DTJ setting will be clear (if not immediate). If you’d like me to send you an advance pdf, please email [email protected]. </p>
- November 5, 2014 at 1:02 pm #3498Carol Kilby –Participant
<p>Thank you, Terri and Brian.</p><p>I too have found some connection reading of de Chardin’s response to his war experience . Here is the exerpt I’ve found in The Phenomena of Man.</p><p>“ obedient to the voice that called him, he was ready to plunge into another distressful adventure, an experience so monstrous and ghastly and yet, so exhilarating. He joined as a stretcher-bearer. He lived through the nightmare of war with all the generosity of his soul, with no thought for himself. Even amid scens of death and devastation he knew a sense of fulfilment. .. he breathed a new invigorating atmosphere.”</p><p>He is quoted as writing, “the man at athe front is no longer the same man… The shell of common assumptions and conventions was broken and a fresh light shed on the hidden mechanism by which man’s will has power to shape his development. Life takes on a new savour in the heroic devotion to a grand ideal. … the reality he found at the front would be with him for evern in the great work of creation and of sanctifying humanity.'</p><p>My own thoughts based on this are that de Chardin witnessed the power of cataclysm as it was experienced in a war which requires the ultimate sacrifice. And that the experience of participating voluntarily in such sacrifice makes the human one with the cosmic experience in which such sacrifice is involuntary as in the case of supernovas. I understand that he is saying, in this way is humanity ‘sanctified’. In this experience he suggests the “shell of common assumptions and conventions was broken” which I interpret as individualism. And then, perhaps most importantly, he suggests the human is then free to discover his own power to evolve to the highest self/or human being.</p><p> The challenge for me is not to glorify war but to honour that the destructive power of cataclysm manifested in war may be as you suggest, a driver in human consciousness and commitment to life as a whole. Then, I must ask myself, in that I don’t see it, can I believe in and trust that in the Big History, this is so? </p><p> </p><p> </p>
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