Friday, November 20, 2009

(4) Encountering Teilhard

Moving into Teilhard's ideas about tangential energy vis-a-vis
radial energy seemed somewhat strange. Though Teilhard's
science had become somewhat antiquated over time, his ideas
about Cosmogenesis--even about consciousness rising forth
out of complexity--made sense. In today's cosmology we have
become far more aware that our universe, indeed the Earth,
is a gigantic Complex System consisting of an infinitude of
complex systems. But when Teilhard declares that "all energy
is psychic in nature," he had crossed the border into speculation!

He notes that Energy is "divided into two distinct components:
a tangential energy, which links the element with all others of the
same order...and a radial energy which draws it towards ever
great complexity and centricity--in other words forwards."

At this point my scientifically-trained mind bulked. On the
other hand, as a trainee in theology, I had to admit that Teilhard
most certainly presented an adventurous approach when it came
to the idea of a Godhead. Fortunately I did not allow myself to
become conflicted when it came to modern cosmology and
theological theory.

I decided to follow the flow of Teilhard's thought, accepting
that the good Jesuit was trying to provide a more contemporary
context in which to place his archaic faith system. So I continued
to plow through Teilhard as he unabashedly submitted that the
"essence of the real...could well be represented by the 'interiority'
contained by the universe at a given moment."

Teilhard's radial energy was his way of arriving at the crux of
his universal "Within." For him there was an inner lining
juxta-positioned with the outer universe--and he felt that what
he deemed as mechanical energies (or tangential), that they
were driven by the Within (radial energy). As Teilhard put:
" The impetus of the world, glimpsed in the great drive of
consciousness, can only have its ultimate source in some *inner*
principle, which alone could explain its irreversible advance
towards higher psychisms."

His old-fashioned language sometimes nearly drove me up a
wall; but once I began better to understand his expressions,
I was more able to grasp Teilhard's thinking. For example, he
believed that the "universe is a collector and conservator..of
persons." Upon death he believed that "souls' break away,
carrying upwards their incommunicable load of consciousness"
unto that Cosmic Center, the Godhead he called OMEGA.

Continuing, Teilhard referred to Such as the "Omega Point."
Again declaring that "there can only be one possible point of
definitive emersion--that point at which, under the synthesizing
action of personalizing union, the Noosphere...will reach collectively
its point of convergence--at the end of the world."

Embroidered all through Teilhard's thought, he consistently put
that OMEGA was the Cosmic Christ, who was drawing forward
the world through evolution unto a final magnificent completion.