The Human Brain–the most ‘centro-complex’ organism in the universe– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

 

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..the human brain (the most ‘centro-complex’ organism yet achieved to our knowledge in the universe)..

from an Essay, “Turmoil or Genesis?” by

  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, in  The Future of Man. 1969 Harper Torchbook, pp 228-228

from The Future of Man–Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

PierreAll things taken into account, where does the balance lie between these diverse influences, ‘for and against’? Faced by biological dilemma confronting our zoological group (unite or perish) which are we to accept, which way rather than another, as the direction in which the indeterminacy essential to the human adventure is most likely to be resolved?

As I have said elsewhere, the more we study the past, noting the steady rise of Life over millions of years, and observing the ever-growing multitude of reflective elements engaged in the construction of the Noosphere; the more we must  be convinced that by a sort of ‘infallibility of large numbers’ Mankind, the present crest of the evolutionary wave, cannot fail in the course of its guided probing’s to find the right road and an outlet for its higher ascent. Far from being stultified by overcrowding, the cells of individual freedom, in a concerted action growing more powerful as they increase in numbers, will rectify and redress themselves when they begin to move in a direction towards which they are inwardly polarized. It is reasoned calculation, not speculation, which makes me ready to lay odds on the ultimate triumph of hominization over all vicissitudes threatening its progress.

For a Christian, provided his Christology accepts the fact that the collective consummation of earthly Mankind is not a meaningless and still less a hostile event but a precondition of the final, ‘parousiac’ establishment of the Kingdom of God—for such a Christian the eventual biological success of Man on Earth is not merely a probability but a certainty: since Christ (and in Him virtually the World) is already risen. But this certainty, born as it is of a ‘supernatural’ act of faith, is of its nature supra phenomenal: which means, in one sense, that it leaves all the anxieties attendant upon the human condition, on their own level, still in the heart of the believer.

 

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin, From The Future of Man, an Essay, “The Directions and Conditions of the Future,” appearing in Psyche, October 1948  and translated from the French by Norman Denny

 

The Future of Man–Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

PierreIt is perfectly possible that in the general spectrum of Life the line ending in Man was originally no more than one psychic radiation among countless others. But it happened, for some reason of hazard, position or structure, that this sole ray (this is an experiential fact) among the millions contrived to pass the critical barrier separating the Unreflective from the Reflective—that is to say, to enter the sphere of intelligence, foresight and freedom of action. Because it did so (and although in a sense, I must repeat, this ray was only one attempt among many) the whole essential stream of terrestrial biological evolution is now flowing through the breach which has been made. The cosmic tide may at one time have seemed to be immobilized, lost in the vast reservoir of living forms; but through the ages the level of consciousness was steadily rising behind the barrier, intil finally, by means of the human brain (the most ‘centro-complex’ organism yet achieved to our knowledge in the universe) there has occurred, at a first ending of time, the breaking of the dykes, followed by what is now in progress, the flooding of Thought over the entire surface of the biosphere.

Thus regarded, everything in history of the world takes shape, and what is better, everything goes on.

from an Essay, “Turmoil or Genesis?” by

  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, in  The Future of Man. 1969 Harper Torchbook, pp 228-228