Last month the London Telegraph did a series of interviews on the meaning of Easter. One of the more interesting interviews was with Delia Smith, who eloquently summarized Teilhard’s vision of the world:
“So what is the sum total of what I believe? I believe that there is a creator God: a God that created the universe and human life at the centre of it. Homo sapiens were different from their ancestors in that they developed larger brains. With that came self-consciousness: we were enabled to reflect and become thinking beings.
So no more evolving body parts like beaks and snouts in order to hunt and survive. Instead, we worked out how to make tools and so forth. This meant that we could have a hand in controlling the developing universe and in a sense become co-creators. What a programme! To have belief, you need to have an imagination. So, let’s imagine God who created the universe saying, OK guys roll up your sleeves, it’s yours for the taking, go make something of it and find fulfilment. Meanwhile I am “directing with watchful loving care”.
Now quite a bit more imagination is needed. Try to think of a loving father who is besotted with his small son, wanting to support him, stand by him, and help him to a life of fulfilment. There you have it. God inserts himself into humanity to be with us in a sort of creative union, so that we can achieve what we were created for, namely love. Love means total union with one another and with God. Love is stronger than death and love overcomes death.
So where are we now in the scheme of things? Not quite there yet, it has to be admitted. According to Teilhard, the human species will undergo what he calls convergent evolution. My own personal interpretation of this is that we are on the brink of a new phase in human development. Given that civilisations have completed the migratory phase, and that the whole planet is, as it were, fully occupied and up and running, that convergence is showing signs of emerging.
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The thing, I believe, that underpins any kind of convergence is love, which is, if you like, the end of the story. And love, in the mystical tradition throughout the centuries and certainly in all of Teilhard’s teaching, is depicted by fire. It smoulders, it sparks, it flames and spreads, igniting everything in its path. We all possess degrees of this inner fire, which propels the human spirit and is the undercurrent of all human endeavour.”
I encourage you to read the entire article.