We seem to have survived a deadly global pandemic, but we find ourselves in a violent world where random killing is happening more frequently. Our world is out of control, like a speeding train with no conductor, heading into a break wall. Studies over the last decade have disclosed the harmful effects of the uncontrolled internet, including negative brain plasticity, heightened aggression, depression, loneliness, lack of compassion and narcissistic behavior. Computer technology developed rapidly in the twentieth century, and we immersed ourselves in it without fully understanding what we were creating, or how these inventions might affect human personhood and community. Within several decades, we have created an information-drenched culture, fractured and tribalized. Technology has sped up evolution, but we are on a blind and random trajectory, with no real common goal. Teilhard de Chardin was clear in his vision: if God is not aligned with evolution, the process of evolution does not have a center or goal. It can readily devolve us nd we will become shattered and dissipated fragments.
Writing over eighty years ago, Teilhard said that evolution is a condition to which all processes, systems and forms of life must bend. In his view, the human community has two choices: evolve or annihilate. This simple choice reminds us of God’s invitation in Deuteronomy (30:19): “I have set before you life and death, choose life!” We are the given the freedom to accept or reject God’s loving vision for this beautiful earth we call home. To choose rightly, however, requires thought and reflection. We must be able to see the whole in order to choose the whole.
For Teilhard, knowing is a contemplative act. To live as knowers is to live as perceivers, to see what we are and the possibilities of what we can become. Knowledge and mysticism are related. We are to encounter reality with unrestricted wonder and attend to the real as an act of engagement. Thinking is the work of the Spirit, not only the human spirit but God’s Spirit. “To think is to unify,” Teilhard wrote, “to make wholes where there are scattered fragments; not merely to register it but to confer upon it a form of unity it would otherwise be without.” The act of knowing means to bring into existence something new, to gather the dust of experience into a unity. Knowing is a creative act. To discover and to know is to actually extend the universe ahead and complete it. What do we know? What do we imagine for our future?
The Center for Christogenesis is committed to knowing in a deeper way, so that our choices may contribute to the positive overall fecundity of life. We seek a more profound understanding of God and evolution, refining the core values of faith in a world of change and complexity, and developing practices of engagement and contemplation, so that we may orient ourselves wholly and whole-heartedly toward the reign of God.
Our Center is an online forum with a growing staff and hence growing needs. Your support is vital to the ongoing development of our work. Please consider donating this month to the work of Christogenesis, becoming a co-creator with us, as we partner with God in building the new world. We will become something more together if we work together for the good of the whole.
Blessings and peace,