The Evolution of Religion, Society & Consciousness with Ursula King – Burke Lecture



this ucsd-tv program is presented by university of california television like what you learn visit our website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest programs also make sure to check out and subscribe to our YouTube original channel you see TV prime available only on YouTube it's especially a great privilege to be introducing tonight one of the foremost experts in the entire world on the life and work of the French Jesuit priest and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin it's my honor then to hand you over to Professor Ursula King who is going to speak to us tonight about the evolution of religion society and consciousness reflections inspired by tired de Chardin please join me in welcoming professor Ursula I'm very happy to be here and I'm also particularly happy to speak about my work on Terra soda in which I've been involved for the last 50 years I started in 1963 or even before that 1962 so I won't go I could entertain you now with many many anecdotes but then we would never get to the proper lecture so I better stop doing that but before I forget I want to actually say I'm so pleased to speak about Tia in America because there is really a revival in the interest in Toyota sedan there was a great interest in the 1960s when the works first began to be published in a lot of young students were influenced reading TIA and then there has been a sort of lull and less and less interest and he's been pushed more to the background but I have a impression that now this is a very different kind of feeling inside guys that there is a real genuine revival and as an example of this I can mention that an American group of people the front Frost publications Maria Marion front rows are working on a big documentary film of two hours for Public Television which will be screened on Easter 2015 60 years after two years s and they are really doing an immense amount of research and it's a really genuine global collaboration including cooperation from which from the Chinese I should have really have brought some information but I forgot to bring the to print out the material but that is going on right now and it's very very exciting then as another example in the interest a renewed interest in – yeah I must mention that I was interviewed some time ago for about an hour and a half for the program by Krista tip I was interviewed by Krista Tippett for the program on being which will be broadcast on public radio any time now are the latest information I've had is that the program should go out on December 13 so that's another interesting example of the renewed interest in Tara's work so I hope you will be interested in what I have to say on this particular aspect because there are so many different aspects one can talk about mysterious very very comprehensive work and interest but I've really I'm focusing here on the question of evolution of religion Society in consciousness many changes in contemporary society in consciousness are due to social political economic and intellectual changes at global level and our more advanced scientific knowledge and closer global cooperation lead us to a completely new context they also connected to the increasingly sophisticated understanding of the complex processes of evolutionary becoming that affect all areas of human experience I want to argue that human beings have developed a new global Earth's consciousness that requires the development of a new earth community which we need in order for the future of people and planet to be a viable one and the dynamic evolutionary way of thinking is central to this development I'm of course not a biologist or physicists no I'm qualified in any of the other sciences because my work has always been in philosophy theology and religious studies where I've been very deeply influenced since my student days by the thought of ta-da-da-da who lived between 1881 to 1955 and he was certainly a pioneer in thinking about evolutionary questions and Thomas certainly is they're very deeply concerned with what it means to be human in the modern world and with questions of where we can find the values the energy resources and the will and the sense of responsibility to take humanity forward in to the future so that we become a more United people and build a better global world his deep Christian faith and mystical orientation made him see the need for greater love and peace for Humanity so that we could come more closely together now I want to speak about various aspects I will first of all speak about evolution and contemporary consciousness and then I will concentrate on taya's understanding of evolution to look at his way of conceiving the future evolution of humanity and then I will particularly talk about religion and evolution before I sum up and to discuss some of the implications of this particular approach so let me come to evolution in contemporary consciousness I first want to say something about the word the meaning of the word evolution which is too often understood to refer basically only to biological evolution as outlined by Charles Darwin and others but let us not forget that the word evolution has itself evolved and that Darwin was not the first to use this word social and historical thinkers before him had already applied this concept to the development of the human mind into that of different societies only subsequently was the idea of evolution introduced into biology during the 18th century French philosophers such as Montesquieu did ago who saw in Voltaire already explored ideas about evolutionary developments that would eventually lead to new thinking about the mutability of different species such new thought this is in the 18th century such new thought departed from the beliefs held since antiquity and reflected in the stories of the Bible that the chain of beings is fixed that it is neither changing nor evolving it was in fact the suggestions of his predecessors that inspired Darwin to adopt and developed the theory of evolution in order to explain the remarkable observation on different animals and plants that he had collected during his famous voyage to South America however the word evolution itself did not appear in the first edition of his famous book the Origin of Species published in 1859 because Darwin was initially quite reluctant to use that word since it had become associated with much grander ideas that he rejected of course since Darwin's days the scientific understanding of the workings of evolution has greatly expanded these ideas are rather unsatisfactory all these workings are rather unsatisfactorily described as the mechanisms of evolution and yet the word process would be so much more appropriate to describe evolutions dynamic and organic nature which is not mechanical at all several scientists have now proposed more complex theories about the whole process of evolutionary becoming they have suggested a wider meaning of evolution especially in connection with zooms society and consciousness the social importance of evolution is enormous not only for our understanding of past but also in providing insights and inspirations for approaching the future currently a new consciousness is emerging in connection with our understanding of the story of the universe it is linked to our knowledge of the immensity of space the depths of time and the complexity of life and of human cultures in the global interconnected world this all inspiring stories beautifully told in the film the journey of the universe the epic story of cosmic Earth and human transformation which has been produced by Mary Evelyn Tucker John grim and Bryant swim and I'm sure some in the audience will be familiar this is outstandingly an extraordinary beautiful film which really gives you great calls for many many reflections this story of the universe demonstrates clearly that the story of humanity emerges out of the story of the universe and is an integral part of the vast interconnected web of life covering our planet Earth the discovery of Universal evolutionary processes implies a profound revolution in human thinking and action so it's the revolution of evolution affects us in our deepest innermost thinking and being it gives rise to an altogether new awareness of the universal processes of evolution of becoming that now call for the further self evolution of humanity this implies that humanity bears a tremendous responsibility for the future evolution of the whole human species in the planet Brian swim one of the authors of this film has argued that a new form of consciousness is emerging grounded in the story of Cosmo Genesis an even stronger argument can probably be made for the emergence of a new earth's consciousness linked to scientific research in the earth sciences and life sciences but also the influence given to the given by the global environmental movement and also the influence of the newly created Earth Charter which was signed in 2000 the general sense of the long drawn out history of the earth of the whole history of life and the immense biodiversity of our planet has grown exponentially around the world most people will be familiar with the famous image of our bluish green planet floating in space surrounded by blackness the amazing photograph called Earthrise not sunrise not the life rise of life not the rise of consciousness just earth rise which was taken in 1968 during the Apollo 8 mission and it has been rightly described as the most influential environmental photograph of taken it has truly become a defining icon of the new Earth's consciousness the scientist and former NASA researcher Dave Pruett argues in a book called reason and Wonder a Copernican revolution in science and spirit he argues there that we are experiencing a third Copernican revolution right now namely after the discovery of the immensity of space which was the first Copernican revolution a second revolution occurred through discovering the depths of time with Darwin studies of evolution now we are experiencing we are approaching very fast a third so-called third Copernican revolution so the coming convergence of science spirit science and spirit a process that is just beginning I can't say more about this for reasons of lack of time but I asked what are the implications of this new consciousness for society religion and consciousness society religion and consciousness and spirituality also more and more people are asking these questions yet few religious thinkers have wrestled with these challenging issues few have reflected on the crucial importance of evolution for contemporary religious thought in practice TR asada is one of the very few modern thinkers for whom evolution provided the dominant note of his entire work during the first half of the 20th century earlier than most he became aware that the recognition of evolution is a unifying perspective and process his revolutionary consequences and effects all aspects of the modern world as he wrote in his best-known work the human phenomenon which most of you will probably know as the phenomenon of man but it has been retranslated under new title which is much more appropriate and exact to the French original evolution was much more to him than a theory assist more hypotheses on the country it is evolution is a general condition he rights to which all theories all hypotheses all systems must bow evolution is a light illuminating all facts a curve that all lines must follow and from early on he was conscious of the importance of evolution for contemporary legend society and consciousness much of his search for new spirituality commensurate with a modern world revolves around the attempt to bring together mystic religious insights with evolutionary understanding for which he compellingly argued throughout his life in for which by doing so he suffered very much indeed so let me explain a little bit more about TR and evolution he became conscious of the impact of evolution during the final years of his theological studies between 1910 and 12 evolution meant for him a radical reorientation since he became a life to a completely new dimension as he writes and he from then onwards always worked within the larger framework of an evolutionary perspective after the completion of his philosophical and theological studies in Hastings England where he discovered evolution and I've written a whole paper on this this is an amazing discovery for him and for his thinking after finishing these studies he moved in 1912 to Paris for continuing his scientific training because he was really very much stone to sciences and he was drawn whether he should become a contemplative and devote himself entirely to reason or whether he could also pursue satisfactorily scientific studies which he did he undertook this training at the museo nacional de strana touvell in france in paris under the eminent french scientist muslim bull who was then the leading figure in paleontology his tale scientific studies covering biology geology and paleontology were soon interrupted by World War one but he later completed his research with a brilliant doctorate in 1922 for which he was awarded two distinguished prizes he then started at the acetic italic Catholic University in Paris from which I graduated many many years later but his international scientific career first really took off when he went to China to undertake paleontological expeditions with another Jesuit the height of his scientific career came later to his close collaboration with Chinese geologists who found the fossils of so-called packing man on which ta wrote several works while an official member of the Chinese Geological Survey much criticized by his French masters who thought that all the findings should go to France to the French Museum and ter took the side of the Chinese very early very unusual in 1952 taya was awarded the pre-code Li the most prestigious price of the Geological Society of France for his scientific research the eulogy for this award was given by the distinguished French vertebrate paleontologist Jean Pierre to one of the us former students P Wolf's address list as major achievements his expeditions and research in China but also his early promotion of the notion of the biosphere this study of the history of life and of human origins in the emergence of Portilla had called the news fee about which I will speak later of the same immensity and importance is the biosphere but try sending transcending it into the human sphere of thinking pif doe has rightly pointed out in the preface to tell us 11 volumes of scientific works that TR was during his lifetime not known at all except as a punter paleontologist yet after his death the publication's of his philosophical and religious essays forbidden until then only known to a small number of friends who saw these SS in duplicates secretly distributed an extraordinary detective story I can tell you so that he was quite well known among his friends who reticences but they were not in the public domain so these essays when they were published and his books revealed to be a profound religious thinker whose sudden fame among a large international public then caused the neglect of his immense reputation as a scientist yet see our thinking is profoundly embedded in and deeply nourished by scientific research the two important strands of his sort the scientific work and his philosophical and religious reflections on his human experience in the light of scientific understanding must be studied together to perceive the integral connections the prominent British biologist Sir Julian Huxley greatly appreciated his views and has succinctly several times expressed but the two scientists chaired in their view of evolution Huxley wrote we both realized that in the million year passage from subhuman to human man had stepped across a critical threshold and left the slow-moving biological phase of evolution for the new faster-moving an increasingly mind directed psychosocial phase in which evolution is manifested by changes in ideas and societies and cultures rather than in organisms and their genetic Constitution it's a very long quotation and it finishes on appreciating Thea's speciality his singularity even Huxley concludes he says the linking of evolutionary biology with Christian theology it seems to me is his unique contribution to thought and so paves the way for the eventual reconciliation of science and religion which will come when the religiously minded understand that theology needs a scientific foundation and grasped the fact that religion itself evolves and when the scientifically minded accept the equally basic fact that religion is part of the evolutionary process and an important element in its psychological phase human history now Huxley's words are fine testimony from one great scientist to another the latest recognition of TR scientific standing comes from the evolutionist David Sloan Wilson distinguished professor of biology and anthropology at Binghampton University here in the USA he included a chapter on taya in his latest book in and this chapter is entitled we are entering the noosphere it was written after Wilson's close reading of the human phenomenon which made him realize and this was quite recently a few years ago it made him realize how wealthy us ideas conformed to present evolutionary theory in fact in some respects Wilson considers Tia even still today ahead of current thinking Wilson rightly ask why professional evolutionists have forgotten taya as well as the humanistic side of Julian Huxley he speaks of Tia's exceptional act of brilliance in viewing humans not merely as a highly successful species but in considering humanity as a new evolutionary process capable of generating a diversity of cultural forms just as life is capable of generating a diversity of organic forms this makes the origin of our species in some way as momentous as the origin of life itself Wilson states I quote it is wrong for TR to be read only for a spiritual message let his scientific flame burn brightly again yet at the same time he speaks about the spiritual message as relating to expanding the human capacity for love which is intimately linked to the Christian phenomenon as he writes there can be no doubt that T as detailed scientific work is closely related to his religious and spiritual understanding towards the end of his life he wrote a brilliant and movingly audible autobiographical essay called the heart of matter which is also used as a title of a whole book Isis but this particular essay written in 1950 traces is intellectual and spiritual development and provides in my view the key to understanding Taylor's life and vision it's the first essay I was ever given to read by my mentor professor Palumbi who used to also teach here in La Jolla in the 1960s it describes what a terrific tremendous impact the discovery of evolution had on Taylor Dada at the age of 30 so he wrote when he was in his 70s I can remember very clearly the LVDT with which at that time I read Berg songs creative evolution famous book published in 1907 which he read in 1911 the only effect that brilliant book had upon me was to provide fuel at just the right moment for fire that was already consuming my heart and mind the magic word evolution haunted my thoughts like a tomb it was to me like an unsatisfied hunger like a promise held out to me like a summons to be answered you can well imagine how strong was my inner feeling of release and expansion when I took my first still hesitant steps into an evolute evolutive universe and so that the dualism in which I had hitherto been enclosed was disappearing like the mist before the Rising Sun matter and spirit these were no longer two things but two states or two aspects of one in the same cosmic stuff this exciting discovery of evolution confirmed in him permanently an attitude that was to govern the whole of his development he summed this attitude up in the words the primacy of spirit within the evolutionary process which comes to the same thing the primacy of the future from being a scientist concerned with studying the early human origins in the past he turns around and says I'm a pilgrim of the future the unending and he says to answer the summons of evolution was to take me a whole lifetime to appreciate the unendingly constructive and at the same time revolutionary effect this transposition of value produced upon my understanding upon my prayer and upon my action Tia was fond of quoting Julian Huxley's idea that in the you'll be illusion has become conscious of itself to the point of being able to control its own driving forces and to rebound upon itself this relates to the further evolution of humanity as a species not just to the evolution of individuals they are thought it possible and likely that humankind is at the threshold of higher forms of consciousness at both a personal and social level and the responsibility for first evolution lies now with humans themselves rather than with external factors he asked how can we be architects of the future and develop a better life a higher life of the human community he reflected on the conditions and criteria by which human beings might become more United economically politically spiritually how will the human species evolve further now I've got a long section on the future new evolution of humanity but that is a very long process in time and I hope it will not be too long here in time the ass book the future of man carries the motto the whole future of the earth as of religion seems to me to depend on the awakening of our face in the future he combines such face in the future with with what he called facing man facing the further development of human beings and in the greater collaboration and unification of the peoples of the earth what is needed now is the development of life to a higher stage which involves an effort to create a more united more unified humanity central to this argument are the close interconnections between the biosphere that is to say the layer of life and what they are called the noosphere the specific layer of human thought the organic evolution of life continues in the reflective efforts of human thinking and invention so that the biological social cultural and spiritual evolution are closely interrelated Tia was a very early promoter of the idea of birth of the biosphere which had only been launched in fact the word had only be coined in 1875 by the Austrian scientist Edward Seuss who wrote a large five volume study also on the face of the earth long used as a geological textbook TR laughed this title the face of the earth he used it as a title for one of his own essays where he writes the great educational value of geology consists in the fact that by disclosing us to us an earth which is truly one an earth which is in fact but a single body since it has a face it records to us the possibility of establishing higher and higher degrees of organic unity in the zone of thought which envelopes the world this is really a foreboding an idea of the concept of the noosphere which he created in the mid-twenties together with his philosopher friend Edwin wah who himself first publicized this new idea in his writings before two year wrote about himself and this idea was taken up by the Russian scientist Vernadsky who was living in Paris at that time and taken to the Soviet Union and many many Soviet scientists have uses and this has only come to light after the after the end of communism because these texts had never been translated before the emergence of the concept of the nose face very very interesting because it's closely related to Tara's experience of life in the trenches of World War one which seems most extraordinary Thea has described this in one of his early wartime essays where he sees the vision of the rise of a unified thinking earth as it's inspired him to see the sight of the full moon in the sky buf and he he had this fantasy of a kind of vision in the moonlight where he saw the globe is surrounded by layer of blueness which symbolized for him the density of thought it's almost like a description of this extraordinary auras picture we have photograph which he describes like in a dream and he first called this thought covered earth the great monarch the great one thing in space of there then he called it the untrue post fear the sphere of the human and he still didn't find this word was good enough and he looked for another expression he finished obviously word no sphere the noosphere he describes with great sensitivity how he felt that he was emerging from the human race seeing it as one self-contained hole as though we were all linked together floating in the void and within the agony of the trenches of bloody battles of World War one he felt he saw the francese of mankind he had the vision of mankind humanity is one single block while being conscious of the blackness and the emptiness surrounding the earth so he wrote even in the century people are still living as chance circumstances decide for them with no aim but their daily bread or quiet old age unless adult humanity is to drift aimlessly and so to perish it is essential that he'd rise to the concept of a specifically and integrally human effort after having for so long done no more than allow itself to live humanity will one day understand that the time has come to undertake its own development and to mark out its own Road soon after what he was asking who will be the sous the the scientists who discovered the biosphere now who will be the sous of the ultra paws fear of the noosphere in other words what the Austrian sous had done naming and studying the layers of life on the planet as an in connected layer of life needed to be taken further in order to capture the specificities of the human layer covering the earth this is what is summed up in the newly created concept of the noosphere until yahwah certainly its prophet excuse me for minute reflections on the significance of the North Sea and the Greater unification of the human species on the planetary scale were further clarified in the sec wrote all this quietly without publishing them sse wrote all after the second world war culminating in 1938 to five 1938 to 40 in his magnum opus the human phenomenon his concern for the future of human beings in all of life was expressed with the new urgency after the second world war when another visionaries thinker the russian American sociologist petrm Sorkin also passionately pleaded for the reconstruction of humanity both thinkers stea as much as sauval keen sense deeply the thoroughgoing changes occurring in the human community and called for further radical transformation in the organization guiding values and spiritual aims of planetary humanity now I could say a lot more about the North's fear but I don't think I'll have the time what is important is to really grasp this idea of the mutual embeddedness of the biosphere knows fear and that has been also documented in a marvelous biosphere knows fiorina that was published by two environmental scientists Paul Sampson and David Pitt in 1999 where they show how much this idea of the knows fear has already been diffused in the community of scientists at least so much more could be said about this it's a very interesting topic for taya the human being is a key to the understanding of evolution but the knows fear itself points also beyond itself to a higher polar center that directs sustains and assembles the whole sheaf of our efforts in relation to the first evolution of the human species he experimented is finding the right word again for describing it and his speaks of socialization planet ization even totalization pointing to what we today would probably call globalization but contemporary global processes on one hand full of opportunities but on the other end they have so many challenges that the outcome is certainly very uncertain today when humanity survive or will it be annihilated will it progress or will it stagnate TR thought we have no decisive evidence for either hope or despair but today we have perhaps more reasons to be pessimistic than he was 60 years ago one thing is certain we need to find the right route make the right choices and put our will to making effective changes is so often called for by the great ecological thinker Thomas berry who was much influenced by Talia's thought but is it not too idealistic or even utopian to think that a rise in human consciousness will lead to the emergence of one humanity and one world civilization in any case why should we work for such a future civilization beyond the series of civilizations with which history studied throughout when we study the civilizations of the past the question arises whether their overwhelming diversities are the only our only variations of the same theme of an endlessly repeated rise and fall can there be any fundamental advance beyond this level of repetitive successions TR was fond of reminding those who quote the wisdom of the ages and the accumulated experience of the wide span of human history how infinitely longer the cosmos has endured in comparison with a vast geological time scale the period of human history is dwarfed like the past cannot be an adequate guide to our future today's sheer number of people around the globe 7 billion at present produce a compression or infalling of humanity itself that's how he presented it there is a great need for the further development of what he called coal reflection visible in many areas of human endeavor but especially in scientific research which has become a vital necessity for humankind in Tellez words science is no longer an accessory occupation but an essential activity a natural derivative of the overspill of energy constantly liberated by mechanization the growth of the nose fair all around us is evident through global collaboration across borders through the exponential growth of worldwide connections through advanced forms of transportation and communication especially through the World Wide Web it's not surprising that because of Taylor's prophetic foresight of some of these development he is sometimes called by some people the patron saint of the internet I don't know whether you have heard that before now that brings me to a section on religion and evolution which some of you may be more interested in I don't know but it's important to see that all this fits in a much greater interconnected sense of thinking and arguing a higher social integration of humankind so necessary for the survival of the human species is linked to the fuller development of the inner resources of human beings Taeyang argued that the diversity and complementarity of what he called the active cons of face which we would probably call today the living religious traditions provide the necessary spiritual energy resources for nurturing the human zest for life which is the mainspring of for further self evolution the greatest enemy as he sought for human beings is a sense of inner boredom and indifference a lack of meaning and ultimate value in his view the most essential requirement in furthering evolution consists in is in this provision of the necessary spiritual energy resources so that religions or we would perhaps say spirituality it's an evolutionary role in animating human beings it was especially the image of God which they are so in need of urgent redefinition modern people have not yet found the God they can adorn the God commensurate is a newly discovered dimensions of the universe in 1950 noted in his diary God is not dead but he changes he speaks of the transformation of the God of the gospel into a God of evolution a transformation without deformation in discussing the evolution of religion he was not interested in growing up a typology of religions based on their past is found for example in Robert bolused apology of religious evolution that correlates different types of religious symbols with religious action organization and social meanings no T Ava's primarily concerned is the impact that evolutionary thinking will have on the present and future religious beliefs and practices and he there considered three possibilities and that is just a sketchy summary first the acceptance of religion as traditionally understood while rejecting all evolution you know plenty of positions like that secondly alternatively the acceptance of evolution by rejecting all religions we know plenty of examples of that also third the acceptance of both religion and evolution as closely interrelated where religion is reinterpret from an evolutionary perspective and where the process of evolution leads to the emergence of new spiritual developments within the religious within the human community this is very much Thea's own position and it is linked to his fundamental conviction that I quote from the depths of matter to the highest peak of the Spirit there's only one evolution and in his view religions have an indispensable role to play in furthering the evolution a Vance towards the spirit no past religious teachings can fully cope with so many new aspects of humanity's present development at the specious level in his view the only religion possible in the future is a religion which will teach us I quote in the very first place to recognize love and serve with passion the universe of which we form a part it had become clear to him that human progress can go cannot go further on without developing a mysticism of its own a mysticism based on the face in the value and infallibility of evolution whereas he presented Christianity in his early years as the very religion of evolution he later increasingly stressed the need for deep transformation of his own Christian religious tradition so that is something I could say a lot more about but we don't have the time it was nonetheless especially the depths of his Christian faith that made him see the immense evolutional process within an ultimately spiritual perspective which led him to extrapolation that you can't really back by scientific evidence but there's also no scientific evidence against it divine presence radiates for him so all levels of the universe through meta life and human experience it provides an old surrounding all-embracing millyar that TR also called a mystical or divine milieu celebrated in his famous mess on the world of 1923 and is in his spiritual classic the divine milieu of 1927 this divine milieu invisible impenetrable very mysterious yet also very embracing and very sustaining it surrounds us he writes like an ocean or it is like the air we all breathe and never notice that we breathe to sustain our life this divine value can invade our whole being and it can transform it since all human experiences all joys and sufferings have the potential for divinization through the outpourings of divine love for Tejada smiliar revealed itself as the presence of the Cosmic Christ to whom he also refers as a universal Christic element in all things and whom he calls ultimately Christ Omega this notion of Omega is an extrapolation of evolutionary developments the ultimate goal of spiritual and spiritual culmination point where all universal becoming finds its completion this is not scientific data but an interpretation based on a deep religious phase as a Christian believer taya understood the ultimate Omega Point as an integration of all realities into a personal divine center of Union and communion for all beings non-believers will not share this deeply spiritual and ultimately mystical interpretation of evolution but similar views can also be found outside the Christian phase for example in the modern Hindu thinker Sri Aurobindo who lived from 1872 to 1950 whose deeply spiritual understanding of evolution is not unlike that of his contemporary Theory Shaba in other words you have a remarkable parallelism parallelism here in two very different religious traditions in TR uses Christian concepts and/or window users deeply hinging concepts but they both speak about the future evolution of humanity in very very similar inspiration and vision now I want to say something about the zest for life and the transformative powers of love into yaws view we cannot advance the world in the flourishing of people and planet without a zest for life through good or evil in France in French he described this zest as nothing less than the energy of universal evolution but at the human level the feeding and development of this energy is to some degree our own responsibility and I think of this very often in educational and pastoral situations this theme but the zest for life the love of life you use a symbol move this taste he talks about the Gouda dude that tastes for God but also the taste for life it preoccupied about preoccupied him until the day of his death in one of his last assess the profoundly personal mystical texts the Christic written in March 1955 about four weeks before he died if I fix before he died he speaks of the primordial sources of the energy of evolution which modern science has discovered but also of the need for humanity to find a way to increase the drive of evolution the rites if humanity is to use its new access of physical power of this balanced control it cannot do without a rebound of intensity in exist to act its dest to seek its zest to create here he emphasizes once again that one of the key questions which humanity or what we which is in process of what he calls process of planetary arrangement of what we would call globalization one of the prime key quick questions we face is a problem of spiritual activation the further development of the human community on a planetary scale not only means further material and social developments but it also is a spiritual process that requires spiritual energy resources in the strongest transformative powers in creating a more cohesive more collaborative earth community are the powers of love love is described by him as a sacred reserve of energy it is like the blood of spiritual evolution he understood love is the most universal most powerful of cosmic energies a primordial power of attraction and unification that runs through all processes of becoming but can there be really universal love for all human beings we cannot truly love millions of strangers we are probably more disturbed by human plurality than loving inclined towards the diversity of others the spirit of one earth that he speaks of and of human unity see my present more for dream than a reality yet they are felt that the sense of the earth the sense this feeling for greater human unity is now in process of formation the active moving forward of the new sphere may produce a superb balance of love that can overcome human isolation and breakdown the innumerable partitions that still divide human societies these ideas which are only mention here they would require much longer elaboration to be understood and which are also paralleled in sorrow Keynes marvelous large treatise on the ways and power of love types vectors and techniques of moral transformation published in 1954 in here two research project at Harvard I mean these ideas are enormously inspiring but they require quite a lot of unpacking I think they provide a wonderful searchlight for finding a different more socially effective kind of love that is of great interest to a number of contemporary writers artists creatives one example I mentioned is the American writer unhuman whose book awakening the energies of love discovering fire for a second time itself inspired by rotation from Tierra provides an extraordinary inspiration for learning to love in a new and different way Hillman is deeply interested in the internal aspects of social change and she investigates how interior personal development can contribute to fundamental changes in our color in our culture awakening the energies of love and learning to live with fire inside we learn to live in relationship in holy new ways to live as a greater community of life human rights her journey into awakening the energies of love was inspired by two years often quoted sentence someday after mastering the winds the waves the tides and gravity Johanna's forgot the energies of love and then for second time in the history of the world humanity will have discovered fire now this brings me to my concluding reflections many passages in Tara's work express a strong sense of the interdependent unity and organize a of all living things as much one could say about how he quotes and uses evolution but I can only speculate today how to you might have responded to the Agony's and hopes of our world that has undergone such profound changes from only as written I would expect him to be fully aware of our great and urgent environmental responsibilities as well as the promising possibilities of dialogue between different civilizations and faiths traditions to sum up human consciousness and society have evolved in the past but they now urgently need to evolve further an evolutionary transformation is happening at the level of the human species not simple at the level simply at the level of the individual the family the tribe or just small human groups it is a revolutionary transformation at a global level linked to deep awareness of pluralism and diversity our experience of the biological oneness of human species now brings a vision of cultural and spiritual oneness into sharper focus but greater unity will not happen automatically it depends on human efforts of cooperation central to this is the furtherance of the zest for life to ensure human flourishing for all people on the planet in the realization of spiritual interdependence as much as economic in biological interdependence is it possible and realistic to hope and work for greater ecological harmony for more peace for more social justice and for greater community on our globe our tias merely those of a lonely dreamer simply utopian completely unrealistic what will be the next great mutation of homo sapiens that is the great question to which I have no definite answer but I think to care for the people and the planet questions of ethics and spirituality have to be addressed as of urge very urgently numerous socially and spiritually sensitive observers have pointed out that we need a global spiritual awakening on a much larger scale than exists a present for this spiritual education is needed at all levels not only for sustainable living and not only a spiritual education for children and young people but spiritual education is an integral part of lifelong learning for all only then can be developed a much needed spiritual literacy that goes far beyond learning to read and write or the acquisition of professional trainings and skills it needs to reach a much deeper dimension of insight and wisdom if we can learn to combine such spiritual it receive with what the new earth literacy that Thomas Berry has argued for then we may have some hope for creating a better world in other words to bring together earth literacy our newly found earth literacy or beginning to develop us developing us literacy this greater spiritual literacy spiritual energy resources are the deepest energy resources humans possess and deepest of all are those of mystical consciousness and practice but the global community is still far from drawing on the transformative powers of love and this for its own growth so we need much dialogue and collaboration if people and the planets are to flourish and even the earth charter speaks of the importance of moral and spiritual education for sustainable living living the further evolution of humanity will not occur at a social and material level alone but it will have to have a spiritual dimension different thinkers have suggested a wide range of theories about this and several of these have been deeply influenced ah dissidence own ideas and account discusses here coming from a different direction the spiritual teacher Andrew : speaks of evolutionary enlightenment as a new path to spiritual awakening one of his close collaborators Carter Phipps has just published the book evolutionary's with a subtitle unlocking the spiritual and cultural potential of Sciences greatest idea namely the idea of evolution his extensive discussion reveals how evolution provides also new lands for the understanding of spirituality Carter Phipps includes numerous references to Toyota sedan has dedicated his book I quote to the great pioneers in evolutionary science philosophy and spirituality whose vision dedication perseverance and face created new pathways for us all it carries an epigraph from peyer's book the future of men we are moving we are moving the new evolutionary's are seen as the pilgrims of the future a description which I've already mentioned they are often gave of himself but Phipps points also out that unlike during players time evolution Aries are now no longer lonely individuals but part of a larger movement linked to the emergence of an evolutionary worldview that affects science culture and spirituality this is an apical shift from a world of studies to one of constant movement I want to argue that the awakening to a new evolutionary and ecological earth consciousness can inspire and hopefully and power human beings to create a more integrated just in peaceful earth community this is a great hope and vision whose realization may still be far away in time but beyond dreaming it can empower us to commit ourselves more emphatically to take on the necessary work for more United just in peaceful world some of these dreams and hopes have begun to find expression in new forms of spirituality whether ecological evolutionary or other they also influenced many contemporary political and academic debates international conferences a host of non-governmental organizations and many new treatises and charters that are often the first step to worshipping new institutions and structures inferential example science I'm closing with those to begin this from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 to the global ethic the Declaration of the Parliament of world religions in 1993 to the earth Charter in 2002 the chateaux of compassion cyant in 2011 by many cities and most recently a charter for engaged spirituality in the 21st century drawn up in October 2012 a new initiative launched by the awakened world conference just held in room last month each of these examples bear witness to the fact that at present many young beings around the globe are actively engaged in shaping social moral and spiritual values that will help to advance further human evolution in the midst of all the current social and political unrest the military and social violence and devastating ecological disasters this surely is a sign of hope and encouragement to collaborate with others in creating a new earth community with a better future for us all this is what we have to hope and work for thank you you

6 thoughts on “The Evolution of Religion, Society & Consciousness with Ursula King – Burke Lecture”

  1. book on Teilhard de Chardin – her sinister role in covering up how one of the foremost Jesuits of the 20th century had basically PLAGIARIZED Ramanuja and Sri Aurobindo.

  2. La vérité c’est comme le Soleil. On a beau tourner autour de lui, lui il attend patiemment. Ainsi peut se résumer le message de Teilhard, l’un des plus grands esprits de l’Humanité. D. Zognong.

  3. Stephen Gould made that assertion , which has no evidence , none . Why not do us all a favor and make public you're peer reviewed papers .

  4. Teilhard De Chardin, the guy who gave you the "Piltdown man" is still inspiring scientific nonsense. There is no scientific basis for the new age idea of a suddenly "evolving consciousness". It is pseudoscience. You want to evolve? For that you need the genetic manipulation of the Transhumanists.
    Sigh. Where is Christopher Hitchens when we need him?

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