Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The most satisfying thing in life is to have been able to give a large part of one’s self to others.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven’t committed.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The world is round so that friendship may encircle it.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world… Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist and forever will recreate each other.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

It is our duty as men and women to proceed as though the limits of our abilities do not exist.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

He that will believe only what he can fully comprehend must have a long head or a very short creed.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The universe as we know it is a joint product of the observer and the observed.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Love is a sacred reserve of energy; it is like the blood of spiritual evolution.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

It doesn’t matter if the water is cold or warm if you’re going to have to wade through it anyway.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come to being.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The profoundly ‘atomic’ character of the universe is visible in everyday experience, in raindrops and grains of sand, in the hosts of the living, and the multitude of stars; even in the ashes of the dead.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Historically, the stuff of the universe goes on becoming concentrated into ever more organized forms of matter.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

At the extreme temperature occurring in the stars, matter can only survive in its most dissociated states. Only simple bodies exist on these incandescent stars.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The mineral world is a much more supple and mobile world than could be imagined by the science of the ancients. Vaguely analogous to the metamorphoses of living creatures, there occurs in the most solid rocks, as we now know, perpetual transformation of a mineral species.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The earth was probably born by accident; but, in accordance with one of the most general laws of evolution, scarcely had this accident happened than it was immediately made use of and recast into something naturally directed.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I am not enough of a mathematician to be able to judge either the well-foundedness or the limits of relativity in physics.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The earth’s crust has not yet stopped heaving and plunging under our feet. Mountain ranges are still being thrust up on the horizon. Granites are still growing under the continental masses. Nor has the organic world ceased to produce new buds at the tips of its countless branches.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Long before the awakening of thought on earth, manifestations of cosmic energy must have been produced which have no parallel today.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

From a purely positivist point of view, man is the most mysterious and disconcerting of all the objects met with by science.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Regarded zoologically, man is today an almost isolated figure in nature. In his cradle, he was less isolated.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

There is neither spirit nor matter in the world. The stuff of the universe is spirit-matter. No other substance but this could have produced the human molecule.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Is evolution a theory, a system, or an hypothesis? It is much more: it is a general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must bow and which they must satisfy henceforward if they are to be thinkable and true.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Evolution is a light illuminating all facts, a curve that all lines must follow.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

However far back I go into my childhood, nothing seems to me more characteristic of, or more familiar in, my interior economy than the appetite or irresistible demand for some ‘Unique all-sufficing and necessary reality.’
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

At the age when other children, I imagine, experience their first ‘feeling’ for a person, or for art, or for religion, I was affectionate, good, and even pious: by that I mean that under the influence of my mother, I was devoted to the Child Jesus.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Deep down, there is in the substance of the cosmos a primordial disposition, sui generis, for self-arrangement and self-involution.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

All I know is that, thanks to a sort of habit which has always been ingrained in me, I have never, at any moment of my life, experienced the least difficulty in addressing myself to God as to a supreme Someone.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The facts tell us that no religious Faith releases – or ever has released at any moment in History – a higher degree of warmth, a more intense dynamism of unification than the Christianity of our own day – and the more Catholic it is, the truer my words.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

When all is said and done, what constitutes the impregnable superiority of Christianity over all other types of Faith is that it is ever more consciously identified with a Christogenesis: in other words, with an awareness of the rise of a certain universal Presence which is at once immortalizing and unifying.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

A Religion of Evolution: that, when all is said and done, is what Man needs ever more explicitly if he is to survive and ‘superlive,’ as soon as he becomes conscious of his power to ultra-hominize himself and of his duty to do so.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Everywhere on Earth, at this moment, in the new spiritual atmosphere created by the appearance of the idea of evolution, there float, in a state of extreme mutual sensitivity, love of God and faith in the world: the two essential components of the Ultra-human.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

If there is one thing I fear less than everything else, it is, I believe, persecution for my opinions. There are a good many points about which I may be diffident, but when it comes to questions of Truth and intellectual independence, there is no holding me – I can envisage no finer end than to sacrifice oneself for a conviction.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Love Quotes
What is imponderable in the world is greater than what we can handle.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

One mustn’t close one’s eyes to difficulty and to shortcomings; the more one recognizes them, the less they upset one.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

All ways of living can be sanctified, and for each individual, the ideal way is that to which our Lord leads him through the natural development of his tastes and the pressure of circumstances.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

We have but one permanent home: heaven – that’s still the old truth that we always have to re-learn – and it’s only through the impact of sad experiences that we assimilate it.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I think that man has a fundamental obligation to extract from himself and from the earth all that it can give; and this obligation is all the more imperative that we are absolutely ignorant of what limits – they may still be very distant – God has imposed on our natural understanding and power.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Death surrenders us totally to God: it makes us enter into him; we must, in return, surrender ourselves to death with absolute love and self-abandonment since, when death comes, all we can do is to surrender ourselves completely to the domination and guidance of God.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

For me, the Immaculate Conception is the feast of ‘passive action,’ the action that functions simply by the transmission through us of divine energy. Purity, in spite of outward appearances, is essentially an active virtue, because it concentrates God in us and on those who are subject to our influence.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

For ideas to prevail, many of their defenders have to die in obscurity. Their anonymous influence makes itself felt.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

In a way, the whole tangible universe itself is a vast residue, a skeleton of countless lives that have germinated in it and have left it, leaving behind them only a trifling, infinitesimal part of their riches.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

It seems to me that terrestrial beings, as they become more autonomous, psychologically richer, shut themselves up in a way against one another, and at the same time gradually become strangers to the cosmic environment and currents, impenetrable to one another, and incapable of exteriorizing themselves.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

For me, the real earth is that chosen part of the universe, still almost universally dispersed and in course of gradual segregation, but which is little by little taking on body and form in Christ.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Man is unable to see himself entirely unrelated to mankind, neither is he able to see mankind unrelated to life, nor life unrelated to the universe.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

We must accept what science tells us, that man was born from the earth. But, more logical than the scientists who lecture us, we must carry this lesson to its conclusion: that is to say, accept that man was born entirely from the world – not only his flesh and bones but his incredible power of thought.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Man the individual consoles himself for his passing with the thought of the offspring or the works which he leaves behind.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Religion and science are the two conjugated faces or phases of one and the same complete act of knowledge – the only one which can embrace the past and future of evolution and so contemplate, measure and fulfil them.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The incomparable greatness of the religions of the East lies in their having been second to none in vibrating with the passion for unity. This note, which is essential to every form of mysticism, has even penetrated them so deeply that we find ourselves falling under a spell simply by uttering the names of their Gods.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The Hindu religions gave me the impression of a vast well into which one plunges in order to grasp the reflection of the sun.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

For ninety per cent of those who view him from outside, the Christian God looks like a great landowner administering his estates, the world. Now this conventional picture, which is too well justified by appearances, corresponds in no way to the dogmatic basis or point of view of the Gospels.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Morality arose largely as an empirical defence of the individual and society. Ever since intelligent beings began to be in contact, and consequently in friction, they have felt the need to guard themselves against each other’s encroachments.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I give the name of cosmic sense to the more or less confused affinity that binds us psychologically to the All which envelops us. The existence of this feeling is indubitable, and apparently as old as the beginning of thought… The cosmic sense must have been born as soon as man found himself facing the forest, the sea and the stars.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

To say that Christ is the term and motive force of evolution, to say that he manifests himself as ‘evolver,’ is implicitly to recognize that he becomes attainable in and through the whole process of evolution.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

We often represent God to ourselves as being able to draw from non-being a world without sorrows, faults, dangers – a world in which there is no damage, no breakage. This is a conceptual fantasy and makes it impossible to solve the problem of evil.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Let man live at a distance from God, and the universe remains neutral or hostile to him. But let man believe in God, and immediately all around him the elements, even the irksome, of the inevitable organize themselves into a friendly whole, ordered to the ultimate success of life.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

It is a curious thing: man, the centre and creator of all science, is the only object which our science has not yet succeeded in including in a homogeneous representation of the universe. We know the history of his bones, but no ordered place has yet been found in nature for his reflective intelligence.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Religion, born of the earth’s need for the disclosing of a god, is related to and co-extensive with not the individual man, but the whole of mankind.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Certain though I am – and ever more certain – that I must press on in life as though Christ awaited me at the term of the universe, at the same time I feel no special assurance of the existence of Christ. Believing is not seeing. As much as anyone, I imagine, I walk in the shadows of faith.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

To be Catholic is the only way of being fully and utterly Christian.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

By its birth, and for all time, Christianity is pledged to the Cross and dominated by the sign of the Cross. It cannot remain its own self except by identifying itself ever more intensely with the essence of the Cross.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

How great is the mystery of the first cells which were one day animated by the breath of our souls! How impossible to decipher the welding of successive influences in which we are forever incorporated! In each one of us, through matter, the whole history of the world is in part reflected.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

In each soul, God loves and partly saves the whole world which that soul sums up in an incommunicable and particular way.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The more nobly a man wills and acts, the more avid he becomes for great and sublime aims to pursue. He will no longer be content with family, country, and the remunerative aspect of his work. He will want wider organisations to create, new paths to blaze, causes to uphold, truths to discover, an ideal to cherish and defend.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Christ has conquered death, not only by suppressing its evil effects, but by reversing its sting. By virtue of Christ’s rising again, nothing any longer kills inevitably, but everything is capable of becoming the blessed touch of the divine hands, the blessed influence of the will of God upon our lives.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The problem of evil, that is to say the reconciling of our failures, even the purely physical ones, with creative goodness and creative power, will always remain one of the most disturbing mysteries of the universe for both our hearts and our minds.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The Church is like a great tree whose roots must be energetically anchored in the earth while its leaves are serenely exposed to the bright sunlight. In this way, she sums up a whole gamut of beats in a single living and all-embracing act, each one of which corresponds to a particular degree or a possible form of spiritualisation.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

In the divine milieu, all the elements of the universe touch each other by that which is most inward and ultimate in them. There they concentrate, little by little, all that is purest and most attractive in them without loss and without danger of subsequent corruption.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The pagan loves the earth in order to enjoy it and confine himself within it; the Christian in order to make it purer and draw from it the strength to escape from it.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Through fidelity, we situate ourselves and maintain ourselves in the hands of God so exactly as to become one with them in their action.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The history of the kingdom of God is, directly, one of a reunion. The total divine milieu is formed by the incorporation of every elected spirit in Jesus Christ.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin God Quotes
Love is an adventure and a conquest. It survives and develops, like the universe itself, only by perpetual discovery.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

What I cry out for, like every being, with my whole life and all my earthly passion, is something very different from an equal to cherish: it is a God to adore.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

To discover and know has always been a deep tendency of our nature. Can we not recognize it already in caveman?
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Love in all its subtleties is nothing more, and nothing less, than the more or less direct trace marked on the heart of the element by the psychical convergence of the universe upon itself.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Mankind, the spirit of the earth, the synthesis of individuals and peoples, the paradoxical conciliation of the element with the whole, and of unity with multitude – all these are called Utopian, and yet they are biologically necessary.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

A sense of the universe, a sense of the all, the nostalgia which seizes us when confronted by nature, beauty, music – these seem to be an expectation and awareness of a Great Presence.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Being happy is a matter of personal taste.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

If we are to be happy, we must first react against our tendency to follow the line of least resistance, a tendency that causes us either to remain as we are, or to look primarily to activities external to ourselves for what will provide new impetus to our lives.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

At the heart of every being lies creation’s dream of a principle that will one day give organic form to its fragmented treasures. God is unity.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Man can be understood only by ascending from physics, chemistry, biology, and geology. In other words, he is first of all a cosmic problem.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The number of known human fossils only increases slowly. But the manner of regarding and assessing them is capable of progressing rapidly, as indeed it does. In the absence of any absolutely sensational discovery in prehistory, there is an up-to-date and scientific manner of understanding man, which is solidly based on palaeontology.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

To our critical eyes, the threads of which the past is woven are, by nature, endless and indivisible. Scientifically speaking, we cannot grasp the absolute beginning of anything: everything extends backwards to be prolonged by something else.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The quantity and quality of consciousness, one may say, have always been growing throughout geological times. In this respect man, in whom nervous organisation and therefore psychological powers have attained an undisputed maximum, may be considered, scientifically, as a natural centre of evolution of the primates.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Humanity at the centre of the primates, Homo sapiens, in humanity, is the end-product of a gradual work of creation, the successive sketches for which still surround us on every side.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Humanity is still advancing; and it will probably continue to advance for hundreds of thousands of years more, always on condition that we know how to keep the same line of advance as our ancestors towards ever greater consciousness and complexity.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Whether one welcomes or deplores it, nothing is more surely and exactly characteristic of modern times than the irresistible invasion of the human world by technology. Mechanism invading like a tide all the places of the earth and all forms of social activity.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Progressively saved by the machine from the anxieties that bound his hands and mind to material toil, relieved of a large part of his work and compelled to an ever-increasing speed of action by the devices which his intelligence cannot help ceaselessly creating and perfecting, man is about to find himself abruptly plunged into idleness.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

By the sole fact of his entering into ‘Thought,’ man represents something entirely singular and absolutely unique in the field of our experience. On a single planet, there could not be more than one centre of emergence for reflexion.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

How can one preach goodness and love to men without at the same time offering them an interpretation of the World that justifies this goodness and this love?
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Truly, there is a Christian note which makes the whole World vibrate, like an immense gong, in the divine Christ. This note is unique and universal, and in it alone consists the Gospel.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I feel a distaste for hunting, first because of a kind of Buddhist respect for the unity and sacredness of all life, and also because the pursuit of a hare or chamois strikes me as a kind of ‘escape of energy,’ that is, the expenditure of our effort in an illusory end, one devoid of profit.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I would like to express the thoughts of a man who, having finally penetrated the partitions and ceilings of little countries, little coteries, little sects, rises above all these categories and finds himself a child and citizen of the Earth.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Have you ever thought how humiliating and distressing it was to be placed upon a sphere? For friendship it is a boon never to be able to be further apart than the antipodes. But suppose that you are leaving together to go on and on; it is impossible. To go beyond a certain point is to return to where you began.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

My roots are in Paris, and I will not pull them up.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Neither the Christian attitude of love for all mankind nor humane hopes for an organized society must cause us to forget that the ‘human stratum’ may not be homogeneous.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Death is acceptable only if it represents the physically necessary passage toward a union, the condition of a metamorphosis.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Nothing can resist the person who smiles at life – I don’t mean the ironic and disillusioned smile of my grandfather, but the triumphant smile of the person who knows that he will survive, or that at least he will be saved by what seems to be destroying him.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I owe the best of myself to geology, but everything it has taught me tends to turn me away from dead things.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I came to China to follow my star and to steep myself in the raw regions of the universe.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I am a little too absorbed by science to be able to philosophise much; but the more I look into myself, the more I find myself possessed by the conviction that it is only the science of Christ running through all things, that is to say true mystical science, that really matters. I let myself get caught up in the game when I geologise.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Surely the wake left behind by mankind’s forward march reveals its movement just as clearly as the spray thrown up elsewhere by the prow.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I have finally decided to write my book on the spiritual life. I mean to put down as simply as possible the sort of ascetical or mystical teaching that I have been living and preaching so long. I call it ‘Le Milieu Divin,’ but I am being careful to include nothing esoteric and the minimum of explicit philosophy.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Everyone, no doubt, remains first and foremost a man of his own country and continues to draw from it his motive force.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The longer I live, the more I feel that true repose consists in ‘renouncing’ one’s own self, by which I mean making up one’s mind to admit that there is no importance whatever in being ‘happy’ or ‘unhappy’ in the usual meaning of the words.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Personal success or personal satisfaction are not worth another thought if one does achieve them, or worth worrying about if they evade one or are slow in coming. All that is really worth while is action – faithful action, for the world, and in God.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

We spend our lives, all of us, waiting for the great day, the great battle, or the deed of power. But that external consummation is not given to many: nor is it necessary. So long as our being is tensed, directed with passion, towards that which is the spirit of all things, then that spirit will emerge from our own hidden, nameless effort.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I greatly enjoyed the Hawaiian Islands. They are a real little paradise in spite of the influx of Americans who have made it one of their most pleasant ‘centers of resort’: the soft climate and luxuriance of the tropics; the greenness, the fragrance, the flowers – extraordinary flowers covering the tallest trees and turning them into huge bouquets.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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