“I am the first and the last,” says the Lord God Almighty, who is, who was, and who

is to come.1

Heraclitus once said that “everything is in flux” or to simply say that things are always changing. Someone who is uninitiated in philosophy would have taken this statement at face value and would have certainly agreed that this is true. But just one look at our surroundings, and no one could deny that things of today are moving in a much faster pace, a frenetic one at that. Much of this can be attributed to the rapid advancement of technology and the modernization of the world. With more sophisticated means of transportation and communication, the world keeps getting smaller and smaller. Due to this, the exchange of ideas between people of different walks of life has been become more fluid and instant. Man has certainly come a long way from the sticks and stones of his ancestors. Since the start of the modern era, much of these growth and development is brought about by the success of science. For years, science or to be exact natural science has locked horns with philosophy and theology as to what source can better deliver knowledge to humanity. For the proponents of science, they hold that science is the sole and only valid source of knowledge. Meanwhile those at the opposite extreme, the philosophers and religious figures dismiss that science only deals with impersonal objects, and consequently irrelevant to problems of personal existence and selfhood. Philosophers would argue that these problems must be approached with personal involvement, art, poetry, mysticism, religious inspiration, and revelation. There is though a middle ground that knowledge acquired through science is necessary as it is by itself insufficient but if supplemented by the insights of philosophers, poets, artists, mystics, and by religious

Rev. 1:8


and a Catholic seminarian at that. the researcher-writer was alarmed that a Catholic priest was able to produce so dangerous a material that it did not pass censorship in Rome. After much struggle with the text. not only because in the end these theories provoke a more discriminating discussion and evaluation of philosophical and theological truths. lege”— to just take and read and judge for yourself. It is such a pity that in this Catholic institution. But as the old saying would go. which the researcher-writer believes that it can make the Christian faith relevant once again in this fast-becoming scientific world. So the researcher-writer has taken upon himself to elucidate his concepts. the researcher-writer was able to appreciate the beauty of Teilhard de Chardin‟s writing. whose grave duty it is to defend natural and supernatural truth and instill it in human hearts. philosophy.experience becomes substantial. He is one of the courageous few who reached for a synthesis between science. Since being a Christian.”2 Upon knowing that Teilhard de Chardin‟s works has been censored by Rome. cannot afford to ignore these more or less erroneous opinions. (Paulines Publishing House. Fides et Ratio. 1998) p. and theology. Teilhard de Chardin intended to communicate his vision of an evolving universe. his life and works are unnoticed.” the researcher-writer admits that his work is truly difficult to comprehend but offers to future readers the practical solution of “tolle. 89 2 . The researcher-writer in his Fides et Ratio class. specifically Christ as Omega Point. Rather they must come to understand these theories well. illuminated by his personal religious experience and his poetic inspiration. Through this synthesis. And this philosophical opus to whom this is dedicated is someone who stood firmly on this middle ground. was deeply intrigued when his reverend professor mentioned the name of the priest-scientist. the researcher-writer adheres when Pope John Paul II quoted Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Fides et Ratio: “Catholic theologians and philosophers. “You cannot judge a book by its cover.” And after scanning his “The Phenomenon of Man. He goes by the name of Teilhard de Chardin. 2 Pope John Paul II.

he never left without carrying a geological hammer and magnifying glass.Brief Biography “Marie-Joseph-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was born on the 1st of May.”3 He is the son of Emmanuel Teilhard with Berthe-Adele de Dompierre d‟Hornoy. Joseph V. Together with his brothers and sisters. Despite the change of scenery. they were tutored by their father about stones. His last years were spent in New York. he was impressed by the majesty and durability of the extinct volcanoes. animals and plants. for stones and rocks. he continued his deep interest in the things of nature. with also sojourns to Southeast Asia and Africa. It was in Egypt that he first realized that “the meaning of evolution. rising from a previous “Less” to an ever more refined “More. Due to these circumstances. 1881 in the family‟s house called Sarcenat in the Auvergne district of central France. where he died in 1955.”4 He would later spend much of his life in paleontological research in China. In 1904. The Anglo-Norman island would later become a fruitful ground for his initial experiments. 3 4 Bernard Towers. 1. But it was his time teaching in Egypt that would have a lasting influence on his love for the earth. As a youth growing up in the ancient volcanic district of Auvergne. that the whole world is in a continuous. Kopp. clouds and stars was inculcated in him. 3 . Teilhard de Chardin: A New Synthesis of Evolution (New Jersey: Paulist Press. a deep passion for the things of nature. The short form of his name is Pierre Teilhard and the ending „de Chardin‟ is given by his maternal grandmother.19. Teilhard de Chardin (Virginia: John Knox Press. who was a collateral descendant of Voltaire. 1964) p. and animals. irresistible state of becoming. he entered the Society of Jesus at Aix en Provence. In 1899. he continued his priestly studies on the Chanel Island of Jersey when the Jesuits were banished from France. a few miles from Clermont. plants. He was the fourth in a brood of eleven. When going for a walk.1967) p.

stands for the whole and gives meaning to the whole.Teilhard‟s Hyperphysics Before proceeding to his concept of Christ as Omega Point. In a greater extent. the ordered whole of created reality. But through his work The Phenomenon of Man. Man. 35. this distinctive part. (Ohio: Pflaum Press. S.J. he proffered the solution of the conception of a science that studies all phenomena and must consider central the phenomenon of man. he conveyed his view that the phenomenon of man explains all other phenomena in an evolving cosmos which culminates in man.”5 Albeit his hyperphysics has man as focal point. But he condemns traditional science for generally restricting its investigations to only material aspects of reality and its becoming of a collection of individual and particular sciences for example. he explains that it is a natural and necessary extension of traditional science. a microcosm—recapitulates and mirrors the macrocosm. He believes that the world is continuously evolving but no evolution is not to be understood vis-à-vis Charles Darwin‟s Natural Selection Theory where variations in nature are brought forth by the “survival of the fittest. And this he would call his hyperphysics.” but rather as a form of psychic transformation.. zoology and physics. it is very much recommended to first grasp the meaning of his hyperphysics for it is the genesis of his much celebrated concept. In his hyperphysics. Teilhard de Chardin acknowledges that man is a product of evolution. 1970) p. 5 W. 4 . chemistry. A Path Through Teilhard’s Phenomenon. he would describe man as “truly a world— a very small but intricate world. Henry Kenney. To remedy this dilemma. But pundits would say that hyperphysics’ attempt to deal with man as solely as a phenomenon within the whole phenomenon is quite radical and too extreme.

5 . The last phase of evolution which the researcher-writer believes is becoming prevalent in present times is what he called planetization where man begins to converge with one another in unity through small groups at first and then to a global environment.To explain better. For further clarification. He knows that he knows. Life is in this process go through an evolution which is called biogenesis whose termination is the arousal of the mind and the spirit. always bring with progression in consciousness. Through this classification. this stance is very much anthropocentric. man on the other hand is reflective. he classified the entire universe into three spheres: the geosphere. reptiles. or the realm of inorganic matter. man is placed in the forefront for while other organisms know. In this panorama of increasing consciousness. amphibians. and the noosphere. noogeneis biogenesis cosmogenesis Without a doubt. his consciousness also develops. the biosphere. it is quite evident that as he progresses from the stone age to the iron age. But to say that man is the proof that the cosmos is moving towards a higher degree of consciousness can be proven historically. he is trying to show that an evolutionary progression takes place through primitive life and invertebrates to fish. Take for instance the primitive man and the development of the tools that he utilizes. The spirit and the mind also undergo an evolution which is called noogenesis. here is a diagram of Teilhard de Chardin‟s evolution theory. mammals and finally man and this evolution. or the realm of life. He would then call the start of evolution as cosmogenesis or the evolution of the world to life. or the realm of the mind or consciousness.

The rest of creation was only preparation for his habitation. This Christian dimension of evolution is called Christogenesis and whose ultimate termination is Christ. indeed to the whole universe. For Teilhard de Chardin.6 But despite this emphasis on man. 6 Joseph V. 1964) p. making possible his existence. He would declare that man is the Privileged Axis. every plant. here is another diagram: OMEGA POINT Humanity Material World On this foundation and background of hyperphysics. To again make the point clearer. 6 . every animal. Man alone gives significance to every stone. man together with the rest of the universe has only one goal and that is Christ.41.Teilhard de Chardin would even go as far as to say that the universe without man is meaningless. Teilhard de Chardin calls this as the Omega Point. Teilhard de Chardin: A New Synthesis of Evolution (New Jersey: Paulist Press. he is not the pinnacle of evolution. the researcher-writer will explain Teilhard de Chardin‟s idea of Christ as the Omega Point of evolution. Joseph V. but equally the inner reason why all previous development had to happen. Kopp. Kopp would also add that: It is clear now that man is not only the last phase of creation.

The researcher-writer finds this viewpoint quite scriptural since there are many biblical verses that affirm this concept. 1974) p. 61. Col. is a synthesis of Christ and the universe. it is just that he focuses his attention on the cosmic Christ. “Christ is everything and in everything”. But it must be pointed out that he does not reject or bypass the historical Christ. 1:17 9 Col. “He himself fulfills all things”9. He would further add that this cosmic Christ is present throughout the physical universe and that He exerts a force drawing all things towards a developing and convergent unity. Teilhard de Chardin holds that this socialization is directed 7 8 Thomas Corbishley. he is chiefly concerned with the role of Christ in an evolving and convergent universe.Omega Point The universal Christ. In Teilhard de Chardin‟s concept of Christ as Omega Point. The Spirituality of Teilhard de Chardin (Collins Clear-Type Press.10 There are so many biblical texts that confirm the physical supremacy of Christ over the universe but the aforementioned texts are already strong enough affirmations. It would be helpful to remember that at the final stages of evolution comes planetization where man socializes and converges with one another which then produces a rise of collective consciousness for the human race. He is not a new godhead—but an inevitable deployment of the mystery in which Christianity is summed up. the mystery of the incarnation7. for example: “in Him all things hold together”8. 3:11 7 . as I understood the name. 2:10 10 Col.

the feat reputed to be contradictory. In the latter part of his work. Point Alpha. Kopp. The Phenomenon of Man. 1964) p. 13 Ibid p. in the couple or the team. the very center of its collective psyche. His Christian view of evolution of the universe follows that: Creation came from God. The Phenomenon of Man (Harper & Row. God-Made-Man is in this last phase of return. Joseph V. for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves. Mankind. of „personalising‟ by totalising? And if that is what it can achieve daily on a small scale. in other words. will therefore reach a point where it will begin. In explaining the mechanics of love as the attracting force in the convergence of the cosmos with Christ. 8 . As God-made-Man Christ is simultaneously the axis and final goal of salvation. This is a fact of daily experience. Teilhard de Chardin recognizes the fact that lower consciousness states cannot give rise to higher conscious states. Omega. the magic feat. qualitatively. Christ who is the Omega Point. He is the transcendent pole toward which all souls are striving. why should it not repeat this one day on world-wide dimensions?14 11 12 Teilhard de Chardin. 14 Teilhard de Chardin. At what moment do lovers come into the most complete possession of themselves if not when they say they are lost in each other? In truth. 260. Love.”11 In postulating the Omega Point. which is Christ. 1965) p. Teilhard de Chardin would point out that: Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them. The Phenomenon of Man (Harper & Row. the cosmic focal point toward which all humanity‟s mental energies are directed. And this love emanates from no other source but the Omega Point. Teilhard de Chardin inserts his Christian faith. 1965) p. 265. in man and perfects itself through the return of thinking beings to God. the divine center of consciousness. to look into himself. 56. being reflective. does not love every instant achieve all around us. thus he tells us that the Omega Point “draws” the universe to itself. 12 It can be concluded that the Omega Point “is the end of man‟s ascent. Teilhard de Chardin: A New Synthesis of Evolution (New Jersey: Paulist Press. 41.towards a final convergence point in unity with the Omega Point.”13 And this ascent is inspired by a very powerful attraction. He states that “the FutureUniversal could not be anything else but the Hyper-Personal—at the Omega Point. It culminated.

He is the Lord of the cosmos. S. (Ohio: Pflaum Press. the philosophers say it is not philosophy.. Joseph V. A Path Through Teilhard’s Phenomenon. 9 . 1964) p. it was not just enough to break the wall of division between the two but have science charged with faith. Kopp would explain: For millions of years nature had been preparing for the reception of grace. what Father Teilhard tries to do is to take the Christ-figure out of the incredibly narrow historical frame into which it had been forced.Conclusion As Fr. It is such a shame that an immensely enlightening work is not read by the wider public especially to believers of the Christian faith for it delivers the salvific truth of the Incarnation in a groundbreaking fashion for it is within an evolutionary interpretation. the crowning aim of all. where Christ would become the focal point and the true perfector of evolution. as John and Paul saw it. Kopp. Omnia per ipsam facta sunt. As Joseph V. W.J. noogenesis. God had to become man in order to reincorporate in Himself the peak of evolution. From the cosmic viewpoint. Henry Kenney. et sine ipso factum est nihil. 15 16 W. from biogenesis. 58.J. S. Teilhard de Chardin: A New Synthesis of Evolution (New Jersey: Paulist Press. and the theologians say it is not theology. 1970) p. 32. the significance of Teilhard de Chardin‟s The Phenomenon of Man has gone unnoticed. and finally came Christogenesis.”15 Although Teilhard de Chardin‟s work cannot be pigeonholed into a certain kind of literature. He has said that humanity is no longer imaginable without science but science must be animated by religion. the “frequent criticism of the Phenomenon is: the scientists say it is not science. From cosmogenesis came biogenesis. it just shows the uniqueness of his ideas and insights that he can be branded as one of the revolutionary thinkers of modern times. For him. and project it onto the universe. He has proposed that religion and science sojourn together in embarking a new frontier for mankind.16 His work was not just innovative but was also pioneering for Teilhard de Chardin was among the first ones to bridge the chasm between science and religion. Henry Kenney. Thus the goal of the cosmos and the goal of salvation are identical. would remark. Outside of the academic circles.

but submission to the world. Despite all the technological advancements the world has attained. which. rightly viewed. internet and mobile phones specifically. Worship does not mean putting God before all things. through work and research. collective unity and world peace are still elusive to man. associating oneself with it and thus. It is just that man should understand that his inventions should spread Christ‟s handiwork.” This is quite undeniable. 17 17 Ibid. but seeking God in and through all things. 10 . with the growing social network phenomenon and commodity for mobile phones as concrete manifestations.With the advent of modern-day technology. But is the World Wide Web the path to Teilhard de Chardin‟s Omega Point? As of now. not yet. But this does not mean that man‟s achievements are futile and a drastic return to a primitive lifestyle is needed. giving oneself with heart and soul to the act of creation which is taking place all the time. is worship. to bring the world to final perfection in Point Omega. man is constantly in communication with his fellowman in a seemingly “shrinking planet. As Teilhard de Chardin would remind his readers: To follow Christ is not a flight from the world. for these means are not utilized in creating awareness of Christ amongst men.

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