Frontiers of Wisdom

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Box labeled "Master for Duplication". What was the intended purpose?


Once again I have this notice about lunch, okay, everybody's invited to lunch in the refectory. And Zacchaeus said that he was putting up a notice and a map, has anybody seen that? He put it down at the refectory, okay, good, good. So they ring a bell about 12.25 and that's the time to march into the refectory, if you can find somewhere to hang out before that, between mass and that time, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen. So I'd like to recapitulate a little bit this morning and then proceed with our fourth movement Remember we had the double revolution of Jesus that I was talking about, which became kind of blurred because it got so complicated. The original idea is that there's a vertical revolution which I saw, first of all, as a


descent, and we find that everywhere in the Gospels, Jesus teaches people not to be climbing but to be descending, not to be climbing on top of others, above others, but somehow to be descending into the midst of others, and even to servants and so on, all the way down to death, and he carries out that same program, that same trajectory in his own life. But then we realize that there's also an ascent in Jesus' revolution, and that ascent is baptism itself, and the expansion of the gift of God's life and baptism. When you realize that the baptismal ritual, the baptismal experience, the gift of the Holy Spirit is the gift of humanity itself, the gift of God's life, you realize what a tremendous ascent it is, and we may have that experience, if we're babies we don't, because we're not the equivalent to have that experience, but the early Christians often did, the early Christians often felt that they were filled with new life, and new life, and St. Paul


will talk about that in time, especially when he writes for the Galatians, but maybe this is, I don't know. So we have an ascent as well, and both of those movements are evident in our own lives So it gets a little confusing in a way, and then I said we have a horizontal revolution in Jesus, which carries humanity forward in history, and carries us forward in our own lives, but especially I think of the historical thing, and I think it in terms of the history of the West, and now, let me go back to that for a second, the West and the East, in Christianity itself, John represents the East, at least for me, and Paul represents the West, okay? John represents the East in terms, even in the non-Christian East, where you descend into the center, where you descend into the point of non-duality, or to the level of non-duality.


I say descent, because it's an entrance into ourself, not so much because it's going down, but it's going in. So the East is that one pointed and peculiarly monastic Christianity we've seen, okay? And the West is something else. The West had nothing monastic at all. Remember that John, if you read the Gospel of John, you have a feeling that you're going down and down and down, like into a well, and as you go down, you get closer to the, instead of anything darker, you get lighter, and you get closer to the center, where everything comes together, and where everything is together. That's the sense that you have in John. And when Jesus will announce himself, identify himself with the words of I Am, that reaches a kind of culmination, a kind of climax. Paul is something else. Remember, Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles, right? So the first movement, even the first movement of Paul's life, his conversion, is a breaking,


isn't it? It's a complete reversal, it's a 180 degree turnaround. Remember, he's the Pharisee, the apostle of bitter zeal, who's tracking down Christians and slamming them into jail, and scourging them, and so on, and killing them if he can. And he turns around from that to be the preacher of Christianity, one of the most powerful preachers of Christianity I've ever had. And he moves from the Jews to the Gentiles. So he was the Jew of Jews in the beginning, okay? The Pharisee of Pharisees, and he hosts a lot of them. He's even, as I just said, he's fast and he's turned around. And then he becomes exactly the opposite. He becomes a preacher of salvation to all, not just to the nation of Israel, not just to the people of the law, but to every human being. And he becomes a, what would you say, not a fanatic, he becomes an extremely passionate preacher of exactly the opposite of what he loved at first. And it's almost like Paul's past, even that broken, that ruptured, that double, that reversing life that he led, somehow represents the trajectory of the West, represents the


history of the West. The East tends to stay where it is. The West proceeds. Some people would say it proceeds quite dialectically, remember, thesis, antithesis, synthesis, and so on. But it does put one foot after another, and often it moves by means of conflict. And it's always moving somewhere. It's like it hasn't got a home. It's like it's alienated from a star. It's like it's dispossessed, like a stranger. And so it's always moving towards something new. That's the dynamism, and that's the excitement of the West, which I'm far from disarming. A lot of my interest has been sort of in reviving the sense of the gift of the West, even the wisdom of the West. That's a real conundrum. What's the wisdom of the West? Because wisdom seems to be located in the East, seems to belong to the East, seems to belong to that original illumination, okay? Seems to belong to non-reality, to descending into the private being. What's the wisdom of the West? The West doesn't seem to have wisdom. It seems to have science. It seems to have chaos.


It seems to have brains. It seems to have cleverness and creativity and all that, but it doesn't seem to have wisdom. What's the wisdom of the West? Well, I had thought, in terms of most historians, recounting how the monasteries from around 410 to 1400 have been pretty much repositories of Western knowledge, of Grecian and Roman wisdom, and so I was a bit surprised to hear you say that monasticism in the West was really trivial, I guess, compared to the East. No, I don't want to say that. I spoke too rationally and too condensed away when I said that the movement of the West tends to be away from monasticism. Just look at the progress of the religious stuff, okay? From monasticism, you could say that the first thousand years of the West are Eastern almost, okay? Under the domination both of Greco-Roman society, especially the Greek, and also the kind of Eastern flavor in that, in the Platonic and Neo-Platonic traditions, which are still dedicated


to that one-pointed, that one-pointed center, the source, the beginning, the one, non-reality. And then after one thousand, it tends to find itself, it's Western hopes, it's Western garrison, and moves forward in history. So, and I don't at all mean to just say that Western monasticism is insignificant, but Western monasticism, I think, always brings from the East, the solitary part of monasticism, the typical phenomenalist, okay, the hermitage of a hermit, is really Eastern, I think. See, not only in historical terms, not only in geographical terms, in any kind of archetypal sense, East is that beginning, is that plenitude of the beginning, the plenitude of the baptismal initiation, the initial fullness, okay? It's the ground of being, the all that's there at the beginning, the undivided, undifferentiated


one, people, okay? That's what monasticism is about, basically. When it comes to the communal forms, it's mutating in a Western way, okay, and a very important way. And there were already monastic communities in the East, of course. But archetypally, it's almost like, you know, the solitary and the inhabitant is the Eastern foe, and the Western foe is something else. The commandment movement through the three groups, remember, Zenobian, the community life, which is really church-like almost, and then the solitary life, the Eastern, and then the Seventy-Eighth Vaginorum, as it's called, the missionary movement out there where you expect to be killed, okay, into the pagan nation. That's how they're called, the movement of the Jews to the death, in a sense. That's the outward, the Western movement. Yeah? You know, maybe, and this is probably not a real clean analysis, but could you say that the Western movement, the wisdom of the Western movement is the same wisdom as the East, except


that it's more active? It's almost kind of like when Meryton said something like, contemplatives in action, or we talked a couple days ago about Teresa of Avila, where she had that wisdom that was so different than the East, but it manifested actively in the world. So it's the same wisdom, just that one is, let's say, a little more sedate, one is more, that doesn't mean that the East wasn't active, too, but maybe that's where it is. The East seems to, I don't know, its shape seems to, because I can agree to a great example of what you're saying, but I think there's still a distinction, and there's supposed to be a distinction, there's supposed to be a distinction between John and Paul. Those are supposed to be two orientations. Now, Paul shares what John has, right? Paul shares the enlightenment, he shares that non-dual experience, he shares that deep,


deep experience of unity with God in Christ, and just plain unity. But he's got something else as well that you don't see in John at all. You know, in John, in the New Testament, that is the rule of analysis, that dramatic migration of change, problems, whatever you want to call them. So that's what I'm calling the wisdom in an archetypal sense. It's almost like an idealized vision. And you know, if you go back to when we talked about Martha and Mary yesterday, and maybe Jesus' response to Martha would have been a little different if Martha's actions had stayed better connected to the wisdom source of Mary, and that's the West. And maybe what's been occurring more and more over time is the Western activity becomes more frenzied as it becomes more disconnected from that wisdom source.


No, I think that's true, but even in the accelerating history there's something positive about Mary. Let me see if I can express this better. When you spoke of St. Teresa, for instance, and Teresa is Western, and also the emergence of the woman in that work as an active person, especially as Western. But notice where she's going, she's going inward to that 7th mansion. In other words, it's completely Eastern, in the archetypal sense that I'm talking about. I'm not saying the West doesn't have it. I'm just saying that what characterizes the West, what distinguishes the West is something different from that, which has to do with historical movement, creativity, progress, achievement, and kind of, what would you call it, moving out into the whole world. And so like, she came from that 7th mansion, and there was a huge amount of activity as she established monasteries all over. But notice what she's doing, she's establishing monasteries. She's repeating the same pattern of interiority and of solitude and of contemplative orientation,


which I'm calling the Eastern archetypal sense. It's in the West, but the peculiar personality of the West is something different from that. And I would agree also in this way that, in the end, the wisdom of the West is the combining of the two, the wisdom. Where we are normally in the West is not wisdom, it's something else. It's the spirit of the West, the activity of the West, the progress of the West, the history of the West, the charism of the West, you could say, the activity. But it's not the wisdom of the West. The wisdom of the West has to integrate the East with it. And that integration is the new peculiarly Western dynamism, which is the forward movement of history, and the outward movement of history, until the sea, somehow, fertilizes the whole world. So we're really trying to describe something that hasn't been quite manifested yet. No, the wisdom of the West, I don't think, has emerged yet. Because most of the wisdom of the West is still Eastern, in some sense. But there's a beginning of another kind of wisdom in the West, in the philosophers of


history, Hegel and Oskar, where they begin to try to understand the movement, understand the dynamism, understand what it is that's unfolding, which ultimately has to be understood theologically. So the Church itself, in the Vatican, too, makes some steps in that direction. So the wisdom of the West, I would say, in the simplest possible terms, would be the integration, the reunion of non-duality and duality. And the duality being also movement, relationship, interaction, conflict, all the chemistry that happens, that makes history happen in the world. And the creativity. How do we live without that creativity in the West? I think we identify with a lot of Western things that are going on, because we grow with them as well. So I don't know how we get there. But the movement from East to West is a kind of, what we call, a kind of diagram, I think, of history itself, and the unfolding also of the revolution of Jesus.


That's where we start with that horizontal revolution of Jesus, which I imagine, first of all, as a movement from East to West, as a movement outward and forward, which becomes more and more clear, more and more pronounced, more and more accelerated. And I propose Teilhard as a kind of, what do you call it, the very figure of that movement, the extreme of it, in a sense. With the other Christian religious, Abishai Kanada, as the one who's visible to us, who symbolizes this other movement. But even in the revolution of Jesus, as we have both an upward and a downward movement, we have both a forward and a backward movement. And backward's not a good word for it, because it's going to move out of time, move into a vertical dimension. And that's the dimension of God. That's the recovery of the nonduality of the Source. The nonduality of God. The divinity, even before the creation, before the Christ event, just the unity. I am that dimension. So, that remains with us.


And our problem in the end, for wisdom, is to unite it with the dimension. I don't think you can do it in one simple formula. But one way of looking at it is for those three ages, remember? The age of the Father, the age of the Son, and the age of the Holy Spirit. Think of the age of the Father as the age of unity, the age of the undivided Source, the age of the One, okay? Because the Father is that, in Christian theology. The Father is the Source, out of which everything comes. And the Source, which is indescribable in some way. You can think of it as an infinite ocean of love. You can think of it just as being, with a capital B. You can think of it as a ground of being, whatever. It's impossible to describe it. It precedes language. It precedes description, division, understanding, all of that. Then think of the age of the Holy Spirit as dynamism. Think of the age of the Holy Spirit as energy, okay? As creativity, as newness. And then, in the middle, you've got the age of the Son. The age of Christ. Now, you can think of our history that way.


You can think of the Eastern portion as the age of the Father. The distinctly Western portion, which is modern Western history, as the age of the Spirit, with all of the paradox, and all of the irony that's in that, okay? Because there's so much shadow, there's so much wreckage, there's so much aberration, and all of that. But nevertheless, there's dynamism, okay? There's forward movement. There's undeniable positive motion and creativity. And in the middle is the age of the Son, the age of Christ. The age of the truth that has been announced and revealed. There was a time before that, up until the time of Christ, even though it was anticipated in the Old Testament, especially in the prophetic tradition. And there's a time after that. And the time after that sort of reaches what you call the zenith of something, with deconstruction, with postmodernism, where every truth is undermined and somehow denied, relativized. Where it's impossible to conceive a single truth any longer. The meta-narrative is discouraged, is despised, practically speaking.


I speak kind of negatively of postmodernism, but a lot of it is that way. It's the termite phase of life, okay? When the great tree can no longer be seen at all because it's been eaten. It's eaten systematically by French theoreticians. Do you detect some kind of cyclical affair here where we have John the Baptist proclaiming from his stay out there in the desert where he was dining on locusts and honey and he's mentioning that this great prophet is going to come along and then JC arrives and he takes 40 days and 40 nights out to go contemplate and meditate in the wild places. And then we have the western trend now where it seems like we've gone so far people are beginning to investigate some of those eastern origins again and look into things like yoga and different Eastern... There's a recovery, but I wouldn't call it cyclical, okay? I think there's always a possibility of going back


and recovering what we've forgotten. And for us that's the East. So when we find the non-Christian East it's an immense discovery for us. And then gradually, gradually, gradually we begin to understand how it relates to Christianity and how Christianity has that and then something else. So it's a blend rather than a return to it. Yes, it's not a return to it, it's a recovery, okay? Recovery and integration into what you have. Now, there are a number of Christians that have migrated East and never come back. In other words, because we go East for initiation. You could say we go East for baptism. We go East for an initial discovery of the Spirit for that expansion of soul and of Spirit that belongs to baptism, that belongs to any initiation, any enlightenment. So we go East for that, we go East for the beginning, okay? But some people absolutize the beginning and they stay there. Some Christians. Abhijit Gananga, he absolutized the beginning, absolutized enlightenment, okay? But enlightenment is only the beginning, it's not the end. Especially in Christianity where baptism is the beginning of your spiritual life.


Enlightenment, you can say, if it has a purpose its purpose is to be incarnated. Its purpose is to get you to become and to do. It's to start you on your way. It's almost like the explosive charge that sends you off, okay? It sends you off, though, to do something which is the purpose of your life. Yes? I was thinking about that as the, for example, the secularization of the Christian ethos. The fact that recent books have said that, for example, the EU in Europe, as secular as it is, they should have a word about their constitution, about Christianity. This happened, giving an impetus to them that really shows up in the nations of Europe now as the respect for the individual, the care for the ethical rights that the world has never known before. And I think of a Western city. A Newborn baby doesn't have the connection of all the body parts. Can't understand what the hand is.


It's learning, it will be years before the newborn baby has an understanding of the connectivity of the whole body. And think of a major Western city. You might have tens of thousands of workers in a subway system working that, or in a transportation system in a power grid conducting those things. And it can seem cold in a modern city because everyone's doing their own job. There's not much communication and people can be awfully unfriendly. It's kind of like a baby learning communication between the parts, that there's already parts in place doing their work. And then eventually later there's going to come the understanding of that. I'm just trying to think of that as an image for the explosion, or almost what can seem like a fractured human person in a very non-contemplative way. And then ultimately, in a lot of the Prophets and Psalms, there's coming together and exiles back to Israel. When all is said and done. So something like that is going to happen. All the individual parts


after this mass dispersion, which can seem utterly unintelligent and un-spiritual, is really doing good things at a deep organic level. And then later, it's going to come together so that all the lights come on and the individuals who are contemplative and connected. Yeah, that's the idea. That's the goal. And that's a good expression of it. It reminds me of a couple of things. One is Ken Wilber who talks about differentiation and dissociation. See, the modern West has been marked by the differentiation of the sciences and all other disciplines. They get independent. So the scientists work as they want to rather than being told by the Pope or by the Church how to pursue their science so that it will conform to theology. And so it is with every other discipline whether it be medicine or whether it be poetry or whatever. And dissociation in which they actually unplug from the unity and go off on their own and lose contact with one another. And then eventually, of course, the hope is that they'll come together and that's what Teilhard envisioned actually is a convergence which follows the divergence follows the dissociation.


Teilhard's got a neat little paper and it's very simple and maybe oversimplified where he says that science and Christianity fit together in this way. Science analyzes and Christianity synthesizes. How do you like that for simplicity? It's largely true. It's not entirely true. And a critic, of course, can tear that apart immediately. But there's a truth in it. Science tends to break down and to analyze and to go to the bottom. To go to the protons the electrons the neutrons then the quarks and then down and down and down and down until you get somebody will be telling you absolute reality is just a mass of energy. Which is baloney from the point of view of human life. We're not looking at a mass of energy. We're not living in just an ocean of energy. We're living with people. We're living with things. We're living with things that we know. We're walking streets. So what seems like ultimate reality to the analytical scientist sometimes is kind of


we're completely out of touch from an existential and common sense point of view. Didn't you find any validity though in Keir Starmer Deschardin's findings that the truth of the cosmos could be found in the microcosmos? And he always prefaced his remarks with the fact that no, he had faith and he believed the orthodoxy and he tried to assuage any doubts or misgivings of his bishop. No, he had to at the time. The church at that time would. No. But these as far as he was concerned simply confirmed his faith that the scientific findings of the atom and the protons and the noetheism and the heavens and the stars and that didn't dispute the idea No. In other words he resolved the contradiction between Christianity and science. Right. He integrated the two. You may not agree with the way that he did it but he's an explorer


and an experimenter and he did a first magnificent job okay which I'll have to follow up with more detail but basically what he did was to reconcile science and Christianity not only that but to show that at the center of the evolutionary universe is the event of Christ. That's the really monumental evolution of what they are. Instead of evolution for instance and that whole picture of the universe coming on as a threat to Christianity okay as a mortal threat which compromises its whole worldview and its whole belief in itself what's the significance of the life of Christ in millions of years of evolution and so on okay and similar things. In the face of that threat what he does is to show that the evolutionary movement its discovery the whole darn thing is centered in Christ centered in the Christ event and I believe that okay and so that's that's the real reversal that's the real revolution and that brings us to the real revolution


in history which I think is the human person emerging into this kind of view the human person emerging getting out from under the universe as it were and finding somehow that the human person has evolved has a central role in the universe you can imagine like Kepler or Galileo or Copernicus you know waking up one morning and discovering by golly we're rotating around the sun as if he discovered the sun for the first time discovering that sun he discovered the light the sovereign light the sovereign divine light within himself which was really able to master the knowledge of the universe of the world okay the revolution is partly astronomical but it's partly that emergence of the human being into its real role in the universe its real role in creation which is between God and everything else okay and mediating somehow divinity and the divine light into everything and gathering everything together in that divine light in that divine love


that's in the human person and this is centered historically in the event of Christ anyway we got a little off the track but not too much because we're talking about this horizontal revolution and I didn't do a very good job last evening I think yesterday afternoon running through that I was too confused I'd like to distinguish about four stages or four phases or four aspects of that horizontal revolution if I can find them yeah here we are the first one is the liberation and individuation of the human person okay that Jesus sets free the individual human person this happens in faith and it happens in the baptismal experience that is the individual is liberated from that what you call a collective mentality it's the kind of mythic tribal communal mentality


which is very strong in Judaism too you know we're not far from the twelve tribes of Israel and it's partly a tribal mentality which has become a Judaic tribal mentality and it's very compulsive very hard and also punitive and we think of it's easy for us to think of Islam in that way today okay and we think of radical Islam and so on Islamic fundamentalist clerics and so on that kind of mentality does this validate Jung's thinking of a collective consciousness well that's yeah that's another deal his thing was the collective unconscious okay the collective unconscious which is sort of another subject yeah there certainly is there certainly is a collective consciousness but there are many levels of it you know one level of it is this kind of religious compulsive religious consciousness which used to be strong in Roman Catholicism okay say in the


Counter-Reformation times up until Vatican II where you had to think the same way basically and there was one way to think okay and in the old days in the tribal days you'd inherit that from your family you'd inherit it from everybody around you you know and you just go along with it so what I'm talking about in this first dimension this first phase of the revolution of Jesus the horizontal one is the liberation of the human being from that now the the philosopher Jaspers in Nuremberg devised that idea of the axial time the axial time from 200 800 to 200 BC when the individual emerged so some people displace it from the event of Christ I think what Jesus does is to pick it up to pick up that axial emergence and sort of put a stamp a historical stamp of finality upon it and then add something to it and what he adds to it is is partly a new unity as well as the individuation as well as the liberation of the individual in the axial time he initiates


a new a new a new unity around you could say the church around the body of Christ ultimately and that's another phase of this revolution I'm talking about so first of all that liberation and individuation of the human person secondly what I talked about that kind of new positive energy in the human person the new fontality in the human person the gift of the Holy Spirit the new creativity the new generativity the very charism of newness that is meant to be the vocation of the human person in the world suppose what we're supposed to be is God's newness in the world suppose and in a way we are you know because squirrels don't write poems they may be beautiful they belong in poems but they don't they don't make them suppose that's what we're supposed to be doing suppose we're supposed to be renewing the world from inside itself because we have consciousness because we have a mind and because we have a capacity for love those two things like the two hands of God in a sense are able to do it


but what it's bringing into the world is something beyond description which is the divine newness you can identify that with the Holy Spirit if you want the divine newness just again those words of Jesus have come to bring fire to the earth yeah newness is that what you said? newness yeah n-e-w-n-e-s I was thinking Eunice in this piece said people tell Eunice he's too old to be a lover but this love is so new and fresh yeah so he is he's capturing that he's got that yeah somehow sideways the Sufis have been looting the freight train of Christianity in some way at night at night they come at night they come and they steal they looted everything yeah they looted what was worth looting yeah but I mean also in a spiritual way somehow the gospel leaked into Sufism I don't know how it got there but it's there somehow and that freshness


that complete freedom and that creativity that wildness okay well there's many Sufi orders that base a big part of their tradition on Jesus mhm and as you look at them you see that they they may have gleaned something out of it that maybe was missed yeah quite a bit but they they teased out of it maybe more of what this new reemergence is yeah so that could be a source to go back and say well let's revisit how they look at Jesus yeah no there are cases like that in which people have missed out on a lot of what we've had in the West and it's been it's preserved something earlier and fuller okay that then can be recovered by contact with them that's true of eastern Christianity and the Russians particularly okay the Russians who bring together the best of the East often and some of the best of the West people like Soloviev and those guys yeah I have heard


the Sufis say that in the beginning there was a big basket of wisdom that God gave and everybody's taken from that basket of wisdom and when we come back to that original place it's when we've all brought back our pieces of wisdom back to the meaning of the one hand yeah very good it's a good image for ecumenism for the kind of universal ecumenism okay so first of all liberation individuation individual then this new this new energy this new fountain of living water inside the human person that actually flows forth newness into the world if you want to see that river read Dylan Thomas okay that river that flows forth carrying everything with it in a kind of infinite abundance it seems that impression that his poetry gives you and then thirdly the new unification of humanity which can simply be called the body of Christ and that's Teilhard's Christ Omega when looked at as the end of the world you see


Jesus as it were breaks the the crust the consolidating crust of law of convention of the tribal compulsion and so on breaks it but then initiates a new unity at the same time it's like when he talks about the temple remember he said when he predicts the destruction of the temple and said well I'll build up a new there'll be a new temple it'll be built in three days and John tells he's talking about his body the temple is replaced by the body of Jesus ok so the old structure the old masonry of human convention and human law is broken and replaced by an organism which is the body of Jesus the divine human organism and then finally from past oriented to future oriented humanity this is a hard one to keep a hold of because it sounds very simple but there's there's an excitement


in it which it's easy to lose to lose hold of the idea comes from Teilhard but Ken Wilber points out that almost the same idea was present a couple hundred years ago in those German idealists Hegel and Schelling those guys and I think in some of the romantic poets as well the idea that you have been guided by the past up to a certain moment and then somehow you come into your own you arrive at a kind of autonomy a kind of a kind of maturity and you begin to be oriented towards the future which you begin to be able to see you could say that the prophetic tradition in the Old Testament does that ok because at first you're guided by the past in terms of Moses and the Exodus and the law right and then moving forward in the history of Israel you begin to be guided by this prophetic tradition which is beginning to look forward beginning to look ahead to a new future and to imagine it you see poets


in that way as prophetic when they're inspired so to be looking forward and to looking forward not only to what is to happen but what you are to do what you are to make in other words your own participation in that movement towards the future you're building you're constructing of the future you're constructing of the kingdom of God if you like and that's what's recognized begins to be recognized in Vatican II in that very strange unique constitution of the church in the modern world Gaudium et Spes which that's the Latin for for joy and hope joy and hope looking towards the future that's the one which really recognizes the church as having as being in the world rather than above the world and for the world rather than against the world that's quite a revolution right there but it's part of the original revolution of Jesus because for so long


the church has been defensive and then in its defensiveness its kind of bunker mentality after the Reformation it pulled up its skirts and it it elevated itself and it spoke to humanity from above in kind of absolute terms okay we've got the truth you don't here it is it really is for us not for you if you want the truth join us okay Vatican II doesn't speak that way anymore Vatican II speaks as human beings talking to human beings on the same level standing on the same ground made of the same stuff all one family but with a knowledge of the peculiar gift that the church has to impart to humanity but the church has been humbled it's come down it's part of the descent in history that we're talking about a pretty decisive part of it too when the church itself descends from its what do you want to call it sycamore tree or wherever it was up in the air and separated from humanity where the unity actually


is discovered in humanity even beyond the Christian faith once again that world church that Rana sees being initiated in Vatican II you know for this fourth dimension what was the how did you turn well the words that I used are something like the words that I had written are from past oriented to future oriented humanity from looking towards the past to the past for your guidance and we always do to some extent we've got to have the gospel but to looking towards the future for your guidance when what is predicted in the New Testament begins to materialize before your eyes and you realize that you are part of it's coming into being you're turning from the past to the future for your orientation now the way that Teilhard sees that and he's the genius he's the prophet of this particular step in the revolution is that we begin to look at the Christ Omega and begin to look at the effects


of the Christ Omega as it draws humanity together see Teilhard saw evolution as proceeding he's got a fascinating it's in the phenomenon of man that big book of his fascinating idea of how Christianity intersects or interacts with evolution he says evolution tends to spread outwards okay and diversify into the thousands of species maybe millions of species I don't know that we have okay so that's the way that the scientists follow evolution the picture you get is like a tree which is which is differentiating into all of its limbs and branches okay what Christianity does is to bring out but there's another dimension within evolution at all let me say that first right from the start and that is a within a convergence a concentration okay so you've got the divergence into millions of species and then there's a kind of a growing tip of evolution which is focusing and which is refining and which is advancing and that's the human being


the human being as a singular element as the growing tip as the creative point as the moving point the front the advancing edge of evolution okay because of its interiority because of its within-ness he sees that as evolution moves out there's also a within of evolution an inside an interior evolution which concentrates itself in the human being precisely because the human being has inwardness see even rocks I suppose have some inwardness there's something that holds them together and then plants have more inwardness not because they have a single life in the plant that holds it together that moves it and animals have still more inwardness they have the beginnings of consciousness and human beings are the furthest point of inwardness among the creatures that we know because they have reflective consciousness because they have the freedom of reflective consciousness of actual thought of progressive thought


and so on Would the nearly empty churches in Europe mean that secularism has blunted that evolution? Well that's a kind of a what kind of churches? I think you're nearly empty most of the churches now Oh yeah I think that's that's an event which we shouldn't immediately think of in this context ok because we can't get into the issues of the church when we're talking about this bigger picture ok and that's certainly that's another step in the progress I think in other words that's a reversal which has to have another rebound but it's a little outside of what we can talk about on this level it doesn't quite fit into the big picture so the human person has the extreme of inwardness and then that's where evolution is proceeding so evolution after a certain point happens not by the multiplication of species but by what happens among human beings ok and the


the thought of human beings the reflection and so on and the advance in human consciousness but then there's another step and that is what he calls the socialization or planetization of humanity up to now it's as if revolution has been going straight ahead or straight up ok but at a certain point the evolution he says of every species of everything turns a corner and moves inward moves towards togetherness rather than just advance ok like a right angle turn from moving upward the individual the progression and also together moving upward to moving towards one another and so Teilhard sees that happening like in the 20th century and that's the global phenomenon ok when humanity all of a sudden begins to understand that it's all one thing it's all one organism it's all one humanity like one person ok begins to realize that and then begins to try to do it try to bring it into actuality yes can I just


as you're referring to his comment can the emptying of the churches be be like a reflection of what you've just said that you know there's a an individualization or people have maybe evolved to another state where they or where they don't feel like there's need for them to receive that same spiritual that they're receiving from inside the community or from the other kind of associations different than church yeah well I think the mentality the kind of mindset in Europe the consciousness simply moved away from the Christian tradition ok and people were no longer nourished or at least felt they were by the roots of the church or the Christian roots any longer and I think that the church itself had moved so far very often from a clear and powerful proclaiming of the gospel the genuine gospel the revolution of Jesus Christ the revelation of Jesus Christ that it's natural that people


would turn away from it because at a certain point it got so thickly institutional and self protective that it was hard to identify with the gospel so people drift away and the church seems meaningless as it stands still in the middle of a moving universe ok as the church stands still in its littleness and claims to be the lord as it were of this immense universe that's developing and moving forward everywhere around it that's the problem that Teilhard starts with ok the problem that he starts with in his philosophical theological work is that the church and Christianity is too small for the world that it's in and yet he knows in his faith that it's much larger than that he knows in his faith and in his heart that the event of Christ is the secret of the world the event of Christ is the decisive mystery the decisive secret and event at the core


of the history of the world he knows that ok so his problem is somehow to bring out that immensity of the event of Christ which he succeeds in doing ok by finding that event of Christ at the core of the evolutionary process itself ok so that's where he starts is with the empty churches in Europe so it's a very good metaphor ok for that whole deal he starts from that and then he gradually liberates the Christian reality from that little bitty shell of self-protecting institution ok and of course all the resistance against all the resistance of the official church and so on until Vatican II when Teilhard had an immense effect in Vatican II ok then the church will say as we have always taught you know in claiming those those new views and then on another side of that like now with the Joel Osteen 20,000 big football stadium things I watched


on his programs and it's it's like motivational speaking just everybody feels good about everything you leave there after an hour you feel great you watch the show for an hour so it's not really and there isn't even one cross in the church so it's not really you know it's not really Christ-based it's more like motivational speaking so how does that fit in because that's now the West you know as a current day trend yeah well what you've got is a secularization of religion so you'll have a motivational speaker who comes on like a preacher you know you'll have a Billy Graham who's really preaching some kind of popular psychology or something like that you know or one of those we've got the secret now I'll let you have it and everything will be fine that kind of thing so it's a it's a pseudo or para religion I suppose you could say and you've got to expect that you've got to expect the secular world to generate its own gods and its own gospels and its own preachers and we're just going to go back to the way it was


before Jesus right and it's all going to just revert back well in a way except it's feeding off what came with Jesus okay it's feeding off the Christian tradition it's feeding off the event of Christ without even knowing it and certainly without acknowledging it but yeah it may be short-lived but it can also do good for people it's not totally false you know but it doesn't have the energy of spirit in it in the end it doesn't feed from the real center it's not drawing from the real engine the real engine of history or the real engine deepest engine of human development and I don't know the speaker you're talking about in particular but that kind of thing it's a substitute for religion for people and we're talking about poetry poetry became a substitute for religion too so it became a religion by itself all kinds of things become religions when the original religion the real religion eclipses okay but then it comes back and our job is to see this comes back as itself rather than in a diminished form just to go


backwards is to go back into the diminished Christianity of centuries and centuries in the west if you have a religious figure like Dr. Vincent J. Field speaking about his positive philosophy who's that Dr. Vincent J. Field Norman Vincent Field the power of positive thinking and would that kind of thing not lead individuals towards the Bible and thinking sure I mean that's a mixture that's a mixture yeah he's not just a motivational speaker he's a preacher you know he's delivering attempting to deliver a Christian message which may be more or less authentic more or less deluded and I don't know because it's been so long since I don't know if I ever read any of his work but he was a big name years and years decades ago sure and there's still preachers like that


that big reputation and they do good too they do good but they can also do bad especially if they preach a kind of narrow sectarian Christianity so where are we we were talking about our horizontal revolution and its four movements and I succeeded in getting through those four movements I got some quotes from Vatican II here from Gary and it's best but what they acknowledge is basically for one thing this beautiful idea that the different histories of the different peoples of the world are becoming a single history before our eyes you've probably heard that before but that's a magnificent awakening that we're all becoming a single history and a Christian will jump in and say yeah we know where that history came from and where it's going and I jump in with them because I believe that that coming together of human history is a further unfolding of the event of Christ of this revolution of Jesus coming together


of human history and ultimately the coming together of the human peoples Teilhard would look at the 20th century you know the first world war and the second world war which seems like they were dislocating and tearing apart the world tearing peoples apart and he would say well actually those are part of the movement of bringing humanity together and in the long run they are in the long run they are because gradually with those terrible conflicts those murderous wars that lasted for years and years and killed millions and millions and millions of people and hurt so many others the world finds itself coming together afterwards it will try a league of nations it will form a united nation the world begins to discover that it has to be a global reality humanity has to be a global reality rather than a national reality so you can say that the age of the nation states began to come to its


end with those world wars you could say that yes if we're coming together that much when are we going to get over wars where we start killing each other well that's a good question I wish I knew the answer I wish I could say it right now yes Bruno do you think it's kind of like a constant crucifixion resurrection crucifixion resurrection like you were saying how it moves us together but it's painful colonialism painful hurtful sinful but then someone like Nelson Mandela comes out of prison I forgive you everyone resurrection people are still together but there's something beautiful germinating out of that it's like this has to happen over and over again that's right out of the agony comes new life comes resurrection now if you look at the 20th century and the world wars ok so what did they do


what did they mean anyway did they mean the end of a Eurocentric world because the European empires lost their colonies didn't they and they broke up the old royal houses yeah so it's tearing down the old structures for one thing and opening the way for larger unities ok for a global unity out of all that agony you know the macrocosm of the world just in a way you look inside at the growth process that's more like a spiral of deaths and resurrections yeah it's no different inside and you you evolve you develop you grow but then you reach a place where that breaks open and then you move again and then a new generation probably has to do the moving forward from there you know yes the old generation is tired and has done its job


or been defeated you know whatever and you know I always remember when someone said well when you measure church time you're measuring it in decades and quarter centuries and centuries and so this process we want it to go more quickly but it goes at a pace that requires patience over generations to see it play out yeah and the discouragement can be terrific I mean the American political situation you know in our own time where you can have a hope which is almost unbounded and then gradually see it throttled and extinguished just by the weight of whatever you want to call it and it's you know our country the patience is measured in minutes and hours and days yeah let's say some people say well the Chinese you can measure their decades and quarter centuries they wait for an unfolding and stay with us so there's those kind of


things yeah the Christian of course has a particular take on history and that he believes she believes that for one thing it's outcome is already guaranteed as victorious just as the resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact at the same time it depends on us okay so somehow we've got to throw ourselves into the process and make it move in the right direction yes sometimes when we think of the church you know from Christ's dawn we really have to think of it farther back because it was part of God's plan to have us redeemed after Adam and Eve sinned yes and so the Old Testament is a kind of a preparation for the Christ yes and it is it is the Christ in preparation and then so there's no separation really


well at all you can look at that in different ways okay you can emphasize the continuity between Old Testament and New Testament say that Jesus was the greatest of the prophets and that he gave let's say the final edition the final version of God's revelation yes or you can look at it in terms of Jesus really bringing a revolution not only in general history but also in Israel itself oh yeah and if you look at Jesus in the Gospels that's what he's doing okay you have heard before but I tell you okay right but he was fulfilling the things that were proclaimed about him in the Old Testament yes but he fulfills them in an unprecedented and unimagined way yeah so this connection goes far beyond it all the stuff in the Old Testament that that talks about the glorification of Israel it's an entirely new context entirely new scale in what Jesus yeah but that's a different idea that's come up from a it it wasn't God's plan


that the chosen people were would accept their savior and become one with him who can say how can in the in the light of what actually happened yeah how can we say what God's plan was that's one of the most interesting things about this we've watched history unfold of course how surprising it is the Jews expected a power of Messiah and what they got was a power of Messiah you know we've all been able to witness what's happened to the internet what's happened to the world in 20 years it's almost unimaginable I mean if you start from the steam engine and jet cars and jet planes rockets the acceleration of this process is incredible I mean it's become almost a gravity gravity acceleration force you know it's reliant business engineers rely on progress and yet


we can never extrapolate you know 1950 nobody extrapolated the internet they extrapolated to portable profiles you know maybe but not what the internet was really capable of to accomplish communications and stuff and you never know when that's like my grandmother one of my grandmothers she said I was born in the horse and buggy age and now I'm on the man of the moon age and you know that's what's happened in one lifetime that's fantastic that's right that's right so this is a decisive time in the history of the world one of the interesting things though is we we tend to extract the progress material progress more refrigerators faster cars yeah you can see already that limit reached and you really wonder progress now has to go instead of material progress


we need spiritual progress somehow that's the next big step yeah I mentioned Rosenstock Goosey yesterday in his theory of the three ages the three millennia of the Christian era the first is the unification it's all about unity unification the first is towards one God okay from the many gods to one God the second millennium he says is the age of moving of the unification of the world okay the unification of the planet first of all through the obvious ways colonization exploration commerce and all that the second is through science and that understanding uniform understanding as it were almost seamless at a certain point of all of nature the third era the third epoch of the Christian era he says is the unification not of divinity not of the world but of humanity of what humanity humanity and that goes along with what we were saying about Teilhard and his view and also Ewert Cousen and his idea of the second axial time first axial time


being the emergence of the individual personal consciousness second axial time a couple thousand years later as being the unification of humanity the drawing together of humanity and that's what we're experiencing now in this global phenomenon that's all around us which is probably the dominant fact of our time so with more radical progressive elements in the church like U.S. bishops for instance would that help keep that process going and maybe a lot of firemen well I don't know I'm not sure the U.S. bishops are that darn progressive certainly much more so than the Vatican yeah but they were nominated by the Vatican okay and most of the U.S. bishops I think were were appointed by John Paul II okay so there was a kind of progressive vanguard of U.S. bishops but I think that's a generation that's almost gone by now what about the you're talking about the world growing and all the scientific stuff


now we're in a phase where we're destroying the world through science well that's possible we're destroying all the fish in the ocean we're destroying all the trees in the world we're destroying all the animals in the world and we're destroying all the people in the world through wars and famine and all these famine and in Africa and places where these poor children and people are just in these big camps dying there's no there's no one simple answer to all that okay and these histories are always two-sided the positive and the negative at the same time and the outcome is always unsettled uncertain except in our faith okay our faith and our faith that moves us to put our own energies on the positive side I think we have arrived at the end of the road here oh really yeah it's about 25 minutes to 11 so don't forget


to come to lunch okay thank you applause [...]