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The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


The Energies of Love

Topic: Love, Compassion, & Kindness

What paralyzes life is lack of faith and lack of audacity. The difficulty lies not in solving problems but expressing them. And so we cannot avoid this conclusion: it is biologically evident that to gain control of passion and so make it serve spirit must be a condition of progress. Sooner or later, then, the world will brush aside our incredulity and take this step: because whatever is the more true comes out into the open, and whatever is better is ultimately realized. The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a French Jesuit priest, paleontologist, theologian, philosopher, and teacher. He was born on May 1, 1881, in Sarcenat, France. He studied geology and paleontology at the University of Paris, and was ordained a priest in 1911.

During World War I, Teilhard served as a stretcher bearer on the front lines. He was decorated for his bravery, and his experiences in the war led him to develop a new understanding of the relationship between science and religion. He believed that evolution was a process of spiritual as well as biological transformation, and that humanity was evolving towards a final spiritual unity. He coined the term "Omega Point" to describe this final spiritual unity.

After the war, Teilhard taught at the Catholic Institute of Paris. He also traveled to China, where he participated in the discovery of Peking Man. In the 1930s, he traveled to other parts of Asia, including the Gobi Desert, Sinkiang, Kashmir, Java, and Burma.

Teilhard's writings were controversial, and he was not allowed to publish his work in the Catholic Church until after his death. However, his ideas have since been published and translated into many languages. His ideas have been praised by some for their insights into the relationship between science and religion, but they have also been criticized by others for being too optimistic or even heretical.

Teilhard de Chardin was a brilliant and passionate thinker, and his work continues to be influential and thought-provoking. He was a pioneer in the field of evolutionary theology, and his ideas have helped to shape the way we think about the relationship between science and religion.

(1881-1955) Christianity
The Evolution of Chastity

De Chardin, Pierre Teilhard. Toward the Future. Translated by Hague René, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975, [Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. "The Evolution of Chastity" (1934), as translated by René Hague in Toward the Future (1975)].

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Theme: Love

About This Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Quote [Commentary]

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s quote, “The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love,” highlights his belief in love as a transformative cosmic force. Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit priest and paleontologist, integrated his scientific understanding with spiritual insights. He envisions a future where humanity’s control over natural forces will extend to mastering the energy of love, a key aspect of his concept of the Omega Point, where the universe evolves towards higher consciousness and unity.

In the broader context, Teilhard de Chardin discusses the paralyzing effects of doubt and the necessity of faith and courage for spiritual and intellectual progress. He suggests that the real challenge lies in expressing problems clearly. He emphasizes that controlling passion to serve the spirit is crucial for progress, aligning human energies with spiritual goals. This alignment is essential for humanity’s evolution, leading to a future where love becomes a harnessed force for divine purposes.

Teilhard de Chardin’s vision compares this future to the discovery of fire, marking a pivotal moment in human history. Just as fire revolutionized human existence, harnessing the energies of love will bring about profound transformation. He foresees a convergence of science and spirituality, where energies driving the physical world are directed towards spiritual ends. For Teilhard de Chardin, love is a fundamental energy that, when harnessed, has the potential to unify and elevate humanity to its highest potential.

The Evolution of Chastity

“The Evolution of Chastity” (February 1934), as translated in Toward the Future (1975) edited by René Hague, who also suggests “space” as an alternate translation of “the ether.”

Additional Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Quotes

“The truth is, indeed, that love is the threshold of another universe. Beyond the vibrations with which we are familiar, the rainbow-like range of its colors is still in full growth. But, for all the fascination that the lower shades have for us, it is only towards the “ultra” that the creation of light advances. It is in these invisible and, we might almost say, immaterial zones that we can look for true initiation into unity. The depths we attribute to matter are no more than the reflection of the peaks of spirit.”

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin [“The Evolution of Chastity” (1934), as translated by René Hague in Toward the Future (1975)].

“I am far from denying the destructive and disintegrating forces of passion. I will go so far as to agree that apart from the reproductive function, men have hitherto used love, on the whole, as an instrument of self-corruption and intoxication. But what do these excesses prove? Because fire consumes and electricity can kill are we to stop using them? The feminine is the most formidable of the forces of matter. True enough. “Very well, then,” say the moralists, “we must avoid it.” “Not at all,” I reply, “we take hold of it.” In every domain of the real (physical, affective, intellectual) “danger” is a sign of power. Only a mountain can create a terrifying drop. The customary education of the Christian conscience tends to make us confuse tutiorism with prudence, safety with truth. Avoiding the risk of transgression has become more important to us than carrying a difficult position for God. And it is this that is killing us. “The more dangerous a thing, the more is its conquest ordained by life”: it is from that conviction that the modern world has emerged; and from that our religion, too, must be reborn.”

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin [“The Evolution of Chastity” (1934), as translated by René Hague in Toward the Future (1975)].

Jesus Christ is ‘the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end’. The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason to hope.

—Pierre Teilhard De Chardin [The Phenomenon of Man (Harper: 1959)].

Jane Goodall

“There are really only two ways, it seems to me, in which we can think about our existence here on Earth. We either agree with Macbeth that life is nothing more than a ‘tale told by an idiot,’ a purposeless emergence of life-forms including the clever, greedy, selfish, and unfortunate species that we call homo sapiens – the ‘evolutionary goof.’ Or we believe that, as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin put it, ‘There is something afoot in the universe, something that looks like gestation and birth.’ In other words, a plan, a purpose to it all.”

—Jane Goodall [Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey (New York: Warner Books, 1999: xi-xii)].