Pierre Teillard de Chardin (1881-1955) was a brilliant and fascinating man. He was a strange combination: a Jesuit priest, religious philosopher, and a paleontologist who believed in evolution and helped in the discovery of Peking Man. He got in a great deal of trouble for his radical vision of Christianity that had evolution as its focus. Many of his books were banned and he was censured by the church.
His revelation was that the universe has been evolving in a process he calls complexification. As matter complexifies it evolves into systems. From the first hydrogen atoms bumping against each other in the beginnings of space/time, matter has formed greater patterns of complexity. Simple atoms randomly bumping into other simples atoms created more complex elements. As matter continued to complexify it formed organic compounds. From this life emerged. Then, as the systems of life have become more complex, consciousness has emerged, and self-consciousness beyond that. It is as if consciousness is intrinsic in the primal stuff of the universe.
This is the motion toward which the evolving universe is developing. The universe is now penetrating its own secrets and is conscious of itself. As Chardin expressed it, the universe has now developed to the point where it is watching itself evolve. As Hans Gadamer put it, “life thinks and thought lives.”
By observing this process, we can infer where the universe is heading.
Significantly, this complexity also has led to the emergence of a developed capacity for love. This axis of complexity is all leading to the coming together of all consciousness into a universal conscious web of love. This is the movement of the human spirit. Chardin saw this as the entelechy, or final aim, of the universe.
As we see the self as a discrete point of heart-consciousness, we can also see it, as Chardin describes, as a singular point in an endless web of conscious hearts that are part of one eternal, infinite cosmic mind/heart, which he called the noosphere, of which we are as yet unaware.
The universe, Teillard de Chardin would put it, is in a process of self-evolution towards an Omega point of pure love.
Here’s what Chardin said,
“. . . the work of human works . . . is to establish, in and by means of each one of us, an absolutely original center in which the universe reflects itself in a unique and inimitable way.”