[MUSIC] First love who is he? Who is TRD Sheridan for people who have not, you know, really are not very familiar with him. >> Well, I tell you is one of the fascinating pricing in the 20th century is a French writer, thinker. A Christian mystic theologian with an enormous impact on the 20th century. In fact, there are few, if any personalities of the 20th century that have been written about so much as Teilhard. The bibliography of works for it and about him, or listen to the thousands of even a French language, there were 5,000 titles, enormous amount of literature. Much more literature than about, some of the other personalities that, who are well known and were influential but somehow have not elicited the range of response that Teilhard has elicited, because his thinking covered such a vast field of concern about the total human venture. He was a scientist, he was a theologian, e was a great personality, he was a Westerner in China for 20 years. There was a great deal of challenge about his thinking and so forth. And he was born in 1881. He lived up to 1955. He was born in a period of course when so many changes took place in human life and human thought and a sense of values. And when the human was just entering into this great petrochemical age, the roads were being built, when the radio came into existence. And those of us that can remember the early radio programs, course you would be their age when you said it. 1917, when KDKA in Pittsburgh had the first commercial radio program. A person can see that Teilhard's life spanned a great period of time. Then there were the great thinker that lived during this time, Einstein, who changed our whole view of the scientific world came up. Darwin's work was a dominant work. And probably what gave the central focus to Teilhard's life was the discovery of the evolutionary theory and the fact that western religious thought had not been able to assimilate and perhaps few things have changed our intellectual perspective on things. And it's so challenged our religious cultural traditions. And it's the evolutionary hypothesis of Darwin. >> But then, Tom, what do you think are the kind of major contributions he's made ecologically to this period. >> Well, that's a great talent because that's somewhat the pathos of Teilhard is that there is an aspect of his thinking that is not easily compatible with the ecological age. But the more fundamentals of his thinking are the basics of [INAUDIBLE]. >> It's interesting. Go ahead. >> So when we think of Teilhard, we have to think of perhaps the person who altered Christian thought perhaps more than anybody since the time of Saint Paul. >> Really? >> Perhaps. >> Yeah. >> Certainly since the time os St.Thomas. Why? Because the whole thought structure of human existence has changed more drastically in these few last other years that any time before and if you move Christianity from the context in which it was born into this context obviously that's going to make the greater change. >> Okay. >> A change that St. Thomas brought to the picture by moving from a multitonic to a more context is minor compared to what we are faced with. And the question is, can we do it or not do it? >> Uh-huh, uh-huh, until you add the seminal in all of that? >> Well, he was a central figure, and compared to the other people like Barter, he was a great theologian certainly even Tillich. These were great thinkers. But none of them had the knowledge, the scientific knowledge that they all did and so, when it comes to somebody that had great depth of scientific knowledge and. His special field was paleontology and geology he was deep into the geological sciences, the biological sciences, and to comparative paleontological studies. And he was part of some of the great expeditions in research. >> Yeah didn't he live some of his life in China, he was in China? >> Well he lived 20 years of his life he went to China in the mid 20s and he left in the mid 40s, well in 1946 I believe. >> Mm-hm. So what would you say though like if you were to say one, two, three, four, five or whatever, what contributions do you think he's really made to this age? >> Well there were several. >> I'm sure there are many. >> If a person reduced him to one thing, the great thing that he did, was to make a commitment to the evolutionary process. A total commitment for a outstanding Christian thinker to make that total commitment he made to the evolutionary process in the second decade of this century when Christians were very averse to accepting the implications of the evolutionary Interpretation of things. Something more than practices the evolutionary field, something that is, has the factual evidence that is difficult not to accept. But Christians have always found great difficulty. They thought that it challenged the whole basic structure of faith. >> Mm-hm. >> But he immediately saw that no matter what happened to the faith, or what happened to anything else, we had to follow the evidences that were before us. >> Yes. >> And so he had accepted the evidence as committed himself definitively to that, and then he got in trouble. Because the structure of christianity and it's dogmatic teaching and it's religious interpretation is based largely on the concept of an original paradisal state where there was a fall into what we call original sin. >> Okay. >> Original sin was, we might almost say, was an invention of Saint Paul. And the sins. You have a savior figure that you need something to be saved from, and so you have original sin. But the first Adam, it is in the Bible, the original sin, in Genesis obviously. But Adam is never mentioned in the Old Testament, except in that beginning. Adam plays no role in the Old Testament. And so, but there was however, that sense of need of redemption. That divine human relations were radically disturbed, and that things could not be set right, except a savior personality. And so we get the, and the turmoil of the prophetic age, and the difficulties of dealing with existence. And then the promise of a savior personality that will bring about this transformation, restore divine human union, give humans hope that the human condition will be transformed. And it was this that developed into the backgrounds of the incarnation, the redemption as Christians presented, as it's presented in the Gospels. >> Is that a central- >> It's a central thing. And then Saint Paul in explaining Christ, he goes back and has a first Adam and a second Adam. >> Mm-hm. >> And so it develops, everything develops out of that relationship. And so we developed the salvation doctrines of the faith. But when Teilhard came along in 1922, he wrote an essay on original sin, saying that this makes it very difficult to accept the fact that we are an emergent universe that moves from earlier forms, to later forms, to more developed forms. And as it goes through more developed forms, it's not a collapse of some perfect age and a restoration of something of that nature. But it is an emergent process from the beginning, was a simpler process that begins even with particles of matter that we call atomic particles or galactic systems, and the shape of things unfolds through time and so forth. >> And all of that is sacred. >> Yeah. >> All of that. >> Is what? >> Is sacred. >> Sacred, certainly yes. >> All of that has this, from the beginning, this spiritual dimension. There's no such thing as crass matter, and it has that >> But that caused, that's a central fact of Teilhard's intellectual life, and the tension between the religious authorities in Teluar, which a person has to keep in mind. Because much of what happened, and much of it thriving, is to balance out a very sensitive Christian theological context with the modern scientific context. But the genius was that he was able to keep his relationship with both, although he was in a certain sense, alienated from both. Because your orthodox scientists, that is, your more mechanistically-oriented scientists, found it difficult to deal with Teilhard's interpretation of the universe as having a psychic-consciousness aspect from the beginning. And that was on the one hand. So, that type of scientist could not deal adequately with Teilhard, nor can the theological on the other hand, the theological, the religious side. They had difficulty with Teilhard because he was so deep into the scientific world. >> Say something more than, [CROSSTALK]. >> But, let me say just something more though about this article that he wrote in 1922. And that wasn't a big problem until 1924, and then he was invited, had a chance to go to China for, the Jesuits had a research center in China, in Tien Shan. And because his studies were of this nature and so forth, he had become a distinguished personality already. Also at this time, at Zhoukoudian in North China, the excavations were being made that resulted in discovery of the Peking skull. >> Yes. >> Which at that time was the foremost of paleontological research concerning the origins of the human. But at that time that article was discovered was making trouble. And there was a certain sense of wanting to get Tielhard out of an influential position in Europe and get him out to the missions. So, he gets into China. In China, once he's there, he comes back and through a tendency of it from then on, he was in exile, a person might say. He did his work in China, he was part of that expedition of working with those excavations at Zhoukoudian. And periodically, would go back to Europe and he was offered positions teaching in Europe, and he had a great deal of recognition there. But as superiors insisted that he- >> Keep out of the limelight that way. >> Keep out of- >> Yeah. [LAUGH] >> Keep out of the theological scene. >> Yeah. >> They didn't mind his doing his scientific work, but Teilhard saw that the scientific work had fantastic implications for the total cultural development of the human. And had fantastic implications for Christian vision of life and the whole interpretation of Christianity. And so that he was a writer too. >> Mm-hm. >> And he had a lyric capacity with words and expressions, and he had a vision. He was one of the great personalities in interpretating and changing the whole cultural scene. >> Yeah. >> So that he is one of those fast to start with personalities. And then adverse to say, well, who were you going to compare him to, and so forth. Well, to my mind, there are several personalities of the 20th century that are very important. There's Carl Jung, and there's also, maybe we could explore that later and see how Teilhard relates to these. But going back to the earlier stage and the scene in which his thinking developed, let me just read a passage here. It's just a short passage from one of his essays that he wrote in 1929, A Sense of Man, where he ends this, what must mark the Christian in the future is an unparalleled zeal for creation. >> Mm-hm. >> So I were to mark what's the great contributions of Teilhard, I would say three things that he did. The first thing is that he told the story of the universe in an integral manner, and perhaps for the first time. For a long time, the scientists had been searching out a way to tell the total story of the universe. James Gene said within his explanation, Eddington had written his. But neither one of them quite, they understood the universe to somewhat, they understood that it had a physic component, and that that was central to the process, but they were not able to tell the story with the fullness and the richness that Teilhard told it. So, that the phenomenon of men, it's really not the phenomenon of man, but the human phenomenon, as in the French title. >> Uh-huh. >> That story was written, where he told the story of the universe, and its four basic phases. The galactic story, the Earth story, life story, human story. >> Those four. >> Those are the four segments. >> Say that again now. >> Of the great story. >> The galactic? >> The galactic story, the Earth story. >> Story. >> Life story. >> Life story. >> Human story. >> Human story. >> And each of these is integral with the others, so that there's one story. But we might say, for the sake of articulating certain distinctive phases, there's many ways to do it, but that's one way to do it. Teilhard was able to see that from the beginning, matter has a psychic, as well as a physical component. It has a tendency either to accept one or the other of these, and to eliminate the other. >> Okay, psychic and physical. >> And physical, yes, that matter itself has intelligibility. If it has intelligibility, then it's not what might be called crass matter, otherwise it would not have what I call radiant intelligibility until you understood that. And so he kept this sensitivity to that, and he was able to tell the story of the universe as a progressive emergence of ascending forms of consciousness. Throughout the earlier developments of the universe from the beginnings of the fireball on through the Galacticus shaping the Earth, argents of life and so forth. Later somebody like Ilya Prigozhin would tell the story in terms of self organizing power of the universe, so that summary of his work by Erich Jantsch entitled The Self Organizing Universe. >> Mm-hm. >> So. >> But Teilhard was the first to really put the physical and the psychic as integral? >> As integral and to follow the sequence of its emergence with the richness that he would say was a gift to it. But, so that the great work of Prigozhin is to identify the fact that even at the chemical level, there's a self organizing power. That for religious people, when a person talked about a self organizing universe, they get the impression well you're doing away with the divine controls or the extent of things. Well there's, first of all, there's no out there, there's only so to speak an in here. And so that the best way to think of the divine as intrinsic to creation. >> Right. >> Because obviously there would be no creation without, except as manifestation, the divine won't amount to manifesting himself ,he can't do it out there because there isn't any out there, there's only the in there. [LAUGH] Otherwise the divine would not be omnipresent and so forth, so- >> Right, yeah, that certainly is an essential insight, and so fundamental then to the whole all that has followed in kind of this development ecological age, or the sense of the sacredness. >> Yeah, and development toward that.