Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
He recognized with absolute certainty the empty fragility of even the noblest theorizings as compared with the definitive plenitude of the smallest fact grasped in its total, concrete reality.
So many things which once had distressed or revolted him — the speeches and pronouncements of the learned, their assertions and their prohibitions, their refusal to allow the universe to move — all seemed to him now merely ridiculous, non-existent, compared with the majestic reality, the flood of energy, which now revealed itself to him: omnipresent, unalterable in its truth, relentless in its development, untouchable in its serenity, maternal and unfailing in its protectiveness.
The most empowering relationships are those in which each partner lifts the other to a higher possession of their own being.
The most telling and profound way of describing the evolution of the universe would undoubtedly be to trace the evolution of love.
The time has come to realise that an interpretation of the universe—even a positivist one—remains unsatisfying unless it covers the interior as well as the exterior of things; mind as well as matter. The true physics is that which will, one day, achieve the inclusion of man in his wholeness in a coherent picture of the world.
There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.We should like to skip the intermediate stages.We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability— and that it may take a very long time.And so I think it is with you; your ideas mature gradually—let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste.Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow.Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be.Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you,and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.
Blessed be you, mighty matter, irresistible march of evolution, reality ever newborn; you who, by constantly shattering our mental categories, force us to go ever further and further in our pursuit of the truth.
Without you, without your onslaughts, without your uprootings of us, we should remain all our lives inert, stagnant, puerile, ignorant both of ourselves and of God. You who batter us and then dress our wounds, you who resist us and yield to us, you who wreck and build, you who shackle and liberate, the sap of our souls, the hand of God, the flesh of Christ: it is you, matter, that I bless.
(Evolution) general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must bow and which they must satisfy henceforward if they are to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a curve that all lines must follow.
It seems to me that the Russian prestige is declining and that America holds in its hands the immediate future of the world: as long as America knows how to develop the sense of the earth at the same time as her sense of liberty. [Written from Peking, October 1945, on the eve of departure, after having been stuck there since the war began.]
We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist and forever will recreate one another.
God is not remote from us. He is at the point of my pen, my (pick) shovel, my paint brush, my (sewing) needle - and my heart and thoughts.
Neither the Christian attitude of love for all mankind nor humane hopes for an organized society must cause us to forget that the 'human stratum' may not be homogeneous.
I feel a distaste for hunting, first because of a kind of Buddhist respect for the unity and sacredness of all life, and also because the pursuit of a hare or chamois strikes me as a kind of 'escape of energy,' that is, the expenditure of our effort in an illusory end, one devoid of profit.
A sense of the universe, a sense of the all, the nostalgia which seizes us when confronted by nature, beauty, music - these seem to be an expectation and awareness of a Great Presence.
The mineral world is a much more supple and mobile world than could be imagined by the science of the ancients. Vaguely analogous to the metamorphoses of living creatures, there occurs in the most solid rocks, as we now know, perpetual transformation of a mineral species.
From a purely positivist point of view, man is the most mysterious and disconcerting of all the objects met with by science.
It is a curious thing: man, the centre and creator of all science, is the only object which our science has not yet succeeded in including in a homogeneous representation of the universe. We know the history of his bones, but no ordered place has yet been found in nature for his reflective intelligence.
Progressively saved by the machine from the anxieties that bound his hands and mind to material toil, relieved of a large part of his work and compelled to an ever-increasing speed of action by the devices which his intelligence cannot help ceaselessly creating and perfecting, man is about to find himself abruptly plunged into idleness.
If there is one thing I fear less than everything else, it is, I believe, persecution for my opinions. There are a good many points about which I may be diffident, but when it comes to questions of Truth and intellectual independence, there is no holding me - I can envisage no finer end than to sacrifice oneself for a conviction.
In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.
We spend our lives, all of us, waiting for the great day, the great battle, or the deed of power. But that external consummation is not given to many: nor is it necessary. So long as our being is tensed, directed with passion, towards that which is the spirit of all things, then that spirit will emerge from our own hidden, nameless effort.
The profoundly 'atomic' character of the universe is visible in everyday experience, in raindrops and grains of sand, in the hosts of the living, and the multitude of stars; even in the ashes of the dead.
Everywhere on Earth, at this moment, in the new spiritual atmosphere created by the appearance of the idea of evolution, there float, in a state of extreme mutual sensitivity, love of God and faith in the world: the two essential components of the Ultra-human.
We have but one permanent home: heaven - that's still the old truth that we always have to re-learn - and it's only through the impact of sad experiences that we assimilate it.
The most satisfying thing in life is to have been able to give a large part of one's self to others.
Nothing can resist the person who smiles at life - I don't mean the ironic and disillusioned smile of my grandfather, but the triumphant smile of the person who knows that he will survive, or that at least he will be saved by what seems to be destroying him.