Teilhard deChardin (1881-1955) formerly among us as a paleontologist, prophet and mystic was fifty years ahead of his time. As a Jesuit priest he perhaps frightened church (and secular?) leaders with sharp insights such as: ”We are Earth coming into consciousness.” All of us are literally human “stardust” also. Can we accept ourselves as bodies possessing all of those materials contained in distant constellations now being studied by scientists? We really are cousins to stars.
My personal favorite Chardin book is “HUMAN ENERGY” written in the 1930’s. It is a profound, poetic two-volume masterpiece in which Chardin explores the subject of energy. One chapter of his book was summarized in CRITIC magazine (July-August 1971). Sadly, the magazine is now defunct and my typewritten copy of Teilhard’s insight is turning yellow with age. His kernel of wisdom is for our enrichment: ”It is in truth, a strange prospect and one which for a very long time now I have been unable to dismiss from my mind: that all over the Earth the attention of thousands of engineers and economists is concentrated on the problem of world resources of coal, oil or uranium – and yet nobody, on the other hand, bothers to carry out a survey of the zest for life; to take its temperature, to feed it, to look after it, and (why not indeed?) to increase it.”
A prominent doctor in Lafayette proudly showed me his collection of Chardin’s books in the 1980’s. He seemed offended when I told him HUMAN ENERGY was missing from his incomplete library. The doctor doubted me but expressed determination to order the book quickly. Having passed on, the physician and Chardin can now ponder our entire cosmos without boarding a jet plane.
A former worker in the oil industry for several decades discovered Chardin during his two weeks on/two weeks off schedule. With a promise he would not lend Chardin’s book out to anyone else, I disregarded my code of not lending out important, old volumes. The former oil worker had arrived at the point in his middle years to admit: Chardin was correct in concluding we are Earth evolving into consciousness.
“Zest for Living” is a source of energy that might propel more of seven billion people in a crowded, finite world of resources to begin a sequel to the Industrial Ice Age by our international evolution into renewable energies. Chardin might pose the question: “What are decades of non-renewable energy sources compared to billions of years in endless, solar, wind, water and geothermal sources?
Human Energy will inspire thoughts and imagination that are without limitations.
Chardin might jokingly chide us: “Like Yogi Berra, humans are now at a fork in the road, please take the wisest path.” Instead of “If you come to a fork in the road – Take it!”