“Evolution is a general condition, which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must submit to and satisfy from now on in order to be conceivable and true.”
Recently, during a discussion with my wife Sarah, I received an insight relating to my difficulty reading Teilhard. While it is true that his sentences tend to be extended and complex, and he often drives me to the dictionary, the greatest difficulty is that his teaching requires a complete reconstruction of my belief system. While I have long since given up the literal interpretation of the Genesis story of creation and images of Heaven “up there”, I am called to re-examine “all theories, all hypotheses, all systems”—that’s “all”, not “some”, and not just the convenient ones. As I contemplate this, lots of hidden assumptions about the way life is are exposed. For example, Teilhard also wrote: “Should we not take a lesson from physics, which had no hesitation in changing its geometry when the pressure of facts demanded it? Should we not, then, simply decide at last to create a higher metaphysics which includes a further dimension?” The changing foundation of even science is for me a powerful reminder of the dynamic nature of life itself (my life!), and that has many implications.
In what ways do Teilhard’s ideas about evolution challenge you? If you find Teilhard difficult to read, why?