Teilhard de Chardin believed that thinking is essential to evolution. How we think is how we evolve because thinking is the act of the mind creating new unities and new horizons of insight.
To think is to unify, to make wholes where there are scattered fragments; not merely to register it but to confer upon it a form of unity it would otherwise be without.
– PIERRE TEILHARD DE CHARDIN
As you engage with the Omega Center we encourage you to read and apply Ilia Delio’s instruction: READING FOR AN EVOLUTIONARY AGE: OMEGA LECTIO DIVINA.
by ILIA DELIO
One of the most significant social media platforms in our age is Facebook. One can easily spend a few hours, surfing through the various posts, YouTube videos, and various interest groups. Recently a Teilhard group was renewed on Facebook and the group has attracted much attention, with various posts on topics pertaining to Teilhard’s thoughts or vision. The Omega Center also has a Facebook page to promote its vision and aim. Social media does provide a great access to a wide range of information. But I think Teilhard would have had some caveats with regard to social media...
an audio interview with EDWIN E. OLSON
In this Omega Center interview Brie Stoner invites Edwin Olson to share the interests and influences that lead him to write his most recent book entitled And God Created Wholeness: A Spirituality Catholicity. In their conversation they discuss various aspects of the three-strata Wholeness Model and how it can help us better understand and live full lives beyond the surface level .
by EDWIN E. OLSON
The life of our cells depends upon their connection to the behavior of the small particles in our atoms called quanta. At that invisible level, particles like electrons can do multiple things at once. This is called superposition. These particles are connected and affect each other even when far apart (entanglement) and easily pass through barriers (tunneling).
by ILIA DELIO
In this blog Ilia Delio shares some thoughts on this critical point in history and evolution, and the major paradigm shift we are now in the midst of. She refers to the relevance of the recent Women's March, and to our Omega Center interview with mindfulness teacher and classroom innovator Amy Edelstein. In her work with inner city youth Amy empowers students through mindfulness training and the development of the inner resources and interiority that will be critical for navigating the times ahead.
An audio interview with AMY EDELSTEIN
In this Omega Center interview Brie Stoner engages in conversation with educator, author, and public speaker Amy Edelstein, discussing the powerful transformative impacts she's witnessed since bringing mindfulness to inner city high school students.
by AMY EDELSTEIN
When I was asked to write for the Omega Center on Love in a Fractured World, I could think of no better theme than describing the context of my work running an innovative mindfulness and evolutionary worldview program in the public high schools of Philadelphia. Philadelphia, the sixth largest city in America, is the poorest of the ten largest metro areas in the United States. That means that the environment here, the infrastructure, the educational resources, the neighborhoods, and inevitably the experience of the youth is one of fracture at all kinds of intersections.
by ILIA DELIO
In this blog Ilia Delio shares some of her current reading, and offers her reflections on the ever-changing nature of God. Ilia suggests that "...if we can get religion out of the sixteenth century and into the 21st century, we might discover a whole new God and a new world in relation to God, and truthfully the next 10,000 years may quite exciting for the future of religion."
An audio interview with FR. THOMAS E. HOSINSKI
In this Omega Center interview Brie Stoner engages in conversation with theologian and writer Fr. Thomas Hosinski, discussing topics from his recently published book The Image of the Unseen God: Catholicity, Science, and Our Evolving Understanding of God (Catholicity in an Evolving Universe). As Fr. Hosinski explains there are four primary themes he offers for exploration in this book, and these also provide the basis for deeper reflection and expansion in this audio conversation.
by ILIA DELIO
In this blog Ilia Delio considers recent reflections offered by Diarmuid O'Murchu and provides some additional thoughts.
Diarmuid O’Murchu has written a very accessible book on incarnation and evolution that awakens us to the vitality of change and newness. Each chapter begins with an inspirational quote that encapsulates the main ideas of the chapter. I was struck by a quote at the beginning of Chapter Five that states: “The trouble with some of us is that we have been inoculated with small doses of Christianity which keep us from catching the real thing.” What is the “real thing” of Christianity?
An audio interview with DIARMUID O'MURCHU
In this Omega Center interview Brie Stoner engages in conversation with prominent evolutionary thinker and writer Diarmuid O’Murchu, discussing topics from his most recent book Incarnation: An Evolutionary Threshold. Fundamental to this book are the questions “What does Incarnation mean for each of us?” and “What are the practical applications and implications that arise from this question?” Diarmuid suggests we need an expanded view of “the body” and embodiment, and an evolutionary approach to gender, relationships, sexuality, desire, personal boundaries, paradox, and suffering.
by DIARMUID O'MURCHU
Traditionally, the word Incarnation denotes the coming of God into our world in the person and life of Jesus, which happened for the first and only time 2000 years ago.
I want to challenge the narrow reductionism of the inherited tradition, and instead, offer an evolutionary perspective in which we understand Incarnation as a process of embodiment that has been going on for billions of years, a flourishing that continues through the expanding and increasing complexity of the evolutionary process itself.
by ILIA DELIO
In this blog Ilia Delio considers recent reflections offered by Richard Rohr on the Cosmic Christ, and provides some additional thoughts.
Richard Rohr is one of the great vernacular theologians of our age. He has the gift of taking complex theological ideas and translating the core insights into the language of the people. In doing so, he has helped thousands of people around the globe come to a new appreciation of the mystery of God and the need for renewed spirituality today.
An audio interview with FR. RICHARD ROHR
In this interview Brie Stoner engages in conversation with Fr. Richard Rohr, covering a number of topics forthcoming in a new book he’s in the process of writing. Here they explore a more “universal” understanding of Christ—Christ as an ongoing manifestation from the very beginning of existence, manifesting through women and men and all living creatures, not confined to any particular faith tradition, and an animating force that continues to manifest in the evolutionary process itself.
by FR. RICHARD ROHR
Franciscan mysticism has a unique place in the world through its absolutely Christocentric lens, although the Franciscan emphasis is actually nothing more nor less than the full Gospel itself. Most Christians know about Jesus of Nazareth, but very few know about the Christ, and even fewer were ever taught how to put the two together. Many still seem to think that Christ is Jesus’ last name. By proclaiming my faith in Jesus Christ, I have made two acts of faith, one in Jesus and another in Christ. The times are demanding this full Gospel of us now.
by ILIA DELIO
We are story tellers and meaning makers and the stories we tell shape the meaning of our lives. John Haught, a longtime friend and colleague, has been engaged in the area of science and religion for over four decades. But his recent books are moving us beyond the rather staid notion of dialogue between science and religion toward a new understanding of the cosmos itself. Building on the insights of Teilhard de Chardin, Haught claims there is an inside story to the universe, a depth dimension that undergirds the rise of subjectivity; and this inside story is, in a sense, the driving force of the outside story or the objective universe.
An audio interview with JOHN F HAUGHT
In this audio interview Brie Stoner asks Professor Dr. John Haught to expand on some of his ideas and thoughts as introduced in his recent Omega Center blog THE NEW COSMIC STORY, entitled after his new book The New Cosmic Story: Inside Our Awakening Universe.Historians are now expanding their views and examinations into the realm of “Big History” but their focus has primarily been on the objective “outside” story. Dr Haught suggests there is an inside story registered in the centers of our subjectivity, interior experience, and relationality, that are equally necessary to understand the cosmos and the awakening universe.
by JOHN F HAUGHT
Over the past two centuries scientists have learned that the universe is a story still being told. New scientific awareness of the long cosmic preamble to human history has inspired attempts recently to connect the relatively short span of our own existence to the longer epic of the universe. These efforts, known as Big History, try to tell the story of everything that has taken place in the past, including what was going on in the universe long before Homo sapiens arrived.
by ILIA DELIO
At a recent conference I attended, several people asked if God and nature are one and the same. This is the question of pantheism. And if this is true then there is no other existence but nature itself. And yet the nature of nature is to transcend itself. So how does nature explain its own transcendence? Yes, we have discovered new mechanisms in nature such as emergence, dynamic complexity, and self-organization but in themselves these do not account for nature’s openness to novelty. The question of openness itself is a transcendental one and thus it cannot be answered by its own condition of openness. To paraphrase Einstein, you cannot solve a problem with the same conditions that created it. So we run around in these circles—not quite at home with naturalism—because there is an openness within us that cannot be satisfied by the finite, contingency of nature itself, since the whole shebang is stretching toward something other. We name this other of nature’s longing as God.
by ILIA DELIO
Modern science has revealed new information about the human person, from cosmology to neuroscience and cognitive psychology; however, we still think of ourselves as rational, concrete subjects, individual in nature and unrelated to one another, except by chance, accident, or good-fortune. This understanding is a particularly western one with philosophical roots that date back to the ancient Greeks. Christianity adopted Greek philosophical principles in its development and formed a theological understanding of God and world according to such principles. Stepping back and surveying the historical landscape, it is not unreasonable to suggest that religion and, in particular, the monotheistic religions with their ancient philosophies and static cosmologies, lie at the core of social injustice...
An audio interview with ILIA DELIO
As the audio interview begins Brie Stoner asks Ilia Delio about her recent blog (FINDING OUR WAY IN AN EVOLUTIONARY WORLD), and what is meant when using the term “consciousness.” As their conversation continues other topics raised for discussion include the nature of reality, the relationship between inner and outer life, mysticism, and some thoughts on how to we can approach personal development and our willingness to change.
by ILIA DELIO
Recently, I was at a retreat house in New Jersey with a group of older religious Sisters who were finishing up a week of prayer and reflection. I sat across from a retired Sister of Saint Joseph at dinner one evening and she asked me, what does it mean to live in evolution? All this talk about evolution, she said, I am not sure I really understand it [or why we need to keep talking about it!] I am sure a lot of people have the same question. Can’t we just talk about God, people, and politics? What’s the big deal about evolution?
by ILIA DELIO
What do we long for? That is where our soul lies. What do we hope for? That is what stretches the heart. When I was asked to give the Madeleva Lecture last April at St. Mary’s Notre Dame, I was not sure how I would pull together the emerging story of wholeness; what stretches our hearts and shapes our desires. I took my cue from Teilhard de Chardin’s brilliant insight on the two dimensions of the material universe: withinness and withoutness; radial energy and tangential energy; consciousness and love. Building on the insights of quantum physics, I began to realize that consciousness may be the core stuff of life. Everything begins with consciousness and culminates in a luminosity of conscious matter unified in love. Teilhard said that evolution is the rise of consciousness.
by PAMELA BEGEMAN AND MARY ANNE BEST
The many faces of suffering — nightly we hear the counts: be they the ravaged faces of Syrian refugees, the millions of starving and impoverished children around the world, the violence of the bleakest neighborhoods of all inner cities, devastating natural disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti that killed over 300,000 people and left a million homeless in one dispassionate blow … and so on and on and on.
by LOUIS M. SAVARY
Pain and suffering are found everywhere and in all walks of life. Suffering is an especially difficult issue to deal with for Christians. How can we explain why an unconditionally loving God would allow people to suffer? How can love and suffering fit together? The two most common theological explanations of why God seems to allow suffering are these...
by MARTY SCHMIDT
A Response to Cynthia Bourgeault's "Teilhard for Troubled Times"
I write as a high school humanities teacher who for more than 25 years has been on a quest to find what power in education really means in the international setting of Hong Kong. My starting point, then, in response to Cynthia's reflections on Teilhard, is that her comments address arguably the biggest cosmological question of all: where do we find hope?