Religion and Spirituality
There is a big difference between them.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ (Jesuit Priest) was born on May 1, 1881 in France, and died on April 10, 1955 in the United States. He was a scientist, paleontologist, theologian, philosopher, and professor. He was a Darwinist and author of several influential theological and philosophical books.
In 1962, part of the Catholic Church condemned several of Teilhard’s works for their doctrinal differences, but since then both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have commented positively on some of his ideas. However, the scientific world has always been reserved about his writings. There is no doubt that Teilhard tried to unify science and mysticism.
However, his ideas are still alive in the hearts of many people who seek coherence between a rational and scientific vision of the world and deep religious beliefs. Teilhard de Chardin was a geologist, a philosopher, and a mystic. Deep down, he knew how to integrate all this through the spirituality of Ignatius of Loyola who tried to find God in all things.
Still nowadays, Humanity separates metaphysics from science and does not see nature as the feminine part of God. Teilhard shows how to integrate in his thought the evolutionary character of the universe brought by the sciences and the role of Christ in the Christian faith. If the Universe evolves, humanity must also advance.
Ignatius of Loyola was the founder of the Society of Jesus’s. After his death in 1556, Jesuits dedicated themselves to research and education, opening schools to instruct the youth as the key element of their apostolic work; and their rapid expansion showed they undoubtedly contributed a new style and pedagogy.
Jesuits and Nature.
The Jesuits oriented teaching following the method of the University of Paris with programs adapted to the times, and called Physics the study of nature, based on Aristotle’s books. They mixed Greek, Latin, and Arabic traditions, both in Philosophy and in Mathematics, Astronomy, Surveying, Optics, Mechanics, and Music.
The years in which the first Jesuit schools began coincided with the beginning of the so-called scientific revolution and the origin of modern science (Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, etc.), during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. This meant many discoveries were made in Jesuit educational centers due to their novel facilities and observatories.
Jesuit naturalists, geographers, and explorers.
The discovery of a new continent in 1492 opened to the Society of Jesus a new field in their mission, and with their interest in knowledge and science, they started libraries and studied and made known in Europe the characteristics of the geography, fauna, flora, and customs of the inhabitants of America.
The intrepid Jesuit missionaries, entering previously unknown territories, explored from Canada to Patagonia. They were the first Europeans to travel the great rivers of the Mississippi, the Amazon, and the Orinoco. Their interest in geography led them to make the first maps of America, as well as of the Philippines and other Asian areas.
Due to the Society of Jesus’s power, a Pope’s order suppressed it in 1773, and with it the scientific work it carried out.
The Society of Jesus restored.
The Society was reinstated in 1814; and from 1825, the Jesuits renewed their interest in science and mathematics. In the field of natural sciences, the new members created a network of seventy observatories around the world. They wrote about tropical cyclones, earthquakes, and terrestrial magnetism.
In 133 universities — I, the author of this article, studied in one of them in Mexico — and more than 400 colleges around the world, Jesuits are still active today in science and scientific research, and they continue to be priests and metaphysicians, trying to integrate in their thinking the evolutionary character of the universe brought by the sciences, and the Christ-like role of the Christian faith.
It is an excellent idea to be a scientific person and at the same time deeply religious. That is what attracted me to Esotericism. The Great Masters do not speak of dogmas — Jesus Christ never spoke like that — , nor is it said Faith means “believing and not thinking”. Quite the contrary. This is more typical of politicians. In fact, Ignatius of Loyola, whom the Church calls St. Ignatius, saw in everything the hand of God.
Therefore, Humanity must find that unique path where science and spirituality is one. Some Esoteric books say the Quantum Physics will found the way to reach this possibility.
For Pierre T. de Chardin, the symbol of the highest evolutionary level of the human being is Jesus Christ, God incarnated in matter. That is, Jesus’s so-called miracles happened because he knew how to apply science. At the end of his life, Teilhard wrote in his spiritual notes that his whole life consisted in “christifying” the universe and “universalizing” Christ.
I am going to transcribe for you what Pierre T de Chardin thought about religion and spirituality.
▪ Religion is not only one, but there are also hundreds. Spirituality is one.
▪Religion is for those who sleep. Spirituality is for those who are awake.
▪Religion is for those who need someone to tell them what to do and want to be guided. Spirituality is for those who pay attention to their inner voice.
▪Religion has a set of dogmatic rules. Spirituality invites to reason, especially to question everything.
▪Religion threatens and frightens. Spirituality gives inner peace.
▪Religion speaks of sin and guilt. Spirituality says, “learn from error.”
▪Religion represses everything and in some cases is false. Spirituality transcends everything, it brings you closer to your truth!
▪Religion speaks of a god; it is not God. Spirituality is everything and, therefore, it is in God.
▪Religion invents. Spirituality finds.
▪Religion tolerates no questions. Spirituality questions everything.
▪Religion is human, it is an organization with rules of men. Spirituality is Divine, without human rules.
▪Religion is a cause of divisions. Spirituality unites.
▪Religion seeks you to believe. Spirituality you must seek it to believe.
▪Religion follows the precepts of a holy book. Spirituality looks for the sacred in all books.
▪Religion feeds on fear. Spirituality feeds on trust and faith.
▪Religion lives in the lower astral. Spirituality lives in Consciousness.
▪Religion is concerned with doing. Spirituality is concerned with Being.
▪Religion feeds the ego. Spirituality impels to transcend it.
▪Religion makes us renounce the world to follow a god. Spirituality makes us live in God, without renouncing ourselves.
▪Religion is a cult. Spirituality is meditation.
▪Religion fills us with dreams of glory in paradise. Spirituality makes us live glory and paradise here and now.
▪Religion lives in the past and in the future. Spirituality lives in the present.
▪Religion creates cloisters in our memory. Spirituality liberates our Consciousness.
▪Religion makes us believe in eternal life. Spirituality makes us conscious of Eternal Life.
▪Religion promises life after death. Spirituality promises to find God within us during life and death.
“We are not human beings who go through a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings going through a human experience.”
May we each reflect and find ourselves within our hearts, where our Spirit, or Higher Self, our Archetype, as God the Father-Mother created us, is anchored.
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