January 26, 2006

Schelling, Hegel, Sri Aurobindo, Teilhard

EVOLUTION: HEADING TOWARDS OMEGA? Cameron Freeman Paper presented at Christianity After Darwin: Doing Theology in an Evolutionary Context Adelaide College of Divinity, 34 Lipsett Tce, Adelaide, South Australia 11 September 2004 Freely distributable in complete, unaltered form. Copyright remains with Cameron Freeman.
Evolution is simply the Great Chain of Being unfolding over time. And what’s more it raises the stunning possibility that if evolution has thus far unfolded the first 3 fifths of the Great Chain – matter, life and mind, isn’t it likely that it will continue in the coming years and unfold the higher 2 fifths – soul and spirit?
Therefore In this paper I want to advance a more spiritual perspective on the evolutionary vision that has been outlined previously. This is the idea that the evolutionary process is directed towards and finds its ultimate meaning in Spirit, or Godhead – by whatever name. The idea that the world-historical process is the self-realisation of Spirit finds its origins in the German Idealist tradition of the 19 th century – first in Schelling and then Hegel and has been carried forward in various forms by 20 th century Indian philosopher-sage Aurobindo in the East – who maintained that the evolution of human consciousness towards Godhead is the purpose of terrestrial existence and also Jesuit priest and scientist Teilhard de Chardin – who believed that the processes of world-history were converging upon what he called the Omega point of pure Christ consciousness.

Gebser's concretion of the Spiritual provides a potent mediation Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Jean Gebser, little known cultural philosopher of the 20th century, had developed over the course of his life a grand hypothesis that human consciousness was in the midst of a profound mutation. This insight came to him in an instant, a "lightning flash," that occurred in the early 1930s. He spent the rest of his life trying to articulate what that meant. It was in the poetry of Rilke that he first caught a glimpse of this new consciousness, which he had called, at the time, a-perspectivity. But it was from this initial study that he came to recognize that this mutation of the mind had occurred before. Gebser would come to be known as a foundational influence on future writers of the "evolution of consciousness." The idea caught on with many contemporaries in the early 20th century, such as Owen Barfield, Rudolf Steiner, Teilhard de Chardin, and the Indian Yogi Sri Aurobindo (these men, in turn, would go on to inspire the human potential movement, transpersonal psychology, Esalen, Ken Wilber, and others). When he wrote Ever-Present Origin in 1949, he would come to be included as one of these evolutionary thinkers.  

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