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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

They preserved the embattled message and kept the traditions alive

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 Teilhard and the Ascent of God
One Cosmos Under God Robert W. Godwin
The fundamental evil that besets us... is our incapacity to see the whole. --Teilhard de Chardin
An anonymous commenter yesterday criticized me for lowering myself to the level of a mainstream, "exoteric" Christian, N.T. Wright.
First, I hardly consider myself superior to those with a more traditional view. In fact, of the two of us, they are the more important, because they preserve the embattled vertical message through the ravages of horizontal time. Without them, it is very unlikely that we'd be here talking about the Christian vision. The same is especially true of Judaism. Imagine the moral courage of the many generations of Jews who kept the traditions alive and in tact, so that they can be studied esoterically.
Secondly, I thought my larger point was obvious -- that mainstream Christianity is an esoterism; in fact, as Schuon has remarked, it is an esoterism masquerading as an exoterism. In the absence of the "esoteric key," it scarcely makes any sense at all. My point is that it is not as if the esoterism is "hidden" or "secret." Rather, it is right out in the open...
From the spiritual perspective, evolution can only be evolution toward divinity. In fact, that is the title of a book by Beatrice Bruteau which outlines the parallels between Teilhard de Chardin's "Christian evolutionism" and Sri Aurobindo's neo-Vedantic view. Interestingly, in his own lifetime, Teilhard was unaware of the parallels, and even thought that his thology was incompatible with the latter.
Bruteau writes that one of the purposes of her book was "to point out the irony of this situation by refuting Teilhard's criticisms and by showing how, on the contrary," the Vedantic contribution to world thought "could have been most advantageous to him if he had studied it with care." Evidently, Teilhard's slight knowledge of Vedanta caused him to characterize it as "a simplistic monism in which all multiplicity disappeared without leaving a trace." ...posted by Gagdad Bob at 7/24/2007 07:59:00 AM

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