A couple of day ago, I was visiting with a downtown lawyer type
and I mentioned something about the Noosphere.
"The what?" He said.
You know, the Noosphere, the mental realm that we all live in.
He didn't know.
So I thought, dang, did I make this up?
Then a reader sent this piece on it the very next day.
Of course, the Noosphere was from Teilhard de Chardin.
Sustainability at heart of Teilhard commemoration
According to Teilhard’s supporters, nations must create a global civilization
to regenerate the Earth.
Science and Theology News
By Frederica Saylor
May 11, 2005
"Nations must create a global civilization to regenerate the Earth, according to international scholars who gathered last month to revive the philosophy of French Jesuit scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
More than 800 participants — including scientists and policy makers — attended the 50th anniversary commemoration of Teilhard’s death to examine the current and future impact of his philosophy and teachings. Although part of the four-day event focused on his influence on scientific fields such as physics, biology and geology, speakers primarily emphasized how his beliefs may have an impact on the future of sustainable development.
Teilhard’s concept of the noosphere — or a planetary thinking network — has major contemporary implications, said John Grim, president of the American Teilhard Association and religion professor at Bucknell University.
“His legacy challenges us to a deep spirituality in which humans realize their own diversity that the health and well-being of all life forms, of Earth itself, is now dependent upon us,” said Grim.
“What Teilhard has provided is a beginning vision of evolution that future generations and we will need to think through again and again as we make our way forward.”
This new evolution means moving away from separate nation states and divisive behavior toward a sustainable planetary, or globally united, civilization, according the Mary Evelyn Tucker, vice president of the American Teilhard Association and religion professor at Bucknell University.
“Every one of the life systems is showing signs of a serious and precipitous decline,” said Tucker. “We can now observe the profound effect of our human presence on the Earth over time — especially in recent times. We require a sense of common purpose as never before in human history, the common purpose of building a sustainable planetary civilization. This unifying force of creativity is what Teilhard meant as ‘spirit of the Earth.’”
As Teilhard observed, the age of nations has passed,” said Tucker. “Now, unless we wish to perish, we must shake off our old prejudices and build the Earth.”
A few moments after I got the e mail from the reader about Teilhard,
I found this story in the Progressive.
The Scourge of Nationalism
By Howard Zinn
"I cannot get out of my mind the recent news photos of ordinary Americans sitting on chairs, guns on laps, standing unofficial guard on the Arizona border, to make sure no Mexicans cross over into the United States. There was something horrifying in the realization that, in this twenty-first century of what we call "civilization," we have carved up what we claim is one world into 200 artificially created entities we call "nations" and armed to apprehend or kill anyone who crosses a boundary.
Is not nationalism--that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder--one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred? These ways of thinking--cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on--have been useful to those in power, and deadly for those out of power.
In our time, it was the liberal Bill Clinton who sent bombers over Baghdad as soon as he came into office, who first raised the specter of "weapons of mass destruction" as a justification for a series of bombing attacks on Iraq.
Liberals today criticize George Bush's unilateralism. But it was Clinton's Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who told the United Nations Security Council that the U.S. would act "multilaterally when we can, unilaterally when we must."
One of the effects of nationalist thinking is a loss of a sense of proportion. The killing of 2,300 people at Pearl Harbor becomes the justification for killing 240,000 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The killing of 3,000 people on September 11 becomes the justification for killing tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan and Iraq.
What makes our nation immune from the normal standards of human decency?
Surely, we must renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.
Kurt Vonnegut (Cat's Cradle) places nations among those unnatural abstractions he calls granfalloons, which he defines as "a proud and meaningless association of human beings."
We need to assert our allegiance to the human race, and not to any one nation."
Today, just for exercise.
Everytime you hear a story about a nation state.
Tune it out.
Tune out the US, Iraq, China, France, Israel, and the PLO.
Tune it out.
Everytime you hear a story about the earth, about humankind, about evolving, about health, about life, about art, about music,
Tune it in.
Do it for the Earthfamily.
Do it for the Noosphere.