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An Easter message from Ilia Delio, new blogs by Cynthia Bourgeault, and more...
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Thank you for following and supporting the OMEGA CENTER!
In this newsletter you'll find:
  • An Easter message from Ilia Delio
  • Would you consider joining us?
  • Cynthia Bourgeault provides reasons for hope in "Teilhard for Troubled Times"
  • Reading for an evolutionary age: OMEGA LECTIO DIVINA


AN EASTER MESSAGE FROM ILIA DELIO 


Beatrice Bruteau was one of the great intellectual lights of the twentieth century and a disciple of Teilhard de Chardin.  With a background in Vedanta and Catholic Christianity, as well as the natural sciences, she developed a broad, inclusive vision of human reality in its cosmic and social contexts. Analyzing the systemic and metaphysical roots of our social inequities, she offered an alternative worldview, featuring the incomparable value of each person and the community dynamics of mutual respect and care that follow from that view. Bruteau recognized the essential link between consciousness and evolution and discussed, in depth, the transformation of consciousness for a new world.   She was keenly aware that creation is an ongoing event, a dynamic relationship between divinity and creation, marked by an internal impulse to evolve toward greater wholeness and consciousness.  

While the natural world bears this inherent impulse toward complex unity, on the human level we have reached a level of intractable differences and find ourselves in a world of ideological polarities, conflict, violence, and war.  Rather than becoming an organic whole, we have become splintered human fragments.  Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si also recognizes a need for inner conversion toward wholeness, an idea that Bruteau would have celebrated.  But evolution toward wholeness does not come “naturally” to us.  In our modern period we have fallen into patterns of competition, greed, selfishness, and individualism that are giving way to loneliness, isolation, and global apathy.   We are tethered to our devices and live with a daily blend of the real and the virtual.  How did we arrive at a level of human nature that contradicts nature’s propensity toward wholeness? How has humanity become  “unnatural?” Bruteau describes a fundamental shift in consciousness, from a “paleofeminine” consciousness of interrelatedness, community, tribal identity and wholeness to an “axial” consciousness of autonomy, individuality, and transcendence.  The emergence of the axial period corresponds to what she calls a level of “masculism,” a rationalistic reflective consciousness that divides its subject matter, specializes, focuses, arranges, puts in rank ordering of superior and inferior, and ends by becoming domineering and mechanistic.

 
Easter is the sacrament of a new consciousness, a new awareness of belonging to God, creation, and to one another.
- Ilia Delio


The artificial separation between humans and cosmos, Teilhard de Chardin said, lies at the core of our contemporary moral confusion.   Similarly, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack state, “There is a profound connection between our lack of a shared cosmology and our increasing global problems.   We have no sense how we and our fellow humans fit into the big picture. . .without a big picture we are very small people.” Small, fragmented, lost in space, the human person has become radically disconnected from the whole. We have become disconnected from nature and from one another.  Abrams states, “the human race needs a coherent, believable picture of the universe that applies to all of us and gives our lives and our species a meaningful place in that universe.”  Unless we reconnect to the whole, the cosmos, we cannot attain the wholeness of life we seek. 

Bruteau sought to engage a higher level of consciousness, a neo-feminine consciousness, nurturing the uniqueness of individuals as participants in a cosmic whole.  She writes: “The more conscious the individual becomes, the more individual becomes person, and each person is person only to the extent that the individual freely lives by the life of the Whole."  The evolution of personal consciousness becomes thus a spiral of convergence, activated by delight in creating the future.  She describes neo-feminine consciousness as a fundamental and ultimate sense of the unity of the entire human race and an attentive and appreciative sense of the specialness, the unique preciousness of each particular individual composing the whole.  It is a new wholeness that is organic and differentiating, a pattern of freely intercommunicating energies that continues in a dynamic process of engagement.  This type of consciousness opposes power, control, and domination. Rather, it is the consciousness of belonging, mutual affirmation, participation, and creative love by which one gives of one’s own life to foster life in others; a consciousness that perceives existentially rather than essentially, of shared values and shared goodness, a consciousness of belonging together and sharing a future together. 

Jesus exemplifies this new, neo-feminine consciousness.  Easter is the sacrament of a new consciousness, a new awareness of belonging to God, creation, and to one another.  Resurrected life is transcendent life, breaking through our partial selves into a new wholeness of belonging.  Christians are meant to be “Easter people,” those who live with a new consciousness of belonging to a new whole, a new cosmos, where God is center.  For Teilhard and Bruteau, it is this new consciousness that should render us “evolvers,” participants in the awewome process of Christogenesis, birthing Christ by nurturing the love of God within us and among us.   In this respect, Easter and Christmas are not merely two separate historical events; spiritually, they are joined together.   

How can we understand the power of faith to deepen our lives and move us in a new direction toward the fullness of Christ?  The Omega website seeks this aim in several ways: first, by seeing that science and religion need one another for a unified way of knowing the whole; second, by attending to the discoveries of science as signs of nature’s permeability, giving us insight to theology and the things of faith; and three, by growing into a new synthesis of science and religion through an inner growth of consciousness. 

To achieve these aims we continue to publish ideas through our blogs and develop these ideas through praxis, that is, reflective action.   However, we also have some new initiatives to share with you:
  • we realize the need to critically engage new ideas and thus are hoping to publish an e-journal on the website that will allow thinkers to engage theological research.  We hope to launch this journal in the next few months. 
  • to deepen our understanding of the emerging new paradigm, we feel that the need to include the arts is important.   We hope to publish poetry and perhaps short literary pieces on our website that captures the new energy of consciousness in evolution.
  • we are also in the beginning stages of planning a major conference at Villanova University on technology, transcendence and the future of humanity, since our fastest evolver today is technology. The need to critically engage technology as part of God’s creative action in an evolving universe is vital to our future.    
Growth requires resources and in our day and age the resources are not only spiritual and creative but include financial resources as well.   Your financial support of the website is essential to our development and I am grateful to all those who have contributed to the website so far, either as subscribers or donors or both. May you be richly blessed!
 
As we journey to Easter, may each one of us journey into a new level of mindful living, a new relatedness to the whole, making every effort to become a new person in cooperation with God. For at the heart of life is the heart of God who loves unconditionally and without reserve, a God who enters into the darkness and silence of death as the fullness of love, raising up all into the fullness of life.  Easter is the sacrament of future and of life, a realization that God is making all things new.  

Ilia Delio, OSF 
Would you consider joining us?
Your support will help us continue our work. Together we can foster a new consciousness of wholeness and belonging for a more unified humanity and hope-filled future.

Ways to Give:

TEILHARD FOR TROUBLED TIMES
by CYNTHIA BOURGEAULT

Over the course of the following weeks we'll be posting three related blogs by Cynthia Bourgeault on the topic of “Teilhard for Troubled Times.” 

Part 1 – Deep Hope Flows Over Deep Time

I don’t know what kind of divine nudge it may have been that prompted me in January 2015 to challenge the students in my Wisdom network to a deep dive into Teilhard, but the response was electric, to say the least.  Over the ensuing eighteen months we collectively chomped our way through The Human PhenomenonThe Divine Milieu, and The Heart of Matter in both online formats and on-the-ground Wisdom schools and retreats.  Students who really caught the Teilhard bug read even more widely, exploring the entire range of his canon from the magnificent early mystical upwellings in Writings in Time of War to the profound final synthesis in The Christic, completed less than a month before his death.

So the cornerstones were all in place by November 2016—and not a moment too soon, I might add...  
READ THE FULL POST HERE

*** Watch for Part 2 of Teilhard for Troubled times coming next week. You can find all of our blogs on our THINK page.

Ilia Delio outlines her step-by-step approach for engaging with the Omega Center content in a slow, prayerful, contemplative manner.  We invite you into the practice of 
READING FOR AN EVOLUTIONARY AGE: 
OMEGA LECTIO DIVINA
“O God, if in my life I have not been wrong, allow me to die on Easter Sunday.”
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin died of a heart attack on Easter Sunday, April 10, 1955 
Featured vdeos on our website:
The following is a short excerpt from Ilia Delio's keynote lecture at the American Teilhard Association Annual Meeting in New York City,  May 14, 2016: 

Teilhard posited a dynamic view of God and the world in the process of becoming something more than what it is because the universe is grounded in the Personal center of Christ.  The significance of the cosmic or universal Christ was not on the level of human religion but on the level of the cosmos, the whole universe in evolution.  Christianity uniquely posits the immersion of divinity in materiality and the transformation of materiality into divinity culminating in the risen Christ. Hence it provides the central axis for the evolution of religion and for a religion of evolution.  Evolution is not only proceeding toward spirit but toward higher personalization and consciousness, a transhuman subjectivity expressed in a cosmic personality.  This led Teilhard to a new understanding of the universal Christ as “a synthesis of Christ and the universe.

You can watch our video of Ilia's address, along with a number of other featured video teachings
 HERE
Don't forget to check out our PRAXIS page for additional content and resources related to our themes and blogs.

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