A GREAT EVENT FORESHADOWED: THE PLANETIZATION OF MANKINDPierre Teilhard de ChardinDecember 25, 1945
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Written in Peking in December 1945. Published in the August-September 1946 edition of Cahiers du Monde Nouveau with the title La planétisation humaine. PREVIOUS IN SERIES
Underlying all the surface-changes of present-day history, the reality and paramount importance of a single basic event is becoming daily more manifest: namely, the rise of the masses, with its natural corollary, the socialization of Mankind. The supreme interest and significance of this process lies in the fact that, scientifically analyzed, it may be seen to be irresistible in two ways: in the planetary sense, because it is associated with the closed shape of the earth, the mechanics of generation and the psychic properties of human matter; and in the cosmic sense because it is the expression and prolongation of the primordial process whereby, at the uttermost extreme from the disintegrating atom, psychic force is born into the Universe and continuously grows, fostered by the ever more complicated grouping of matter. Projected forwards, this law of recurrence makes it possible for us to envisage a future state of the Earth in which human consciousness, reaching the climax of its evolution, will have attained a maximum of complexity, and, as a result, of concentration by total ‘reflection’ (or planetization) of itself upon itself.
Although our individualistic instincts may rebel against this drive towards the collective, they do so in vain and wrongly. In vain, because no power in the world can enable us to escape from what is in itself the power of the world. And wrongly because the real nature of this impulse that is sweeping us towards a state of super-organization is such as to make us more completely personalized and human.
The very fact of our becoming aware of this profound ordering of things will enable human collectivization to pass beyond the enforced phase, where it now is, into the free phase: that in which (men having at last understood that they are inseparably joined elements of a converging Whole, and having learnt in consequence to love the preordained forces that unite them) a natural union of affinity and sympathy will supersede the forces of compulsion.