Thursday, March 04, 2010

Omega point

Andy Pakula has written an interesting blog-post critiquing the view that we are evolving towards greater consciousness. He writes:
I have nothing against a good story, as long as we recognize that it is a story - to be taken metaphorically rather than as a fact. The problem with false facts is that they are eventually revealed, leaving behind the wreckage of shattered faith and lives roughly stripped of the meaning that sustained them. The world that we are told is evolving spiritually is also the site of tremendous hostility and hatred, an increasing gap between rich and poor, and catastrophic environmental degradation. Will these contrary trends not rattle the new stories?
The whole thing started with Teilhard de Chardin's concept of the Omega point, and was also put forward by Oberon Zell in his Gaia thealogy (which he also derived in part from the process philosophy of A N Whitehead and others).

I'm rather enamoured of process philosophy and its related ideas, but I can see how it could be seen as unrealistic in the face of all the negative stuff out there. I must admit, I would be quite reluctant to give it up, but would be forced to do so if it was shown to be contrary to evidence.


Rev. Andy said...

Hi there SR!

I too have a fondness for process theology with its emphasis on becoming over being. I am happy with the notion that we, as an interconnected humanity, have the potential to move toward a greater wholeness.

To combine that with the suggestion, however, that we are individually evolving toward a new, more spiritually connected kind of human seems problematic. To do so, brings an unwelcome individualism into what is and must be a collective enterprise.

And finally, I suppose I just don't like the supernatural bits of it portrayed using science words. We are not evolving into more spiritual beings. We are evolving - as always - into whatever makes our genetic material more widespread in the next generations. That may or may not be in the direction we would want to see humanity move.

In many ways, my faith is about the conviction that we can always be drawn toward a better way of being, but I see that as work we need to do, rather than a process that we just have to flow along with. And - looking around this world as it is - we have lot of work to do!

Yewtree said...

Hi Andy,

Now that you put it like that, I am happy, as I realise that I can have my cake and eat it!

Yes, the process has to be something we are actively co-operating with, rather than one we are passively involved in.

I am also keen on the Jewish concept of Tikkun - active compassion.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Shut off the electricity in the industrialized world and this so-called "evolution" would come to a screeching halt, I think.

Yewtree said...

Good point Chas!