Life

“What science will ever be able to reveal to man the origin, nature and character of that conscious power to will and to love which constitutes his life?  It is certainly not our effort, not the effort of anyone around us, which set that current in motion.  And it is certainly not our solicitude, not that of any friend, which prevents its ebb or controls its turbulence. We can, of course, trace back through generations some of the antecedents of the torrent which bears us along; and we can, by means of certain moral and physical disciplines and stimulations, regularise or enlarge the aperture through which the torrent is released to us.  But neither that geography nor those artifices help us in theory or practice to harness the source of life.  My self is given to me far more than it is formed by me.  Man, Scripture says, cannot add a cubit to his stature.  Still less can he add a unit to the potential of his love, or accelerate by another unit the fundamental rhythm which regulates the ripening of his mind and heart.  In the last resort the profound life, the fontal life, the new-born life, escape our grasp entirely.”

Pierre Teilhard Chardin, The Divine Milieu, p.48

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