Anne Hillman, from Awakening the Energies of Love:
Discovering Fire for the Second Time
From chapter 1:
Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides, and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of Love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, humanity will have discovered Fire.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
We stand at an evolutionary juncture, called to awaken to a new kind of Love. The Love is not a feeling; it is a great power. Awakening to this radically different Love may be gradual or it may come in a flash—an explosion that rocks you to your core. Either way, it will shatter your perception of who you think you are. The power of Love initiates a complete change of mind—the fundamental transformation that Teilhard de Chardin calls Fire for the second time.
Hidden behind the beauty and simplicity of Teilhard's words, lies the first fire. He doesn't mention that fire, but its flames illuminate his every line and shine through these pages, as well. It was fire that opened wide the doors of possibility, fire that brought us from strange, upright creatures on the forest to our humanity. Carried from the wild and harnessed in the cave, fire offered its warmth, light, and a center for the human circle—a safe place to gather for the long cold night, and there, attempt to voice our awe.
Our ancestors' longing—their passion for fire— led to an act that drove evolution. They harnessed fire and language blossomed. Out of the confluence of fire and language emerged an immense creativity, one that evolved into thought, reflection, story, and ongoing search for meaning. It was a radical transformation of the human mind.
Transformation is born at the great hinges of Time—one like ours in which everything about us is fundamentally changing. Those who carried fire home in their hands lived at a Time in the great cosmic unfolding when the combined forces of nature and psyched invited them to act in a new way. Propelled by a yearning hat ran counter to their bodes' counsel and to the time-tested wisdom of their clan, the took and enormous risk: INstead of running away from fire, they engaged it. Out ancient progenitors were following something other than what they knew. Call it a vision or a dream; something led them to step off the threshold of the known into the darkness of unknown.
We, too, stand at an evolutionary juncture, led by an unspoken yearning we've felt in our bones since childhood: a longing to be somehow more than we are. This deep human desire—whether to love more completely, to be more whole, to live in peace, or to come face to face with the divine—propels us on an inward path toward an unknown. Long proclaimed by philosophers and religious traditions of east and west, this unknown marks the conscious emergence of a Love that qualitatively different from the one that we think we know. To engage its energies is a collision, a radical break in continuity with the familiar. Such a Love conflicts with old structures of mind, old beliefs, and old behaviors; it entails a new orientation, new ways of seeing and hearing, and an entirely different way of relating—to everything.
Before embarking on such a journey, you may be asking certain questions:
What is a call and how do we answer it?
What is the Love of which Teilhard sings, the Fire of transformation?
Why does awakening matter?
How does one awaken?
I invite you live into these questions with me and to circle them in an ever-deepening way as we walk the path of awakening together.