From the ship S. S. Tjinegara, January 22, 1936. Teilhard is on his way to China, back from India and Java. He wonders about the meaning of his work in paleontology.
So, everything is fine. I come away from this new experience with a heightened conviction that we have nothing better to do in life than to pick up and follow the threads it hands us. Step by step, towards something that we do not see, but which is surely, there, ahead, as the World exists.
From Paris, April 19, 1948.
Do not strain against suffering. Try to close your eyes and surrender as if to a great loving energy. This attitude is neither weak nor absurd; – it is the only one that cannot deceive us, – unless the being itself is a contradictory and stupid thing, – which its existence denies. It is probably still too early for you to get up: try to ” sleep “, sleep of this active sleep of confidence, which is that of the seed, in winter in the fields…
I repeat: this is the true and great prayer in times of great illness.
From Paris, December 3, 1948. Pierre Teilhard returns from a trip to Rome where he has suffered a double refusal: the publication of the Human Phenomenon and his candidacy for the Collège de France.
In my soul, as on the sea, the storms are only calmed by a series of dampened waves. Hold on, in the direction of trust, not exactly to the World, but to the ” heart of the World “, -that is to say, to the Focus of convergence in the direction of which we fall, I am convinced, under an attraction more irresistible and as universal as the one imposed to the sidereal bodies by the Einsteinian curvature. I don’t live much more than that, myself.
[Excerpts from Fulfillment of Man. Unpublished letters (1926-1952)Grasset, 1968, p. 110, 126, 130-131]