Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fragility, Communion and the Evolution of our Humanity


If you have the time, plz try to listen to this remarkable interview in either the short version or the unedited version. This Vietnamese/French geologist Xavier Le Pichon who worked on/with the Tsunamis and I wonder if since the Pakistan floods he's also been working to help Pakistanis with Geophysics as well? He was born in Vietnam and somehow remained all his life within the tradition of deep faith - which included inner conversations of sorts with various prophets and also with much earlier ages - despite the horrors of war, the relavations of science, philosophy and so much else.

He was in a concentration camp near the Pacific Ocean where he said many babies were dying yet where he was with his family and where he was drawn to the Ocean and the Earth as a Living Being. This is how and when he was also drawn to Geophysics where he became an authority of underwater plate tectonic research in submersible vehicles. He began asking questions to/of the Earth and says if you ask the right questions you actually get answers. He said "I've entered into a dialogue with the earth and I've never stopped that."

He helped create or open up a brand new understanding of a part of Geophysics related to earthquakes and was first with other discoveries as well. One of his experiences was to dive where no living being had been where he says he felt like he was back in Genesis.

At the same time, he is not simplistic in his faith and understanding. He believes that fragility, altruism and compassion is at the heart of our own humanity world-wide throughout the centuries.

Yet while this man is a giant in Geophysics, through his experiences, he and his family became a part of life in a spiritual community aiding the disabled in southern France. This began when he realized that his science was cutting him off from suffering and humanity and felt that he had to rediscover who he was as one with the suffering. He says our heart must be educated and that we cannot educate our hearts by ourselves. When we allow ourselves and hearts to participate in such deep conversation, we enter communion.

You may also want to read the beginning which speaks of this realization in his essay "Ecce Homo: Behold Humanity" here

There are two versions - I especially enjoyed the unedited version
Listen here Be sure to hear how his mother, who was a "very strong woman" insisted even when facing danger said to her children that still "Today, you must learn your lesson.")

I loved his statements that "Humanity is discovering for the first time that they are a People...It's as if Humanity has been educated by God to like a Child begin to take the future into our hands... This is the first time...a very important step in the Story of Humanity...God lets us free...He respects His Creation...God as a mystery who can be discovered only through the weak...not through very strong armies..." He also asks where are we choosing to put our people on earth - that we have to find a better way.

Since this scientific giant expresses the Universal Christ as a model for humanity, Krista Tippett the host of the program posted this excerpt with the other items for this talk:

"Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food;

I was thirsty and you gave me drink;

I was a stranger and you made me welcome. Naked and you clothed me, Sick and you visited me...

In prison and you came to see me."

3 comments:

Namrah Mahmood said...

Commendable post Connie.

I especially liked the part "He began asking questions to/of the Earth and says if you ask the right questions you actually get answers. He said "I've entered into a dialogue with the earth and I've never stopped that."

What I have observed and learnt in Life is that every being has a living soul in it, and that soul is able to speak. We only need to give ear to its voice! And imagine if every scientist develops this communication, like Geologist Xavier Le Pichon, Man can develop how deep an understanding of the Universe around him. The same goes for any individual in any capacity. If we only start listening to the nature around us, to the flora and fauna, and to the human beings around us, world will be a different place altogether.

Also the communtiy aiding and suffering reminds me of the early scientists (and those were the days when science put the basis of so many concepts, nowadays we r just building on those concepts) who followed such lines of community service and hence used Science as a DIRECT mean of helping the needy. Perhaps this attitude of theirs helped them a lot in their Scientific accomplishments.

And the words that we are at "...a very important step in the Story of Humanity" are very thought-provoking.

Enjoyed reading the post and am planning to listen the interview soon! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post.

Akhtar Wasim Dar said...

Such a heartening reminders from a Geophysicist:

1-“He says our heart must be educated and that we cannot educate our hearts by ourselves. When we allow ourselves and hearts to participate in such deep conversation, we enter communion.”

2-“Humanity is discovering for the first time that they are a People.”

3-“He respects His Creation...God as a mystery who can be discovered only through the weak...not through very strong armies.”

He talks to earth, earth is an organism and we must talk to earth and all its inhabitants as life’s goal is unified and all creation living on this earth are evolving towards that objective, one without the help of other would never reach and find that. This is not a struggle of the fittest, this is a struggle for the fittest role that is our destiny.

Connie L. Nash said...

How I love to be in such true and nourishing community with my dear friends such as you, dear Namrah and you dear Dar Sahib. You so easily grasp these rather complex profound truths. Even in a second language. You amaze me and bring me to tears.
How fluid and rich our conversations.

Thanx Namrah, for bringing out the history of the early scientists who used their skills as a DIRECT means of helping the needy.

And Dar Sahib, I loved your ending line "This is not a struggle of the fittest, this is a struggle for the fittest role that is our destiny. "