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November 17, 1966 - Image 5

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1966-11-17
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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I

CHARDIN

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(from page seven)
lates us when we receive him instead
of we assimilating him.
Teilhard loved the age-old Catholic de-
votion to Christ's Sacred Heart, although
he rejected many of the exaggerated prac-
tices that sprang up around it. To con-
ceive of the physical heart of the God-
man as a symbol of God's love become
generously human and close to men Was
for him the most natural thing in the
world. As De Lubac puts it: "More and
more, for Teilhard, the Heart of Jesus
was the 'Fire' bursting into the cosmic
milieu, to 'amorize' it."
Inrgeneral, Teilhard speakseofChrist's
Incarnation as an on-going event, what
St. Paul referred to as "the building up
of the body of Christ" (Eph. 4, 13). Christ
has not yet associated to himself all that
is 'chosen,' all that is to be saved for the
Father. What Augustine called "the total
Christ" is yet incomplete, even physically
incomplete, to use the word 'physical' in
an expanded sense. Awareness of this
"enables us to see and love in Christ both
'he who is,' and 'he who is in process of
becoming.' Christ has not yet drawn to
himself the last folds of his garment of
flesh and love made up those who believe
in him."
S DE LUBAC remarks, Teilhard's real-
ism was always hard on the type of
theology that preferred what are called
moral or juridical rather than physical-
that is, more organic-links. But De Lu-
bac culls many phrases from the preach-
ing and writing of the Church Fathers
to show that this is by no means a new
orientation.
The position of the Church, in rela-
tionship to Christ's cosmic role as Omega,
developed only very slowly in Teilhard's
mind. Gradually he connected the con-
cept of charity, which is the driving force
in the Christian movement toward God,
with that of love-energy, which he saw as
the ultimate key to socialization and unity
in the noosphere. The conviction grew in
him that the Church, the Christian "ax-
is,' is in reality a 'phylum of love' insert-
ed by God into the evolutionary process.
The Church, an organic 'people of
God, represented in his eyes a qualita-
tive evolution of love within the cosmos.
It appeared to be "the true carrier of
human life," and we find him speaking of
the 'Catholic phylum' as the "center of
the privileged zone where the upward
cosmic movement of 'complexity-consci-
ousness' is united with the downward per-
sonal movement of attraction with its
power to personalize."
DESPITE WHAT his critics have char-
ged, Teilhard was not Hegelian, and
realized quite well the risks and uncer-
tainties of this Christogenesis. Man must
choose between revolt and adoration, and
the success of the whole world-process
hangs in the balance. So keenly and per-
sonally did he feel the threat of evil that
he echoed modern man's bitter reproach
to the Gospel for fostering passivity in
the face of it. In The Divine Milieu the
charge comes up again and again: toQ
many Christians have shrunk from a
harsh world rather than labor and suffer
with all their power to make it a worthy
place for Christ to come to.
Teilhard realized, just as acutely, that
man's labor in this life is doomed to ulti-
mate check and must undergo the passi-
vities of death. But death, if undergone
with faith, is for every man and all of
'chosen' mankind a privileged threshold
of "ecstacy in God." Christ, after all, is
the one St. Paul has termed "the first-
born of the dead." As De Lubac puts it:
In death Teilhard saw a confluence
of all the setbacks, all the obscurities,
all the evils that are the portion of
our terrestial condition. At the same
time he believed that 'death releases'
and that 'if there were no death, the
earth would certainly seem stifling.
. .Death does not return us to 'the
great current of Things' but 'surren-
ders us totally to God.'

O NE SHORTCOMING of Teilhard's that
both De Lubac and Mooney point out
is his tendency to lose sight of the indi-
vidual and his.crises and agonies in his
preoccupation with the panorama of cos-
mogenesis. But each of them quotes a
passage of John Henry Newman to the
effect that a great theological pioneer

need not be expected to marshall together
all facets and factors of theology in fol-
lowing out his specific insight, otherwise
the van of theology would never progress
an inch.
More seriously, they both admit his
strange silence on the subject of Christ's
reconciliation. There was, says Mooney,
some "mental block which prevented him
from seeing any relationship whatsoever
between the success of evolution and the
reparation made by Christ for the sins of
the world."
N SKETCHING A Christian approach
to the concept of death, Teilhard does
full justice to its positive aspect of pas-
sage into loving union with God, but
neglects the traditional concept which is
inverse to this, death to sin, whereby a
man repudiates, in humbly accepting the
painful darkness of his last moments, all
the specific egoism in his past history.
And it would seem that Teilhard coh-
sistently dissociates the need for Christ
to make reparation for past sin with his
mission of unifying mankind in love, as
if the historical Passion and Death were
NIUSd

VOL XI 1I, NO. 2

5fcr4tgan

IaitI MAGAA
TH URSDAY,

sume kind of unavoidable penal inflic-
tion. Christ, in submitting out of loving
'obedience to the Father's will to the course
of humanly unjust events that led to his
death (and his integrity really gave him
only one course of action), healed man's
failure of love. Mooney remarks:
What Teilhard apparently never
sees when dealing with redemption
(and with sin as a sort of impersonal
force) is that the one essential condi-
tion for . . evolution's success can
only be Christ's conquest of that
mysterious capacity in man for dis-
union and hatred on the personal
level. Now this is an anomaly of the
first order.
But the anomaly itself, the fact that
Teilhard neglects an important phrase or
two even in his favorite passage of St.
Paul (earlier quoted), can be used to add
the final distinguishing touch to the por-
trait of this extraordinary man and priest.
His inadequate view of the 'reconciliation'
is not so much a lapse of basic theology
as a reaction, no doubt, to the long his-
tory of penitential practices within the

Catholic Church. Teilhard was sensitive
to all excess in this direction, and above
all to a great deal of somewhat distorted
writing -and teaching that led very gen-
erous souls into a negative mentality of
flight from an evil world and consumed
energies that should have been better
used in building up the kingdom of God.
TEILHARD HIMSELF had much to en-
dure in his lifetime, not only from the
sufferings and loss of those whom he held
very dear, but above all from those who
failed to sympathize with his teaching or
to support him in his desire to publish
his reflections. It mightdwell havepmade
another man impatient, bitter, or des-
pondent. In Teilhard de Chardin it served
to enhance the instinct for kindliness and
human understanding, the .depth of his
mind and the closeness of his union with
God. He continued peacefully to write his
manuscripts and deliver his lectures until
the end, confident, certainly, that there
lay dormant within the seeds of his
thought a vitality that would send up a
worldwide harvest in God's own day.
And again he was right.

is

The-

New

American

Music LETI

.: t;: 3 r:.;,y ,. {stis..I

The marking at left
calligraphy nor kir
art. It is part of the
a musical composil
example of a more mod(
freer, more fun, but b4
serious reassessment of

(from page five)
parlor. One of Cohen's students, Paul Bo-
nus, releases balloons with flashing
lights and sound-making devices late at
night.
If you really want to go the whole
technological hog, "recent experiments
have indicated that some greenhouse
plants respond favorably to either 'rock
'n roll or classical sonatas, by growing
more than they do without musical ac-
companiment" (news item).
Togetherness Strikes Again:
Social Art
THE NEW presentations of art activity
through community effort carry en-
tirely different credentials than the ear-
lier Art classifications. An interchange of
ideas and talents is encouraged, inawhich
everyone contributes what they can do.
Most composers feel that no persons
should be barred from making a perform-
ance come alive just because he does not
read music. "Which is more musical: a
truck passing by a factory or a truck
passing by a music school? Are the peo-
ple inside the school musical and the ones
outside unmusical? (Cage in "Silence",
Wesleyan University Press).
For pieces of music, composers have be-
gun to use visual phenomena, theatrical
or matrixed activity, audience participa-
tion and new performance locations
where public events like sports can be
held. Some composers have substituted
written instructions, called verbal music,
instead of the less communicative stand-
ard notation-concerts and "festivals" of
new music have become experiments in
living themselves.
Some of these gatherings could, how-
ever, take a tip from bar entertainers,
who just do one bit with lots of gusto
and don't bring the whole world in the
doors. Most happenings and alogical
plays, which involve only practicing pain-
ters and poets, put a lot together to
make a shock. They wind up with the
kind of total theatre which is frozen en-
vironment. This is art done-at-you, strad-
dlingand failing to do away with the old
mythological fence between Art and life
or, for that matter, between all-encom-
passing politics and life.
Outdoor Events
MUSIC AS AN outdoor activity has ex-
isted from ancient rituals to the
transistorized beach party; from Han-
del's "Water Music" to Ives' "Universal
Symphony" performed on mountainsides
and in valleys, from ranchers serenading
the cattle at night to Newport festivals.
When musicians and their friends start
moving the events outside, the landscape,
changes-
"City Scale" was a trip-event organized
by Anthony Martin, Ramon Sender, and
Ken Dewey in San Francisco in 1965. The
audience traveled about in trucks observ-
ing and performing in events (musical
and otherwise), never quite certain whe-
ther the events were planned or happen-
ing anyway:
Sender writes: "The arrival of the au-

dience in trucks at a small park over-
looking the Mission coincided with a col-
lision between two teenage gangs. I had
arrived early to inflate four 17-foot wea-
ther balloons and noticed the kids col-
lecting. Just as the two groups started
toward each other, our trucks full of
excited participants roared up. Sixty peo-
ple started running across the park to-
ward the balloons, and the teenagers cat-
tered to the periphery. I don't know what
went through their minds in the minutes
that followed, as adults chased balloons
and each other through the park." (Tu-
lane Drama Review).
For George Brecht's "Motor Vehicle
Sundown Event" the car owners gather-
ed at sundown and simultaneously start-
ed their activities: manipulating the horn,
lights, windshield wipers, the motor, etc.
Special lights and equipment, such as
carousels, ladders and fire hoses may al-
so be used. Suggestion: Between the hours
of 5 and 7 p.m. you can make as much
noise as you want to on your own proper-
ty in Ann Arbor.
WALTER DeMARIA has proposed an
"Art Yard" (bulldozers digging a
hole in the ground), "Meaningless Work"
(which does not make you money or ac-
complish any conventional purpose, but
contains all the best qualities of old art
forms . . . meaningless work is the new
way to tell who's square) and has insti-
tuted the "Beach Crawl" (done with sol-
emnity, no stopping to bark at dogs, no
altering of straight ahead course for
horses or fishermen).
John Cage's famous silent piece, en-
titled 4' 33" because it was first performed
as four minutes and 33 seconds of tacet
(the performer makes no intentional
sounds), can be done anywhere. In a per-
formance of this work people are observ-
ing, experiencing, meditating and listen
ing to the environment doing its bit, per-
haps more than usual. When the per-
former begins to play, the situation has
not changed. ("What's he doing? He's
just sitting there! Well, something's go-
ing on.")
Hundreds of verbal pieces have been
written. Some have lasted for only five
minutes; others are freely exchanged
like the baseball scores. Check these:
Mary Tsaltas "Hole" (a sculpture), "Walk
Backward all Day Saturday," Grant Fish-
er's "Window Event." ("On a stormy
night, leave your window, open. The next
day, give a party for all the things that
get blown in.") Bob Sheff's "Back in
Texas Again" is a travel piece involving
anybody's home town; his memorial
"Plan for an Auditory American Flag" is
currently being transistorized. The every-
day event "Grass Roots" is for any num-
ber of people in concert blowing sounds
from blades of grass, and the instruc-
tions for "Hum" read: "Rum" is for any-
one, anywhere, anytime. "Hum" is as
good as music. "Hum" because it feels
good. "Hum" is something else.

'THE COLLECTIVE efforts of groups
such as ONCE in Ann Arbor, Fluxus
in New York and the Yamday Festival in
New Jersey (XMAS EVENT: Give a yam
this year) have added the artist's contri-
bution to . . . what? To our daily lives.
YOU can use the U.S. Mail as an art
medium. YOU can protest and propose
something better than the Dada-politick-
ing Provos of Holland, than the poet Al-
len Ginsberg's idea for a mother-child,
flag-waving, flower-carrying, anthem-
singing anti-war activation, than the
"Send Batman to Viet Nam" posters, or
sending "a salami to your boy in the
army."
Someone says:
We did that in my day, but we didn't
call it art.
No matter what you say, I don't like it.
I do that all the time.
I oughta warsh your ears out with soap.
ART MUST ACT, and even be danger-
ous and anonymous. It must be some-
thing useful to our lives.
"But we have been less ready to. out-
grow the crude reaction which positively
demands that a work of art should shock
rather than instruct . . . Beethoven does
not become an inartistic preacher be-
cause of the fact that his sense of respon-
sibility is an essential part of his musical
style . . . Beethoven's music is edifying."
(Donald Francis Tovey).
Publicity, the "word of mouth," sim-
plicity and social character are the con-
temporary artist's prime moving tools.
Music is a gesture of good will.
Tice IJWCh"ifat 46ir
MAGAZIN E
ROBERT NATHAN is the pseudonym for a
local musician and composer. Nathan has
asked that the article be dedicated to the
Panther. Daily Associate Editorial Director
CHARLOTTE WOLTER is coordinating the
avant-garde series.
JAMES TORRENS is a candidate for a Ph.D.
in English here. He joined the Jesuits in
1948 and studied at the College-Saint-Albert,
in Louvain, Belgium. He is writing his thesis
on T.S. Eliot's references to Dante.
STEPHEN TONSOR is Associate Professor of
History at the University. Tonsor has writ-
ten for various conservative magazines, in-
cluding National Review, Modern Age, He is
on the. Education Commission of the Na-
tional Association of Manufacturers.
ROBERT JOHNSTON was editor of the Daily
in 1965-66. He edited the Peace Corps volun-
teer magazine in 1968 and spent. last sum-
ver in Europe. He is now studying political
science at Princeton University.
PICTURES
p.1, Philip Corner;
p. 2, Andrew Sacks;
p. 3, Associated Press'
p. 5, Gordon Mumma, Bob Ashley:
p. 6, Thomas R. Copi;
p. 7, Associated Press
Daily Editor: Mark R. Killingsworth:
Magazine Editor: Robert Moore.

sic is. A composer

Su

avant-garde concept of

Fellowship of Bleeding Hearts
A campus conservative spokesman takes a
hard look at the New Left and casts a dissent-
ing and angry ballot: its goals are negative
and ambiguous, its loyalties questionable, its
future dim. (page 2)

Teithardde Chardiii

Teilhard de Chardin, a Catholic priest, sur-
prised two worlds by welding science and the-
olfogy into a highly affirmative view of man. A

Jesuit explains Chardin's

sweeping

faith in

man and God. (page 3)
international Student Exchange
The neglected field of international study
could be a powerful force for world peace and
development. An ex-DAILY editor tells what's

wrong now and

gives

six specific steps the

0

University should take to improve it. (page 6)

I

T'11LAI~. 10- EI ' AIt -.f- ,A A - I IJlr

,roc iit ^uE1 .wAl Roil, Nf- AAAV-A 71bj

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