The Light That Never Goes Out

and Teilhard de Chardin’s “noosphere”

by CSW Director Rob Field


An old song I love has a refrain that’s been stuck in my head for a couple of days: “There is a light and it never goes out, there is a light and it NEVER goes out” (The Smiths “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”). I laugh when I remember this is the only line in the song that’s not morbid or gloomy! Yet the words and gorgeous melody carry the powerful idea that there is something (someone?) in the universe whose presence is able to pierce the gloom of darkness and despair.

One of the main reasons Center for Spiritual Wisdom exists is to draw upon the world’s most enduring spiritual traditions, all of which point to love and hope as key forces that sustain the universe. Unfortunately, we live at a time when a growing number of people find it hard to feel much hope or love. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French paleontologist as well as Catholic priest and mystic, was convinced the earth is permeated and surrounded by an invisible, yet very real, layer of mental and spiritual energy he called the “noosphere.” According to Teilhard, we all are part of this layer of collective consciousness, even if we’re not aware of it. And each human being on the planet will contribute positively or negatively to the noosphere.

Teilhard said — and I agree wholeheartedly — that must do all we can to promote the vitality of the noosphere since it plays a crucial role in the overall health of the planet. Inspired by this understanding, a primary part of our mission is to promote spiritual vitality for the common good — not solely for whatever personal benefit someone might gain. As I write, we’re in the middle of our year-end Vibrant Today giving program. If you believe in what we do and can further our mission with a gift, please donate HERE today. Thank you!  


photo by Robert Wiedemann via Unsplash