Monday, October 19, 2015

Hunter or Hunted?

Some years ago I wrote an extensive essay 'In Support of Teilhard de Chardin'.  It was during the time when the Catholic Church officially resisted his work.  I concluded that essay with this poem and now follow up my Teilhard series with it.

Man, the Hunter or the Hunted? 

Man craves the certainty of life’s meaning
            but this instinct of soul knows no satisfaction.
The hunger for Truth, the thirst for Knowledge—
            aspects of our need for certainty of meaning.
We can run from it, try to ignore it,
            or seek to appease it in filling our minds with facts
But behind all our actions and beneath whatever facade we construct
            is that restless search for certainty of meaning.

We are born to reason.  Freely and without asking for it
            this great gift is given—no, thrust upon us.
Before this reason our task is to assemble evidence—
            evidence which requires deduction and assumption.
Even in the face of certainty, reason refuses acceptance
            until accompanied by evidence with which to evaluate and conclude;
Thus ever with reason, we must try to appease our yearning for certainty
            for reason is born with the human soul.

Yet meaning comes not from man, but outside and beyond.
            All being, from atoms to galaxies, bespeaks order.
The very existence of order demands the attention of reason—
            uninvited and unavoidable, meaning seeks man.
The order—undiscerningly, silently, insistently—simply by being
            pursues and encircles man, until he finds it;
And in the search wherein the hunter is hunted
            it is required that one find his origins and chart his destiny.

But meaning is too vast—it implies a total, One Whole;
            endless, yet around and back upon itself.
Existence draws a horizon so man sees a flat world—
            and seeing he believes; yet something won’t permit him to rest
So he is driven to reach beyond the horizon
            to complete the circle he cannot see, and to know!
All the time thinking that he, man,
            has embarked upon a search of his own choosing.

Such is man’s eternal destiny—to seek meaning.
            Throughout time, men pursue what no one man can find.
Armored with faith and doing battle with reason—
            man seeks the hidden meaning which from the beginning enveloped him.
He must conquer the world and embrace the universe
            to deduct the certainty which is already there.
Life . . . the struggle to expand men and unify man
            that in totality Man and Meaning become One.

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