The champion of all things Left, the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap), has run the response of Barbara Marx Hubbard, LCWR’s 2012 keynote speaker, to Card. Müller’s recent pointed speech to the same LCWR.
Barbara Marx Hubbard’s (BMH hereafter) new-gnostic stuff is so weird that you get the sense that she hears a radio station that no one else can tune in. The LCWR nuns lap up this oddball claptrap with large spoons.
You will recall that Card. Müller, Prefect of the CDF, said (HERE for the complete text):
I do not think I overstate the point when I say that the futuristic ideas advanced by the proponents of Conscious Evolution are not actually new. The Gnostic tradition is filled with similar affirmations and we have seen again and again in the history of the Church the tragic results of partaking of this bitter fruit. Conscious Evolution does not offer anything which will nourish religious life as a privileged and prophetic witness rooted in Christ revealing divine love to a wounded world. It does not present the treasure beyond price for which new generations of young women will leave all to follow Christ. The Gospel does! Selfless service to the poor and marginalized in the name of Jesus Christ does!
And now, Fishwrap‘s presentation of BMH’s Apologia pro vita sua with my emphases and comments:
Marx Hubbard responds to Cardinal Müller’s LCWR comments
I am grateful to Cardinal Gerhard Müller for raising concerns about conscious evolution and its relationship to Catholic teaching. I hope his focus on this issue will stimulate many, both within the Catholic church and outside it, to [book sales and invitations to speak] deepen human understanding of conscious evolution and how we might advance our own evolutionary action for the good of the whole of Earth life. [She is doubling down. But, why not? This is the most attention she has ever received.]
I am not a Catholic nor a theologian, yet I have been deeply inspired to help develop the meaning of conscious evolution through my studies of Teilhard de Chardin, Ilia Delio, John Haught, Beatrice Bruteau, Fr. Thomas Berry, David Richo, Diarmuid O’Murchu, [I am glad that some of these people have gone back to the Gaelic spellings… so that we have no idea who they are. Dire-mooid Oh’Murchyou? Okay… just having some fun.] and others. And of course, from the New Testament itself. [Of course! We all read the NT and come up with mystical presencing. But I am getting ahead.]
Now, meeting with so many women religious through LCWR, I see conscious evolution in action. They have been evolving the church [and yet, this is the English language….] and the world for hundreds of years through deep gospel living, a mystical presencing, faithfulness in serving unmet needs, solidarity with Earth, [not “the Earth”, but Earth… the living consciously evolving Earth, like the gal you buy fish from at the store] building community as “whole-makers,” [huh?] risk-taking for the sake of the mission, [that’s new? No. The apostles and martyrs didn’t do that.] genius for cooperative self-governance and decision making, [Next question: is that really a good thing? Plato didn’t think so. But I digress.] and above all bringing love and hope for the future into the lives of millions. [Millions?]
For me, the most vital source of meaning of conscious evolution is the Catholic understanding of God and Christ as the source of evolution, [Not Christ, the same, yesterday, today, tomorrow.] as its driving force as well as its direction. As Ilia Delio puts it, we experience in evolution the Emergent Christ and God Ahead. [Are we going to accept the premise that Ilia Delio, or anything else to which she refers, is “Catholic understanding”? I don’t think so.]
Through science, research, technology communications and virtually every other area of human activity, we are weaving a delicate membrane of consciousness, what Teilhard called the “noosphere” [I am now wishing that the asteroid would hurry up. Think of what it would do to the noosphere.] or the thinking layer of Earth that is embracing and drawing into itself the entire planet. It will infuse the whole of humanity with [… opium… ] a feeling of relationship and resonance. He called this potential experience “the Christification of the Earth.”
Many of us are becoming what Teilhard called “Homo progressivus,” those attracted to the future of the world moving toward the unknown, toward ever higher consciousness, freedom, order, and love. [Hey! Who doesn’t want a higher consciousness? Irenaeus worked on a Christian gnosis, gno?]
In this view, evolution itself becomes a spiritually motivated labor of love toward a Christ-inspired world, leading toward life ever-evolving beyond this current stage of Homo sapiens sapiens. [… Huh?]
Of course the scientific basis for conscious evolution is coming from many fields, most importantly from an understanding of the new cosmology, of the 13.8 billion year “The Universe Story,” as written by Brian Swimme and Fr. Thomas Berry, and from “Big Bang Cosmology,” as Ilia Delio calls it. [There she is again. Hmmm… maybe it is time for the CDF to look into her. She is a woman religious, after all. It seems that her notions are having a less than positive influence. And she was the LCWR speak last year. Coincidence? I think not.] Recently, Big History: From the Big Bang [“Big” seems to be a key word for her.] to the Present by David Christian, Cynthia Stokes Brown and Craig Benjamin is changing the view of history itself to begin at the origin of creation. [With such prestigious authors as they on her side, how can we any longer object?]
Meanwhile, new technologies are giving us vast new powers we used to attribute to gods, to destroy this world or create new worlds on this Earth and in space, as described in Dr. Ted Chu’s new book, Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential: A Cosmic Vision for Our Future Evolution. [Okay… this has ceased to be any kind of response to the CDF. This is nothing but a plug for herself so that someone, probably a group of nuns, will hire her to speak.]
The headlines every day make millions of us aware that the crises we face are requiring us to become conscious of our effects on our own evolution, to act out of choice for the good rather than mere chance, or face the destruction of our life support system. [I am now deeply concerned about the fate of my brother the earthworm, my sister the butterfly.]
Finally, [Finally!] a new field or meta-discipline is beginning to form around the themes of conscious evolution. Philosophical geniuses like Ken Wilber, originator of Integral Theory, have surfaced as major thinkers of our times. [On which planet? Have you heard of him? He’s a Major Thinker!] His book A Brief History of Everything has been helpful to me as a beginning text. The work of Sri Aurobindo of India in his masterwork, The Life Divine has revisioned Buddhism and Hinduism from an evolutionary perspective. His partner, the Mother, [any relation to Earth?] founded the first evolutionary community, Auroville in India. Hazel Henderson in her website Ethical Markets and recent books, and Elizabet Sahtouris in Earthdance: Living Systems in Evolution have illuminated conscious evolution in the field of economics. [So far, I have seen anything from my blog roll. I guess it hasn’t evolved yet.] Jean Houston has called us to evolve in the field of creativity and human capacity in such books as Jump Time: Shaping Your Future in a World of Radical Change. Jan C. Smuts wrote Holism and Evolution calling us to understand the tendency in nature to form ever more comprehensive whole systems. Buckminster Fuller revealed to us the nature of synergy in evolution and foresaw a world that works for all. Duane Elgin in The Living Universe has illuminated a new vision of the universe. [It is hard to imagine that even the most devoted readers of the Fishwrap will fall for this rubbish.]
A new book by Carter Phipps, The Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science’s Greatest Idea, reviews leading people in this new field. Steve McIntosh has written a beautiful book called Evolution’s Purpose, probing the spiritual nature of evolution itself. Ervin Laszlo has illuminated the scientific and social basis of conscious evolution in over 50 books. An organization of 50 Evolutionary Leaders (evolutionaryleaders.net) has issued a “Global Call for Conscious Evolution” as a world focus.
[When they start throwing the kitchen sink at you, you can tell that they really don’t have a clue.]
Yet [But wait! There’s more! Forget than “finally”, above.] the meaning and direction of conscious evolution is, for me, coming to us most clearly from the great modern Catholic theologians and thinkers, And most fundamentally, of course, directly from the New Testament: “Behold I show you a mystery, we shall not all sleep, we shall all be changed, in a moment, at the last trump and the trumpet shall sound,” as St. Paul told us. [ummm… Paul as a source for Conscious Evolution.] The trumpet is sounding upon this phase of human self-centered behavior and growth. We will either evolve more consciously in our lifetimes, or devolve and destroy much of Earth life.
The key question in our time is, I believe, conscious evolution — that is, how to evolve consciously as a new whole planetary system. [Hey! Didn’t Pope Francis speak of Martians the other day?] What is required now is many convenings of disciplines, faiths, and understandings to gain for the very first time, a sense of shared human responsibility for the destiny of Earth Life. Our new crises and opportunities require all of us to ask ourselves these questions: What is my unique contribution to the conscious evolution of humanity? What is my greater life purpose? What can I do, small or large to contribute toward a positive future for all? What are the purposes of the heart of Christ?
[Barbara Marx Hubbard is president of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution.]
Okay, I am sure that Card. Müller is going to be pretty impressed by this response. She really settled his hash.
Consider this. In the final analysis, BMH is not being much of a heretic. She isn’t really saying anything intelligible. This is new-age sounding, cliché ridden, B as in B, S as in S. There is nothing Christian about this. There is no interest here in sin, mercy, salvation, redemption, Christ’s propitiatory Sacrifice, heaven. Zip. There’s nothing here.
We have no idea what she is saying beyond “hug a tree”. She isn’t say that the tree is God.
She doesn’t connect with anything that Müller said to the LCWR. She actually thanks him for helping her keep the lime-light for a few more minutes.