Back to the Future: LCWR nuns and “Conscious Evolution” and gnosticism

Card. Müller, when addressing the LCWR nuns, spoke about problems with their Faith.  He was not being political.  He was not picking on them as “women”.

Card. Müller was effectively asking them: Do you want to be Catholic?

What the nuns are into is, basically, warmed-up gnosticism. Because we really want to be living in the 2nd century rather than the 21st.  We need a new Irenaeus!

Card. Müller spoke to them about how they have gotten into “conscious evolution”.  Let’s call it CE.   This is pure crap, of course, and spiritually dangerous and some of these nuns are in it up to their necks.

Do you want to do a little reading around the issue?


An evolutionary spirituality is emerging, experienced as the impulse of evolution, the process of creation, the implicate order, a patterning process coming through our own hearts. It is felt as the sacred core of the evolutionary spiral, the evolving godhead arising, or even incarnating within each of us as our own impulse to co-create. It is the “creator-within” expressing itself uniquely through each person as a new form of “social cosmogenesis.” The generating power of universal evolution is guiding us toward a more synergistic, cooperative democracy.

HERE – Wow…..

At the heart of Gnostic Christianity, as taught in the Sophian Tradition, is the view of Yeshua (Aramaic for Jesus) as a human being who embarked upon a spiritual or mystical journey and became Self-realized or Enlightened; hence attained Supernal or Messianic Consciousness. According to the Sophian Gospel he was not born Christ, but became Christed by the reception of teachings and initiations from his Spiritual Teachers and engaging in spiritual practice and spiritual living. It is said that Yeshua was, indeed, the incarnation of a Great Soul and that he had accomplished the divine labor of Self-realization or Enlightenment in previous lives. Nevertheless, incarnate in the world as a Light-bearer, he had to sojourn the Path to Enlightenment as any other human being. In so doing he became a living example of the Path to Self-realization or Enlightenment and was empowered to teach others how to attain Supernal or Messianic Consciousness.


This emerging human has been called by many names. Teilhard de Chardin called it the Ultra Human, or Homo progressivus, in whom the “flame of expectation burns, attracted toward the future as an organism progressing toward the unknown.” Sri Aurobindo, the great Indian evolutionary sage, called this the Gnostic Human, the individual in whom the Consciousness Force itself, the supramental power of universal creativity, incarnates and begins to transform the body/mind into the very cells that evolve beyond the human phase.

Others have called this Homo noeticus, a being of gnosis or deep knowing of the Field out of which we are co-arising. Or Homo divina, as Sister Judy Cauley puts it. Or the universal human, connected through the heart to the whole of life, awakening from within by the core of the spiral of evolution. The implicate order is becoming explicate in us, turning into the essential self, animated by a passionate life-purpose to express our creativity.


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  1. jbosco88 says:

    It all sounds terribly Jedi.

  2. I have always been a bit chary of the devotion to Our Lady of All Nations, who is reputed to have asked for a prayer stating that she ‘once was Mary’.

    Apart from the fact that this sounds a little like The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, it does seem to tend towards the same idea of evolving spiritually into something new that you weren’t before.

    I know the CDF took this bit out of the prayer, but it’s always concerned me that this was in the prayer in the first place, if the prayer came from Mary.

  3. Suzanne Carl says:

    Conscious evolution sounds remarkably like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Maslow is taught in every psych class from high school through grad school. I even have it in my public speaking textbook as a way to understand how persuasion works. So the heretics have a way to promote the tenants of their heresy in almost every forum. Interesting.

  4. Cath says:

    “pure crap” sums this up perfectly. “The Field out of which we are co-arising.”- what exactly does that mean? I do not understand why someone who believes this stuff would continue to claim to be Catholic. It is dishonest to do so.

  5. kbf says:

    Maybe itz because I iz a bit fick, but what does “social cosmogensis” mean?

  6. frival says:

    There must be a way to mathematically calculate the likelihood statements like this are heretical. I suggest a linear relationship with the number of hyphenated words as a first approximation. The tortured English they have to use to try to cram their meanings into words that quite obviously do not wish to carry them is painful to read.

  7. paladin says:

    (*laugh*) Frival, you’re on to something!

    I’d add “fusing” words together in a pseudo-Germanic way (e.g. “Ritualsong”, “Womanpriest”, etc.) to the list of red flags…

    Does this sort of bosh remind anyone else of an amateur American’s attempt to borrow from Buddhism (e.g. the “became a living example of the Path to Self-realization or Enlightenment and was empowered to teach others how to attain Supernal or Messianic Consciousness” bit)? It must take a good deal of self-control for Hindus and Buddhists not to laugh outright, when reading this drivel.

  8. Martlet says:

    You are so right, Paladin. Just another combining of words from different religions to produce another religion altogether. I thought I was reading something straight off a New Age site when I read the above.

  9. KRD says:

    Suzanne, how exactly is this like Maslow? I learned it in college as well, and I never detected anything heretical in the theory. Just curious for your thoughts.

  10. Wiktor says:

    This is what came to my mind:

  11. dans0622 says:

    Wow. That’s some far out stuff. Pass the bong and maybe it will start making sense to me and I’ll buy into it. I am looking forward to the day when I am referred to as a “great evolutionary sage.”

  12. The Masked Chicken says:

    So much nonsense. So little time…

    ““pure crap” sums this up perfectly. “The Field out of which we are co-arising.”- what exactly does that mean?”

    They are referring to the Akashic field. To quote Wikiepedia:

    “In theosophy and anthroposophy, the akashic records (from akasha, the Sanskrit word for ‘sky’ ‘space’ or ‘æther’) are a compendium of mystical knowledge supposedly encoded in a non-physical plane of existence known as the astral plane. There is no scientific evidence for the Akashic records.[1]”

    Laszlo, the originator of the idea in CE, believed that it was the field of knowledge from the universe before ours that permeates our universe and to which we can link into.

    This is where the charge of Gnosticism springs from. The Gnosis is the Akashic field.

    “Suzanne, how exactly is this like Maslow? I learned it in college as well, and I never detected anything heretical in the theory. Just curious for your thoughts.”

    Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is his view, based on an entirely arbitrary anthropology of man, of the progressive development of human potential. It was one of the founding ideas of the Human Potential Movement in the 1960’s, out of which CE would develop in the 1970’s. To quote Wikipedia, again:

    “Abraham Maslow published his concept of a hierarchy of needs in a paper in 1943. He described that as people’s basic survival needs are met, so their desire to grow in mental and emotional dimensions increases. He also coined the term ‘metamotivation’ to describe the motivation of people who go beyond the scope of the basic needs and strive for constant betterment.”

    “Maybe itz because I iz a bit fick, but what does “social cosmogensis” mean?”

    It means the development of the universe through the collective sharing of man in the Akashic field. This is great, if you are an Ascended Ancient from Star Gate SG-1, otherwise, it is pure nonsense.

    I take it you guys are not keeping up on the latest developments in science fiction on tv? Get with the program. How can you be successfully brainwashed, otherwise?

    “There must be a way to mathematically calculate the likelihood statements like this are heretical.”

    There is, but modesty prevents me from showing how it might be done. Let’s just say I developed the basic theory about fifteen years ago, but, let’s face it, where would one publish the theory of mathematical theology? It is really cool and can be used to put both Magisterial teachings and the various schools of theology in a more compact form. I suppose if I don’t do it, someone, else, will. If anyone is really interested, let me know. If there are any mathematicians or computer scientists in the crowd, maybe we could publish a joint paper.

    The Chicken

  13. majuscule says:

    “The Field out of which we are co-arising.”

    I believe that is the field in which the farmer is out standing…

    I’m not sure how he might feel about them tramping about in it after they arise.

    Crop circles anyone?.

  14. DisturbedMary says:

    In another time Barbara Marx Hubbard might be in a mental institution or perhaps entertaining in the court of the king. Starved for genuine grace, she seems to be hyperventilating space junk. Unbelievable that she has followers.

  15. Finarfin says:

    After reading what Muller had to say, I dared to look at Barbara Marx Hubbard’s website. It was…interesting. What I especially noticed was a close connection in style between something this Hubbard said and something said by a character in a book. Let me quote the two, and you can make up your own mind.

    On her page “Conscious Evolution Defined”, she writes this:

    “While consciousness has been evolving for billions of years, conscious evolution is new. It is part of the trajectory of human evolution, the canvas of choice before us now as we recognize that we have come to possess the powers that we used to attribute to the gods.

    We are poised in this critical moment, facing decisions that must be made consciously if we are to avoid destroying the world as we know it, if we are instead to cocreate a future of immeasurable possibilities. Our conscious evolution is an invitation to ourselves, to open to that positive future, to see ourselves as one planet, and to learn to use our powers wisely and ethically for the enhancement of all life on Earth.”

    Now, from the fictional character:

    “The Elder Days are gone. The Middle Days are passing. The Younger Days are beginning…A new Power is rising. Against it the old allies and policies will not avail us at all…This then is one choice before you, before us. We may join with that Power. It would be wise…There is hope that way. Its victory is at hand; and there will be rich reward for those that aided it…[and] the wise, such as you and I, may with patience come at last to direct its courses, to control it…[We can achieve] the high and ultimate purpose: Knowledge, Rule, Order; all the things we have so far striven in vain to accomplish.”

    Do these two statements sound rather similar? Well the latter quote was from Saruman. Another reason to trust this Hubbard no more than he.?

  16. CharlesG says:

    Isn’t it rather presumptuous, elitist and arrogant to think that one has evolved to a higher mode of existence or that one has special knowledge?

  17. Lutgardis says:

    CharlesG, not if one has convinced oneself that Jesus was a human who found a path to higher enlightenment, that one is following in Jesus’ footsteps (and promoting this version of the “Gospel”) by moving toward this higher enlightenment, that this is humanity’s destiny and what God wants for all of us, and that this mode of “being Christ” is what a Christian is called to do. Apparently.

    The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue had a lot to say about the subject of the Cosmic Christ in the document “Jesus Christ, The Bearer of the Water of Life,” but obviously since that document was written by an unfair patriarchy that wants to oppress humanity and particularly women with their repressive male-centered views and big bad Sky God, people are free to ignore or dismiss this document and follow their own bliss.

    Barbara Marx Hubbard is not a Catholic or a Christian and does not pretend to be. The sisters who are currently allying themselves to her beliefs, however, are. Supposedly.

  18. kbf says:

    @ The Masked Chicken: “I take it you guys are not keeping up on the latest developments in science fiction on tv? Get with the program. How can you be successfully brainwashed, otherwise?”

    No, but a new series of 24 starts tonight and it’s set in London.

    Maybe we should set the LCWR off watching that then their next philosophy could be based on “What would Jack Bauer do?”

  19. michelekc says:

    How many of those are actual English words? Come to think of it, how many of those words can be expressed in Greek, you know, the language of the Gospels?

  20. torch621 says:

    I feel like vomiting.

  21. OrthodoxChick says:

    This drivel is mind-numbingly stupid. What would be great is if the LCWR would just form their own church and be done with it. And take Cardinal Kasper with them to be their new pope. Two birds with one stone.

  22. Vecchio di Londra says:

    It seems to read backwards about as well as it does from left to right. For instance:-

    “Creativity: our express to Purpose! Life: passionate – a by-animated self-essential.
    The Into-Turning Us: Inexplicate, Becoming! Is Order implicate?!
    The Evolution of Spiral….”

    In fact I think I prefer my version. It’s a jolly sight more expressive.

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  24. Martlet says:

    All I know is that I prefer being unenlightened and in need of a Saviour. If my “progression” depended on me, it would end up like too many other unfinished projects, sitting in the back of a drawer somewhere. But seriously, until I read the above, I hadn’t paid these women too much attention and I am, quite frankly, shocked We need to pray not only for them, but for everyone they have influenced.

  25. mysticalrose says:

    When I was in formation with an LCWR community of nuns (10 years ago) I could never really figure out how to pray. How do you pray to “… the sacred core of the evolutionary spiral, the evolving godhead arising …?” It was maddening. I joined a Catholic religious order to pray to our Lord Jesus Christ in community and found Hegel, Whitehead, and Wicca … and the sisters worshipping themselves.

    On another note, Elizabeth Johnson’s new book on God and Darwin is entitled “Ask the Beasts.” After reading the blurb I couldn’t help but to think she should have left off the “s”.

  26. Margaret says:

    I can’t even read through that nonsense without my eyes glazing over. My goodness.

    I’m sure this is too low-brow a reference for the enlightened sisters to get, but it almost could have been dialogue from a really bad Stargate episode, with Daniel Jackson spouting off about Ascension…

  27. JohnE says:

    Far out, man! I mean, really, faaaar ouuuuut……!

  28. Joe in Canada says:

    Fr Teilhard de Chardin SJ must be turning over in his grave. This is NOT what he meant, even at his most questionable.

  29. Heather F says:

    Vecchio: yours is totally better. I will have to remember this: when presented with heretically pretentious nonsense, play it backwards to turn it into whimsical nonsense poetry.

  30. Tantum Ergo says:

    Suddenly someone is there at the turnstyle
    The nun with the kaleidoscope eyes

    Lucy in the sky with diamonds
    Lucy in the sky with diamonds
    Lucy in the sky with diamonds

  31. mrshopey says:

    If this is true evolution then it has to include natural selection. Natural selection in this case would be the natural response of the CDF to the snake oil salesman; the door.
    That would be in keeping with their, err, evolution.

  32. LeslieL says:

    I have a headache. I just thought I would share that…..

  33. Polycarpio says:

    “The second [concern] is over a gnostic current. These pantheisms… they’re both currents of elites, but this one is of a more formed elite. I knew of one superior general who encouraged the sisters of her congregation to not prayer in the morning, but to give themselves a spiritual bath in the cosmos, such things…. These bother me because they lack the Incarnation! And the Son of God who became our flesh, the Word made flesh …” – Pope Francis

  34. The Cobbler says:

    Chicken, I’d love to supply any code (especially regular expressions, if applicable) necessary to automate such an algorithm or methodology just for kicks; but I have so little time as it is, and whenever I try to read about mathematical things online (including programming languages based on lambda calculus) I end up thinking I’d have to already be a mathematician just to read the explanations (because of the language, the notations and the dependence of so many concepts on so many others)… and, to be honest, I’d probably love just as much to be doing or reading so many other things…

    Honestly, sometimes I’d rather just hang out in some sort of club for technically minded Catholics to share applications of their technical disciplines (in which I’d include, among other things, mathematics and the hard sciences) to Catholic things in their spare time. After all, somebody had to write the LCWR Spirituality Generator, right? I once had an idea for a database of chant (more about how you could store the chant in a database and recreate the text from the database records, an alternative to storing an image of it or some other format, than about cataloguing it, but hey)…

    …Okay, I don’t actually know where any of this comment was going, I admit it. Maybe it was going back to the future. I guess hopefully not, if that’s where the LCWR’s spirituality is going.

  35. VexillaRegis says:

    This is the same old leftish thing as usual. Conscious Evolution is just another word for UNCONSCIOUS REVOLUTION. The consequense is the same: Chaos.

  36. JMM says:

    Sounds like “Uber Mensch” to me. Very scary. Hard to think that so called Catholics are into this.

  37. Wiktor says:

    Out of curiosity, I just visited LCWR’s and CMSWR’s websites to compare them.
    No words necessary.

  38. The Masked Chicken says:

    “I once had an idea for a database of chant (more about how you could store the chant in a database and recreate the text from the database records, an alternative to storing an image of it or some other format, than about cataloguing it, but hey)…”

    Do you know about the Cantus database for chant? It is exactly what you thought about doing:

    “Honestly, sometimes I’d rather just hang out in some sort of club for technically minded Catholics to share applications of their technical disciplines (in which I’d include, among other things, mathematics and the hard sciences) to Catholic things in their spare time.”

    I was, seriously, thinking about starting such a blog, several years, ago. I was going to call it, “Cathology (or Cathologies): ologies with a Catholic twist.” An English professor I know loved the title. I think there might be about seven readers, however.

    I am sure that you could code the theology database without any problem. Heck, I could do it. One can use formal concept analysis and semantic distances to calculate relationships between theological concepts (including heresies). Not really a difficult problem, seeing as how the software already exists and is open source. I used these techniques in developing a theory of incongruity for humor theory (isn’t a heresy something that is incongruous with the Faith?). I hope to have the two papers finished this summer. I have already presented them.

    The Chicken

  39. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Chicken — Have you run into “Dr. Thursday” (real name: Peter J. Capaldi) from the American Chesterton Society? He’s a computer guy (got his doctorate), a writer, and a fair bit of a polymath on the side. I adore his stuff. I love love love his De Bellis Stellarum novels, as they are tons of nerdy fun. Anyway, your Cathology idea seems right up his alley.

  40. Suburbanbanshee says:

    ARRRRGH! Fannish Dr. Who actor typo! His name is Peter J. FLORIANI, not Capaldi! Arghhhh!

  41. Phil Steinacker says:

    I think the “sisters” are working too hard and shooting too low. That to which they aspire has already been successfully assembled almost a couple centuries ago and is based upon a much simpler “evolutionary” model which is comparatively easier to navigate. Conscious evolution seems like a vision still on the drawing table of its proponents’ minds.

    In sharp contrast to Barbara Marx Hubbard’s “vision” which remains cloaked in misty vagueness only because “conscious evolution” has not as yet yielded a more sharply defined understanding of that for which she (we?) yearns, this construct is quite specific in its vision and doesn’t require further evolution over time for such understanding to coalesce out of the swirling mists of human desire. Perhaps because in its design it is an outright mimicry of that which is central to the Original Temptation which occasioned Original Sin, the Church of the Latter Day Saints attempts to make good on the promise (always a lie) offered by Satan to Adam & Eve that they may “become as gods.”

    Joseph Smith didn’t need nearly as much time to formulate the details of his lie. Hubbard and other sisters appear to have borrowed his idea that Jesus Christ was a highly spiritual human being who evolved into the divine, but I haven’t seen any indications that this latest form of Gnosticism they’re building has yet incorporated Smith’s promise that those men (yes, sisters, he is a sexist pig!) who follow the spiritual path outlined in the Book of Mormon given to Smith by the (dark) angel Moroni will eventually “become as gods” in their own right, each one as god to his own planet. Their women may only aspire to come along for the ride, which may partially explain why the sisters haven’t completely imitated Mormonism.

    The paths espoused by Smith or Hubbard are nothing less than attempts to resume the collaboration initially begun by Adam & Eve with Satan’s distortion of the hidden promise of the eventual divinization of man. That collaboration in pride was repeatedly and thankfully interrupted through Salvation history by six successive covenants reminding mankind of the eternal realities we have a death wish to ignore. The last of these is the Covenant instituted through the suffering, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and will culminate in our sharing in the Godhead of the Trinity through the Banquet Feast of the Lamb in Eternity.

    At least, such is the Eternal Reward for those of us who don’t succumb to the lure of ruling our own planet.

    I wonder what Hubbard fantasizes is at the end of her particular rainbow?

  42. Sonshine135 says:

    I’m too unenlightened within my astral plane to figure out this New Age stuff. It all sounds like people who think they know better than everyone else.

  43. catholictrad says:

    I thought I was still asleep or delusional when I read that the CDF actually called the “sisters” out on their Teilhardian cosmos-worship.

    No insult intended to anyone who believes otherwise, but Teilhard de Chardin was NOT Christian judging by the L. Ron Hubbardian nonsense that he wrote. I’m unsure whether it was Chardin or Marx who made a bigger mess of the Jesuit order.

    Speaking of Modernist tendencies, who approved the now ubiquitous “flying Jesus” over the altar where the glorious crucifix should be? I spend enough time explaining Christ crucified to the denizens of the Bible Belt without having to explain it to “Modernized” Catholics.

    At one “flying Jesus” parish, after confession and Eucharist, I sought an indulgence for praying the “Prayer Before a Crucifix” but couldn’t find one! Sure looked strange holding up my crucifix necklace with one hand and missal with the other.

  44. Northern Ox says:

    Some interesting schizophrenia is playing out over at the Fishwrap’s website over this.

    First out of the box was Phyllis Zagano, who yesterday defended Sr. Elizabeth Johnson but blatantly threw Barbara Marx Hubbard under the bus, dismissing her theories as “obviously gnostic claptrap .”

    Today, however, Tom Fox and Ilia Delio have arrived on the scene, and yesterday’s “claptrap” is today’s “science,” as in “LCWR is just doing what JPII was taking about when he said religion and science should engage each other.”

    It’s a popcorn-munching extravaganza, I tell you what.

  45. phatcatholic says:

    If you build it, they will co-arise.

  46. Lutgardis says:

    I’m increasingly tired of this false sense of urgency they are trying to stir up to convince people that *obviously* NEW DISCOVERIES ABOUT EVOLUTION must have shaken our faith to the core and we must somehow RECONCILE this emerging world with old systems of spirituality. A “Catholic” couple (er, actually “rooted in the Catholic tradition” couple) was offering a class recently at our Sisters of St Joseph ecumenical spirituality center about how to integrate the Universe Story into our personal spirituality.

    Because the discovery that the universe is billions of years old somehow changes divine revelation given to us by God? Because somehow we can’t believe both that the universe is really really really old and that God created us, us personally, in His image to love and serve him? Thomas Berry believes that the earth is primary and humans are derivative. That can be reconciled with authentic Catholicism? Really?

    Google the “REFLECTIONS FROM AN ECOZOIC RETREAT” by Sr Gail Worcelo and enjoy how she treats an image of the Milky Way as an appropriate “text” for lectio divina (or “lextio divina” as she calls it; maybe she’s doing something of her own invention). Or the part where she prays to an icon of Our Lady of Czestachowa next to an image of the Andromeda Galaxy and ends up receiving Our Lady, with her eyes, “as a wafer in communion.”

    That is where ecotheology ends up, not in any actual reconciliation of science and religion.

  47. The Cobbler says:

    Well, Chicken, if I may say so (internet conditions of anonymity and whatnot), keep me posted. 8^)

    Thanks for the link to Cantus, looks awesome.

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  49. bobk says:

    Fr. Z rightly brihgs up Irenaeus. But fortunately a new one isn’t needed, the one and only is still just as wonderful as ever. And very much a threat to the gnostic, who doesn’t change much over 2000 years. When a contagion doesn’t have the sense to evolve the old reliable cure is still effective.

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