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Xavier le pichon essay

Xavier Le Pichon - Wikipedia

Ecce Homo (Behold Humanity) | On Being

their team could watch as a female chimpanzee and her son attacked a physically handicapped mother to grab her newborn, kill him, and eat him with obvious satisfaction. this is because at this depth, the small defaults of the crystals within the rocks have been activated by the increase in temperature and relax the rigidity, allowing a continuous creep to release the plate tectonic forces and thus avoiding the necessity for periodic disasters.. tippett: when something like that happens that was so catastrophic, so many people died, this question is raised of this magnitude of suffering and this, “where is god? we are now 6 billion and a half people, and clearly without science and technology, we cannot live anymore. the weak, the fragile, the part of us and around us. but the sacrifice praised by the great vehicle is neither masochistic nor sadistic. it’s true that — i was very, very impressed by one of these things, which is the way earthquakes are fabricated, which is that in the lower layer of the earth where the temperature is high, then the defaults that are within the rocks are activated, and the rocks are able to deform without fracture, become what we call ductile. here is a very simple example that i have found time and time again and experienced myself. any act made by a responsible agent ineluctably produces its good or bad consequences in a future existence. taking care of fragile and vulnerable individuals has revealed to humans their own fragility and vulnerability. he was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins; he endured punishment that made us well; because of his wounds we have been healed. he was despised and rejected by people, one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from him; he was despised, and we considered him insignificant. it was first independently advocated in the four songs of the suffering servant in the second isaiah written during the exile of the jewish people in babylon.. le pichon: i think this a very childish conception of god. humanity had been constructed by the daily struggles of men and women confronted to their own fragility and vulnerability. then she would wait for the kiss on her front that she used to get from her own mother and turn away to sleep. between 600 and 300 before our era, with a summit during the second half of the sixth century, the reflection of humans on their nature, reflection that revolved implicitly or explicitly about the mystery of suffering and death, greatly progressed simultaneously and independently in regions that had no or very few communications. and it really is a field which experienced revolutionary leaps forward in your lifetime and that you were part of. but at the same time, this comes from, i think, a biased way of looking at what are human people.. tippett: let me ask you — this has been on my mind as i’ve been watching this development in science. everything happened as if these surges in violence were actually “forcing” humans to discover ever more the nature of their eminent dignity. in the middle of this great suffering, we could all notice the deep transformation of the heart of our father. so how did they decide that, “no, we will not do like the animals, to leave them on the side, but we will change our life. that is, he is sensitive to the suffering of his neighbor and tries to alleviate that suffering. the infancy thus constitutes an obvious pole of fragility and vulnerability about which human societies have been restructured. did those ancestors not need just as much, if not more courage to accept what appears to be the intolerable burden of taking care, long term, of a disabled person in a small group of hunter-gatherers who had no permanent home? in other words, they are shouting a completely new message — “look, you are not like that. to overcome death through this double strategy: have descendants and keep the memory of deceased was an explicit preoccupation of humans since their origin. throughout the ages we have to rediscover that our community is not only made of the highly motivated competing individuals as in my own scientific world, but that it includes fragile, vulnerable, suffering individuals who reveal to ourselves our own fragility, our own vulnerability, who actually lay bare our own sufferings that have been hidden in our deepest self. the most extraordinary example is probably the one hundred thousand years old shanidar 1 skeleton. there had been a crushing blow to the left side of the head, fracturing the eye socket, displacing the left eye, and probably causing blindness on that side. and my mother said, “well, i don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but today you have to learn your lessons. we can only imagine the considerable effort, which this group had to make for many years in order to transport this person from camp to camp, in order to feed him and in order to simply allow him to live.. le pichon: the fact that we have these millions of people who are in the “fourth age,” we call them. or it may lead us to welcome him with his injuries, thus allowing us to transcend our suffering, to transcend death. it is actually a solution to the problem of the innocent suffering. there are highs and lows throughout the long history of homo sapiens, highs and lows that can be identified by considering how these two poles of fragility, related to the infancy and to disease, handicap, aging and death, were taken into account.. le pichon: this had been a major crisis in my life that was in 1973. he fought injustice and tried to help oppressed people through both his teaching and his actions. is it possible that he recognized that the suffering person is not only the one who attracted the mercy of god but that she could become within her suffering an instrument of salvation, that she could become an agent in the transformation of the whole community to whom it belonged? and actually, no living being had looked at it because it’s in complete darkness. are dealing with the emergence of the human par excellence, as he discovers the true and full meaning of his humanity. somehow, more often than not, it is the pain related signal that steers us away from impending trouble, both at the moment and in the anticipated future.. le pichon: you can change the world, but it’s up to you.

Xavier Le Pichon's essay "Ecce Homo" is here. | For the Love of a

human societies integrate in their structure in an organic way the fragility and vulnerability manifested in this whole vast world of suffering and death.: on suffering, evolution, and humanity | the more i learn the more i wonder(). he would like to help in order to please me. the remarkable thing about science is you ask questions to the earth or to another object in the universe, and if you ask properly the question, you get answers, and you begin a dialogue. he adds: “the prime mover is … the ego which is happiest when in control of a familiar and predictable world…, but which is profoundly threatened by the approach of death which it sees as utter chaos and the ultimate unknown.. le pichon: and that they have the power of decision in their future. this ordeal became so significant for him that he decided to write about it, just before his death, an article titled “hélène, my love” that he considered as his testament.“the person and the life of the buddha can only be seen through a thick fog of legends”19 wrote andré bareau who tried with emotion to evoke the figure of this man “who tirelessly practiced and taught the renouncement to the pleasures of the world, demonstrating their vanity, and who led a very ascetic life, being insensible to praise as well as to insults so as not to disturb the serenity that he had acquired through a long fight. this is why i will illustrate it with a personal example. this long period of dependence would not have been possible without the development of privileged affective relations between children and parents.. tippett: let’s just start by getting a sense of your background. le pichon, one of the world’s leading geophysicists, helped create the field of plate tectonics. but humans have also developed a remarkable capacity to remember the past and anticipate the future. it is thus not surprising that prophets were inspired to speak up as they were watching over the collapse of whole communities and the annihilation of their members. i’d just like to talk about a little bit of that. and he’s also spent over three decades living in intentional communities centered around people with disabilities and mental illness. as a consequence the teachings of mo tzu have not left any significant traces in the chinese culture in spite of the fact that they were very well received during his life. before that, for nearly three decades, he and his wife raised their six children at the original french l’arche community, centered around people with mental disabilities. but they open a new path as they approach the mystery of the suffering person, outlining in a still obscure way her triple possible dimension: she attracts the mercy of men and of god; she transforms in a hidden and often unconscious way those who exert this mercy; she may go to the extreme of love in the personal and voluntary sacrifice in a total and definitive gift of oneself to restore hope and overthrow the apparent order of the evil forces. from the motions of the lips, of the tongue, i detect when it is possible to delicately introduce a tiny bit of food in the mouth. these passions that have consumed at least as much of the rest of your life after all those discoveries about humanity and suffering, how do you think about the effect, the success, the impact of that kind of energy that you’ve spent in these other decades of your life with other human beings? the great vehicle actually goes even farther in presenting what is called the great compassion, that is at the root of all the virtues and must inspire them.” modern scientific studies lead us to state on the contrary: “i am, therefore i think.: on being is trent gilliss, chris heagle, lily percy, mariah helgeson, maia tarrell, annie parsons, marie sambilay, aseel zahran, bethanie kloecker, selena carlson, dupe oyebolu, and ariana nedelman. she saw people pouring out to care for each other and to take care of each other, and she asked herself, “why can’t we live this way all the time? damasio, specialist of neurosciences, arrived to a conclusion that is not similar but that goes at least partly in the same direction.. tippett: i feel that maybe because of your scientific knowledge as well as your faith, your understanding of the human spirit and of the soul is kind of an evolutionary understanding.“how old is the small boy lying on the pallet? they recorded the struggle she made to try to hide this progressive memory loss. do you remember — there was the terrible tsunami a few years ago in indonesia. god is a mystery, but he can be discovered only through the weak, the fragile, the part of us, and around us.. le pichon, xavie, kaiko, voyage aux extrémités de la mer, editions odile jacob, 1986. moregood peopleamazing peoplepeople they'rebeautiful peoplepeople humansbeautiful personsamazing ignorepeople choosehint peopleforwardofficer i need to report some feelssee moreawwww ️awww pooraweee cuteejajaja awwwwsad poorcuteeeeeerestored 40faith restoredhumanity restoredforwardman finds a cute filled box in the snow, this is heartwarmingsee more26 pictures that prove that the world isn't such a bad placeamazing dog storiessad dog storiesamazing dogssad storyamazing thingsamazing animalsamazing peoplekinda peopleamazing rescueforward26 pictures that prove that the world isn't such a bad place this guy helped this dog who was in bad shapesee morewords of wisdomfaith wisdomso truetrue lovetrue datsooooo truefreaking truesooooooooofreaking adorableforwardvery truesee morefaith in humanity restored…heart picturesamazing picturesnice peopleamazing peoplebeautiful peopleradical peoplebeautiful deedspeople 3funny peopleforwardi'm sure i've pinned this before but once in a while i need a reminder that there are wonderful humans among us. it has to build it, and the confrontation that humanity has with the problems that come at all ages forces invention of a new answer. following them, following so many people who have approached the mystery of suffering, and of course, following jesus who invites us to engage ourselves fully, we must now respond to this call to deepen our humanity. the aim is to restore harmony between humans and cosmos and this will enable the establishment of peace and justice.. tippett: and you talked about the extraordinary feeling of what you lived through of actually being involved in a revolution, a mutation of the whole of earth sciences. and in fact, these people hold the key to the kingdom for if we do not welcome them, how can there be peace, love and fraternity? let us not forget that it is as the suffering servant that jesus chose to reveal his humanity to us..As humans increased their capacity of transformation of the world and consequently increased their power, they also increased the abuses they made of this power through unjustified violence. last group of people the nazis mass murdered was the physically handicapped.“in her behavior, wrote my father, hélène seemed more and more lost, straying, foreign, in a world that was not hers any more and that she often considered to be hostile. all of that is part of humanity, and humanity is not complete if you have some of these parts out. threatened in his identity the human tries to establish a separation between himself and the rest of the living beings by defining himself, following descartes, as being able to reason.

Xavier Le Pichon — The Fragility at the Heart of Humanity - | On Being

top of his game, at age 36, having revolutionized his own scientific field,And having been honored for that, le pichon realized that there was something. and if they had still been living in the forest instead of building huge buildings in which they lived, there would have been barely anybody killed. an example from my own geological domain illustrates this very important point: most of the earthquakes occur within the upper fifteen to twenty kilometers of the earth. what i find most significant in these observations is not the violent comportment of the chimpanzees but rather that this comportment had disturbed so much the team of observers. this is the time of buddha, of lao tzu, the legendary founder of taoism, of confucius, of the second isaiah, with the four poems of the suffering servant which mark the summit of the reflections of the bible on suffering. he thus had received a new name that was inhabited by their whole new relationship. will never be the person in front of you, but you will have created what we call communion, the capacity to share at a very deep level. and if we accept to be educated by the others, to let the other explain to us what happens to them, how they feel, which is completely different from what we feel, and to let yourself immerse into their world so that they can get into our world, then you begin to share something which is very deep., this feeling of horror that fills most humans when they watch such apparently unjustified violence does not appear to exist in other species. morebirthday girl unwraps best gift of all: her dad, home early from afghanistanbest birthday gifts3rd birthdaybirthday presentsdaughter birthdayhappy birthdayadorable thingsweetest thingso cutesweet gifforwardfunny pictures about 31 pictures that will make you proud to be a human being again. the elimination of parts that may appear as less efficient may significantly change the overall functioning and may actually completely prevent it from working! jesus says to us, “i am showing you these people. yet a society that separates the producers from the others considered as dead weight, even as marginal or excluded individuals, is a hard society, characterized by conflicts and often by complete rejection of minorities. emaciated, coiled up like a fetus, all his life has taken refuge in his eyes, immense eyes that look at me without any blink. factors such as the progressive backward tilt of the skull or technologic factors such as the tool making capacity are often privileged when considering the evolution leading to the apparition of homo sapiens whereas psychological factors are generally not even considered. so often i have found, for example, among very old people that they have the impression that they are not useful anymore. but these massive abuses pushed some of the members of the societies to act as “prophets” of the human dignity who react to violence and intolerance by increased benevolence, tolerance, respect and love for the weakest and most suffering members. had just conquered part of the indus valley and the first kingdoms had been established in northern india which was entering into the iron age. am inspired in these considerations by the extraordinary apology of weakness made by paul in his writings, in particular the letters to the corinthians. they have reorganized themselves around the small ones, the babies, because otherwise there is no life possible.. le pichon: we don’t realize that there are treasures everywhere in this life that we consider a rotten life, life that has no possibilities. it was facing suffering that led to that kind of breakthrough. physical pain, like fear, are mechanisms of alarm that play a decisive role in the process of decision necessary for the survival of the individual, among animals as well as humans.. john paul ii, le sens chrétien de la souffrance humaine (paris : le cerf, 1984) p.. le pichon: and so the difference is that, in one case, the defaults play a role in putting weakness in that and making things much more smooth.. tippett: my last question — i was reading your essay in a book on the history of plate tectonics, and you finished your essay saying that you recall a colleague saying to you that nevermore in our life will we be able to contribute to such a decisive and exciting discovery. but the prolongation of the phase of fetal and infantile growth results in newborn infants who are quite immature, totally powerless. we were continuously present with our parents, uncles, and so. i first developed these ideas in a book entitled “to the roots of man, from death to love” (aux racines de l’homme, de la mort à l’amour) published by presses de la renaissance, paris, in 1977 and republished as a pocket book in 2007. borrowing the words of isaiah4, i had recognized in this child my own flesh and i could not escape any more.. have a single passion, the passion of the well being of others. hit by the magnitude of the grief of his people due to an extreme outburst of evil, the author of the poems seems to have seized that only the folly of love could give an appropriate answer to evil under all its forms. and they’re also the caregivers caught in the middle for whom these are hard experiences. pope john-paul ii has commented about the discovery by adam of what he called “his metaphysical solitude”. they would often come out of her child’s memories that would be able to clear somewhat the haze of her long-term memory. and the conclusion of his article was: “hélène, in the depth of her weakness – but she was not alone – who had become in her body and her spirit the poorest of the poor, had enriched the treasure of our love of our poverty.. le pichon: so there is a treasure hidden in each of the communities, in each of the societies that is not possible to access unless you immerse yourself in it. so there is this problem that the society cannot live by itself if it doesn’t recognize that it’s heterogeneous and highly diverse. everything happens as if the humanization appeared with the progressive discovery by humans of their own fragility and vulnerability as their reflexive conscience and their capacity to project themselves in the past and the future were growing. thank the templeton foundation for inviting me to expand an article modified from an address made to the 76th session of the semaines sociales de france, november 23-25, 2001: “que ferons-nous de l’homme? as expressed so beautifully by paul in the first epistle to the corinthians: “but we have this treasure in clay jars, so that the extraordinary power belongs to god and does not come from us. now, for most of the people, it’s something in between. and some people say after, “we discovered, at this time, things that we had not discovered elsewhere. their very long phase of growth and learning puts them under the complete dependence of their parents during many long years in spite of the fact that their mental capacities are especially developed.

Ecce Homo (Behold Humanity) | On Being

Save Send Delete: What Good Are Sick People? Why Not Just Get

“pain and pleasure are not twins or mirror images of each other, at least not as far as their roles in leveraging survival. it has forced them to enter this dark world of fear in order to learn to live with it. from then on, he would lead the life of a wandering religious mendicant in search of the truth. tippett, host: the french geophysicist xavier le pichon knows fragility to be a fundament of vital, evolving systems – in the earth’s crust and in human communities.”29 the rejected, the suffering, the handicapped are put on our path so that we will welcome them and will enter into a dialogue with them, not knowing where it will lead us, except that it will lead us to heaven. the right knee and various parts of the left leg also show signs of pathological damage; these may have been either further consequences of the same traumatic injury or lesions that developed in reaction to the abnormal limping gait that must have resulted from the damage to the right leg and foot.. le pichon: you have this kind of big awakenings when the big catastrophe happens, either a collective one like a war or major accident, but it can be also a tragedy inside the family, not just outside. but this resemblance remains respectful and leaves the divine presence its rightful place; no one takes the place of god. as the poems of the servant were composed, the dawn of a new hope was breaking through because cyrus, king of persia, was going to authorize in his edict of 538 the jews exiled in babylon to return to jerusalem to practice their religion. ascetics were discussing how to be delivered from the endless succession of these lives dominated by suffering. and somehow, this jelle de boer, he talked about how with a long view of time and nature, that plate tectonics are what make life possible. yet is it possible to doubt that psychological factors have played a major role in this evolution? our being must empty itself of his own interests to greet without restrictions the fragile and mysterious gift of the love, fragility and mystery that increase with the weakness and depth of the injuries of the loved one. this is the first time in the history of humanity that humanity has to make collective decisions like for the climate, the energy, and so on. by not excluding them, or letting them disappear, humans give up at least partially the law of survival through efficiency that prevails in the world governed by the harsh laws of evolution. communities which are very strong, very rigid, that do not take into account the weak points of the community, the people who are in difficulty and so on, tends to be communities that do not evolve.. xavier le pichon: i think it’s going to be a big discovery in life sciences when they realize the importance of the fragility of human life and the fact that the human life is really so fragile that it needs to create a whole new way of culture, of dealing with the others. and we have the proof of that, for us christians who believe in jesus is that the way he has sent his son to save us, he did not send a strong man with legions of angels and so on. so tell a little bit of how you tell that story.. tippett: i think that also you draw analogies between how a whole community works, which is incorporating that fragility as part of its living being and even what you know about how the earth works. abuses of power and on a scale that we can barely imagine now. the osprey foundation, a catalyst for empowered, healthy, and fulfilled lives. humanity is discovering for the first time that it is a people.. tippett: xavier le pichon is honorary professor at collège de france in paris. puts the system in root, and he lets it evolve.” life goes back to normal, at least on the surface.. le pichon: that’s a very important question you’re asking, and this is one i’ve often asked myself. but also the people who are in great difficulty because of suffering, because of sickness, because of handicap, because life is coming to the end. some people that i've considered very generous, very open, and so on, and. compassion for the others p ushes one toward the complete oblivion of oneself. le pichon with a young woman on retreat at la maison thomas philippe la pène, behind the scenes at the filming of la fragilité.. tippett: so do you have a sense of what happens when people actually do turn their lives over to this and make this normal? why did i have to travel over ten thousand kilometers to meet him so that he would completely reorient my life? a great deal of research today tries to evaluate the role of the altruistic capacity in the workings of the human societies. the other type of discovery that i’ve made, which is the — i was the first one to dive in the middle of the ocean in the rift in 3,000 meters with submersible, landing at the place where no human had ever been.-human community made sacrifices in its own lifestyle in order to allow. is it a coincidence too that brahmanism was progressively formulated in india during approximately the same period and that the second isaiah that marks the summit of the reflection of the bible on suffering was written near 540.. le pichon: i was working all the night at the computer. pichon insists that contact with sick people and suffering people are. learn how to enter into communion with your neighbors – the way he called it, neighbors. is no life possible…but also the people who are in great difficulty.. le pichon: again, it’s this remarkable capacity of man, of identifying himself with the person in front of him who is suffering that leads him to recognize that he’s like him, that he’s him.. le pichon: science and technology have given us the possibility to really answer to these challenges. believe that the author of the songs of the suffering servant was convinced that the suffering endured by the jewish people during the deportation to babylon had not been useless.

Xavier Le Pichon (Collège de France, Paris) on ResearchGate

le pichon has come to think of caring attention to weakness as an essential quality that allowed humanity to evolve.. le pichon: i had the impression, being a religious man, that i was back to genesis, finding out the new world. this suffering person is the ferment for the transformation of men and women, and beyond them of the whole human society. before the presence of the loved one can fill the whole space of the present instant, there is a need for a lot of faithfulness, a lot of patience, and mostly a lot of gratuitous time. but he also urged le pichon to continue his work as a geophysicist. the chinese is consequently prompted to be careful and humble with the nature to which he should learn how to conform himself. the arrival of a baby completely changes the structure and life of the whole family. the presence of a single woman oceanographer was often sufficient to completely change the atmosphere. breakfast, lunch, tea, late afternoon mass and dinner punctuated the immutable course of the day.” my father had been a man of action and reflection, highly independent. i think there is now, among the scientists, a great effort to understand why man has really been able to go to cooperation and to helping the others. i’ve known some people that i’ve considered very generous, very open, and so on, and i’ve seen them progressively close themselves, begin to shut the doors, to be afraid of being invaded by this problem from the outside.. le pichon: which is terrible suffering for many of them. his spouse never had as much influence on him as at this time when she appeared to be so weak and so powerless. the environment and the way of life had to be as unchanging as possible. by templeton foundation in 2009 in the book spiritual information ii. they have the same vocabulary, the same style and the same thinking. his virtue alone will enable a favorable evolution of the events as well as of the men. according to trinkaus and shipman5,“careful study of his bones revealed a plethora of serious but healed fractures. we had noticed for several years that mother kept repeating endlessly the same stories.. le pichon: but when the temperature is low and cold — it’s cold like in the upper few miles of the earth — then they are rigid. when the big catastrophe happens, either a collective one like a war.. l’arche is a community founded at trosly-breuil near compiègne in 1964 by jean vanier and father thomas phillipe, to welcome mentally handicapped people as full human persons. the way to build the society is the way to integrate these people in a way in which they can interact and each of them can find out that they have their place, that their life has a meaning, that they are needed by the others. for the health and wholeness of each individual human, and for the. whether the right arm was severed intentionally, accidentally, or as a result of physical deterioration, a one-armed, partially blind, crippled man could have made no pretense of hunting and gathering his own food. in his teaching, i would like to highlight the fundamental attitude of benevolence toward any human as well as any living being. my mother who had played such an important role during her active life to form the bonds that unified our family had at the end of her painful life an even greater influence in maintaining our unity and in deepening the heart of my father while she appeared to be utterly powerless.. le pichon: human people are not adults in full possession of their means. why did we humans have to “invent” our humanity as we discovered that we were fragile and vulnerable? and the answer of rousseau was, “look, god created them as people living in the forest and so on. these days, more and more people are discovering in this teaching the “sacrament of the poor”. freud and even more jung, the role played by the discovery of death in the formation of the personality during the adolescence has been widely discussed.. until the fall in 587 of jerusalem and of the whole kingdom of judah followed by the deportation in babylon by nabuchonodosor, the jewish people had gone from disaster to disaster. father philippe encouraged him to come live in the l’arche community and share his life with suffering people. one could also mention zarathustra whom plato called zoroaster, who reformed the old iranian religion and that tradition reports as living between 660 and 583. the activities of the whole family are ordered to his needs. don’t turn your back on your own flesh and blood” is 58,7, translation nextbible.., they call them the “sandwich generation,” people who are at one and the same time raising their own children, who need them because of their youth, and then taking care of their aging parents who may have alzheimer’s disease, may have any number of frailties. among these great inspired men, siddharta gautama sakyamuni, the solitary from sakya, who will become the buddha, is certainly the one who illustrated best the role played by suffering and death in the discovery by men of their humanity. he’s also spent decades living in community with people and families facing disabilities. it was going to be an exhausting struggle that would push him to his extreme limits. among them, there must have been myriads of people who acted as innovators but history has not kept trace of them. the right foot and lower right leg were also damaged, possibly also at the same time.

Xavier Le Pichon | American Institute of Physics

human people — it starts with babies, it continues with growing people, it continues with adults, it continues with older people, and with great age, and people who die. that’s one of the big challenges of the future. after years of research, he obtained the enlightenment to the truth, after a night of meditation, reaching the inalterable peace of the extinction of passions and of errors and the definitive deliverance from the succession of lives and associated suffering. the visitor, parent, friend, carer, consoler is in the image of god. experience was so profound for le pichon he decided never "to turn. but in visiting the l’arche communities, they lose their fear because they see how the people who live there are loved and regarded.. birman, claude, souffrance et signification dans la tradition juive, colloquium « le malheur de l’autre : souffrance et culture, 22-23 september 2000 à la fondation hugot du college de france. there is a healed fracture of one of the bones in the arch of the foot associated with advanced degenerative disease of various bones of the ankle and big toe. “you will not be able to hold on”, they told him. “if a universal mutual love existed throughout the world, if men loved each other like themselves, would there be a single person who would not respect filial piety? the western portion glides toward the northwest at about four centimeters per year along a major fracture, which is called the san andreas fault. it is hard work because what you have now, also, is this phenomenon of people — in the u. the infants are so fragile that the only food they can accept is one that is given with tenderness.” i pray at least one or two hours a day. it is important to realize that humans have indeed explored many different ways to fight the vital struggle related to the discovery of their deep fragility. human societies have reorganized themselves about a new pole governed by the presence of suffering and death, which is related to the realization of the fragility and vulnerability of its members. today, i’m with the geophysicist and spiritual thinker xavier le pichon. for example, in our age, one of the obvious new difficulties we are dealing with is extreme age, the very old age. i like the word of isaiah, “it’s my own flesh. i have a very close relationship with earth that i consider a little bit like my mother. whohuman beingwomen'sold womenwheelspeoplestreetit s freefeel freeanimalrightskindness mattershuman kindnessbegets kindnesskindness 3practice kindnesskindness googleforwardxavier le pichon's essay "ecce homo" is here.. tippett: after encountering that child in calcutta, xavier le pichon returned to france and consulted with a wise priest he knew, father thomas philippe. in particular, it was not seeing the people in difficulty and suffering. was not art in its infancy an attempt to alleviate the two major concerns of humans, fecundity and death? there is a new touch, a new kindness, a new softness, a new way of living which is completely introduced by the fact that you put the weakest in the center of the community. the future buddha also believed that these reincarnations were determined by the nature of the acts made during previous existences, good acts leading to happiness while bad acts lead to unhappiness. the peace that comes from this child, in the middle of his pain, i know that it comes from the presence of mary. she had revealed to those who had welcomed her with love a new depth of their humanity. and you’ve spent a lot of time in this essay, “ecce homo,” writing about what we sometimes in english call the axial age, around the sixth century b. chimpanzees, it is true, are able to empathize, to understand at least to some extent the wants and needs of their companions. when prophets like mo tzu, seized by a sort of folly of human love that goes to the extremity of self-sacrifice, try to transmit their burning desire to followers, they give rise to controversies and rebuttals: reasonable men want to keep the just middle way that the excess of love seems to ignore. the construction of dolmens and pyramids must have mobilized whole populations during tens of years. humans were becoming more human in the measure in which they were discovering their suffering neighbor as “their own flesh”. he will be elevated, lifted high, and greatly exalted – (just as many were horrified by the sight of you) he was so disfigured he no longer looked like a man; his form was so marred he no longer looked human – so now he will startle many nations. morebecause he knows his friends…theflashlittle boyslittle brotherscomic confunny stuffrandom stuffawesome stuffrandom thingssuper awesomeforward(via rachel gross) the clothes make the man when you are a super hero. and at each age, you have new challenges, and you have to face them. ralph solecki popularized his findings in a book entitled “shanidar, the first flower people”, because the skeletons discovered in the shanidar cave appeared to have been buried below a bed of flowers, many scientists expressed strong doubts about his conclusions. aristotle wrote that all that is common to man and animal is not specific to man. and as a consequence of that, magmas form at deep levels in the earth. great apes also have a reflexive capacity: gordon gallup had already shown in 1979 that a chimpanzee was able to recognize himself in a mirror! xavier le pichon has come to think of caring attention to weakness in ourselves and in others as an essential quality that allowed humanity to evolve. but it was the presence of my father at the center of this life that was so uniform that it seemed to be out of time that enabled my mother to live in the present without letting her spirit roam within the world of her dementia. moreamazing kidamazing storiesamazing peopleamazing heroicsweet storiesincrediblehumanity kidsfaith in humanityhumanity diplyforwardsave dogs everywhere, if you see a dog somewhere where he or she isn't supposed to be, get the dog and bring him to caresee morewomen’s fashionweddingstraveltechnologytattoosquotesphotographyoutdoorsmen’s fashionkids and parentinghome decorhealth and fitnesshair and beautygardeningfood and drinkeducationdiy and craftsdesignartarchitecturepicked for yousign uplog inpinterest • the world’s catalog of ideassearchlog in with googleprivacy. my mother and father experienced together during her long and painful illness helps us to understand a little better the nature of this mysterious transformation of relationships which comes when we welcome handicap, suffering and illness.

Xavier Le Pichon's essay "Ecce Homo" is here. | For the Love of a

Xavier Le Pichon - Balzan Prize Geology

in that same essay where you wrote about that child in calcutta, you said you suddenly understood the incarnation.. le pichon: working with the dying people and so on. genesis, when god creates adam and presents to him the different living creatures, adam realizes that none of them resembles him. most of the time, we only had young and middle aged men on board: the crew then formed a community, which was rather rough.. le pichon: it can only come out of relationship with others. as i had been standing on the crest of the advancing wave of our scientific and technologic civilization, i did not even glance at the debris left over by its flow. what is true for infants is also true for sick, handicapped and aged people. this man of action who placed himself at the heart of anything he would undertake had learned to move aside to let her occupy the centre. be afraid of being invaded by this problem from the outside. how much ingenuity, how much patience, how much affectionate attention had been required from my father to discover the possibility of this privileged time of communication with her! wish now to explore further the radical novelty of this pole of fragility and vulnerability within human societies. he also sustained a massive blow to the right side of the body that so badly damaged the right arm that he became withered and useless; the bones of the shoulder blade, collarbone, and the upper arm are much thinner than those on the left. moreinspirational picturesinspirational peopleinspiring peopleamazing peopleamazingly inspirationalcry beautifulbeautiful storybeautiful postsbeautiful peopleforwardwhat is love ? but it’s skeletons of people who are so physically handicapped that these people — they were walking every day maybe five miles, 10 miles — they had to carry them on their back. what did they discover about their own humanity through this long and arduous process of sharing their life with a severely disabled man? any christian who would attempt to do it should have been completely liberated by the love of christ and at the same time should be very respectably united to the mysterious man of the sixth century b. le pichon was born in 1937, the son of a rubber plantation manager in a region of french indochina that is current-day vietnam.. le pichon: i found when you look at the history of man, as far as you go, you find that he had this extraordinary ability to empathize with the other. it is in the measure that he recognizes the similarities that he will be able to identify his specificities. but we have to take up the challenge in the same way. i find that the thing that god obviously has given us is the faculty to evolve with the whole world. it is deeply moving to observe that, as i discussed above, later but independently the disciples of buddha in india and mo tzu in china made the same discovery as they assisted to the inexorable rise of the tide of human suffering. voltaire said, “how can that be a good god that is letting these hundreds of thousands of people being killed by the earthquake? this is one of the things we discover in community where you live with people who have deep suffering — that they make you realize that you have your own fragility, your own weakness, and that you don’t have to be ashamed of it.” this dimension of transcendance is clearly expressed in the jewish tradition as shown by a commentary of rabbi anan reported by the 5th century a. he left his family after the birth of a son, probably following a deep affliction which led him to the intuition of the universality of suffering. buddha, lao tzu and confucius all three aimed at the suppression, or at least the attenuation of suffering.. le pichon: and i then discovered later on the love of the suffering people, which i found could not be separated from the love of god. humans know that their ageing will ineluctably lead to death. he says that where the earth is softer and more pliable, changes. in it nothing is stable nor fixed in a definitive way.. tippett: it would be possible to look around the world today, especially as we are all reeling from the uncertainty of our economic situation and to worry that it’s precisely the weak among us who are going to suffer just because of budget cuts.” all that we are and the way in which we think and react to the surrounding world depends from our feelings and emotions in which those that are related to pain and suffering play a major role. but only humans, i believe, are capable of deliberate cruelty — acting with the intention of causing pain and suffering”.” “all the means employed to obtain a religious merit do not have the value of one sixteenth of benevolence” would have said the buddha “who had mercy for armor”. this is the experience that lots of very important people who have changed the evolution of humanity have made like buddha, like confucius, like isaiah, and like jesus, of course. with my children, i have learned how to spoon feed a baby.. tippett: and that discovery contradicts a kind of a simplistic — i would say — simplified, straightforward darwinian understanding of survival that would imagine that people who had no utility, who were weak, who would drag others down, would simply be left by the wayside. and the suffering in order to be healthy and whole. and we have this problem to deal with — how are we going to tackle the problem of completely new implementations which are not environment tested?. le pichon: and that the weakest have to get their place in there. it is a disposition of the soul that is unpretending and gentle but warm. and i was immediately struck by the fact that this came after the iron age began to modify very deeply the culture of man and introduced the culture of terrible extermination war. how then could one be completely freed from the suffering inherent to our existence?

Xavier Le Pichon | French geologist |

and i’ve progressively discovered that this was the essence of his message — that god is mercy, and god can be found only in the measure in which you enter in this deep companionship with those that he loves best because they need him most, which are the people having deep suffering. they may actually spend an incredible energy to keep the memory of the dead.. le pichon: [laughs] and my answer was, “it’s through prayer. they also play an important role at the community level. but he refused to take her out of the stable environment in which she had been living for years and that had structured her interior and affective life. a devout catholic and spiritual thinker, he raised his family in intentional communities centered around people with mental disabilities., the most revealing character of human societies seems to me to be that they take care of those who, when considered on the sole basis of immediate efficiency, appear to be debris that should be eliminated.. le pichon: well, i’ve always, in my life, had this love of god, love of my family, love of the world, of the earth, of the universe. communities have been built around two kinds of — i call them poles, centers. the very large growth of the brain from our pre-human ancestors to homo sapiens reflects for a good part the increased place taken by this type of process. what happened to israel was prophetic and concerned the whole humanity.. tippett: so something that’s very interesting to me about your approach to all of this is — let’s say, the french philosophers and scientists of the 18th and 19th century would’ve looked at this child in misery in calcutta, or would’ve looked at the earthquakes that you study as a specialist in plate tectonics, and seen all of that and the suffering it created as a refutation of the notion of god. it would have consisted of perhaps twenty or thirty people living by hunting and gathering, without a permanent camp. his first aim was to allow men to become “ren”, benevolent men, to restore harmony between men and cosmos teaching them filial piety and the virtue of humanity, of benevolence. evolution within buddhism toward benevolence and care for the other reached a summit later on in the teaching of what is called the great vehicle, at the end of the first century a. but the basic thing is not why man is helping the others, but i think it’s why man has this ability to empathize, to identify himself with the suffering person, which leads him, of course, after that to decide to help him, to share the life with him. these poems have their origin in the anxious interrogation by humans confronted to the apparently senseless suffering. this process must have played a decisive role in the psychological mutation of humans and their acquisition of an artistic and metaphysical capacity.. le pichon: this person in front of me is my own flesh.. le pichon: because i think, even under stress, if you find a way to create a community which makes sense to your life, then it becomes extremely important. this is not only because they have a reflexive capacity. beyond that, he attributed to the suffering of the servant a universalist dimension : “he will startle many nations”. want to come back to the poems of the suffering servant who suddenly appear out of nowhere within the second isaiah, toward the end of the babylon exile between 550 and 539 b. these problems would have left the foot with little, and very painful mobility. for example, the rupture, due to death or departure, of a relation of very strong dependence between two individuals, may lead to grief consumption or even death. actually, i could not go to god unless i went through these people. and do you have any sense from the sweep of your lifetime that maybe more people move in that direction? this is perfectly true, but if, for example, i look at the controversy between jean-jacques rousseau and voltaire immediately after the lisbon earthquake. as time passed, the suspension points became more numerous and the notes less frequent. and actually, it led me to decide to quit science.., or rather the century, which goes from the second half of the sixth century to the first half of the fifth one, following the philosopher karl jaspers who could not help but marvel when evoking the men who enriched this remarkable century.. le pichon: as soon as he cries, he asks for something — up. father thomas philippe co-founder of l’arche32 with jean vanier said: “if we take away from someone who is suffering, any meaning to his suffering, if we make him feel even indirectly that his suffering is useless and is a burden to the community, what is left for him? and is it possible to ignore greece with socrates (469-399), plato (428-348) and aristotle (384-322) but also eschyles (525-456), sophocles (496-406) and euripides (480-406)?. le pichon: well, i discovered after that — that was told to me by a chinese philosopher that karl jaspers, the philosopher, had already talked about this extraordinary sixth century before christ in which there has been summits of philosophy and religion, which were buddha, confucius, the second isaiah, and so on. one moves from rigid and brittle rocks, within the upper layer, to ductile rocks below that can deform in a continuous fashion under the action of tectonic forces., to let the other explain to us what happens to them, how they feel,Which is completely different from what we feel, and to let yourself immerse. something completely new is created: this person becomes the new focus of society.” so difficulties are here, yes, and i think it makes sense for somebody like me that believes in god that the difficulties are larger now than they were maybe two, three centuries ago for the challenge for the whole humanity. we tend to dissociate the individuals who are well adapted to our social life from those that have difficulties to follow the pace that is imposed on them by our life style. and that requires from us to invent a new way to deal with this person, with the suffering, to make their life possible, humane. examining any system, it is thus necessary to study it as a whole. to confucius, the sovereign who governs using his virtue can be compared to the polestar which stays fixed as all the other stars salute it. whatever the motivations of this altruistic comportment, the recognition of the “neighbor”, within his suffering, within his death, as another “oneself” may lead us to the rejection of the other, rejection which accentuates our isolation by increasing our fear of the other.

Xavier Le Pichon — Fragility and the Evolution of Our Humanity by

. le pichon: and then you have these people coming up and saying, “man is not that. xavier le pichon worked out this theory, and applies it to his argument  that illness and suffering are necessary to individuals and to communities. and one day we got a message from the japanese governor of the camp, and he let us know that he will shoot most of the people the next day. most of the theories proposed view benevolence as self-interest in disguise. how is it possible without her to live this suffering without revolt?” it is very interesting to note that mencius, a disciple of confucius, replied to that: “to love anybody in the same way does not recognize the special affection that one owes to the king or the father. he and his wife raised their family in intentional spiritual communities centered around people with mental disabilities. this pole is not the only one because the human societies devote a large effort to take into account within their organization suffering and death, thus constituting a second pole of fragility and vulnerability. it is thus useless to try to understand things and phenomena. the greatest suffering for him would have been to be unable to do anything to prevent the human suffering. the exclusion of the other would then be the exclusion of part of himself, of “his own flesh” using the expression of isaiah that i mentioned earlier. example, when i was in calcutta, and i spent this month and a half with the people of the slums and so on, i found out this extraordinary way of belonging to them. if this welcome is made with dignity and love, the person we welcome becomes the one who leads us into a new deepening of our true humanity. in this way of life people will invent new goods for society like the goods of communication, openness and sharing: the person who is no longer capable of direct contribution to the survival of society discovers moreover that he is welcomed as a full contributor. this skeleton belonged to a neanderthal man about forty years old discovered by ralph solecki in the 1950’s in a cave of the zagros mountains in iraq . and so, pursuing these dual passions of science and spiritual community, xavier le pichon continued to ponder the implications of the fragility that marks human life at its beginning, its end, and at places in between. in order to be able to continue to live for many years (as the healed bones show) it would have been necessary for him to be entirely taken care of by his community.. le pichon: so it’s the way man has chosen to live that is creating that. i think it’s the power of god that, when you ask him, he lets you unify things that apparently cannot be unified. challenges we face are perhaps not so different from those faced by our ancestors, those prehistoric men over one hundred thousand years ago. their god full of kindness and mercy had seen the misery of his people, had listened to their cry for mercy. and i think it’s going to be a big discovery in life sciences when they realize the importance of the fragility of human life and the fact that the human life is really so fragile that it needs to create a whole new way of culture, of dealing with the others. on the contrary a society where all are well integrated has a much more adaptable structure, with a different, easier and more conciliatory mode of life. in recent years, he’s pursued his interests in religion, the history of ideas, and the life sciences together with his knowledge of frailty and flaws as essential elements in living geological systems.., it is likely that they evolved as a means to cope with the suffering experienced by individuals whose capacity to remember the past and anticipate the future had attained a remarkable development. so how do you respond to people who say the fact of all this suffering, of the huge dark side of our potentiality, really calls into question the idea that there could be a good god behind the universe?. le pichon: that’s something that came from my very early life. actually, the earth is an extraordinary living being with motions of the oceans and continents and thousands of miles and continuously changing, evolving. it is difficult to imagine that individuals and societies governed by the seeking of pleasure, as much as or more than by the avoidance of pain, can survive at all. it can only be understood within the complex system of interaction of our body within its environment.”17 he quoted the words of romano guardini18: “the founder of buddhism has not only wanted to become a better man and to find peace within the world: he attempted to do something unprecedented which was to put the human existence off its hinges while still dwelling within it. this peace is visible to all hearts that allow themselves to be touched. since then, it has been well established that shanidar 1 was not an exception and that neanderthalers “fed and looked after severely handicapped members of their communities who were too disabled to contribute to the food quest."come, you whom my father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. he had founded a sect to serve oppressed people in which members had to pronounce a poverty vow. at the present time, we have, for example, half of the mega-poles, there’s more than 10 million people who are close to plate boundaries. jesus alive, taking upon himself the pain of the whole world, revealing to me that i had abandoned him. for example mother had forgotten her prayers in french but still knew them in latin. we were continuously present with our parents, uncles, and so on, and that is not a bad memory for me. otherwise, you cannot explain why a man from neanderthal a hundred thousand years ago in iraq was able to take care of a highly handicapped man in very difficult circumstances.. le pichon: i remember when i was in the concentration camp. an essential aspect of the evolution that leads to humans is the prolongation of the initial phase of growth and consequently of learning, with a concomitant reduction of the innate comportments.. i have described the last years of my parents in tang yi jie and xavier le pichon, “la mort”, desclée de brouwer, paris, 1999.. le pichon: my mother died of alzheimer’s disease, and i could see what the suffering was.


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