remastered and reworked, originally released here:
"To write the true natural history of the world, we should need to be able to follow it from within. It would thus appear no longer as an interlocking succession of structural types replacing one another, but as an ascension of inner sap spreading out in a forest of consolidated instincts. Right at its base, the living world is constituted by consciousness clothed in flesh and bone. From the biosphere to the species is nothing but an immense ramification of psychism seeking for itself through different forms. That is where Ariandne's thread leads us if we follow it to the end."
"Until the coming of man, life was quickly arrested and hemmed in by the specialization's into which it was forced to mould itself so as to act, and became fixed, then dispersed, at each forward bound. Since the threshold of reflection, we have entered into an entirely new field of evolution -- thanks to the astonishing properties of 'artifice' which separate the instrument from the organ and enable one and the same creature to intensify and vary the modalities of its action indefinitely without losing anything of its freedom; and thanks to the prodigious power of thought to bring together and combine in a single conscious effort all the human particles. In fact, though the study of the past may give us some idea of the resources of organized matter in its dispersed state, _we have no idea of the possible magnitude_ of 'noospheric' effects. We are confronted with human vibrations resounding by the million -- a whole layer of consciousness exerting simultaneous pressure upon the future and the collected hoarded produce of a million years of thought. Have we ever tried to form an idea of what such magnitudes represent?
In this direction, the most unexpected is perhaps what we should most expect. Under the increasing tension of the mind on the surface of the globe, we may begin by asking seriously whether life will not perhaps one day succeed in ingeniously forcing the bars of its early prison, either by finding the means to invade other inhabited planets or (a still more giddy perspective) by getting into psychical touch with other focal points of consciousness across the abyss of space. The meeting and mutual fecundation of two noospheres is a supposition which may seem at first sight crazy, but which after all is merely extending to psychical phenomena a scope no-one would think of denying to material phenomena. Consciousness would thus finally construct itself by a synthesis of planetary units. Why not, in a universe whose astral unit is the galaxy?"
"Now when sufficient elements have sufficiently agglomerated this essentially convergent movement will attain such intensity and such quality that mankind, _taken as a whole_, will be obliged -- as happened to the individual forces of instinct -- to reflect on itself at a single point; that is to say, in this case, to abandon its organo-planetary foothold so as to shift its centre on to the transcendent centre of its increasing concentration. This will be the end and the fulfillment of the spirt of the earth.
The end of the world: the wholesale internal introversion upon itself of the noosphere, which has simultaneously reached the uttermost limit of its complexity and its centrality.
The end of the world; the overthrow of equilibrium, detaching the mind, fulfilled at last, from its material matrix, so that it will henceforth rest with all its weight on God-Omega.
The end of the world: critical point simultaneously of emerge and emersion, of maturation and escape."
Teilhard de Chardin - Phenomenon of Man