We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) French Jesuit priest, paleontologist, philosopher

Sometimes paraphrased: "We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey."

Not actually found in Teilhard's works. Sometimes cited to Le Phénomène Humain [The Phenomenon of Man] (1955) [tr. Wall (1959)], but it is not present there.

The best credit seems to be to Wayne Dyer. Also sometimes cited to Stephen Covey, who used the phrase but credited it to Teilhard (without citation). For more discussion, see You Are Not a Human Being Having a Spiritual Experience. You Are a Spiritual Being Having a Human Experience – Quote Investigator.

Added on 11-May-10 | Last updated 11-Oct-22
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