Some of the biggest questions that we ask about life concern the origin and nature of the universe in which we find ourselves. Did the universe arise by chance, as a result of exactly the right elements coming together in exactly the right way at exactly the right point in time after the big bang, eventually producing organic life as its offspring? Or was there some kind of intention behind the creation of the universe and the subsequent arrival of organic life, and if so, who or what was the origin of that intention, and does it continue to exist?
In most spiritual traditions, the answer to such questions is that there is a Creative Principle which created and continues to work in the universe.
‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him. Without him, nothing was made that has been made.’ – John 1:1-3
This Creative Principle does not necessarily have to be thought of as a personal Creator, and the concept itself is therefore one which is compatible with rational scientific explanations for the origins of the universe. It is, for example, quite possible to hold the idea that the universe started with a big bang, but to then ask, ‘What caused the big bang?’ and to then hold the idea of the Creative Principle as being the first cause.
A belief in the Creative Principle as first cause is no more strange or unlikely than the opposing belief that no first cause was needed to initiate a spontaneous emergence of the universe. Both positions are quite unprovable at this time of human evolution, and so once again – as I will no doubt say a thousand times more during the lifetime of this website – you must listen to your intuition in order to decide which position serves you best.
‘There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.’ – Wallace D. Wattles
Many traditions refer to the Creative Principle as a named or unnamed God, but it has also been described in less personal terms as an Infinite Intelligence or simply as the Source. Whatever terminology is used when discussing the Creative Principle, it can be said to have several distinct qualities, as follows:
– The Creative Principle is that which initiated the creation, birth or emergence of the universe and everything in it. It also continues to work, maintaining and propagating the universe which it initiated.
– The Creative Principle is omniscient, or all-knowing. Because it preceded and initiated the universe, it is said to be perfectly aware of all that takes place in it. Whether this intelligent awareness is likened to its counterpart in human beings, or is viewed more as a totality of all possible knowledge, varies from tradition to tradition.
– The Creative Principle is omnipotent, or all-powerful. Because it initiated the emergence of the physical universe, it is beyond the laws of the physical universe, and its power – at least from our current perspective as human beings – is infinite.
– The Creative Principle is omnipresent, or in all places at all times. Whilst some traditions occasionally portray this ‘God-force’ as being quite separate and detached from the universe it initiated, the universe itself exists within the Creative Principle, and so any idea of separation is illusory – a topic we will explore further when we come to discuss The Unity Principle.
I must stress once again that my role here is not to persuade you about the validity or otherwise of any particular spiritual perspective, but simply to outline ideas in broad strokes so that you can consider them for yourself in more depth. To that end, I would encourage you to think seriously about the Creative Principle by listening to your intuition for answers to the following questions:
– Do you believe in the Creative Principle?
– How does your belief, or lack thereof, affect the way you experience life on a day to day basis?
– Is your current perspective one that empowers and encourages you?
– If the answer to the previous question is no, how would adopting the opposite perspective improve your experience of life?
Take all the time you need to consider these questions, as well as any others that occur to you in your daily spiritual practice, and trust the still, small voice within you to provide reliable answers.