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  • Writer's pictureKarey Pohn

But Why Bother? The Divine Motive

If we think of the universe story as a kind of cosmic “who done it” we already have our suspect—we have implicated Absolute Consciousness, or the Divine Mind. Now all we need to do is to figure out the motive and the method. In this section, we will consider the motive, and in the mechanics of creation section, we will explore the method. If the Divine is also a method actor, then motivation becomes key.

Just why did Absolute Consciousness create the universe? Although the jury is still out on this one, there seem to be two major theories as to Divine motive or motivation: divine abundance and divine lack or longing. The divine abundance theory views the Divine as incredibly rich with unimagined capacities and resources seeking to express its limitless overflowing potential, so in an immense curiosity, Absolute Consciousness creates the universe to know itself better, or to express its playful nature. The divine lack theory posits that the Divine seeks something it lacks and misses in its original pristine state, either yearning for participation, sharing and love, or to experience its opposite. Or, perhaps Absolute Consciousness is divinely bored and seeks to escape from the “intolerable here and nowness” by creating a limited world (Grof, 1998a). Fred Alan Wolf in Spiritual Universe (1999) agrees and says that for whatever reason, the universe had an urge to matter. Nothingness wanted to become something.

This is where cosmic play comes in, because either way we go with Divine motivation—play is at the heart of it all. Brian Swimme (2001) would agree and speaks about it in The Universe is a Green Dragon while discussing various cosmic dynamics:

We are to live as alluring and remembering activity, as shimmering sensitivity. And this means the cosmic dynamics revealed by life forms: surprise and adventure. Call it play; adventurous and surprising play. That’s what life reveals; that’s what life is . . . . The insistence that we become adventurous play is not our insistence alone—the universe insists on it. As in each of the previous cases, the universe created our sense of adventurous play as the latest extravagance in a long history of advancing play. (p. 119)

So, if "it’s all about play," then to improvise on Einstein, I want to know the how the gods play, the rest are details. But unlike Einstein, I am firmly convinced that the gods do play dice and it seems that I am in good company: "Chaos theory is causing most quantum physicists to accept what Einstein rejected, that God probably did play dice with the universe” (Hyatt, 2005, online). In Einstein’s Universe, Calder (1979) writes:

He has his gaming tables in every atom and every cubic millimeter of empty space. Flowering into the theories of anti-matter, of nuclear physics, of electricity and the sub atomic forces, quantum mechanics became a luxuriant growth, more extensive and productive than the tidier gardens of relativity. (p. 141)

In Does God Play Dice? Stewart (2002) answers affirmatively, explicating chaos theory in the process. We will explore the strange loops of chaos and the cosmic dice game a bit later, but before we go there, we need to see what is behind the motive as we look at of lila, maya, and the process of creation.


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