"The Divine seed is within us. If it has a good, wise, diligent worker and artificer, then it receives an increase and grows like to God whose seed it is, and its fruit is likewise made a nature of God. The seed of the pear grows into a pear tree, the nut into a nut tree, and the seed of God into God."
One question is perhaps the most perplexing of all is ‘Why is there existence and not nothing?’ and for unknown eons this has remained a universal focus of wonder. Perhaps this is and always will be an unanswerable question, but this does not inhibit us to coming to a greater understanding of the nature of the universe. For millennia man has pondered the nature of his being. Some wrongly conclude that human being is an end in itself. Some take existence as a given, and seek no greater understanding of themselves or the Universe, leading an unexamined life. Without an understanding of Being, we are without a sense of purpose or direction. There must be something to the fact that there is existence, there must be a greater purpose, a causa finalis for which everything in the universe exists, an end to which everything strives? Today is an unprecedented time in history, a time in which our understanding is far surpassed the imagination of man in the past, and as far as we are able to tell, is unparalleled in the Universe.
The Universe is becoming something, but an understanding of what requires first an understanding of Being. There are different meanings to what it means to be, thus the question of being is often only answered in partiality, or misinterpreted in its entirety. The only way to understand the question of Being is to realize the insufficiency of much of the whole history of philosophy in dealing with this subject. Martin Heidegger was perhaps the first philosopher to undertake such a project. Heidegger was aware, as was Aristotle, of different usages of the word being. There is being potential, being actual, being in the sense of the categories, being true, etc. Heidegger saw that there must exist some kind of all-encompassing Being that unites all of the lesser forms of the word. The classical notion of Being is one in which Being is something in stagnation, something perfect, unchanging, and infinite. In this notion, Being is something alien, separate from physical existence, an idyllic, extra-worldly existence of Platonic forms to which all physical existence strives. An understanding of the question of Being requires a movement away from this concept of Being as some static existence and to Being as an incorporation of all beings, or simply, the totality of all that is.
Heidegger’s importance was that he paved the way for focusing our attention on Being in such a way, and to opening the door for a greater understanding of the relationship between Being and human being. For Man, our ability to grasp the nature of Being remains limited for we do not have access to pure understanding of Being, aspects of it remain concealed. It could be said that actuality is the becoming of potentiality, i.e. certain potentialities are presenced into actual existence. This is Being’s relationship to time, and its essential unity with the becoming Universe.
Grasping this ontological account for existence shows that there exists a creative force in the Universe. Through time the whole of the Universe is expanding and evolving. As time passes, more and more potentialities are revealed in actual existence, therefore, it must be true that the Universe is nothing more than a physical manifestation of Being, a piece of the total. The creative force behind all existence is Being, therefore, there is a Creator, and the Creator is the totality of all that is. This is the point Heidegger never reached, for he failed to ever equate Being with God.
It is the Platonic notion of Being that translates into the Aristotelian, and eventually, the traditional Christian notion of God—perfect and unchanging. This belief system is certainly exemplified by St. Anselm’s argument: “God is that which nothing greater can be conceived”. Thus God must have attributes of infinity: omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. If this is true, and God is truly all-knowing and all-powerful, then he must know how to learn more, and be powerful enough to become more so, to create new knowledge, to expand, and to grow as a whole. Such attributes seem to be logical impossibilities. Defining God in such a way just leads to confusion for such qualities are necessarily paradoxical. The ability to grow seems to defeat God’s infinitude. Focus on a God defined by such qualities brings nowhere closer to understanding the question of Being. Our focus should start from an assertion that there is a Creator, the Creator is the totality of all that is, and that the Universe is the physical manifestation of the Creator. We are part of the universe, and therefore part of the Creator.
It was Alfred North Whitehead who viewed the Universe was a process of continually evolving energy. Objects therefore were not things, but events, actual entities or occasions as he called them. When events occur, they draw together in a ‘mutual concern’, therefore every actual entity from an atom to a galaxy is an event in the ongoing process of energy that constitutes existence. Everything is part of a greater whole. The ‘mutual concern’ is a striving toward something greater, for there is a causa finalis for which everything exists. All existence, life included is nothing more than a means to an end, which is the self-realization of the Creator. From this upward urge comes the creation of new entities, which themselves still strive for a greater existence. It is this upward urge, which is at the heart of becoming, and the reason for which the Universe exists.
Consider physics, the study of physical existence, and the nature of physical laws. In order for these physical laws to exist in actuality, it necessitates a physical universe. Without a physical universe, there would be nothing for these laws to be applied to, and thus they would exist only in potentiality. Without the Universe, there would be no physics. The presencing of physical laws required the simultaneous presencing of the Universe. All empirical knowledge is dependant on this Universe; therefore the creation of the Universe was also the creation of new knowledge. There too is knowledge that does not depend on such existence: knowledge that we grasp a priori, which, by definition is not dependent on what is empirically sizeable. An arithmetic truth such as 2+2=4 is always true and does not necessitate an empirical demonstration. Geometric truths are no different; a triangle will always have three sides, regardless of whether there is an actual triangle on which to demonstrate it. Experience a priori and a posteriori both constitute a part of consciousness. One should not be held in higher esteem than the other but rather be held as evidence that our consciousness has extended beyond sensory perception. Consciousness is the vehicle through which we are able, though limited, to understand the Universe.
There is a telic nature to the Universe, to life, and to evolution. The expansion of consciousness is the key to understanding life and its purpose. Life, like the Universe, is a continuously evolving entity. Life evolved out of the Universe. It is through the Universe that life emerged, and so too it is through life, that consciousness emerged. Consciousness needs life because consciousness is always of something, of an individual living entity. Consciousness is not something that permeates throughout the Universe. Certainly evolution has created a huge diversity of life forms, but there is more that just the physiological change, and that is the evolution of consciousness. Consciousness, through evolution is expanding, driven forward by an upward urge that permeates the universe, a spiritual manifestation of the Creator destined to take the Universe somewhere and to achieve its end—to achieve a full understanding of itself. This is the path towards Divine Consciousness. The Universe is not only a physical manifestation of the Creator, but a means to become a conscious manifestation. Our whole evolutionary path is a struggle to obtain Divine Consciousness whether our ancestors were conscious of that fact or not. Our purpose therefore is the Creator’s purpose, a means to an end, which is self-realization—the creation of a conscious manifestation of itself—its self-completion.
Most biologists disagree that evolution is purposive. According to this argument, the only purpose of life is to survive, and that evolution has no purpose, the life that emerges is just a consequence of the struggle for existence. The only way to make sense of such a belief is when we are deficient in understanding the question of Being. The Universe is an ongoing presencing of Being itself, of the Creator. There is not only an evolutionary trajectory, but also an evolutionary destiny—the achievement of Divine Consciousness. The upward urge desires this end, and there are countless, perhaps infinite paths to achieve it. Thus, the presence of the upward urge explains the countless number of paths that evolution has taken.
Evolution is not just a struggle for survival, but also a struggle to obtain higher levels of consciousness. There is no equality in the Universe. Thus there exists a hierarchy of life, a chain of being, which is the progress towards achieving Divine Consciousness. Sometimes we can see clearly where one form of life is on the chain, other times it is vague. Everything in the Universe seeks to advance in the hierarchy. From dust to planet, from non-life to life, everything in the Universe is evolving, and striving upward. Once there is life, each life form takes a separate path, and over the duration of time, the paths may fork, and each new form will take a different route. Some paths lead to dead-ends, some off the edge of a cliff. Nonetheless, we can still put life above non-life, conscious above unconscious. Yet, we must also not become anthropocentric and fool ourselves that we can perform the Creator’s great task ourselves, we must realize that Man is not separate from the rest of life on earth, but that everything is intertwined, co-existing, and co-adapted in complex eco-systems, all working together to achieve the end of Divine Consciousness.
Now there is evidence of where the Universe is headed and why it is here, next exists an infinitude of possibility to come. We must make wise decisions. By taking the best path, there exists the possibility to further expand consciousness until life obtains Divine Consciousness. In turn, taking the leap from man to superman, and beyond. Even still we must always be careful, for to take the wrong path could lead to extinction, and all the progress made by our ancestors would have been in vain. The upward urge does not discriminate. There is no ‘Chosen Race’ selected to achieve the Creator’s purpose, nor will the Creator protect us if we choose the wrong path. The Creator does not care what life will reach Divine Consciousness or what path it took to get there, only the fact that it will inevitably achieve that end, and thus create a conscious manifestation of itself.
There is a danger lurking in the midst of our culture. Many believe foolishly that the only purpose to life is happiness, or more correctly, instant self-gratification. This is the pestilence of hedonism. It is the evil that pulls one away from any sense of direction and from any focus on the future or the eternal. The focus of the hedonist is only on the present and of the gratification one receives from it. It is a mentality that will destroy us. This was realized thousands of years ago when primitive man discovered that only by postponing gratification and preparing for the future would he have any chance to survive. Everything in that time long ago was a struggle for existence, but even then there was a sense of direction. He knew that if he failed to work hard to prepare for the future that he would die. He knew this every time he labored and toiled in the fields, and every time he was at war with a neighboring tribe. Those who survived would survive, and the evolutionary path would continue upward. Given, there have always been selfish people, and always will be, but this mentality has grown to infect an entire culture. The wages of sin is death, and die we must if we fail to serve the Creator’s purpose. The time has come to once again move in a forward direction, to set out on the path ordained to us by the Creator in time inconceivable and sanctified by the tears and blood of our ancestors in time immemorial. Everything but the whole is nothing more than a means. No man, no race, no kingdom of organisms, or any other part of the Universe exists as an end in itself, only as a means to an end—the self-realization of the Creator. The only end in itself is the Creator—everything else is just a part. If we fail to take the right path, the Divine urge will just find a means elsewhere in the Universe.
The ignorance of where the Universe is headed is vanished. We are verging closer than ever before to a full understanding of purpose. Utilizing the knowledge we have thus far and are still gaining is the key for us to plot our own coarse on the evolutionary roadmap. Evolution is our road to Divine Consciousness, our road to Godhood. “The seed of God is within us, it will grow up to God whose seed it is, and according to its fruit, will be God-nature.” Thus were the words of Meister Eckhart. We are at a point in history where our understanding of the Universe, of life, and of the evolutionary processes has never been greater. We are now at the point where we have the potential to control our own evolutionary development. We are the physical manifestation of the Creator, now it is now time to become a conscious manifestation. Our purpose is the Creator’s purpose; our destiny is Godhood. Now is time to fulfill our destiny.