When we look around we see lots of things. Things that just are. We see “All That Is”. Where did All That Is come from?
We’ve all been told stories about how the world works, where it came from and where it’s going, but none of them have really satisfied me. I was brought up a Roman Catholic and even though this religion has many redeeming qualities, its explanation of the world doesn’t sit right and I have too many questions. I’m also a trained scientist and have heard many theories about the origin of the universe (All That Is), but none of them work for me either. Here, I’m going to look at a couple of popular theories I’m familiar with and then review where my current thoughts have led me.
In the context of this discussion I’m using the term “All That Is” as a replacement for other possibilities like God, the Universe, the Supreme Being, Oneness, etc.
The Roman Catholic Church and All That Is
This is probably close to the theory of the whole of Christianity. We were taught that there is only one true God that is eternal, and is the source of all goodness and love. That’s ok. We’re then taught that God made the world and everything in it in a single creative event (7 days, but that detail doesn’t really matter). At the end of the creative event, God made man, initially with just one man and one woman who were living perfectly, without sin, in a beautiful garden. Then the woman was influenced by the devil to tempt the man to eat from a forbidden tree, and hence commit the first sin and ever since we are trying to escape sin. Hmm.
First problem – where did the devil come from? If everything (all that is) started with one true God, did God make the devil and why? Some people say the devil is a fallen angel, but that still means that God made the devil. Why would God have created a situation where a devil could arise? Isn’t God all powerful, eternal and the source of all good? I can’t believe that such a God would have allowed a devil to arise unless she wanted it to. The same goes for the original sin. Did God make a mistake when she made man? It’s hard to accept that the source of all that is would make a mistake like that and allow her creations to do what she doesn’t want.
The same goes for hell. How could there be a place like hell that is not in the control of God? If there is a hell, did God create it? Why would God create something like hell? I can’t accept that an all powerful, loving God would create hell, or allow something like that to be created.
Science and All That Is
The most popular origin of the universe theory of the scientists these days is the “Big Bang”. This theory states that the universe began with all matter (all that is) compressed into something very small in size, which then exploded to create all of the universe. Hmm.
This raises a lot of questions;
- why was all the matter compressed into a small object?
- where did all the matter come from?
- where was this object and where did that space come from?
- why did it explode?
- what existed before the explosion?
- what exists beyond all the matter from the explosion?
Scientists try and avoid many of these questions by hypothesising that the universe is currently expanding because of the explosion, but it will one day begin to contract again and return to a single small mass again, which will explode once more. If we then assume that this cycle will repeat forever and has already existed forever, then some of the questions above disappear because they don’t need to be answered, but we still don’t know where the space came from for the universe and we don’t know why “all that is” explodes.
I’m really uncomfortable with the theories of religion and science and they just don’t sit well with me. They seem to miss some fundamentals and something inside me is not satisfied with these theories. I expect the true answer to be satisfying and to “feel right”. I’m sorry if I can’t explain this very well, but it’s very difficult to accurately describe feelings with words. It’s more important to trust our feelings than worry about descriptions in words.
What started it all?
This is a common question. There must be something that started it all, or should there? It’s like the young child who asks his parent “why does that happen?” and after receiving the answer asks “but why does that happen?”, which can be asked over and over until the parent has to say exasperately “just because it does!”. We need to get back to the source of everything (all that is), here.
My thinking has led me to believe that the origin of all that is must be just a single thing. A single force, a single power, a single energy and there can’t be anything else. Why do I think that? Well, consider if there were two entities that are the source of all that is, I have to ask questions like “which one came first?”, “which one is more important?” and “did one of them create the other?”. It just doesn’t work for me. There can be only one thing that is the origin of all that is.
Accepting that there is only one thing that is the origin of everything, what must that one thing be like? What are the basest qualities that it must have for the whole universe to work and not just lead to more questions?
Firstly, the one thing must be infinite, it must be unlimited. It must be everywhere. If it wasn’t, I’d have to ask “well, what exists were it doesn’t then?”.
Secondly, it must be eternal. It must have always existed and will always exist. If it wasn’t eternal, I’d have to ask “what was before it?” or “what will be after it?” and “well, did something else create this thing then?”.
Thirdly, it must be free. This is a key one. The one thing must be free to do as it pleases. There can’t be any restrictions on the one thing otherwise I’d have to ask questions like “where did those restrictions come from?” and “who created those restrictions?”.
Just going back to the first point again for a minute, I’d like to make a clarification. Because the one thing is infinite and unlimited, it must exist everywhere including all the space in which everything exists. There is nowhere where it cannot be.
These three characteristics are it for me – unlimited, eternal and free. That’s enough. I don’t need any more detailed definition for the source of all that is. It might sound weak, but this definition is incredibly powerful. Let’s think about a thing that is unlimited, eternal and free. What would it be like.
Unlimited, Eternal and Free
This is hard to visualise. What would a thing that is unlimited, eternal and free be like? It might be more easy to visualise what it is not. It is not a God that has a devil fighting against it, because that certainly is not unlimited or free. It is not a God that would create objects that didn’t do what she wanted, because why would such a God create something wrongly when she was free to do whatever she wanted? It can’t be a thing that ever gets upset or mad because what would something that is unlimited, eternal and free ever have to be upset about?
Let’s think a little about our lives. We are, or we appear to be, incredibly limited, temporary and imprisoned, seemingly the exact opposite of the one thing that is the source of everything. We get upset and mad easily because we’re worried about making the best out of the limited time we have, the limited resources we have and the lack of options we have. We are filled with fear, which is an emotion that the one thing cannot have because it has no reason to fear anything. We seem like the opposite of the one thing but, actually, we have some of the same qualities.
What do we have that is unlimited, eternal and free? We all have something that is exactly all of these. This is true love. When we express true love, it has no limit, no end and it’s expressed freely without restriction. This leads me to believe that the one thing that is the source of everything can only be true love. It can’t be anything else and it can’t contain anything else (although we can consider here that truth and joy are equivalent to love).
Notice how close this comes back to many religious teachings the world has been given, like “God is love!” ? (“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:8)
There is nowhere were the one thing cannot be, so it must be in every cell of our bodies right now and must be in all the space between those cells. It must be everywhere! It must be in every one of us right now!!! Isn’t that something Jesus and others have taught? God is in all of us (“one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in us all” – Ephesians 4:6). This must be the case since if the one thing (the source of All That Is) isn’t everywhere, it wouldn’t make any sense at all.
All That Is – One step further
Everything we experience and everything we see in the world must be exactly as the one thing wants it to be. Even the things we think are bad cannot be, because the one thing had a reason for it to be like that.
We are all created of the same stuff as the one thing.
Imagine what it would be like to be the one thing. Everywhere, forever and free. Free to do what? That’s the key. What would you want to do if you were the one thing? Hmm. You’re true love and can do anything at all, what would you do? One good option would be to enjoy experiencing that true love. But how would you do that? You’d need to create something that looked like it was not love so that you could appreciate the brilliance of your real true love. You’d have to create something that looked like it was limited, temporary and imprisoned. You’d need to create something like the lives we are living. Everything that looks limiting, temporary and imprisoning to us really isn’t. It’s just an illusion created by the one thing so that we can discover the true love that is in every fibre of our being (and between and around the fibres) and rejoice at the magnificence of this true love.
We are all true love. Exactly the same stuff as the one thing. After going through enough deception from the illusions of the “not love” that exists in this world, we begin to awaken and observe the brilliance of our real essence which is true, unconditional, infinite love.
Because we are sourced from the one thing, there is no hell (just one of the illusions we have to deal with in this world), there is nothing bad, we cannot die (our spirit’s are eternal). Dying is a removal of all the illusions and then we will be able to (again) see clearly the truth of our nature.
The one thing, the source of all that is, most probably chooses to experience itself in this way, and many others, over and over, eternally.
We have nothing to fear. At the right time we can believe in ourselves, acknowledge our true essence and open up the true love within us and let the full experience of that in. It doesn’t matter what we choose to do in this earthly life, true love is needed everywhere and we can experience its magnificent effect in an infinite number of ways.
This has been difficult post for me to write, but I can really feel the truth contained within it. I’d greatly appreciate your thoughts and ideas on this topic as well.
Related Links – All That Is
- Where did the matter in the universe come from? – Cornell University website – this post shows just how inadequate the answers from science can be. When asked where the matter from the big bang came from, the answer was that it came from energy and they went on to describe how matter can be formed from energy. But where did the energy come from? In fact, I think they are exactly right and the matter in the universe did come from energy, but it the the unlimited, eternal and free energy that is the source of All That Is.
- Where did it all come from? – An article from Sky & Telescope that I found on the website of the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics, University of California, Santa Cruz.
- This book contains interesting discussions about topics mentioned in this post – Conversations with God – Book 3: An uncommon dialogue by Neale Donald Walsch
- Some other related quotes;
- “Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.” – Leo Tolstoy
- “Remember, you are special because I made you. And I don’t make mistakes.” – Max Lucado
- “Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it- because it does.” – 1 Cor. 14:1
- “It’s not what you do, but how much love you put into it that matter.” – Rick Warren
- “Sometimes God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves.” – Joni Eareckson Tada