Many scientists are in agreement with theologians that there was a “beginning” for the creation of the universe. They disagree as to whether this event was natural or metaphysical, chance or purposeful.
If I take the side of theologians, then assuming God is an infinite and eternal being, what the heck was God doing when time equaled zero (t = 0)? What changed God’s eternal and infinite action so that it could create the finite, physical universe? God certainly was not inactive before the creation event!
I am a follower of the theological ideas of Emanuel Swedenborg. He maintained that the Creator’s spiritual energy (Love) and divine laws (Wisdom) have always emanated outwards in a way analogous to the thermodynamic heat and light of an astronomical sun. Since God’s activity is constant, what change allowed for this ongoing activity to suddenly produce the tangible cosmos?
I think of stuff like this. Why? Because I want to understand God on ever-deeper levels and to hopefully find the meaning and reason for my existence.
Swedenborg does provide a valuable hint. He claimed that God created the world because Love needs a subject and object outside of itself to love (if God only loved Himself, this would be counter to true Divine Love). The big clue provided by Swedenborg is that God’s Love can only flow into a similar process (or there would be disharmony and disjunction between causes and their effects).
Therefore, the actual creation event of the physical universe of time, space, physical matter and coherent complexity depended on creation to cooperate and reciprocate with God as a created co-creator (a term borrowed from Philip Hefner). So originally, God’s Infinite Love and Wisdom produced nothing with “fixedness,” or that would provide feedback.
Then God modified His activity in way that created things would also have to rely on other created things to maintain their existence. This is where the process of coming into existence suddenly became dependent not only on God’s originating influx but on relationship and co-existence between the created things themselves. This allowed the unfolding universe to be interconnected, interrelated and interdependent (holistic) with everything else. Therefore, physical nature, process and evolution became an external analog (image and likeness) of God’s Love.
The essence of love is to unite. Also, love cannot find its fullness or perfection unless objects outside of itself can receive its influence and take on a similar endeavor. This is why nature shows us an incessant endeavor towards self-organization and increased complexity (higher order structure).
Existence is relationship.
Before this, God’s Love and Wisdom simply flowed into various (and constantly changing) non-spatial forms by an inward way, independent of external inputs or supports. Humankind is also profoundly affected by this divine modification in God’s plan—we cannot live without having to eat. People also need to rely on other people. Even religion attempts to reach us through external ways by means of written sacred texts and commandments (spiritual nourishment).
Through humankind’s spiritual evolution, God’s Love can be consciously recognized and shared in tangible ways.