|"He was; Ta'aroa was his name; he abode in the void. No earth, no sky, no men. Ta'aroa calls, but nought answers; and alone existing, he became the universe." Native Polynesian myth.
Is the universe God's body? In my seven book novel series Eden's Womb', now being rolled out here on this blog, the answer is 'yes' - at least according to the mysterious new God who reveals herself to the inhabitants of that distant future Earth.
Yes, the universe is God's body. This isn't a glib answer. It's seven years in the making, and the answer is still evolving. In this first of several posts on the subject, I explore the background ideas that led me to conclude that a universe permeated with deity is the essential core of human experience.
The religious traditions of many faiths, including Christianity, declare that God created the universe. In that act, God infused the universe with his/her essence. By all accounts it was an important creation, intended to produce conscious beings who could experience this gift and, through their experiences, glorify God.
God didn't want to just imagine the universe or write it down as a theoretical mathematical formula on a sheet of paper. S/he wanted it to be intimate and real. S/he wanted it to produce sentient/conscious beings who could play out their lives in it. Because through them--through their testimony--God could also experience it. God wanted a first hand report on his/her experiment--a reliable observer who had life-or-death stakes in the outcome.
Perhaps God did even more. Perhaps s/he gave her/himself a body capable of experiencing the creation in person.
Think of it this way. If you write a good script for a novel or screenplay, don't you try to immerse yourself in it as much as possible? If you design a video game, don't you play it, play it, play it, test it, test it, test it - until you go cross-eyed?
In Christianity the body that God projected Himself into was Jesus, who came to personally shepherd us into God's presence. We yield to Jesus and let him transport us home via the Narrow Way. In Pantheism and Panentheism God projected him/herself into all things. God lurks there, just waiting for us to wake up and see. The epiphany often comes unbidden but is usually a fleeting thing, best reproduced in the wild and natural places of the world or in simple objects (idols). In Eastern faith traditions Hinduism and Buddhism we cloister ourselves in monasteries and strive and struggle through a lifetime of strict discipline to project ourselves toward that unity until we finally wake up. Which is the Noble Course? I guess we're left to choose.
The choices are even wider, of course. Atheists, particularly the scientists who study the origin of the universe, seem to be satisfied with the dry mathematical formulas written down on that sheet of paper. No animation required.
They ask: Does the Universe even need God? S/he doesn't show up in any of the formulas.
My answer: If the universe is God's body ... and (this is important) ... if God is conscious in any sense of the word (including vicariously through us), then just as my body is nothing but a cadaver without my consciousness, so is our universe nothing but a pointless (no matter how elegant) dead equation without God's consciousness.
The Atheists cry "DUH! Pointless but exquisitely elegant." That's all they're after. The goal of physics is to achieve the 'Four P's': a Powerful, Precise, Predictive, Parsimonious explanation of the indifferent assemblage of stuff we call the observable universe. They're seeking the 'Fundamental Theory of Everything' and they can almost taste it lurking just beyond the horizon.
Their God is a god of elegant, beautiful numbers. And it's only able to be discerned and appreciated through our gift of consciousness. What's the difference?