Did God Create Man, or Did Man Create God?

Sri Aurobindo points out that some may hold that “the spirit which now presides over the human soul-experience was originally formed by a human mentality and the human body, exists by that and cannot exist apart from it, cannot ever go below or above it.” This position essentially would be one that says that man has created God, and that without human mentality, God and the rest of the universe simply do not exist nor have any purpose or significance beyond man.

Sri Aurobindo’s viewpoint is far different, when he surveys the vast scope and reach of the manifested universe and the consciousness that informs and creates it: “But body and mind are not the creators of the spirit, the spirit is the creator of the mind and body; it develops these principles out of its being, it is not developed into being out of them, it is not a compound of their elements or a resultant of their meeting. If it appears to evolve out of mind and body, that is because it gradually manifests itself in them and not because it is created by them or exists by them; as it manifests, they are revealed as subordinate terms of its being and are to be finally taken up out of their present imperfection and transformed into visible forms and instruments of the spirit. Our conception of the spirit is of something which is not constituted by name and form, but assumes various forms of body and mind according to the various manifestations of its soul-being. This it does here by a successive evolution; it evolves successively forms and successive strata of consciousness: for it is not bound always to assume one form and no other or to possess one kind of mentality which is its sole possible subjective manifestation. The soul is not bound by the formula of mental humanity: it did not begin with that and will not end with it; it had a pre-human past, it has a superhuman future.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 20, The Philosophy of Rebirth