In today’s modern world, the predominant idea is that there has been a progression from the time of the “big bang” to the formation of universes, galaxies and solar systems as various material bodies began to move together and interact with one another. As we zero in on the earth, there was a time of creation of material forms, and the interaction of the basic elements of fire, earth, water and air which eventually created the earth as we generally experience it. Somehow a chemical soup arose and brought out the first stirrings of life, and then life evolved until eventually we find that thinking, feeling beings, with the ability to aspire, to imagine, to communicate and to invent developed and took over management of the planet.
This theory is opposed by those who believe in a religious belief that some humaniform God created Adam and Eve out of clay, instilled life in them, and set them loose in a world of His creation ready made.
In the first model, there is no “first mover” or “creator”; rather, there is some kind of random chance creating “being” out of “non-being”. What we observe, however, as we delve ever-deeper into the secrets of the universe, is the intricate and highly structured manner in which Matter and Life are formed and interact. Scientists have discovered intricate yet reproducible mathematical formulae that are found throughout Nature. The atomic structure, as well as interactions in the plant and animal kingdom all speak to us of some manner of Intelligence behind all the creations of the universe. At the same time, there is no evidence for a biblical God as pictured in most minds in the West to stand forth as a personally involved Creator.
The ancient Vedic Rishis explored the issue of creation: “Then existence was not nor non-existence, the mid-world was not nor the Ether nor what is beyond. What covered all? where was it? in whose refuge? what was that ocean dense and deep? Death was not nor immortality nor the knowledge of day and night. That One lived without breath by his self-law, there was nothing else nor aught beyond it. In the beginning Darkness was hidden by darkness, all this was an ocean of inconscience. When universal being was concealed by fragmentation, then by the greatness of its energy That One was born. ” (Rig Veda, X.129 cited by Sri Aurobindo in The Life Divine, The Knot of Matter)
Sri Aurobindo observes: “Spiritual experience tells us that there is a Reality which supports and pervades all things as the Cosmic Self and Spirit, can be discovered by the individual even here in the terrestrial embodiment as his own self and spirit, and is, at its summits and in its essence, an infinite and eternal self-existent Being, Consciousness and Bliss of existence.”
The inconscient Energy of existence “…does at every step the works of a vast and minute Intelligence fixing and combining every possible device to prepare, manage and work out the paradox and miracle of Matter and the awakening of a life and a spirit in Matter.”
“These phenomena already betray the truth, which we discover when we grow aware in our depths, that the Inconscient is only a mask and within it is the Upanishad’s ‘Conscient in unconscious things’. In the beginning, says the Veda, was the ocean of inconscience and out of it That One arose into birth by his greatness, — by the might of his self-manifesting Energy.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle: The Psychology of Social Development, Chapter 16, The Suprarational Ultimate of Life, pp. 168-169