The beginning of the physical universe is a question that is really outside the boundaries of human understanding, but here is a story, a metaphor, that can answer that question on a symbolic level. In other words, this is a traditional religious document, it attempts to set down in words events that are larger than words allow. This section owes a lot to several sources, including Alan Watts and Jane Roberts.
Before the beginning of time, there was a single consciousness. In fact, there may have been a bunch of other stuff, but that's way outside our scope here. That consciousness thought and dreamed an infinity of thoughts, feelings, landscapes, and worlds, an infinity of possible creations. These mental creations thought their own thoughts, and these secondary thoughts also created their own inner worlds. The original consciousness observed and interacted with these inner beings as they interacted with one another, and that original consciousness begin to provide the environments required for its creations to grow and develop. All of the entities within the mind of the first longed to exist independently and grow and create as they had been created.
The first consciousness, in order to allow its progeny full freedom of expression, began to imagine the conditions that would be required for the release of these inner worlds into objective existence. As it did so, all of space, time, and matter, including our universe, exploded into being. On the highest level, this physical existence contains an infinite number of dimensions and environments that match the infinite variety of possibilities that had formed in the mind of the original consciousness.
This process continues as the progeny of that first mind grow and create new thoughts and new worlds. We are a result of that process, and our purpose is ultimately the same: to grow, to develop, and to create, in order to express all of the potentialities within ourselves. We are still in contact with the original mind because we are made of it, we sprang from it, and because time has no meaning outside of the physical universe, our past, present, and future exist together as an infinite variety of possibilities within that larger moment.
What does that mean, an infinite variety of possibilities? We are starting to get some concrete answers to that question from our friends the physicists. Read on with:
A primer on the blessings of uncertainty
Return to the Meaning of Life Part II page