At the moment of creation, God was torn into countless pieces and scattered throughout the universe. Omniscient but powerless, unable to rectify his error, he watched. As time wore on, uninfluenced by its creator, life emerged, and God observed it. He found that he could exert a small power of influence over life forms that wandered close to his scattered pieces. He experimented, found that some lifeforms that came into direct contact with these pieces could be taken out of time and placed back into time anywhere in space. He could even give them some of his own power. Delighted to find something he had some direct control over, he watched, looked forward and backward through time, and formulated his plan.
He saw many intelligent species arise. Of them, humans were the most likely to serve his cause. It was a risk, as humans could sometimes act unpredictably, but they were also the most easily manipulated. Of all humans, he needed the right ones, with the right personalities and backgrounds, to find him and then find one another at the right times.
He arranged for some to find a piece of him that was lodged within their home planet, Earth, and lure them into direct contact with it. Then, he would be able to give them his power. He could not control them directly, so he would have to influence them to create a situation in which one of them would willingly bring about the end of the universe.
The universe has generally been a bad event. Regardless if it was God or just one of those things that just happens, it has been primary a waste. After all, it seems to be mostly just empty anyway. Even what isn't empty has a hard time interacting with the other stuff, its just too far away, and keeps just getting further and further apart. What a waste of space-time.
Certainly, a lot of the universe is devoid of life as we know it. But just look at how much we have accomplished in our minuscule portion of space-time. Our planet has produced intelligent life, which itself is a marvel. There are Earth's natural wonders, of course. Humanity has also produced people like Shakespeare, Einstein, Napoleon, Aristotle, Mozart, Abraham Lincoln, Leonardo da Vinci, Darwin...The list is endless. I do not think the universe was a mistake. At the very least, it has given rise to a species who can wonder at its vastness and appreciate the simple miracle of their existence.
A Dialogue Between Jim Marion and Robert Perry
I was troubled only by one part of the book, not by you, but by the Course itself. I do not agree with the Course that creation was negative, a catastrophe, etc. and that ego arose prior to the world in heaven. These are very ancient notions, attributed to certain Christian Gnostics, and rejected by Constantinople II, and I believe rightly so. Moreover, if God is perfect and we are God's perfect sons, and there is no sin (all true), then how could creation be a mistake or a "fall"? Space-time is an illusion of sorts to be sure, but not a mistake. I believe that prior to creation we were unconscious sons of God, partaking of his bliss much like the cells in our body partake of ours. By creation and incarnation, with its seeming separateness, ego, suffering, etc. we gradually become conscious sons. So it is not a mistake. It is our means of growth in conscious spiritual awareness. And, for eons, painful as it may be, it has worked.
Robert Perry replies:
I'm intimately familiar with the view of the origin of the universe that you express. It's one I respect, since I held it for many years myself. The Course's view is perhaps more similar to yours than you think. It agrees, for instance, with the idea that through experience in this world we enter the state of being "conscious sons." The major twist is in answer to the question, "How did the sons of God become unconscious in Heaven?" I realize that your answer most likely is, "They started out that way." The Course's answer is that they started out fully awake and then fell into unconsciousness, fell asleep. There are, I think, two advantages to this view. First, it gets God off the hook for creating unconscious sons who have to go through eons of suffering to reach their "target state." Wouldn't a truly loving God just create them at that end state to begin with and save them the mess? Second, it makes us less bound by the happenings of this world, I believe. If we have been placed here by God, in order to reach a truly new state, then it seems to me that we are, in a sense, tied to the wheel of time. This is less so if only we tied ourselves to that wheel, if the wheel is our own illusion, and we are already as perfected as we'll ever be, but just asleep for the time being.
Anyway, I realize that I'm not going to convince you. Your view has its advantages, which I feel I really "get" from being in that view for many years.
For all I know the Course is right or at least as right as the traditional view. The points you make are very good ones. In the end so much remains a great mystery.
Theres been a lot of bad but the universe isn't over yet. Who says that things aren't on the way up from here out? I can say that I'm glad to be alive. I've know hard times but I've also know good and the good make it worth it. Remember there's always hope for the bad times.