Last Revised: 5 April 2008
Why did God create this world?
We have seen what the purpose of our lives is. We have seen the Divine Plan. We have seen our glorious future. But for what purpose of His own did God create this world?
Thousands of years ago, the Upanishads explained it:
Brahman [i.e., God] at rest
He wished to be many,
To grow forth,
To enjoy his own exuberance and play,
To know himself in manifestation.
Like a hen on her eggs ...
After hatching, He impelled the All, 'what is'
Simply to be.
He entered into His creation....(1)
God at rest – that is, beyond manifestation – wished to enjoy His own exuberance and play. The Formless took form to know Itself and enjoy Its own bliss. God created a cosmic charade, masquerade, game of hide and seek. It is He who hides in the illusion of His own manifestation and it is we who seek Him.
Other mystics offer the same explanation. Twentieth Century Christian mystic Beinsa Douno: "Why did God desire to create the world? So that He might be made manifest." (2) And why did He desire to be made manifest? Says Sufi Sage Ibn Arabi: “I was a hidden treasure and I loved to be known, and I created the creation so that I be known.” (3)
And why does God want to be known? Explains Paramahansa Ramakrishna: "The Godhead … has become these two [God and the devotee] in order to enjoy Its own bliss."(4) He made Himself manifest so that He might know Himself and enjoy His own Bliss, His own Fulness, through Self-Knowledge.
Albeit in metaphor, Sri Ramakrishna delightfully depicts God, or Shiva, meeting Himself in the moment of illumination: “When Siva realizes his own Self, He dances about in joy exclaiming, ‘What am I! What am I!’” (5)
Sufi master Bayazid of Bistun also evokes the blissful moment when God meets God (6): “I went from God to God, until they cried from me in me, 'O thou I!'" (7)
God meets God
““O thou I” -- that “I” and the Father are One. But that is not the “I” of the ego, the personality, the separate individual. It is the “I” of the Self.
Master Beinsa Douno is referring to it when he says that “it is a law - when ... you find God, you will find yourself as well. When you see God, you will see yourself. To see God and to see yourself - that is the most sacred moment in life. Man lives for that very moment”. (8) In that sacred moment, the ego dissolves in the Father, leaving only Him. In that moment, form becomes formlessness and God meets God.
The Koran teaches: “Who shall reign supreme on that day? Allah, the One, the Almighty.” (9) And Zarathustra: “The final victory is the Lord God's own.” (10) In fact, as the masters make clear, it is only God who can know Himself, only God that can meet God.
[The] absolute cannot be realized or experienced by another; only the absolute can realize itself. (11)
Only Brahman can really see or realize Brahman. (12)
Only God sees God. (13)
Advance, find an eye [i.e., the Third Eye].
Remedy by it [open up non-dual vision]
And now, look from Him to Him. (14)
The one who journeys through all degrees and reveals Himself is Him. (15)
Beguine Sister Catherine
Catherine: "Sir, rejoice with me. I have become God. ... I am confirmed in the bare Godhead, in which there is neither form nor image."
[Fictional] Meister Eckhart: "Are you there for good?"
Catherine: "Yes ... I am as I was before I was created: just God and God. ... In God there is nothing but God. No soul gets to God until it is God, as it was before it was made." (16)
Only grandeur appreciates grandeur: and God realizes God. (17)
Only God can know himself. Be a god, that you may know the infinite God. (18)
God created this world so that God might meet and know Himself and in that meeting rejoice. Every time someone realizes his or her nature as Him, God meets God. For this meeting, for this day, was all of nature created.
And who shall meet God? Who shall be enlightened? Is it really only the followers of one master who shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven?
For full details on these sources, see “Bibliography.”
(1) UPAN2, 70.
(2) "Life is the Musical Manifestation of God," WOG, n.p. Cf. Franklin Merrell-Wolff: “This space I produce that My Glory shall be revealed; yet I alone Realize that Revelation.” (PTS, 18.)
(3) KK, 3.
(4) TLWG, 126.
(5) GSR, 393.
(6) With thanks to my wife for this phrase.
(7) PP, 12.
(8) MAS, 83.
(9) KOR, 160.
(10) GZ, 23.
(11) CYV, 46.
(12) Ibid., 56.
(13) KK, 48.
(15) Ibid., 33.
(16) JR, 6.
(17) LSR, 47.
(18) EC, 205.