03 Nov The universe and God’s existence.Part3
•Why can we ascribe a thing to its antecedents in time but not to its neighbors in space?
•Why should a thing be able to produce another thing just because it happened before?
All modern scientists know that space and time are fully equivalent and unified into a four-dimensional continuum in which both “here” and “there” and “before” and “after” are relative. In this four-dimensional space, the temporal sequence is converted into a simultaneous co-existence, the side-by-side existence of all things. Thus causality appears to be an idea limited to a prejudiced experience of the world.
Causality does have some meaning. Opposites are mingled in this world: truth with falsehood, light with darkness, good with evil, white with black, and so on. Since people have ingrained inclinations toward both good and evil, they are tested in this world to determine whether they will use their free will and other faculties in the way of truth and good or otherwise.
Divine Wisdom requires that the veil of causes and laws be drawn before Divine Power’s operations.
If God had willed, He could train the planets with His “Hands” in a way observable by us or let visible angels administer them. Then we would not be speaking of the laws of causes involved, such as gravitation. Or, in order to communicate His Commandments, God could speak to each person directly without sending any Prophets, or could write His Name with stars in the sky in order to compel us to believe in His Existence and Oneness. But in this case, humanity’s earthly existence would not be an arena of trial that pushes us to new developments and discoveries in science and technology, thereby enabling us to remove one veil more from the meaning of existence.
Like a mirror’s two sides, existence has two aspects or dimensions: one visible and material, known as the Realm of Opposites and (in most cases) Imperfections, and the transparent, pure, and perfect spiritual realm. The material dimension must—and does—contain events and phenomena that appear disagreeable to us. Those who cannot perceive the
Divine Wisdom behind all things may even criticize the Almighty for those disagreeable events and phenomena. To prevent that, God uses natural laws and causes to veil His acts. For example, so that we do not criticize God or His Angel of Death for the loss of our beloved ones or our own death, God places diseases and natural disasters (among other “agents” or “causes”) between Himself and death.
On account of this world of testing and trial’s essential imperfection, we encounter and suffer from many deficiencies and shortcomings. In absolute terms, every event and phenomenon is good and beautiful in itself or in its consequences.
Whatever God does or decrees is good, beautiful, and just. Injustice, ugliness, and evil are only apparent or superficial and arise from humanity’s errors and abuses.
For example, although a court may pass an unjust sentence on you, you should know that Destiny permits that judgment because of a crime that you are hiding. Whatever befalls us is usually the result of self-wronging, an evil that we ourselves have done. However, those who lack the necessary sound reasoning and judgment to understand the Divine Wisdom behind events and phenomena may impute directly to God the apparent ugliness or evil, imperfections and shortcomings, experienced in worldly life, even though God is absolutely free of any defect or imperfection.
Therefore, so that people do not ascribe any ugliness or evil to God, His Glory and Grandeur require that natural causes and laws be a veil before His acts, while belief in His Unity demands that those causes and laws should not be ascribed to any kind of creative power.
If God Almighty acted in the world directly, and not through causes and laws, we would be unable to develop scientific knowledge or live even an instant of a happy life free of fear and anxiety. We can observe and study patterns in phenomena thanks to God’s acting from behind natural causes and laws. Otherwise, each event would be a miracle. The regularity within the flux and mutability of events and phenomena makes them comprehensible to us, and so awakens within us the desire to wonder and reflect, which is a principal factor in establishing science. For the same reason, we are able to plan and arrange our future affairs to some degree.
Just consider how life would be if we did not know whether the sun would rise tomorrow!
Whoever owns such attributes as beauty and perfection desires to know them and make them known. God owns absolute beauty and perfection and is independent of all things. He also owns a holy, transcendent love and thus a sacred desire to display His Beauty and Perfection. If He showed His Names and Attributes directly, without the “medium” of causes and laws, we could not endure them. He manifests them as he does and by degrees within the confines of time and space so that we can connect with them, reflect on them, and perceive them. The gradual manifestation of Divine Names and Attributes is also a reason for our curiosity and wonder about them.