Estimated Read Time: 12-17 minutes
In the beginning, there was nothing but darkness.
Then God said, “LET THERE BE LIGHT!” And there was light. (I think?) And that was the first day.
And then God said, “LET THERE BE—“
Okay guys, I’m just kidding. I’m not about to paraphrase straight from the Bible and say that actually happened.
I don’t think God is some magic wizard, making things appear in 6 days sometime 6000 years ago. Ultimately, it’s your choice what to believe, but I would think that it’s hard to believe this if you’re a rational and logical person.
So I’m not going to talk about the universe being created in 6 days. Instead, I’m going to talk about two completely unrelated topics: the history of the Earth (and universe? maybe) and how to grow as a person. I know those two sound like they have no correlation between them, but I promise, there will be some way that connects the two.
Oh, did I mention that I’m not going to talk about the universe being created in 6 days? Well I was kidding. I will.
But of course, I’m not here to take anything literally from the Bible. As I saidbefore, the Bible can teach us some important lessons, and something really (maybe) interesting comes up when you talk about the creation of the universe in 6 days…
6 Days of Creation
In the beginning, there was nothing but darkness.
Then God said, “LET THERE BE LIGHT!” And there was light.
And that was the first day.
Then God said, “LET THERE BE A WATER AND SKY!” And there was a water and sky.
And that was the second day.
Then God said, “LET THERE BE LAND AND PLANTS!” And there was land and plants on the land.
And that was the third day.
Then God said, “LET THERE BE THE Sun Moon AND STARS!” And there was the sun, moon, and stars.
And that was the fourth day.
Then God said, “LET THERE BE FISH AND BIRDS!” And there were fish and birds.
And that was the fifth day.
Then God said, “LET THERE BE MAMMALS (INCLUDING HUMANS TOO)!” And there were mammals, and humans, too.
And that was the sixth day.
And then God said “LET THERE BE—well, I’m actually tired. I’m gonna sleep.” So He slept.
And that was the seventh day.
Of course, this is super oversimplified, and are by no means direct quotes from the Bible. But this is generally what the Bible says.
I’m sure you can point out many inaccuracies just by reading my paraphrased version. Like, how can plants exist before the sun, moon, and stars? Why do the sun, moon, and stars come after the formation of the earth (if water/sky = earth’s water/sky)? And what about the dinosaurs? WHAT ABOUT THE DINOSAURS??
Okay, chill. Of course the Bible isn’t going to get scientifically accurate.In its most basic form, the Bible was written by people a long, long time ago. (Unless you believe God’s hand wrote the Bible…) So of course it’s going to be earth- and human-centric. And in a time that far back, of course they’re not going to know the things we know now (Universe is ~13.8 billion years old, earth is ~4.6 billion years old, etc.). And they thought the universe formed like this:
But in reality, they actually weren’tthatfar off. Because the universe formed like this:
Of course, that doesn’t look quite right. But I’ll explain, according to modern science.
In the beginning, there was nothing but darkness.
Then God said, “LET THERE BE—“
Alright, alright, I’ve used that line three times already. I’ll stop now. I promise.
In the beginning, there was the Big Bang. Well, there might have been a beginning before the Big Bang. But who knows. But yes, there was the Big Bang, the plasma and energy, the particles (protons, electrons, neutrons), the matter, the antimatter, all that good stuff. And as the stuff cooled down, structures started to form, namely galaxies, stars, and planets.
This is pretty much equivalent to the first day. The light represents the galaxies, stars, and planets, and the dark represents pretty much everything else (i.e. empty space?).
But of course, this one “day” is equal to over 9 billion years. But still, not too far off from reality, and not bad if you knew nothing and had to guess.
The second day is equivalent to the formation of the earth. The Bible just basically summarizes it as water and sky, but yes, in reality, a lot more happened: a molten earth, a huge asteroid smash, bombardment by meteorites and comets, the formation of volcanoes and their eruptions, and the formation of water in our oceans when this is all said and done.
This Period took about a billion years. Actually, there’s a geological name for this period of time: the Hadeon Eon (4.5 – 4 billion years ago). But if you knew none of this and had to completely guess? Guessing formation of water is not too shabby.
The third day is where things might get a little unclear. They talk about plants, especially grass, seeds, and fruit-bearing trees. But none of this came for over 2 billion years. For a guess, this isn’t bad. It also forgot about all the bacteria and single-celled life, but that's understandable.
What it did get right, though, was that photosynthesis came next (the mechanism in which plants work). Organisms that could convert the sun’s energy into energy of their own and produce oxygen (bacteria, algae) were everywhere on Earth, and they ruled the earth for about 2 billion years.
Also, land and continents did appear toward the end of this period, so I guess that part is true, too. This whole geological period is called the Archean Eon (4 – 2.5 billion years ago).
Now the fourth day is where things get really tricky. How can you talk about the formation of the sun, moon, and stars after the formation of the earth?
But I don’t think it’s talking about the formation of the sun/moon/stars. Think about it—this account is going to be earth-centric, so it’s going to be from the viewpoint of the Earth. So it’s probably talking about thevisibilityof the sun, moon, and stars.
If you put it that way, it makes sense. Why? Because this is the period when oxygen started to form in the atmosphere. In fact, there was enough oxygen to create an ozone layer to block UV rays from the sun. So that happened. Oxygen levels rose to over 10% for the first time, and this probably meant the sun, moon, and stars were much more visible than before.
(yes, this is the same photo)
This entire era lasted about 2 billion years and is called the Proterozoic Eon (2500 – 545 million years ago).
Then we go (pretty much) back to normal in the fifth day, where fish and birds started to form. I don’t think this refers to only fish and birds though. It makes sense if you refer to this as all ancient life (before that huge asteroid).
So there were sea animals (fish and others). And amphibians. And insects. And reptiles. And dinosaurs (which are reptiles). And birds. The Bible just seemed to either forget everything, or just bookend everything with fish and birds for the sake of simplicity (or they just didn't know). But still—not too bad in terms of accuracy. And of course the Bible isn’t going to talk about dinosaurs— we didn't know about dinosaurs until relatively recently.
This era seems to be a combination of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic Eras, which span from 545 – 65 million years ago.
The sixth day is all about the presence and emergence of mammals, and that makes sense. Because that’s what the next period is all about. There were camels. Horses. Elephants. Monkeys. And so much more. And then of course we end with the humans.
This era is called the Cenozoic Era (65 million years ago – today).
And what about the seventh day? How do you explain that? Well, we’ll get to it.
But I don’t know, despite a few inaccuracies and some missing information, the Bible isn’tthatfar off from explaining geological and biological history. If you just think of the 6 “days” as 6 periods of time, it kind of makes sense. Coincidence? Hmmm….
I’d never thought I’d explain the history of the earth side-by-side with the Bible, but here we are…
Why We Care
But what does this have to do with us? How does this help us with life? Honestly, I don’t even know.
But the Principle always finds a way to connect this with us somehow. So this is what it does next:
This section isn’t only talking about the formation of the earth; there’s something more to it. Namely, there is a period of time necessary to complete the creation of each individual entity of the universe. (p. 41)
The Bible also says something strange: before the completion of every day, it says that there’s an evening, then a morning, and that’s one day. This is said even on the first day, when, logically, it should be the second day.
So naturally, the Principle will take this symbolically and say that “night” symbolizes a growing period and “morning” symbolizes completion. Basically, all things reach completion only after a set growing period.
This will be further clarified by saying that “everything reaches perfection by passing through three ordered stages of growth.” (p. 41-42) These stages are referred to theformation stage, thegrowth stage, and thecompletion stage. I’d think this makes a lot more sense if you think about this with all living things (human beings included).
So basically this is saying that all things have this growing period which they need to go through to reach maturity—which is true in at least some way. This maturity is reached through their autonomy and the principles of life (biology). Once they reach this maturity, they’re free to multiply, and this process starts again.
But we human beings are a little bit different.
Of course, we have our autonomy and the principles of life (biology), too. But there’s an extra ingredient we need to fulfill that no other living things need to fulfill. It’s calledresponsibility.
Please read this again: Unlike any other beings,we have to fulfill our own portion of responsibility to reach completion.
This is one of the most profound things I have read from the entire Divine Principle. So if you don’t retain anything from this, please, at least remember this point.
And if you think about it, it makes so much sense. The growing period is called the realm of indirect dominion. In this period, God governs all things, including us, indirectly. He “has regard only for the fruits of their growth which are based on the Principle.” (p. 43) You can also see this as “the realm of dominion based on accomplishments through the Principle.” (p. 43)
This means that we need to exercise ourresponsibilityto pass through the growing period and reach perfection. This means that humans attaining perfectiondepends upon our responsibility. This means that evenGod will not interfere with your responsibility.
This explains so many things. Why don’t we see God? Where is God? Well, you can’t perceive God because you’re in the growing period; He governs you indirectly, and He can only work with your accomplishments based on the Principle. (There’s more to it, but that’s a start.) Why doesn’t God seem to interfere with anything? Because we need to fulfill our own responsibility. What does God resting on the seventh day mean? It means we have our responsibility to fulfill.
I get the impression that some people see God as a supreme being that grants all your wishes (basically a divine Santa Claus). And I just don’t think it makes sense to think this way. Aside from the obvious “Dear God, please give me this, this, this, and this” prayers, there are other things that imply this kind of thinking. It’s almost like saying:
(Disclaimer: God does not look like this)
But again, this is just my opinion. You’re free to think freely. It just makes a lot more sense to me if you add in responsibility to the equation.
But here’s another question: why do we need to fulfill our responsibility anyway? Why is it necessary?
The answer to this is very simple: The Third Blessing.
God gave every living being the first two blessings (be fruitful and multiply), and they can all do that just fine. But He only gave human beings the Third Blessing, which is to have dominion (loving care) over the earth. How can He only give us this and not any other living beings? How is that fair?
Well, it’s fair because we have our own responsibility to fulfill. Once we fulfill this, we can inherit the “creative nature of God and participate in God’s great work of creation.” (p. 43) Wow.
In other words, in order for us to be qualified to exercise dominion over all things, we need to fulfill our responsibility.
The Three Stages
So yeah, I realize I’ve never actually explained what goes on in each of the three stages, or how to achieve perfection. So here we go.
The formation stage is the stage ofself-centered conditional Love. This is most equivalent to babies or young toddlers. In this stage, everything is based on you (from the baby/toddler’s perspective) and there really isn’t much giving going on, with most the interaction being receiving, whether it’s nutrition, love, or education.
It’s completely fine to start your life out as self-centered; that’s natural for babies. But if you’ve grown way past that and you’re still living this way, then chances are, that might be a problem. So that’s why almost all of us progress to…
The growth stage, which is the stage ofsocial conditional love. In this stage, you realize that being completely self-centered won’t get you many friends or interactions, so you move toward conditional love: I’ll do this for you if you do this for me. Or, I’ll be your friend if you do this for me. I’d say this stage happens mostly during your teenage years.
This is completely natural, too. But again, this can only go so far. Some people might get stuck in this stage forever. But for those who don’t, you move onto…
The completion stage, which is the stage ofunconditional love. This is the mindset that I’ll love you/care for you no matter what. Or, even if I get nothing in return, I’ll continue to love and care for you.
It might seem a bit much for some, but this stage is not all that uncommon. It usually happens when you’re a parent and you have unconditional love for your child. Now, I know not all parents unconditionally love their children, but I’d say most do.
But this isn’t perfection. In almost all cases, you may love your children, love your family, and maybe even love your friends unconditionally. But this love is still limited, in a way. I don’t think it should stop here, at least.
So what is perfection? How do you know you’re perfect?
When there is nobody left to love.
This is what this means: if there is one person you know (or even don’t know) that you cannot love unconditionally, you have not attained perfection.
Perfection is basicallyuniversal unconditional love. So, I guess we have a long way to go.
Well, now it seems like we do. But keep in mind again that this was (and is) the ideal. Something went wrong (which I’ll explain much later) and it’s a lot harder to achieve now. But we try.
Another note: during the growing period, you can and do use discipline to get through the three stages. But it can only take you so far. The way to perfection is, as said before, mind-body unity and the principle of living for the sake of others. At least this makes sense to me.
So what happens when you reach perfection, or the realm of direct dominion, as the Principle describes? The Principle gives some interesting answers:
“…they unite in the love of God to form a [FPF] and become one in heart with God.” (p. 44)
“…people will intensely experience God’s heart within themselves.” (p. 44)
“Just as every part of the body spontaneously moves in response to the subtle directions of the mind, people will spontaneously carry out the Will of God in accord with the deeply felt intentions of His Heart.” (p. 45)
The explanation of the six days of creation isn’t really that far off from modern science:
- Day 1 corresponds to thecreation of the universe.
- Day 2 is theformation of the earth.
- Day 3 is theappearance of life and photosynthesis.
- Day 4 is theclearing of the atmosphere.
- Day 5 is thepresence of all ancient life(including things that live today, like fish and birds).
- Day 6 is theemergence of mammals and finally, humans.
- Day 7 is equivalent toour portion of responsibility.
Every being goes through agrowing period, or thethree stages of growth.
Other beings can go through these stages by virtue of theirautonomy and the principles of life(biology).
We humans, however, havethis PLUS our own portion of responsibility.
We have responsibility because we need to bequalified to have dominion over all things.
- The formation stage corresponds toself-centered conditional love.
- The growth stage corresponds tosocial conditional love.
- The completion stage corresponds tounconditional love.
- Perfection corresponds touniversal unconditional love.
I imagine not many people would react positively when they hear the word “responsibility.” Your reaction might have even been,Ughhh. Maybe your best scenario in life is to be free of responsibility, just having fun and having a good time.
But you need responsibility in order to be able to grow. Many things may matter in your life, but in the end, I feel like a very important thing is to grow your heart; transform your heart.
Why? Well, we’ll find out next time.
As always, thank you for reading, and see you next post!
P.S. I'm sure you found my drawings very laughable.
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