6. Why is the Universe this old and this big?


Allow your imagination to reflect on the Universe as God’s “project.” What might God be trying to do? Some scientists have tried to show that

it requires a universe this size and this old

in order to naturally evolve the makings

for self-sentient life like humans.


Spend some time with this sentence. This contains a whole cosmology! And there’s lots of science behind it! Does it put your daily concerns into perspective?

Reflect on the smallness and insignificance of humanity in this vast universe. But reflect also on the possibility that every aspect of evolution of this universe seems to be aiming at producing consciousness. Many scientists maintain that evolution is ”blind,” mere adaptation to changing environments, along with the survival of those traits which are successful at the adaptation. The real mystery here is that such a process somehow evolves increased complexity, ending up – so far as we know – in something as unique and amazing as consciousness and self-consciousness.

Reflect also on the possible roles of humanity in such a universe. What role might we have been evolved to play? Are we playing it yet?

What do you find most helpful/least helpful in these reflections? What feelings are arosed in you as a result of these meditations?

We might be insignificant over against the vastness of the universe, but on the other hand, we are the Universe finally aware of itself! It seems that all the many variables in this universe – the weight of the electron, the strength of the force of gravity, the expansion rate of the universe, to name only a few – were set in such a specific way that self-sentient beings like us could eventually emerge.


What then could our purpose in this universe possibly be?

Are we just an accident of evolution that happens to be aware of itself, or might the universe have need of sentient beings such as us?

And if God is in all things, how vast does that make God? If the universe is this old, how “patient” does that make God?

What if the Universe is God concretely actualizing God’s infinite potential in space and over time?What impact does that have on our understanding of “creation”? We tend to think that something that exists concretely is of greater value than something that exists only in potency. Could this speak of the importance of the Universe to God?

How does all this make you feel? What is most helpful to you? Least helpful?