“God is the creator from all eternity, and He creates when He wills, in His infinite goodness, through His co-essential Logos and Spirit. Do not raise the objection: ‘Why did he create at a particular moment since He is good from all eternity?’ For I reply that the unsearchable wisdom of the infinite essence does not come with the compass of human knowledge. …
“Try to learn why God created, for that is true knowledge. But do not try to learn how He created, or why he did so comparatively recently; for that does not come with the compass of your intellect. Of divine realities some may be apprehended by men and others may not.” ~St. Maximos in the Philokalia
By definition, God is the one true Creator and the one true creator is that which most of us call God. Where things get confusing to many is in understanding that God didn’t create everything. From what he has written in the Philokalia, I have to say that St. Maximos seems to be one who is confused on the matter. On some of the things he says, he is totally correct. On others, however, he is way off. This seems to be caused by a belief that God created both the spiritual reals and the material.
St. Maximos chastises those who questions why God waiting until relatively recently to create. His answer, the pat answer given by many churches and religious leaders who don’t have an answer, is that we don’t have the wisdom to understand why God did thing when He did. The implication being that we should stop trying to understand the infinite wisdom of God, and just blindly accept it. That is the kind of thinking that has allowed the most fraudulent of Christian preachers to gin great fortunes and political power in our modern world.
The schools of the mystics, or mystery schools, disagree with this approach. They say we should try to learn what we can of the working of God and his spiritual realm. By doing so, they have generally come to a very different conclusion than St. Maximos.
Permanent Spirit, Temporary Matter
First, the conclusion the mystics have come to is that God did not wait until recently to create. God created permanent spirit words and spiritual beings to occupy them. Because they are pure spirit, they exist outside of the limits of time and space. They are every bit as eternal and omnipresent as God Himself. There can be no question of when this creation happened, because the entire concept of “when” cannot exist is a world outside of space and time.
St. Maximos is correct is saying that the creation of the physical realms is recent, though not as recent as the 6,000 years promoted by some Evangelical Christians. Where he errors is in believing that it was God who created the material dimensions. It wasn’t. Think about it. If you had created something which was eternal, omnipresent, and virtually perfect, would you smash it into pieces creating things that are temporary, diseased, and sometimes downright evil? I certainly hope you wouldn’t. God definitely wouldn’t.
The incredibly complex, yet nonetheless defective worlds of matter were created by a lesser being or group of beings. The Gnostics and some other mystics call this being the Demiurge. This Demiurge is Lucifer and the other fallen angels found in the Bible. This is the world that was created recently. But “recently” here means a few billion years ago, not a few thousand.
The purpose of the mystics and spiritual adepts is to correct this error made by the Demiurge. By trying to learn as much as possible about God and the realms of permanent spirit they hope to gradually return the fallen worlds to the fold, the true meaning of the tale of the Good Shepard. Jesus didn’t come to save a few lost individuals. He came to save an entire lost universe.
The first step of that process is awakening our dormant spiritual faculties. St Maximos is also correct in saying that the intellect of our material brain-mind cannot understand the infinite nature of God. But our awakened spirit and soul can. So instead of just listening to preachers, or worse yet politicians and their approved scientists, awaken you spiritual self and learn the truth for yourself. Then you to can help our fallen realm return to the realm of permanent spirit.