The fundamental metaphysics of reality can be understood in the following way.
The physical universe, as we perceive and know it, begins as an explosion of chaos and randomness. This is also an explosion of possibilities. For all possibilities emerge from this unfixed and undetermined explosion. As a quick footnote, the Universe does not really 'begin' at any time, because the universe we are now in from the known Big bang is just one among many cycles of expanse and collapse. But this fact of Infinity is not so important, as understanding how our universe works.
Essential to understand is that our evolving universe, and life on Earth included, is Not actually predetermined and nor is it all designed in advance by God.
Chaos and random-unpredictability are the beginning factors of our universe and also the background of life's evolution. Yet this allows for creative freedom, uncertainty, and indeterminacy.
However, as this background unfolds, there is a Divine Influence. An Intelligence of Omniscient Wisdom is everywhere – 'underneath' this physical world, in a dimension that is (for us) Potential. This Intelligence is subtly leading-guiding the world of life, including humanity. But this is a unforced guidance, more like a gift being offered, rather than a 'forced guiding'.
This Divine Intelligence is everpresent, everywhere, in all life, and at all times. There is nowhere nor anyone where the Divine Intelligence is not present. But yet always present, it is not necessarily evident nor recognized, and thus not necessarily applied or manifested into life.
Another aspect of the Divine is Love. This too is a great Divine Influence and Guiding Power. This too is always present and available, yet not always recognized nor experienced – thus, unrealized and unactualized. The power of Love is still at work, but slowly in its unfoldment through our hearts. But we each have some personal power in how this Divine Unfoldment of Intelligence and Love happens. For we can either neglect and impede it, or we can consciously realize it, embrace and allow it.
The universe, and the life existing in its various places, is thus evolving by the forces of two fundamental aspects.
On one hand, the universe and life are bumping and bouncing along a path of natural inertia combined with adaptation outcomes. On Earth there is natural-organic evolution. This is the art of adaptive survival, or what what could be called 'fitting in with the local environment'.
Yet on the other hand, the Divine Intelligence is subtly guiding nature. It accomplishes this by providing 'higher patterns', such as intelligence patterns of health and harmony, which can also be understood as resonating vibrations of love-harmony and greater potentials of beauty. These then become guiding patterns for evolution. So in this way, the Divine Power of Intelligence influences and guides the organic processes of nature.
This can also be understood and applied to our own life process. The Divine has some degree of influence on us, generally speaking, though many other forces could also be at work – and I mean worldly forces... such as family and cultural conditioning, political and economic, and genetic factors as well. But we should also recognize that our very own mind and will can, either: distort and block out the Divine, or else clearly intuit and allow the Divine to be influentially strong in one's life.
Thus in summary, the Divine Intelligence and Love is not always and necessarily in the control seat, but nonetheless the Intelligence and Love is always available and is always at work to make subtle influences – if at least somewhat realized and allowed.
There is a lot of talk about divine intelligence in the world, but much of it is confused and misleading.
Many spiritual and new age people still talk about this in an old way. They will say things like, a Great Intelligence is orchestrating all that happens in our lives and in the world. It is also said that this Great Intelligence is leading the world and everyone in it towards a higher destiny of unity and perfection, or towards a better future of life. Whether this is called God or the Great Intelligence is not the point. What is mistaken in this kind of theological or metaphysical belief is that God, or the Intelligence, is orchestrating everything in a purposeful way towards higher perfection. There are correct ideas hidden in this, but these exaggerated beliefs are not true, as shall be explained here. The truth is not quite so simple.
The esoteric and theosophical spiritual view is that there is a Great Intelligence acting in the world, but it is not working to its fullest extent possible. The Great Universal Intelligence is available and eternally present in potential, but it does not fully act in the world or guide the world – unless we are ready to understand it and to cooperate with it.
So to say that this Great Intelligence is orchestrating everyone’s lives and all that happens is a seriously misleading exaggeration. There is some higher intelligent guidance overall in the world, but certainly not enough, and this is because most people are not too open to being guided by it. In other words, the degree of higher intelligence in people’s lives and in the world depends on the receptive condition and willingness of those lives.
The world and everyone in it is not magically guided along every step. And there is no orchestration of everything from a magically invisible hand of the Great Intelligence. What happens in our lives and also in the world mostly depends on our own intelligence, or on the intelligence we bring forth.
So to some extent there is greater Intelligence guiding; but mostly speaking, not really, because most people’s lives and action in the world are so guided by their lower intelligence of greed or by their emotions of fear and anger. Let us not be spiritual naive. God, or a Great Intelligence, is not guiding and orchestrating everyone, nor the world (which is made of everyone), because many people - making the world how it presently is - are actually using a quite low holistic intelligence or perhaps no real intelligence at all in their actions. Many might be using a cunning kind of intelligence, but not necessarily an intelligence based on holistic needs or spiritual principles. And remember that the actions of such people are what make the world mostly how it is. So it is truly naive to say that all actions in the world, or all of the world as it is, have been purposefully guided by God or Great Intelligence. It would be much closer to a truer generalization to say that the world is mostly guided by stupidity, greed, ethnic or other group bigotry, and a lack of greater purpose.
Individuals make the world what it is, so any higher transformation of the world must happen through individuals. Everything that happens in the world happens from an individual being, whether human, animal, plant, etc.; so if there is a spiritual guidance at work in the world, it has to happen from each being and each action. It is naive to look at an occurrence in the world and think that some kind of invisible intelligent hand produced it or orchestrated it, because anything that happens must come from someone or something, which would then mean that any world guiding intelligence must have to come through individuals. Then, if all occurrences were perfectly guided by a Great Intelligence, this would mean that everyone is automatically directed by the Orchestrator, meaning that everyone is automatically following a higher script; which would also make free will into a vast delusion.
In contrast, the esoteric and theosophical view is that there is a potential spiritual influence within each person and even every life. This is an influence coming from within the person, which feels to be a spiritual urge or yearning towards spiritual ideals such as truth, love, goodness and beauty. That is, we each have an inner spiritual yearning to discover the truth, to find and express love, to be and create goodness, and to experience and manifest beauty. This deep spiritual yearning is in us, in our spiritual soul.
This inner spiritual yearning and inspiration is the very essence of spiritual guidance. But there is no guarantee that it will be realized or expressed. It could well be that this spiritual inspiration gets forgotten, neglected, or covered over by other forces and desires. This no-guarantee realization is important. Because if there is no guarantee that our inner spiritual intelligence and guidance will be at work in our lives and then into our world; then we cannot really view everything in the world as perfectly orchestrated or guided by the Great Spiritual Intelligence.
What we can at least hope for, though, is that our own self and all others in the world be spiritually guided from within, which will of course depend on each person’s willingness to listen to their inner spiritual intelligence and guidance.
What is a mistake is the idea that everything is already or necessarily being guided by the Great Intelligence, or the belief in all that happens has spiritual purpose and is perfectly on a spiritual track. Or even worse, the cliche that all things in the world are just perfectly the way they ought to be – the way God intends it all to be – in the belief that God is directing everything in the best way possible.
It is true that we are generally headed towards a higher perfection, a higher evolved world. But this is because of a naturalistic evolution, based on the natural law of cause and effect, rather than on a spiritually orchestrated evolution. Naturalistic evolution is when each life, including us, evolves towards greater intelligence and harmony by way of life experimentation and learning experiences. In terms of our own human lives, we naturally evolve and progress by way of our trials and errors, our learning experiences, and our intelligent realizations about what is a better path. We evolve and improve by way of our intelligence unfolding from potential to actualization, as we use our potential intelligence to solve problems of conflict and disharmony, and as we acquire a more holistic understanding of life and the world.
In other words, each person is naturally evolving by experience and learning; though only if this person is actually learning. Some will learn and some may not. But the learners will survive and thrive in the end. So this is a natural, organic evolution; not a top-down model of Higher Intelligence orchestrating everything.