New Model of Spirituality: Organic up from the ground
In discussing the creative power, consider two different paradigms. One is top-down, which is most common in religions of the past few millenniums. This is the paradigm model of God the Father, or God the King, dictating from a High Throne what will happen in the world below. From on High, God gives orders, God commands, God decides, or God wills. Most westerners are quite familiar with this Monopolistic paradigm model of spiritual reality. What has not yet been explored enough, though, is how neurotic people can get when fixed in this model. The main problem is to do with assumptions about what must be true and also about shoulds. Yet let us also consider that there is some truth in this top-down model, but only in generalization. This topic is too complicated to cover at this time.
The other paradigm model is bottom-up creation. The Creative Power and Creative Will comes up from the bottom, not from the top. It is organic. It is evolutionary. This model assumes that the Divine Creative Will (and potential Intelligence) is inherent in each living being, like divine seeds within all of life. So the Divine Intelligence and Will to Synthesis is already within life. It doesn’t have to be dictated from above. How creativity unfolds is an organic, evolutionary process, involving trial and error, a learning process. It is not Pre-decided by God Above. What happens, or how creativity unfolds, is not specifically Willed by God. Instead, creativity is an unplanned experiment arising organically from each living being. Each life is growing up towards what it can best be, creating the best it can at any moment, and gradually learning how to harmoniously work within a greater Whole. This creative process is not a top-down dictation from Above. Instead, it is an organic movement of gradual synthesis, the harmonization of parts to make a Larger Wholeness, all evolving towards greater Wholeness and Harmony. Ponder on this.
The old paradigm model of God Above deciding and commanding each move, as if this were a chess game, is both outdated and dangerous in this new period of time. It’s dangerous because it tends to legitimatize a power-forceful attitude of commanding and manipulating other people (and the world in general) to follow a prescribed vision or model of how life SHOULD be. The top-down paradigm tends to nourish arrogance about what is right for everyone. Because the old paradigm shows God commanding a fixed vision of righteousness, people tend to think that there really is one specific way that everyone else ought to live, and they tend to have an attitude of trying to make nature mold to a specific model in their mind. In contrast, the organic paradigm tends to allow other lives their own creative process, without pre-judgment about what this creativity ought to be; because God Above is not Dictating how things ought to be.
Now, there is some truth to the top-down model, because the organic evolution is totally going on without any guidance. There is Guidance in this Overall System. This Guidance can be understood as Influence from Above. It is general Guidance, though, while the System allows for freedom and evolutionary learning, in respect to the organic individuals.
Two different paradigm models are in contention. One is a model of organic integration, and the other is a model of top-down control. Each model has its own virtue and truth sense, so we really need to understand how both models help describe life and spiritual metaphysics, and also understand how both processes work together.
The top-down model has been dominant in most traditional religions, as well as in politics. The organic integration model is dominant in biological and evolutionary science. The top-down model can be recognized in any religion or belief that describes life as purely guided by a higher power. One example of this is in nature religions where greater powers decide the daily fate of man. Yet this is also similar to a monotheistic idea where God decides the fate of man. Then, there are hermetic beliefs describing how our lower world is patterned by higher powers. Also, there are astrology beliefs that planetary bodies and galactic forces bring to us our fate. These are all varieties of top-down thinking.
One virtue of the top-down model is in how it shows guidance from above. For it is from above that we can receive spiritual guidance and help, which is received ultimately from the One. Imagine a pyramid rising from this level of mind upward toward the top point. The top point is Absolute God, the Final Unity, and from this One Point of Absolute Wisdom-Love emerges the proceeding higher planes of Mind, until reaching us at whatever level we are. So wherever we are in this Great Pyramid, above us are levels ascending towards to the final One Point of Unity, which we can visualize as a pyramid. From our perspective, we need to be receptive to the Wisdom-Love as it descends to us from the One Absolute Point of Unity. For we are meant to be guided by these higher levels. This is a truth about our spiritual relationship. An unfortunate mistake in theology is to believe that the Higher is compelling the lower, or that the lower is necessarily a reflection of the Higher Levels. It is spiritual Goal that the lower is guided and reflective of the Higher, but it is not necessarily this way. The Higher always provides a Path towards love, wisdom and unity; so there is always a path, or one could call it a plan. But this doesn’t mean that everyone is on it. The mistake often made is to confuse predestination with an Ideal that is possible.
The organic integration model is the polar opposite of the top-down model. It describes life, love, intelligence, and creativity as rising up from the organic ground. This is an upward process involving struggle and experiment. The top-down model tends to suggest that all spiritual wisdom is already existent from the beginning of time, and that our only spiritual work is to merely receive from the Eternal Source. In contrast, the organic integration model shows how intelligence and knowledge are built up into actuality from just potential. The potentials for love and intelligence and creative beauty are already inherent in each organic life. These potentials are like divine seeds. The actualization of these potentials is a gradual process, which we call evolution. Yet, this organic evolution is not simply a matter of life being compelled from a Divine Power. Rather, the actualization or the coming to be of what is possible will depend on the organic struggle. In fact, what comes to be and the intelligence gained will depend on unpredictable experiment and learning. We are intelligence and creativity emerging up from the ground. We are creation rising up from nothing.
Life is still guided from above, as it were, but the actual path itself is worked out from the bottom up.
Life is integrating from the ground up and, thus, coming into Unity from this organic integrating process. This is the learning process, the integrating process, the evolutionary process.
Unity-Wisdom is guiding the organic process, but the actual work from the bottom-up is integration and synthesis, involving connections and relations. The starting point is plurality, separation, and division. And the work is integration. It’s like one building block at a time. There is this piece of stone, and one has to find some other pieces that will fit well with it. One has to find out where it can go. And we have to do this one piece at a time. One might say that there is already a general design for the building, but there is no prior plan for how each stone will be placed. This part of life is spontaneously creative, or in other words, we have to figure it out in each moment. We need to give up the belief that life is planned and brought about from just the top-down; if ever one even really thought that. Because life is an organic struggle, whereby at each moment we must pick the stone in front of us and decide where best to place it, by seeing how it can best harmonize with the other stones already in place. (stone by stone)
Humans have a capacity for imaginative creativity. This is the imaginative creativity of God. It is not that God has an imaginative creative idea, and then transmits this or commands this to humans. Rather, we are the imaginative creative capacities of God. It’s not a matter of God having an imagination of something new and then telling us about it. Rather, think of Divine-God’s Creative Power as that imaginative creative power-capacity in ourselves.
We are the capacity within God that performs this imaginative creative function. You see? We need not think of God and human as separate in the usual religious way. So instead of envisioning God as the Creative Artisan, while we are merely following directions; it is truer to realize that we are the divine capacities/abilities for creative thinking and art, and as such, we perform this function within the overall God-unfoldment. So when we are being creative, in the best sense, we are functioning as the creative capacity of God. That is, we are this functioning part of God. We are this function of God. We can still affirm, metaphysically and theologically, that God is the Creative Power, even saying that God is the Only creative Power; however, we are in this and part of this, not separate from it.
Creativity is a bringing forth, a giving birth, and being the medium for the Divine seeking to enter this world. We are the creative innovators of life. Creative innovation is often needed in the process of divine revelation and manifestation. Rather than continually repeating a traditional or routine structure, change and synthesis over the course of time is often needed. But creative innovation needs to be within a Greater purpose, or serving a Greater purpose, or in alignment with a Divine Will.