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Creation by Subtracting

Updated: Jun 11

Here’s a fun thought for you:

You might be familiar with a prism. A light shining through a prism will divide into seven colors; actually a rainbow of an infinite number of colors fading into each other. When these colors are combined we will get pure white light.

Suppose you just want red instead of the seven colors? You will use a filter. That red filter will eliminate all the other colors except red. This is creation by subtraction.

In optics, the process of creating something involves taking all else away. White light may be beautiful, but we can’t depict anything using just white light. A world in which everything is perfectly white would be invisible.

In esoteric traditions, creation by subtraction is one of the fundamental truths underlying reality. These traditions teach that the creation of anything that has been manifested involves subtraction from infinite potential.

The white light can be regarded as the source of infinite possibility. We create the desired image by subtraction, causing the real to emerge from the possible. By limiting the infinitely possible, we create the finitely real.

Could there be an absolute realm that consists of infinite potential out of which a created realm emerges? Is there a sensible reason not to call this “God” or “Source”? Could it be that our physical universe comes about when God limits self, taking on the role of the created and manifesting in the realm of space and time? Within that realm, it filters out some of the infinite Devine potential?

Viewed this way, the process of creation is the exact opposite of creating out of nothing, called ex nihilo.  It is the opposite of where something out of everything. We are nothing less than a part of that Source – quite literally. Our guilt-laden, sin-ridden religious philosophies may try to turn this around, seeing humankind as a dreg of the divine. To the contrary, we may be that which has come out of absolute potential, experiencing potentiality to the extent that we need to experience our spiritual growth.

Another subject…

Kellee shared some thoughts last week about science.  Here’s my additional and supplemental musings about what she so adequately explained.

Modern science, especially in the United States, may be fighting a pitched intellectual battle against religious and political fundamentalism, most notably in the arena of evolution, creationism, climate change, and medical inoculation. The problem, however, is that mainstream science  has itself become dangerously dogmatic and dismissive of evidence that does not accord with its philosophical beliefs.

In its most extreme form there is an assumption that nothing can be greater than the sum of its parts – precluding any meaningful engagement with a spiritual worldview, because all spirituality is regarded as pure fantasy. Those that believe creation is a giant “machine” unfortunately represent a substantial view of science today and may be comfortable with a limited scientific-spiritual dialogue.

It is a fair argument on the part of some scientists, and others, that the life cycle of religion as an institution of power, propaganda and paternalism has gone far enough. But spirituality rooted in the commonality of all religions as summarized by Aldous Huxley in his The Perennial Philosophy is different than religion. It cannot be the evil influence that some seem to see for the simple reason that the truths therein must also be laws, as fundamental as gravity or electromagnetism. It is up to all of us, scientist or otherwise, to find those laws amid the culturally-fertilized religious overgrowth and the idea that only that which can be measured has existence.

This blog is based on a discussion in Unity of Fort Collins' Spiritual Discussion Group that meets on Zoom (session 6239746443 (same Password)) Thursdays at 6:30pm Mountain Time.


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