All those who accept the reality of God believe that He is all powerful. It is believed He can do anything and everything, that He is some sort of cosmic magician who first of all created this vast universe from nothing, and continues to manipulate its workings whenever He chooses. It is thought that all has been, is and will be created and controlled by God. Some go as far as to say that the total cosmos is the mind of God. This has been a constant point of dispute.
Firstly, there are three distinct and eternal operative realities, each having its own powers and functions. There is God, there are souls and there is matter, or nature, together producing the scenes of creation.
Secondly, there are two fields of existence: the physical and the metaphysical. Both fields act, react and interact to produce this incredible, universal drama of which we are all part, including God. Fundamentally, on the physical level there is interaction between the souls and matter which produces all phenomena. On the metaphysical level there is the interaction between souls and God, the remembering and forgetting of Him, which gives the interesting plots and by-plots to the movement of events that we call world history.
Thirdly, “eternal” infers that God neither created Himself, nor human souls, nor matter. As we more deeply understand the law of cause and effect, we can see the impossibility of God being the physical creator of this world and human beings. God, in fact, has no direct influence on nature. It is not He who throws lightning bolts at people, kills or grants babies, makes airplanes crash, causes earthquakes, floods and rainbows. This is the play between human souls and matter directly. The laws of nature are not the laws of God. He teaches us His laws; we learn them, but forget them. God has been considered to be so great, so beyond comprehension and some convenient automatic phrases have developed: “It is the will of God… everything is the will of God”, or “I’ll be here next week, God willing.”
How can one say: “God is beyond comprehension”, and also say what His will is?
If God is the Ocean of Love, surely His will is the manifestation of that love. It is not His will to kill people, nor is it His power to bring them back to life. It is not He who makes the grass grow and the wind blow. It is not He who is the energy that binds the atoms together. It is not He who gives us our roles. It is because we have misunderstood His Omnipotence that we seek His favor in the churches and temples: “Grant us this…”, “God forgive me…” and so on. Though we flatter Him to gives us this and that, when something goes wrong, He is the one who is blamed, “It is the will of God” is solemnly intoned by almost everyone.
There are certain immutable laws which govern the interplay of the soul, God and nature. God will not infringe those laws. He will not grant favors to some and not to others. Nor will He remove sin unless the devotee Himself begins to make the efforts necessary. He is immune to both flattery and defamation.
God’s greatness lies not in the ability to interfere with events when He chooses. It lies in the fact that He is the only one in the universe that upholds those laws perfectly and forever. His might is purely spiritual. The Supreme Father, the Supreme Soul, uses His “potency” for the benefit of the world. He uses His qualities to transform it when it reaches extreme degradation.
Human souls enter the world and little by little, through birth and rebirth, lose some of their original powers through the contact with and influence of matter. Because of losing their qualities, matter starts to “dominate” and defects and weaknesses appear in the soul, causing one to depend more and more on “body consciousness”. Values change, virtues change into vices and the spiritual and consequently the physical atmospheres become darker. In this obscurity, we rightly believe that God is the one who can help set things right.