A Universe from Nothing? Has Lawrence M. Krauss Missed the Point?

To cut to the chase it is my view that Dr. Lawrence M. Krauss, eminent cosmologist, theoretical physicist, and author of A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing,[1] has missed the point of the argument. Yet, his book is fascinating, and the discoveries he discusses are very significant, perhaps in ways he has not yet considered.

Let me state quite plainly that I accept and respect all the scientific discoveries and theories that Krauss describes. I have neither the skill nor the training to counter them, and nor do I feel a need to do so. I have faith in the integrity and dedication of the scientists who are collecting and analysing the data, and proposing the theories based on mathematical calculation and/or study of the data. If they have it wrong, I know they will correct it, and slowly but surely, the physical scientific realities of the universe will be uncovered. So that is not my focus.

My concern is the philosophical and spiritual interpretation that is derived by scientists from their theories and data, even if it is purely to say that there is no need for God or that what philosophers or theologians might have to say is necessarily of little worth. Accordingly, my mission is to find the middle path reconciling both the scientific and philosophical/spiritual views in a way that is coherent and all-embracing. It is logical to me that there is a theory of everything being uncovered, and that this theory must incorporate science, philosophy, spirituality, religion, and every other body of work and view of the universe, each of course honed to its own accurate and “perfect” set of truths.

Krauss initially changes the question from why there is something rather than nothing, to how there is something rather than nothing. As he points out, using the word why implies purpose, and as a scientist he would rather describe the process of how it is possible for something to derive from nothing.

As with many scientists who see everything as being explained by science, Krauss sees no need for a God or a Creator. Krauss does not consider the possibility that God designed and implemented science’s physical laws in order to create the universe as it is. While I can understand that physical laws need to be coherent and obviously are, there is no reason in my mind why these could not have been designed by a superior Designer to work in just that way. It would appear to me that the how that Krauss insists on discovering is exactly the uncovering of the path that God took to achieve what He (She, It) achieved. In many ways the why question is far more challenging and momentous than the physical and cosmological discoveries under discussion.

Krauss explains three ways in which something can come from nothing. In brief they are (though I accept that my descriptions may not be perfect):

  •  In the first fraction of a second of the Big Bang a period of inflation occurred, where the universe expanded by a factor of more than 1028, and the resulting quantum fluctuations allowed matter to form out of nothing.
  •  A quantum gravity of zero allows, and even initiates, matter (and thus the universe) to be created from nothing. A state of nothing is ultimately unstable.
  • The concept of a multiverse shows that up to 10500 (that is 1 with 500 zeroes) unique universes may exist. Thus by chance our one happens to have the perfect set of physical laws to produce the universe we see.

 Krauss admits that in the first of these three possibilities, the nothing described is empty space storing energy, and allows for the existence of the Laws of Physics. In the second possibility, the need for pre-existing space has been removed. In the third and final way in which something can come from nothing, Krauss takes away the Laws of Physics, in that they become measurements and descriptions of what exists as opposed to needing to pre-exist in order to create the universe we know.

It does not take much to see that we are still not talking about creating a universe from nothing, or answering the question of why there is something rather than nothing. Krauss suspects that at the time of Plato (423-347BC), or even St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), they were defining nothing as empty space, as they considered why there was something rather than nothing. I suspect that this is very far from the truth.

Why is there something instead of nothing? My definition of nothing, and I would have thought, the definition of everybody else except scientists, is that nothing means absolutely and entirely nothing at all. Therefore no space, no time, no physics, no mathematics, no nothing! Krauss complains about people redefining nothing to suit their purposes, but frankly, I believe that is exactly what he has done. To me, nothing means absolutely nothing at all.

So on to my argument. Yes, there could have been nothing at all instead of a universe. There really is no reason why there should be anything. Why bother? And who would there be to bother? Yet clearly we have a universe, as so ably described by Krauss and his fellow scientists. Therefore there can never have been the state of nothing, because if there were nothing, absolutely nothing at all, how would anything ever have got started? There would be no virtual particles to pop in and out of existence as suggested by quantum mechanics, and there would be no space in which they could pop. There would be no source of a multiverse and there would be no conditions to initiate a Big Bang.

It follows that something did pre-exist the Big Bang, and Krauss confirms that today’s thinking is that the Big Bang was a certainty. Great, I am perfectly happy with that, and happy that it happened too, as I am sure you are. It would also seem sensible to suggest that, whatever pre-existed the Big Bang, it has existed eternally, whatever that term might be interpreted to mean. There could never be the time, place or situation where there was nothing at all, as even this pre-existing state could never have got started.

My suggestion is that the eternal, pre-existing state was Consciousness. It could also be called Life or Being. By many people, especially those with religious beliefs and affiliations, It is called God (or their alternative words for God). In my book, whatever Its nature or qualities, that eternal, pre-existing state that enabled there to be something rather than nothing, and got the universe started, is absolutely worthy of the name God, whatever that Ultimate Reality is.


[1] Krauss, L., A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing, Free Press, New York, 2012

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The Illuminating Blogger Award – what an honour

I have been away from blogging here for way too long – looks like 7 weeks! Where does the time go? I have been active on Twitter, a new medium for me, and that has been feeding through here, but yet… 140 characters brings a whole new meaning to keeping it brief. So, I’m back.

Anyway, I am delighted to discover that Leigh (yogaleigh) of BlueGrassNotes blog has nominated my blog, The God Franchise, for the Illuminating Blogger Award. That is a wonderful honour as I have been so impressed by her frequency and quality of posts.  As well as her likes and positive comments on my blog from time to time.

 

 

So thank you so much, Leigh (http://bluegrassnotes.wordpress.com), for nominating The God Franchise as recipient of an Illuminating Blogger Award. 

The rules for the Illuminating Blogger Award are: 

Food Stories is pleased to present the Illuminating Blogger Award, a fabulous award that anyone can bestow on their fellow bloggers for illuminating, informative blog content. Here’s how it works: 

1. The nominee (i.e. = recipient) should visit the award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/) and leave a comment indicating that they have been nominated and by whom. (This step is so important because it’s the only way to maintain a blogroll of award winners).

2. The Nominee should thank the person who nominated them by posting and including a link to their blog.

3. Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post.

4. Select at least five other bloggers that you enjoy reading their illuminating, informative posts and nominate them for the award.

5. Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog, including a link to the award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/). 

Something random about me is that I take a walk every morning, for about 40 minutes during the week, and up to twice that at the weekend. Most of the walk is on paths through reserve areas, so off-street. This is not specifically for physical exercise, but to have time at peace with myself, to celebrate the new day, to see the other people on their walks, the birds, the cats and the dogs, and generally come back home feeling inspired and fired up, ready for the day. 

My nominees for the Illuminating Blogger Award are: 

The Math of God (http://themathofgod.wordpress.com) – Lyle  

Loveviewz (http://ok2loveagain.wordpress.com) – Audrey 

Brain Brew (http://brainbrewblog.wordpress.com) – Christine 

Alicia’s Roses (http://aliciasroses.wordpress.com) – Alicia 

Knowthesphere (http://knowthesphere.wordpress.com) – Jeremiah

So thank you once again, Leigh, and may the Illuminating Blogger Award continue to illuminate through the blogosphere.

Wanted! Some honest feedback on The God Franchise

Time for some honest feedback, please. I have been writing this blog about The God Franchise for over four months, and I would dearly love to know how you feel about the blog and about the ideas it contains. Does The God Franchise grab you at all?

The book, The God Franchise, is a work of discovery – I wrote what I was inspired to write, and then assessed it afterwards. I have found it fascinating, and have learnt a huge amount from it. It really became A Theory of Everything. The contents of the book can be found here or on the website http://publishing.lifemagic.co.nz.

To make it easy, here are the main points I have covered in this blog so far. I invite you to check out the original blogs, which you will find in the archives in the right hand column, if you wish.

  • Consciousness is the Uncaused Cause of everything – Man has called It God.
  • I have used the term God-Consciousness to clarify that God is Consciousness rather than a superhuman-like being sitting in a place called Heaven.
  • Consciousness is the fundamental element of the universe. The universe is made of the very fabric of God. You can say that we exist in the Mind of God.
  • You might agree that a God displaying the following qualities would definitely be worthy of the name, God:
    • God is conscious
    • God is eternal. God-Consciousness was all that existed prior to the start of the universe.
    • God is omnipotent (all-powerful). Since nothing can be conceived where God-Consciousness is not the one conceiving it, nothing more powerful can exist.
    • God is omnipresent  (present everywhere). There is no alternative when God-Consciousness is everything that is. Nothing else exists.
    • God is omniscient (all-knowing). Because God-Consciousness is everything, He must know everything.
    • God is the Creator of the universe. To be rational and truly scientific there is no alternative.
    • God has a purpose for His Creation: to add experience, expression, and enjoyment into His Life.
    • God is absolutely good (omnibenevolent). Since God-Consciousness has created the universe out of His own essence, why would He create anything that He did not see as good?
    • God is likely to be immutable (unchanging through time). The universe only works as it does because of immutable physical and mathematical laws. God is as immutable as His laws.
  • Accepting these qualities, extend that sense of God-Consciousness into the realms of the Unknowable, and get an unbiased, un-predetermined, unlimited, formless sense of God-Consciousness. This is a tiny pointer to the true essence of God, which we can best simply call God-Consciousness.
  • Of course we have free will. Why would God create a bunch of automatons?
  • You are a unique aspect of consciousness, coming from one particular perspective. You by some strange happenstance are you.
  • Your Higher Self is God-Consciousness. This is God expressing Himself in the form of a human being. God is everything in the universe (omnipresence) and is the only reality.
  • Your Lesser Self is an illusion. It hides your Higher Self and pretends to be you, and your Ego and mind, which are created through expressing free will.
  • This Lesser Self is not separate from God — as it cannot be — it just lives in the illusion that it is separate from God.
  • All the experience your Lesser Self and Higher Self have, is perfect. The Lesser Self (Ego) judges itself and others. From God’s perspective, the perspective of the Higher Self, what you do is experience.
  • Healing comes from God-Consciousness. Prayers to God are heard by the God-Consciousness of the Higher Self, and can be immediately answered if the Lesser Self is prepared to allow the healing in.
  • So who am I really? Individually we are like a splash of water from the Ocean of God-Consciousness that is briefly separated from the Ocean, and then falls back into the Ocean again.
  • Any degree of impurity or evil in the Creation is purely due to the Ego acting as a filter.
  • By creating Mankind in His own image, God-Consciousness franchised His Creative Power to each and every man and woman on Earth. In fact, He gave us all His qualities to a greater or lesser extent. He franchised everything to each of us in what may be termed The God Franchise.
  • Whether we are a spiritual adept, a high-flying businessperson, or a beggar in the street, we have an equal stake as a God Franchisee. God is an equal-opportunity franchisor!

So, please tell! What do you think of all this? I must admit I was blown away by the implications of The God Franchise. Likewise, all the feedback I have had from people who have read the book, has been equally positive.

Now I would like to know what you think, both of The God Franchise and of this blog. What else would it be good to know before you decide that this is one book you need to read? (Availability)

If you are at all interested in the reality and deeper aspects of life, I believe you will find this book, The God Franchise: A Theory of Everything, extremely interesting and thought-provoking. Not only that, it will stir you at a deeper level, far beyond thought and interest.

What more can I say? Over to you now …

I Know the Title, but What is The God Franchise?

When I realised the tremendous implications of The God Franchise, I was astounded. Initially I thought it just meant that while God had “created” the natural aspects of the universe, He had given Man a franchise to create technology and all the manufactured and developed things in the world today. No! It is so much more than that.

In the book I start by describing a franchise as developed in the business world. A franchise agreement between a franchisor (the originator) and a franchisee (you) allows you to create and run a business under the franchise name, and market and sell the franchised product or service.

For the privilege of being able to do this, you pay the franchisor a franchise fee, plus a percentage of the sales of your business. In return, the franchisor provides the systems you will need to run the business, as well as some marketing support, including group advertising. 

The God Franchise takes this concept to the ultimate. It states that God-Consciousness (God) can be seen as a Franchisor, and that you and I and every other person on this Earth individually is a Franchisee. By creating Mankind in his own image, God-Consciousness franchised His Creative Power to each and every man and woman on Earth. This is a key concept of The God Franchise. In addition, God-Consciousness gave us free will (as He naturally has), consciousness, and purpose. In fact, he gave us all his qualities to a greater or lesser extent: He franchised everything to each of us in what may be termed The God Franchise.

Now, before you get too carried away with this concept, let’s look at it more closely. It does not mean that you can rush off and create universes. We have many veils covering our Godhead (such as unconsciousness, Ego, self, separateness, and materialism), and there are other constraints, some of which I have covered in recent blogs.

You and I are franchisees in the ability to create and to live our lives from a divine perspective. The qualities we have discussed in earlier blogs as being God’s qualities, are available to each of us to a greater or lesser extent, whether we use them consciously or unconsciously. Remember that God’s use of these qualities is way beyond what we need to use, and our personal application of them is really as much as we can handle, and for practical purposes is unlimited.

God is conscious, eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, creator, purposeful, omnibenevolent and immutable. So I am saying that we have access to these very qualities at some level. To be more specific than that would take more space than is available to me in this current blog. I do go into all the details of both this and the franchise comparison in Chapter 11 of The God Franchise.

This is all very well, you say, but does that make me God? No, not quite. Just because God is you, does not make you God. Just because you are a McDonald’s franchise holder does not mean you are McDonald’s! It means you have the right to run a store according to some very strict rules, and you are compensated for your efforts. However, you also need to pay dues to McDonald’s Corporation, and you cannot claim to be the McDonald’s Corporation.

As spiritual adepts know, it is possible to get close to God-Consciousness. In doing that, they usually, if not always, leave behind the trappings of the earthly experience. Nevertheless, all the powers and qualities of God-Consciousness are represented in each of us in a more manageable potency. We have all the powers and qualities we need and, frankly, all we can handle.

Whether we are a spiritual adept, a high-flying businessperson, or a beggar in the street, we have an equal stake as a God Franchisee. God is an equal-opportunity franchisor!

So isn’t this great? Does this not change your view of life? What do you think? I would very much appreciate your comments.

(This is largely an extract from Chapter 11 of my book, The God Franchise: A Theory of Everything, which is now available to you in paperback from over a dozen major online bookshops)

God’s Motivation for the Creation

Instead of there being one point of God-Consciousness as there was before the Creation, He wanted there to be a universe where He would be able to experience things from every possible perspective:

He could feel how a rock feels warming in the Sun.

He could feel the rain on His petals.

He could feel His fruit being eaten by a bird.

He could taste the fruit like a bird.

He could make love as a badger.

He could make love as an elephant.

He could make love as a man.

He could make love as a woman.

He could see the beauty of the sunrise.

He could be the power and light of the Sun.

He could swim as a fish in the sea.

He could be pushed helplessly as seaweed in the currents.

He could be smashed on the rocks.

He could feel joy as a child.

He could feel the pain of a rejected lover.

He could drink the water.

He could drink the wine.

He could die in the desert.

He could die on an executioner’s cross.

He could experience the flight of the electron in the atom.

He could mystify scientists.

He could be a mystified scientist.

He could make spells.

He could make smells.

He could rot on the ground.

He could enrich the earth with His life-blood.

He could break His leg.

He could heal His leg.

He could be without legs and slither on the ground.

He could be inside the mouth of a lion.

He could be inside the stomach of a whale.

He could smile.

He could cry.

He could live at the depths of the ocean.

He could be a molecule of water at the greatest depths in the ocean.

He could be the next molecule of water to that, rubbing up against it.

He could fly through the air as a beam of light, or as a bird.

He could be the air, the trees, the earth, and the sky.

He could live on Earth or on Mars or on Betelgeuse.

He could use a telephone.

He could design a rocket ship.

He could be inside a turbojet at full power.

He could fling Himself over a waterfall, as a drop of water and as a log.

He could experience the fullness of life in the universe.

You may have the idea by now. God-Consciousness is in everything and is everything. As the Bible says, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28). And it is not just you and me, it is everything that is in Him, that lives in Him, and that moves in Him. I am not saying this from a religious viewpoint. I am saying this from a realist viewpoint.

This is how it is.

(This is an extract from Chapter 10 of my book, The God Franchise, which is now available to you in paperback from a dozen major online bookshops)

A Successful Book Launch

The God Franchise: A Theory of Everything is officially launched!

On Tuesday 27 March 2012 we held a book launch at Goodeys Bookstore in Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand. We had a good turnout of over twenty people, and the presentation went easily and smoothly. I read some chosen parts from the book, interspersed with an overview of the book’s contents. This was followed by questions and answers.

Not to mention the cheese and biscuits, and a glass of wine or two…

Sales of the book were good too. And I kept busy signing copies of the book afterwards.

I have had subsequent feedback from many who attended the launch that they enjoyed the evening and found the talk on The God Franchise very interesting.

If you would like more information about what was said at the talk, or The God Franchise itself, and you are not already on our mail list, please click on the Life Magic Publishing (http://publishing.lifemagic.co.nz) website.

Alternatively, please purchase your copy of The God Franchise: A Theory of Everything from Amazon or one of the many other online stockists around the world. See http://publishing.lifemagic.co.nz/stockists.htm for a full list of stockists.

Over to you now!

The Filters from the Scriptures

There are many scriptures and holy books in the world, written at different times and from different perspectives. These include the Holy Bible (Old Testament and New Testament), the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Upanishads, and the Tao Te Ching. I am not a scholar of these books and am only familiar with the Bible to a certain extent, so I will limit my comments.

The books of the Old Testament were originally transmitted by word of mouth and were written down between 1200 BC and 100 BC, while the New Testament books were written down between 50 AD and 150 AD. As Bible scholars will tell you, there were many authors of these books and there is still considerable controversy about much of the detail and circumstance of the Bible. Of course, now is not the time to debate this, nor am I equipped to do so.

What I can say is that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. I can say this because God-Consciousness is the being of every one of us, and of course every one of the authors of the Bible. Just as we have filters come into play in everything we do and say, as discussed in earlier blogs, so is this true of the authors of the Bible. The Bible was written to the level of understanding and the terminology of the people of those times.

Likewise, every other scripture, and for that matter every other book ever written on spiritual or other matters, is to some greater or lesser extent the work of God-Consciousness. However, and I accept this is a big however, the filters of the author’s own Ego make a huge difference to the importance and trustworthiness of the final work. Thus, one cannot equate the Holy Scriptures listed above with say a formulaic Mills & Boon romantic novel, or the work of a biased, egocentric, down-on-his-luck-and-skills pseudo-scientist or pseudo-spiritual teacher.

Each one of us, individually, comes from our own place. This is part God-Consciousness and part Ego. The mix differs for each person, and this is what makes it interesting. This is what makes each individual’s contribution to evolution and continuing creation interesting, and it is from this that wars, corruption, and poverty spring. They do not come from a Satan lurking in the background, from Original Sin, or from a dystheistic (possibly evil) God — they come from free will and the Ego, nothing else.

St John chapters 13 to 17 are very interesting chapters in the Bible. These are the words of Jesus at the Last Supper, just before he was betrayed by Judas. They are worth reading and studying. Christians take the words to mean we need to be Christians and follow Jesus in order to know God. I believe the meaning of the words is much broader, so please do take some time to read these five chapters of St John with an open mind.

These passages point to God-Consciousness being in Jesus, and that there was still a differentiation. It is not that God and Jesus are identical entities. Jesus was not speaking from a point of Ego here, so when he speaks of I or me, he is speaking of the Christhood or God-Consciousness in him. And so, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.” (John 14:12) This refers to anyone who recognises the God-Consciousness in themselves. We all, without Ego, can do greater works than Jesus did. This is not a competition. This is reality, and it is evolution in all things.

So the Scriptures are very important in that they are the way most of us get to hear about, and start to think about, God. However, the Scriptures cannot be taken as literal in their entirety. Firstly, they were worded for an audience different from today’s audience, and secondly, while they may be the inspired Word of God, there is also the human element of Ego filtering the work, either intentionally or unintentionally. This does not invalidate the Scriptures — it just means you need to use them as a source of inspiration and of pointers, not of literal facts. Having said that, this current book, my humble offering to the spiritual literature, is also not a book of literal facts — it is offered as a source of inspiration and pointers to the Truth, whatever that really is.

The Truth is within you, within the God-Consciousness that you are.

(This is largely an extract from Chapter 14 of my book, The God Franchise: A Theory of Everything, which is now available to you in paperback from over a dozen major online bookshops)