In order to shake God the Son out of His private self-sufficiency, something drastic has to be done; specifically, the Son had to be killed and rebuilt. The Son’s intellect had to be thus uplifted as the first step in the Father’s first original creative act.
The Son had to measure up to the Father’s natural knowledge of possible worlds and the Holy Spirit’s middle knowledge of how the divine providence could mingle with the works of secondary causes at any given time. The Son needed to choose the best possible world.
But the Son was completely unprepared for this sort of instruction.
(i) He is pure act, but exposure to new information introduces a potency into Him, thereby corrupting His nature and destroying Him.
(ii) He is in addition a “locally” perfect being, and one cannot improve the global state of affairs without exploding local equilibria.
Not even the Father’s only begotten Son is immune from the perennial theme of death and rebirth in a perfected state.
Creation adds something to the Son, or rather it shakes God out of the exclusive focus on Himself, i.e., on maintaining His complete contentment and pleasure. Again,
(1) from the Father, the Son obtains the knowledge of all possibilities of finite existence, including he extents to which each creature and the universe as a whole imitate or reflect Him or ought to;
(2) from the Holy Spirit, He obtains the connections between the divine means and ends, i.e., how the world can be guided in its evolution through God’s interaction with it;
(3) and the Son Himself is tasked with ruling the world He chose to actualize for all eternity.
As we can see, faith and theism as opposed to deism begin not with the Son’s birth during His Incarnation in which His power was made equal to the Father’s;
nor with His death and resurrection which uplifted His will;
but with the transcendence of the Son’s intellect upon creation.
Note that the Holy Spirit’s intellect, too, was upgraded “before” creation; but I think, unlike with the Son, non-violently. Somehow the Holy Spirit was able to generate the requisite middle knowledge and supply it to the Son on His own accord.
This is how the world was partially destroyed in the process of the second creation led by the Holy Spirit.
Angels were created first. They, too, are great and powerful creatures. For their union with the lower universe, they all paid if not an ultimate (like God) then still terrible price: the angelic unified nature was violently torn asunder and partially defiled. The angelic host was split into good and evil and forced to fight an irreconcilable war with each other that must end with unconditional surrender and eternal imprisonment of one faction and complete triumph and ascendance of the other. Their fight is for us humans who live in the middle earth, as it were, in the middle of the cosmic hierarchy, and smack-dab in the middle of the angelic battleground. The angels fight for our souls and because of that, are forced to learn all there is to know about the lower universe. Do angels know about cars or radars? They didn’t used to, before Lucifer’s rebellion. They do now. That the lower universe would be so honored by the awful humiliation of the angels!
The cost or the sacrifice that God made is then threefold:
- the corruption and condemnation of a portion of the angels;
- the humility of the good angels in rendering services to humans;
- the losses the good angels suffer in the war in the form of humans lost to sin.
That’s quite a turmoil to introduce into the great cohort of His eminent firstborn!
Then came humans. They, too, were created in a happy place, the tentative Garden of Eden. Just think of what kind of creatures Adam and Eve were. Did they perhaps engage in scientific study of the things in the Garden? Unlikely, and without technology they would not get far anyway. Did they make beautiful music or create art for the glory of God? No. Did they do works of mercy? Certainly not; there was no one to do good to. They were, it would seem, little more than zombies. Exactly.
In order to come to know lower nature — animals, plants, matter and their laws of operation, Adam and Eve were unceremoniously and seemingly though not really tragically expelled from the Garden into a cruel, brutal, and dark world. This continued the story begun with God, to unite the higher, otherwise blissfully unaware of the lower, with the lower, to produce a single uni-verse, a one creation, where each is aware of and relates to all.
Thankfully, we humans don’t have to fight each other like angels do; our price for life that Goodness has demanded from us is less steep, but only because we are less inherently perfect than angels. We just need to learn us some economics and that wars are unnecessary and are meant to be fully abolished. It is proper for us to enjoy peace on earth and good will toward men. And all things considered, we have done remarkably well. Despite all our mistakes throughout the centuries of struggle, our sciences — including economics! — are extremely well developed. We have accomplished wonders in controlling nature. On the whole, God the Father’s human project is a success.
Even animals continue this pattern. There are certain animals that qualify for the exalted status of pets, of beloved companions to humans. It so happens that the most suitable pets are carnivorous predators, in particular cats and dogs. They are on top of the food chain. The lion is king of the beasts, etc. (No one has bred big cats for pet-hood, artificially selecting for meekness, docility, peacefulness, playfulness, trust toward humans, etc. But it can probably be done.) Did the lion imagine his royal status was going to be a freebie? Their price is the curse of gnawing and constantly returning hunger, to satisfy which they are forced to learn the ways of their prey and how to hunt and capture it. An antelope just eats grass; a herbivore has no problem feeding itself; but it is not sufficiently developed to be a friend to man. So, predators are higher in perfection than prey, and for that they, too, are put through a gauntlet by the Holy Spirit.
I have so far talked about knowledge. But attendant on it is love. For example, human happiness is found in graceful refined play involving their bodies and super-sophisticated machines they create to assist them. There is no pleasure without man-made “stuff” to cause pleasure. As a result, humans end up loving their own creations, i.e., their technology. The best kind of human being is an artist, a virtuoso of skill and proficiency with some technique. Love comes in many kinds, as I will show in later posts; but it is surely true that now angels love men, and God, angels and men.
In short, the story of creation is the story of coercing the higher in perfection to forsake its natural self-sufficiency and contempt for the lower and to acknowledge and come to love the lower and help it prosper. God has solved the problem of natural isolation of the higher from the lower in the most original and astonishing, if also terrible, way imaginable.