In the beginning there was neither matter nor energy, neither was
there space nor time, force and form were not. Yet there was
Something. Poised between Spirit and Void, without form or qualities,
pure potentiality, the first physical manifestation had existence.
Scientists call it the Primordial Singularity, occultists call it the
It changed, and the first moment of time came to be. It
expanded, and space was born. Not the space we know, but one of many
dimensions, and that space was filled with the first Force. So intense
was that Force that space itself altered. Dimensions folded back on
themselves, while others expanded mightily. The first Form came to be.
As the infant universe expanded it changed subtly, and as naturally as
snowflakes forming in the air, the first material manifestation
precipitated out of nothingness. Neither matter nor
energy as we know them, but yet both. The Element Fire was born. The
universe continued to expand, and the one Force became two forces, then
three and finally four. Matter and energy became distinguishable, and
the Element Earth was born from Fire. A hundred thousand years went
by, and the universe continued to expand and cool until, quite
suddenly, the fire died, space became transparent to light, and there
were great clouds of cool gas, moving freely.
The Element Air was born. The clouds began to draw together, then
break apart into smaller clouds, and smaller still, until a limit was
reached, and a hundred thousand clouds collapsed inward upon
themselves, swirling and twisting, flattening and smoothing, rippling,
and organizing themselves. The Element Water was born.
One cloud, like many of its siblings, took on structure like a
great pinwheel, with spiral arms stretching out from its center. It
was Galaxias, our Milky Way. Within its turbulent swirling, smaller
eddies formed and contracted, tighter and tighter. At the center of
one a spark grew bright then another and another. The first stars were
lighted, and shown in a universe grown dark. Many of them burned
prodigally for a time and then exploded, hurling the ashes of their
burning outward, ashes such as oxygen and carbon and
nitrogen; star stuff, life stuff. Generations of stars came and went
over the billions of years, and out in one of the spiral arms a cloud
of gas and dust began to collapse like so many others before. It
contracted, and a new star lighted, with a disc of dust and gas
circling it. The disc became lumpy as grains of dust and crystals of
ice collided and stuck together. The lumps touched and merged, ever
growing in the light of the young star. Finally, nine bodies circled
the new star, which would one day be called Sol, or simply, the Sun.
Third out from the sun a rare event had happened. Two young planets
had collided and merged violently, forming a single planet. In the
violence of that collision, part of the surfaces of both had been
ripped off and hurled out to form a ring of molten rock which quickly
drew together to form a giant satellite. The Earth and the Moon had
been born in a passionate joining.
As the young Earth cooled, great volcanos belched forth gases from
its still hot interior. An atmosphere of steam and carbon dioxide
formed and then clouds appeared. The first rains began, pouring down
on the rocks and washing down into the low places. The oceans were
born. Water evaporated from the oceans and fell again as rain,
dissolving minerals from the rocks and carrying them into the sea. The
early ocean became richer and richer in dissolved minerals and gases.
Lightning in the young atmosphere formed new substances
which added to the complexity of the mix. The dissolved substances in
the oceans became more and more complex, until one day a complex
molecule attracted simpler compounds to itself, and then there were
two, then four. Life was born.
From its simple origins, Life grew in complexity, until one day a patch
of green appeared, drawing energy from the Sun, and exuding oxygen.
Within a short time the atmosphere changed radically. The sky became
blue, the air clear and rich in oxygen. As the Earth had shaped Life,
so Life began to shape the Earth. Delicately balancing and ever
re-balancing between the furnace heat of her sister Venus, and the icy
cold of her brother Mars, Gaia, the Living Earth, had come to be.
The first animals appeared and swam in the oceans. Then
venturesome ones crawled onto the land. The forms taken by life
changed. Fish appeared, and dragons walked the land. Tiny furred
creatures supplanted the great dragons, whose descendants now flew
through the skies, clothed in feathers. By and by some of the furred
creatures came down from the trees and began to walk about on their
hind legs, and then they started picking things up. Soon they were
using the things they picked up. Then they started talking to each
other. After they had been talking for a while, they started thinking.
Some of them even started thinking about where they had come from and
where they were going. And they began to wonder how everything had
come to be – and why.