The Cosmological Argument

As mentioned before, many philosophers and scientists have taken the existence of the ‘cosmos’ to stand as a symbol for something bigger and more profound. That for which the cosmos stands for, arguably, is the existence of God. It follows that:

“We do not have immediate intuitive knowledge of God’s existence, nor…can we prove it a priori. But we can prove it a posteriori from the nature of creation, which needs a first cause and a necessary ground for its contingent nature, and which in its design and purpose manifests the wisdom and power of the deity.” 

Thus, the “cosmological argument” is in essence the argument that there has to be a “first, uncaused cause” for all of creation and particularly for the cosmos, given that everything is caused by something other than itself, and that the chain of causation cannot logically go on forever. As a result, there is ‘contingent’ being on one hand, and there is ‘necessary’ being on the other hand. All contingent beings culminate into a first, uncaused, and necessary being in order to exist. Hence, the “Big Bang Theory” and so forth. Metaphysics, then, amounts to a matter of logic. And in a sense, Aristotle equated metaphysics to wisdom itself, in the sense that wisdom is “knowledge about certain principles and causes.” Given that it takes a certain amount of time to acquire such wisdom, it follows that youth is a time of “passions and illusions” whereas old age is a time of “wisdom” and “a new springtime.” 

In turn, the ‘cosmos’ amounts to the ‘totality of existence’ with a ‘hierarchy’ and ‘order’ that includes ‘higher and lower levels of being,’ with the apex amounting to both God and the concept of absoluteness, eternity, and infinitude. Thus, there is a cosmos on one hand, and there is a limited universe which humans occupy on the other hand. European modernity and ‘rationalism’ focus more on the limited universe rather than the comprehensive ‘cosmos’ which encompasses the universe. An exploration into the cosmic order is something unlimited and unmeasurable and is a matter of knowledge, whereas an exploration of the universe is something limited and measurable and is a matter of science. Thus, a distinction needs to be made between knowledge on one hand and science on the other hand. 

It has been argued that metaphysical knowledge and thus cosmic knowledge is more a matter of intellect than reason. Exhaustive education and intellectual preparation are needed in order to receive metaphysical knowledge, much of which is traditional and is passed on through chains of transmission orally and in traditional societies, only fragments of which have been written by modern writers. Moreover, metaphysical knowledge is absolute knowledge and in turn is “the one thing necessary.” Cosmology is then the application of metaphysical principles to the cosmic domain or cosmic order. 

It follows that the “Supreme Reality” is absolute, infinite, and eternal, whereas everything else is fluid, limited, and finite. Human existence is merely “analogous” to this supreme form of being and existence. Frithjof Schuon argued that there is essentially a “bipolarization” of being and existence on multiple levels of being and existence. One of these levels of being and existence below the level of absoluteness, eternity, and infinitude is constituted by the “creative inspiration” on one hand and the “receptive substance” on the other hand. The former is active and masculine, and the latter is passive and feminine. After this level of being and existence comes the “Logos” which in a sense is the “word” from which being and existence manifests itself. “Logos” also has a masculine and active component (intellect) as well as a feminine and passive component (universal substance). After “Logos” comes the universe and the world itself, which consist of “essence” on one hand and “substance” on the other hand. The lowest level of being and existence – namely, human existence – is then constituted by a “bipolarization” that consists of energy on one hand and matter on the other hand. Nevertheless, the first level or apex of being and existence is constituted by absoluteness, eternity, and infinitude, and this is the supreme level of existence and being, given that everything which manifests from this level of being and existence is fluid, limited, and finite. 

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