Skyline, Spring - 2009

By Diane Pendola

Behold, I Create All Things New

Printer Friendly Version

Who is the "I" that makes all things new? Raimon Panikkar calls it the "Thou" of my "I". The ground of my being, he says, "is not an "other," a non-I, but a "thou," an immanent transcendence in me–which I discover as the I (and therefore as my I). (p.101) This "I" is a radical relationship with all that is. In this "I" the divine is not placed outside of us but right at the center of reality–a reality that is informed and embodied in the cosmic celebration so magnificently in view as we approach t he burgeoning abundance of spring; a reality that is witnessed, effected and transformed by our human consciousness and participation; a reality whose every thread is shot through with mystery, depth and infinity. "The reality I/Thou is a relation that constitutes reality itself," (p. 64) Panikkar says. This is the "I" that creates all things new. This is the I that includes me and you. We participate in making all things new if we are willing to step into the fullness to which we are called by the Thou that constitutes our deepest Self, our deepest identity.

Thomas Berry tells us that the fixed and unchanging universe that shaped our conception of a God who was also fixed and unchanging is undergoing a transformational moment. In the 21st century, our emerging understanding of the universe is one of cosmogenesis–not a cyclic repetition of unchanging patterns but a series of new and unrepeatable events. "In cosmogenesis each fundamental breakthrough evokes a multiplicity of possibilities. In each new era, creativity explodes… (P.114) From the first elementary particles, to the creation of galaxies to the great star that sacrificed itself in a supernova explosion to create our planet earth, one could say that there is an "I" at work that creates all things new.

Through our incredibly sophisticated scientific instruments and mathematical calculations we are now aware that the universe is expanding. If we make our way back to the beginning of the universe (the so-called "Big-Bang") the universe converges into an infinitely creative center from which our cosmic journey begins. Today we look from the inside of a universe that is expanding in all directions, with no edges, expanding into an infinity and from every place we look– whether from earth or mars or our own human hearts– we are at the center! I'm reminded of the words of the Greek pre-socratic philosopher, Empedocles who said, "God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere." What the ancients knew through wisdom and intuition we are now learning through our modern science. I am that center. You are that center. To repeat Panikkar, "The reality I/Thou is a relation that constitutes reality itself." This is the "I" that creates the whole world new. Out of this creative center arises the not-yet, the possible out of the impossible, the actual out of the imagined.

The monotheistic God we used to believe in as fixed and unchanging is a God of a former cosmology. Many of us can no longer believe in this God and because of the gap we experience during this transitional time between competing world views, many have dropped God altogether. The word itself has been so maligned that we search desperately for what can meaningfully serve in its place: Source, Mystery, Ground of Being, Divine Mother/Father/Spirit? No matter the name there seems to be a universal human yearning towards this depth dimension at the center of our being, a longing to know our true Self, our true identity.

Again I find guidance in Raimon Panikkar: "In order to know the identity of a person, love is required." (p, 153) The path to self knowledge is love. The path to knowledge of another is love. We are reminded of the two great commandments of Jesus "to love God with your whole heart, mind and soul" (and, he said, the other is like it, related to it), "to love your neighbor as your self". Perhaps Jesus really did mean that our deepest identity, our deepest Self, is constituted in this radical relationship with all that is, a relationship that is cosmic, human and divine, that does not place God and neighbor, or human and earth, at odds but embraces the whole of reality as "I", my deepest identity. "A current of love circulates throughout all three worlds. Love to be sure is no mere feeling, it is, rather the dynamism itself of the real, the force that moves the universe." ( p103)

I have been musing on these things: "What does it mean to create all things new? What does it mean to love the other as my Self? What does it mean that reality is relational, cosmotheandric? What does it mean to be human?" At this point in my life I know the answer is as simple as love–and as difficult. The "I" which is our true identity comes from Love and returns to Love. But with my (your, our) loving, love itself changes, expands, becomes more of what it already is. I give form to the formless, song to the wind. I am a new face of love, a new voice and new imprint in the unfolding journey of the world soul. I am a new creativity in an expanding universe. Who I am and what I do COUNTS! Wherever I take love, whether into loveless prisons or loveless corporations, transformation happens because love is now there. As the mystical poet St. John of the Cross said nearly 500 years ago: "Where there is no love, put love and you will find love."

I write these EARTHLINES to awaken my own sleepy self! I write them because I think our theology is important; how we understand ourselves and our place in the world is important; how we think is important! Do we see ourselves as creators and participants in this great cosmic adventure? Do we know our deepest identity? If the cosmos is evolving and the human heart is evolving I suggest that God is evolving, too. And if, at the center of this dynamic creativity is the urge to "create all things new," then truly ours is a time of great hope as we tap the hidden depths of mystery to bring forth the love that can move mountains.

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

(ee cummings).


Christophany, The Fullness of Man by Raimon Panikkar, Orbis Books, 2004
The Universe Story by Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, Harper San Francisco, 1992

©Diane Pendola, Spring 2009. You are welcome to print or make a copy in electronic form for personal use or sharing with interested persons as long as the copyright notice is not removed or altered. Please do not print it in any other publication, or sell it, by itself or as part of another work, without express written permission of the author.

If you believe you receive a benefit from this, and the work we do, a donation would be gratefully accepted. You can make a tax deductible donation by sending a check to Skyline Harvest, Inc, PO Box 338, Camptonville, CA 95922 Thank you!

Back to Top