I assert that the universe is the entirety of all, the totality of everything, the all of all else, and the one which includes all and is itself all inclusive. There is nothing “outside” to create anything or even exist for there is no outside. All time and space is within. All causes are within the universe and do not come from anywhere else. It and what there is does anything and everything that gets done and includes that which is gotten done.
The assumption that the universe is a reaction which must have a cause or action before it is a useless assumption. The assumption that the universe is a “thing” such that it can be acted on from something somewhere or somehow elsewhere or else wise is a useless assumption. The assumption that the universe is an action which had to have an action before it is a useless assumption. None of these assumptions can ever be knowable. Since the universe contains and envelops and is composed of all actions and reactions, it is therefore impossible for anything to act before there was a universe, impossible for anything to have come before the universe to affect it, impossible for anything to exist outside the universe to act on it. It by definition includes all sides including all and any outsides. There is nothing left over to be “outside” the universe.
One thing we know of the world is that nothing is immutable. As far as we are aware of the way the world works: nothing remains the same and there is always the new and unpredictable even if we human beings have to create it ourselves. We human beings are always thinking of new ways of doing things and of new things to do ... and then trying to do them and often enough actually doing them. It is my personal guarantee that the universe will always have the new and unknown.
Is the new and unknown caused by the universe upon itself or by that which is within it? Or, is the universe such that it also contains itself and is a part of itself and has the ability to act on itself? Is it like people who grow and learn and come to know the world they live in and change as people?
But do I believe in spontaneous creation? Well, yes and no. (What other answer did anyone expect of me?) The universe does not have a mind of its own except for the intelligences, such as us ourselves, in the universe. The universe needs no plan for anything to happen in it as all plans, happenings, actions, reactions, energies, and exertions are all part of the all and of the universe. Where else but within the universe would and could anything new come from? The universe needs not “create” anything new. The universe, to be point blank about it, needs to give no account of its self to us anymore than god. We must deal with the new and the unusual and the novel and the unexpected and the unexplained just as we always have. There is the brute fact that this is a practical world we live in and we have to get on with life and make our life work and we have to live in spite of the all of it no matter how little we understand any of it at all. If things happen that have no explanation I won’t blame the universe for being mysterious. It is already mysterious and a new mystery won’t be surprisingly new. If something happens that cannot be ever explained and can be shown to have no explanation and shown to simply be utterly and forever unexplainable then there and right there is the explanation! Sorry, Charley! If something is finally shown to be unexplainable then no more can be nor need be known about it except it itself! Nothing on my part and nothing on anyone else’s part can or will change the reality of anything’s being, whatever it is being is shown to be. I assert that there is no need for phantasms such as angels, demons, gods, spirits, a dead nor any dead, a semi-dead, a partial-dead, or some undead to “explain” anything.
The question comes up about the grand and super grand unified theories of the universe as if there can be a one and only one and also a definite theory of how the universe operates. I assert that the very notion is unnecessary. The universe needs no phantasms such as angels, demons, gods, spirits, a dead, a semi-dead, a partial-dead, nor any dead or some undead to “explain” anything. If the universe is self reflexive and self changing and if it acts on itself and needs no outside prompting, as if it has a mind of its own, then so be it. The universe has now a mind of its own or within itself by any human and its mind and that being needs no more than the universe it is acquainted with to change the world as it knows it. That is sufficient self reflexivity. The very idea of the universe collapsing in upon itself and ending everything, the popular science cosmic apocalypse, would require us humans to figure out an exception for ourselves, the rest be gone and done if that be so. We won’t go without an effort to stay!
For these reasons I can not see god as outside but necessarily either in the universe or as the universe itself, in the one case not being god and the other being unnecessary. Summarily, then, there is: the immutable, incommensurate, all encompassing, timeless, placeless, everywhere and nowhere at once, creative and creating, ultimately unknowable, utterly and fundamentally mysterious universe or god. Exploring one can be said to be exploring the other. That is the sort of exploring we will have to go on ceaselessly forever. (Please forgive me: amen.)