On this Earth, and likely throughout the manifest universe in which we dwell, there is obvious violence as a fundamental characteristic, but, harder for us to bear and understand, life also appears to be based on tooth and claw. Not only is much of the animal kingdom carnivorous, so too are we, for all practical purposes and apparently designed to be. As vegetarians, we could not have survived the hunting era and any good self-sufficiency enthusiast will know how difficult it is to sustain life without meat and fish, especially over winter and other non-harvesting seasons. In an advanced future technological era, perhaps genetically modified food might allow us to replace animal material and this would be a considerable step forward in our progression.
So how do we find a benign intention behind the creative process, which has brought about this state of tooth and claw, and which will still predominate in the animal kingdom even if we humans moved on from it?
If one is not to shirk from the truth, the simple answer may have to be that we cannot explain it. Saying that it might be just to test us seems to display unreasonable egocentricity. A somewhat outrageous, but intriguing, idea might be that it is only as we perceive it in the 'here and now gravity-time bubble' which we inhabit. And not just limited to that but to our human consciousness also. For more on this, watch a wonderful video from Dutch physicist and astronaut,Wubbo J. Ockels.
To continue with the exploration, as honestly as possible, it seems that we have to accept that we do not have the intellectual/philosophical capacity to understand the conflict between divine aspiration and its apparent practice. We may hope that other versions of the universe exist without tooth and claw as a means of survival and this may help us believe that it is in this way that we are being tested. But for now the truth demands that existence, as we perceive and experience it, is violent and based on dog eat dog.
For whatever reason, and, hopefully, according to a plan, this is counterbalanced by some tendencies. One, as represented within our human consciousness, in a striving towards the realization of the three great concepts of love, beauty and truth. Another, in our tapping into the immense potentiality, which can energize and advance this effort.
An outstanding possibility, however, is that Creation itself, linked with us through our consciousness, or more specifically through that awareness, which we like to describe as soul, is itself also operating against a grand background reverie (in the Bachelardian sense). This is the reverie known to happy children, who can sing and play and daydream. A reverie, which may be the ground of all hope for a better state, for emergence, for love, beauty and truth. Not so much the powerful potentiality thrust of creation, but the place from which the potentiality draws the substance of its hopes and plans.
The grand reverie of Creation at the ground of all things may be drawing, not just on the reveries of happy children, but on the aspirations and endeavours of us all. This may be part of the personalization of Creation described by Teilhard and an example of us being experiments talked about by Bohm. Although more than experiments, in this example Creation would appear to need us.
And what might Creation want from us? Love, including compassion, Beauty, including its appreciation and Truth, including justice and acceptance of ambiguity? Yes, possibly.
The enhancement of our Awareness through these?
The exercising of Free will, activating, or tapping into, Potentiality, which feeds back into Creation?
The intensification of our Aspiration?
Yes possibly all of these, but let us return to reverie and imagine what if we were all dreaming, together with Creation, we would most want to be awakened to. Surely it would be joy.
If this is so, then perhaps more than grand concepts of love and beauty and justice, Creation is enhanced by every joyful thing, not just that experienced by each human, but by every dancing child, every wrong righted and every happy reunion where loved ones, who had been separated, are reunited.
Above all we must keep remembering what joy can also be.
Escape from, or victory over, fear.