In fact, we live in a universe surrounded by things and their very existence begs a profound question: “Why should the universe exist at all?” Why is there something rather than nothing? It is the final question and mystery we come to when we keep asking “Why?”
For instance, if we begin a question such as, “Why do cars exist?” and continue to ask “why” to every answer we give, we will eventually arrive at a place where we face a mystery. The mystery is how and why something came from nothing. How did it all begin? Here there is no rational answer to “why” only the reality that things are. Our 5 Whys tool can no longer help us.
At this point in our list of questions we encounter what the theologian Thomas Aquinas called “the sheer act of being itself”. That is something that isn’t made but has always been. In other words, God:
- God: the fullness of being and the cause of all being.
- God: the encounter to the final “Why?”
- God: not an ultimate or absolute element in or alongside the universe, but “the sheer ocean of ‘being’ from whose fullness the universe in its entirety exists.”
If that past paragraph is getting a bit difficult to comprehend that’s because the answer to the final “Why” is not really an answer but the foundation of all mystery. We worship God who stands outside of everything. An infinite God from which nothing that can added or subtracted. A God who is the basis on which everything exists but who is beyond existence itself.
As we grow up we begin asking “Why?” and we should never stop. It remains an important question to ask in a world strongly committed to a mechanistic and materialistic understanding of the world.
Because if we keep asking “Why?” we open ourselves up to new possibilities and wonders drawing us beyond our materialism and preconceived notions of the world into the realm of mystery and God’s mysterious ways.
Stephen L Baxter