―ALBERT EINSTEIN, The World As I See It.
That there are unseen actions behind visible events is a fact familiar to everyone. For example, we see leaves flying about and bushes shaking, and since we know that these events do not happen through the internal efforts of leaves or bushes, we attribute them to the action of the invisible wind.
Likewise, when we drop an object to the ground, we know that the object did not fall of its own accord; we say it fell because of the invisible “pull of gravity.”
Sometimes we even attribute a visible event to the action of an invisible entity when we know there is no invisible entity present. For example, we say, “It is raining.” Our senses can see, hear and feel rain, but no matter how hard we try, they cannot detect “it.”
Of course, there are also visible actions behind many transitions. Here is a thought experiment concerning a common event:
1.) Imagine a site on which a new home is scheduled to be built. Materials and supplies have been delivered and are awaiting the arrival of the construction crew. There are stacks of lumber, piles of bricks, skids of wallboard, crates of glass, buckets of paint, kegs of nails, coils of wire, lengths of pipe, everything that will go into the new construction.
A contractor agrees to complete the building. He hires carpenters, bricklayers, painters, electricians, plumbers and any other subcontractors he needs, and eventually the building is completed.
A new entity, a house, has been introduced into the universe. The collection of materials and supplies has been given a new structure. They would have lain there forever unless some outside creative action, supplied by the contractor and his crew, occurred that transcended and transformed them. All the materials are included in the new structure, but they now perform functions that would have been impossible for unaided nature to accomplish.
Although Jesus used the following parable to illustrate a different point, it is particularly apropos for demonstrating how new living entities are introduced into the universe, and how entities, living and non-living, can interact with each other:
2.) A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Mark 13, 3-8).
In order to reach their full potential, seeds need to have certain essential nutrients available: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, magnesium, calcium, etc., as well as water for hydrogen and oxygen, and open access to light and air.
For those seeds which fell upon the path, the action of completely unrelated entities, the birds, prevented access to the necessary nutrients.
Plants acquire the necessary nutrients through their root systems. Although the rocky soil contained the necessary elements for growth, the growth of the roots was impeded by the nonliving rocks. Consequently the plants were weak and quickly succumbed to the heat of the sun.
Seeds that landed on thorn-infested soil faced a double problem. The taller, stronger, faster growing thorns ate up most of the nutrients in the soil, and also prevented the seeds from receiving the necessary sunlight and air.
And those seeds that fell on good soil combined with the elements therein and grew into healthy plants.
Without the introduction of seeds, all the nutrients, sunshine, water, etc., would remain dormant forever. And as illustrated by the action of the birds, without the nutrients the seeds would just remain seeds forever.
This begs the question: why should there be an interaction? Why do not seeds just remain seeds, nitrogen just remains nitrogen…water just remains water, etc.? What invisible creative action causes these apparently unrelated entities to transcend and transform themselves into producing something that is more than just the sum of its parts: a brand new plant? Some invisible creative activity must be at work.
The one thing that all of our examples have in common is that individual entities were somehow transcended and transformed to create new and often different entities. Persons with a religious outlook will attribute the underlying process to God, Jehovah, Allah, etc. while those with a scientific outlook will attribute it to entropy or perhaps "tiny strings vibrating through ten or eleven dimensions." Throughout this book I will attribute this activity to the action of the Spirit. Although the term has a religious connotation, I cannot think of a more descriptive name. I hope those with a scientific bent will bear with me.