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November 2018 – The World-Idea

Recently a fellow student asked, “What is this ‘World-Idea’ and how does it differ from ‘World-Mind?’” I thought this might be a helpful topic for an eteaching and looked up “World Idea” in the Notebooks. (Volume 16, category 26, Part 2) This section opens with two questions: “Is life only a stream of random events following one another haphazardly? Or is there an order, a meaning, a purpose behind it” The section, subtitled “Divine Order of the Universe,” explains there is indeed an intelligent order and purpose in the universe and points out that the World Idea is the purpose behind letting the universe come into existence. PB writes, “…there must be something which God has in view in letting the universe come into existence. This purpose I call the World-Idea, because to me God is the World’s Mind. This is a thrilling conception. It was an ancient revelation which came to the first cultures, the first civilizations, of any importance, as it has come to all others which have appeared, and it is still coming today into our own. With this knowledge, deeply absorbed and properly applied, man comes into harmonious alignment with his Source.” (26:2:64)

Other terms referring to World-Idea: “When the revelation of the World -Idea came to religious mystics they could only call it “God’s Will.” When it came to the Greeks they called it “Necessity.” The Indians called it “Karma.” When its echoes were heard by scientific thinkers they called it “the laws of Nature.” (26:2:76)

PB sheds more light on these terms: “Just as the World-Idea is both the expression of the World-Mind and one with it, so the Word (Logos) mentioned in the New Testament as being with God is another way of saying the same thing. The world with its form and history is the embodiment of the Word and the Word is the World-Idea.” (26:2:71) “The Stoics pointed to Reason (Logos) as the divine spirit which orders the cosmos. Plato pointed to Mind (Nous) in the same reference.” (26:2:81)

Another interesting quote: “We may think of the World-Idea as a kind of computer which has been fed with all possible information and therefore contains all possible potentialities. Just as its progenitor the World -Mind is all-powerful, all-present, and all-knowing, it is also possible to think of the World-Idea as being this all-knowing, omniscient aspect of the World-Mind.” (26:2:92)

“It would be a mistake to believe that the World-Idea is a kind of solid rigid model from which the universe is copied and made. On the contrary the theory in atomic physics first formulated by Heisenberg—the theory of Indeterminacy—is nearer the fact….” (26:2:117)