22 November, 2023

The Prime Mover of the Universe

(Note: This is not exactly a science article though it may cite science to put a few things in context in layman’s terms. I have given a few perspectives regarding this in musical form too in the Tamil composition, Karpanaiye kadavul.) 

The greatest intellects of our species - and perhaps other intelligent beings across the universe - have been grappling with the puzzle of what drives everything. They have tried to attack the problem from philosophical, scientific (or religious) perspectives. But despite making marginal headway, no one has been able to crack the code. This article attempts to throw a different spin on the Underlying Force behind Everything in the Universe, which is now being postulated to be 27 Billion years old as opposed to 13.5 billion (though both numbers are only based on what little we have managed to observe so far).

Basic Q & A in Science and Philosophy

First, a quick overview of a few important questions asked or addressed by Science, Philosophy and Religions so far. 

  • Is the Prime Mover of the Universe attractive pull of matter such as Strong Force - which confines quarks into protons, neutrons and other hadron particles OR a force that’s considered even more immense - the gravity that is there near space-time singularity is or black holes?  

  • Is it Dark Energy - perhaps the chief anti-attractive force that is theorised to be propellant of the expanding universe? 

Clearly only one of the two would be insufficient to anchor the universe. Something greater has to balance both of these. 

Could the Prime Mover of the Universe be:

  • Fundamental matter like Bosons? 
  • Light, Space or Time? 
  • Higher consciousness / intelligence that is omnipotent and omniscient, as philosophers declare? 

  • Truth? Or Love? Both of these presume a positive force which is not counterbalanced by an equal negative force and therefore seem to be no more than wishful thinking. 

  • One or more of the Gods who are worshipped by diverse religions?  But these Gods are revered as larger than life based on attributes which are awe-inspiring to us. Yet none of these religions agree over the form, shape and characteristics of historical or mythological divinities. And Atheists declare that Gods are merely projections of our minds or scams to fool others while Agnostics are on the wall. With so much disagreement all around, there can be no decisiveness except that the Prime Mover cannot be any kind of physical entity (though one has no right to question anyone about personal beliefs).

The quest 

If the prime mover is not a physical entity, is there a phenomenon that checks every box we can (or cannot) think of? Is there an entity that: 

  1. Is beyond every known law of science but is responsible for every one of them?  

  2. Is the very foundational force that gives varying degrees of energy to what String Theorists refer to as dancing filaments within quarks and empowers them to vibrate in different frequencies to create particles of incredible diversity and eventually matter of infinite variety?

  3. Fits in perfectly with philosophical or spiritual concepts and is beyond religious debates? 

  4. Even atheists cannot deny or agnostics cannot escape from?

Beyond Relativity: Theory of Creativity

I had no perfect answers (and as is my propensity in such situations, I had consigned the entire matter to the back burner) until I was hit by an accidental revelation in December 2022. The Prime Mover of Everything was Creativity - the phenomenon behind but beyond form, space, time, matter, energy, force and the laws of every known science or descriptions in every religion and philosophy. 

The obvious question would be “Whose Creativity?” But that is the very point here. It is not some other entity’s Creativity. It is about Creativity itself as the omnipresent, omnipotent entity

How I received this insight, though interesting, is probably not important here. What’s important is to appreciate that Creativity is both the source and force which designs and destroys, contains and sustains, forms or transforms everything, yet transcends them all. 

While Einstein’s E = mc2 implies that energy and matter are inter-transformable, we are far from fathoming the immensity and sophistication of Creativity which creatively decides which of these two states would evolve or flourish in what form, quantity or quality in which part of the universe, when and for how long and accomplish what. More importantly, it creates whole sets of super-immense and sub-micro systems to enable all this to happen.

Undiscovered Dimension?

From a scientific standpoint, is this universal phenomenon of Creativity a fundamental dimension yet to be discovered by humans? Something that is far subtler and far more sophisticated than quantum mechanics and far too immense for us to even begin to comprehend it? Could Science and Mathematics as we know them, ever get to a point of explaining it?

For this to be even a remote possibility, science must first take serious cognisance of the fact that the phenomenon of Creativity is not to be confused with the narrow usage of the term in the context of human inventiveness (though the latter is a micro manifestation of the former and therefore not irrelevant to the quest.) 

Creativity vs Creation 

Scholars must also not confuse the phenomenon of Creativity with the act of creation, even at the level of the entire Universe, though the term was definitely associated with divine creation by earlier civilisations (such as Brahma in India, Biblical story of creation in Genesis etc).

But at both the Cosmic and Quantum scale, though Creativity is required to create anything, it is not limited to merely that. What we deem as protection and destruction are as much manifestations of less Creativity as creation is. In short, Creativity is responsible for not only constant creation but also conservation and conversion of matter and energy as well as life and non-life.

Ultimate Decision Maker 

It is Creativity which is behind: 

1. The formation, size, sustenance and destruction (transformation) of everything from subatomic particles to super galaxies and black holes. 

2. Transporting elements like Oxygen, Carbon, Iron and Copper from one part of the universe to another and re-assemble them as life forms in regions like our own planet. Those attempting to create even one simple synthetic living cell would testify to the amount of creativity that went into it. So how does one even begin to grasp the Creativity that is behind the arrival of innumerable life forms across aeons? 

3. But clearly there is much more. Creativity decides everything happening within each one of these life forms and managing the ecosystems around them. 

4. Everything that seems random but is not. Just as Chaos Theory states with respect to sensitive dynamic systems, each sensory experience of every individual creation in each moment is also not random but is creatively brought to it each moment of its existence though we are a long way off from getting to the point of deterministic chaos when it comes to life forms. 

The greatest touch 

But the greatest touch is that this Universal force of Creativity manifests itself through many of the life forms

  • We are just beginning to appreciate the innumerable examples of creativity in the animal, bird, insect and plant kingdoms. 

  • At the subtle level, numerous complex processes that are taken for granted by us like certain types of mutations or DNA replications, responses of bacteria and viruses to evolving threats, highly coordinated responses of cells of larger beings such as ourselves to specific situations or developments, each of which could subtly vary from one context to another are really manifestations of Creativity. 

It can be argued that microorganisms or individual cells of larger life forms are not creative by themselves but are pre-programmed to respond in certain ways to diverse situations. But then, that would merely be a case of every species drawing upon the skills of a programmer with an infinitely superior, sophisticated Creativity

Universal Creativity vs Human Ingenuity 

Human creativity was not glorified by many early cultures in the East or in the West. But the last few centuries have focused exclusively on human creativity with studies showing that thought is a physical phenomenon - no more than a bunch of neurons firing together based on prior knowledge and memories. 

This leads to a seemingly weird scenario (which Science may one day be able to establish): are the innumerable stars no more than the neurons in the mental fabric of the Omniscient Creativity, which are firing at different times and transforming the universe every moment? Studies are attempting to showcase the similarities between the universe and the brain cell

  1. But these are no more than observations at this stage and 

  2. There are obvious dissimilarities between the entire universe and the brain cells which are subject to apoptotic or necrotic cell deaths.

But the common force in all these is Creativity which determines when which set of neurons will be triggered when and why, as well as the consequences of all this. So far, no study comes anywhere close to explaining the million subtle mechanisms behind Creativity and its zillion manifestations.

Beyond Space and Time 

Even from a micro or human perspective, it is often impossible to:

  1. determine where creativity originates from, where it resides or where it goes back to when it unmanifests itself (as in when one forgets a creative idea).

  2. weigh or measure the dimensions of Creativity

  3. design experiments to determine its exact position, velocity or ascertain its state - as matter or wave.

This is because Creativity neither occupies space nor is shackled by time to the best of our knowledge.


Creativity is perceivable through various senses like aural or visual but is beyond all of them. It manifests itself as any quality its medium (person/animal) possesses, but is - by itself - beyond attributes. It is completely independent of one’s race, region, religion or language. 

Most remarkably, Creativity is independent of one’s personal nature or one’s good or evil deeds (karma).  But, through its manifestation - positive or negative, benevolent or malevolent - creativity is a reasonable pointer to the nature of a being. 

Degrees of Creativity 

At a human level, those who populate the artistic and literary world are obviously regarded as most creative. Those like mathematicians and scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, architects, software developers, doctors, sportspersons, educators, corporate and business employers or employees, researchers and politicians possess obvious Creativity.  Studies have shown the differences in brain activity between those involved in creativity as opposed to those that are not.

But even people whose occupations may seem to call for insubstantial imagination (such as elevator operators or those involved in mechanical processes or repetitive tasks), will need to draw upon Creativity at one time or another in their lives, maybe without even realising it. It takes a million micro creative steps to farm, hunt, be gainfully employed, study and improve oneself, raise children, offer solace, deal with friendly or hostile entities or other species and to generally get by in life. 


What about musicians who render the same piece of music many times? A true artist is re-creative even if he or she sings or plays the same music several times. Only that will infuse the music with life. This is no different to the same species being created zillions of times at the universe. 

Creativity vs Choice 

Does all this mean that every action of ours is pre-destined and there is zero role for every created being in the universe? This is where the beauty of Creativity comes in. Many creatures have creatively been endowed with the ability to make choices. Choices are the crossroads of destiny in the highway of existence. Each time one meets such crossroads one can turn right or left.  Though one can never turn wholly back and undo the past, there are options to turn to other roads to do better things. 

What is behind Creativity 

1. Consciousness?

It could be argued that consciousness is a prerequisite for Creativity. Both Eastern philosophers and several Western scientists appreciate its fundamental and transcendental nature. As Erwin Schrödinger pointed out, “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. It is absolutely fundamental and cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.

But consciousness is not a force.  It is merely a state of existence.  Or non-existence.  Or both these opposites merged into one. One may view it as an all-seeing sarva sakshi. However, it will amount to nothing without creativity. It takes Creativity to invest consciousness with infinite power and transform it to matter and energy. In Indian philosophical terms, if Consciousness is Shiva, Creativity is Shakti. At best both may be equals as it can be argued that how can there be creativity sans consciousness. 

That leads to an even more fascinating question: What created consciousness? 

2. Will (Sankalpa) 

The other thing to consider is: “Is Will a prerequisite for Creativity?” Not necessarily. Our own species illustrate this best.  We have instances of people spontaneously creating things as also those who may be desperate to be inventive but unable to find  the Creativity to do so. This indicates that Creativity is a spontaneous force independent of Will

In summation, everything seems to point to Creativity being the Supreme driving force of the universe.

1 comment:

Chandrasekhar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Selective Moral Discomforts and Outrages of Convenience against Tyagaraja

As someone who has been passionate from early teens about making Carnatic Music socially broad based and initiated pioneering steps for the ...