The Infinite Sphere: God, Cosmos and Soul

One primordial image in particular has survived in scientific tradition for a greater length of time than most, one that has appeared as a visual image of God, of existence, of the cosmos, of space-time, and of the particle: the image of a circle or of the “sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.”  Over the centuries this image has undergone many transformations, until finally it was understood more and more as the image of an endopsychic reality in the human being.  P&R 57

For Plato, the cosmos is a spherical, blessed god, a reflection of his eternal primordial image.  Plotinus took over this idea and elaborated on it.  The eternal primordial image is a mental sphere (sphaira noete), the model for the visible sphere of heaven created by God.  This purely spiritual sphere is without extension in space, so that one can say of God either that he is the All-embracing One or equally that he lives “down in the depths.”  P&R 57

The primordial image of the world (…) is God himself, “to whom no other figure is so like as the surface of a sphere.”  God is, so to speak, the point of origin at the center of this sphere; the Son is the universal revelation of the onefoldedness of this point; the Holy Ghost, finally, is the “identity of the space between.”  The finite world is created to accord with this divine primordial image, which is why geometry  is a divine art.  The human spirit also possesses the same spherical form; it stands between the divine spirit and the physical world, like the circular line between the surface of a sphere and the plane from which it cuts a piece.  P&R 58

   For Isaac Newton, too, three-dimensional space is still “tanquam effectus emanativus Dei.”  The omnipresence of God thus became, so to speak, the primordial image of a physical field.  Newton writes: “God is eternal, infinite, omnipotent and omniscient, that is, He exists from eternity to eternity, is everywhere present, governs everything and knows everything that happens and that can happen.  P&R 58