"Why should the Infinite Reality, which possesses all that may be possessed, and which in itself is the only Source of Things--WHY should It Desire to manifest a Universe from and within Itself?"
A little consideration will show you that there is no intelligent answer to the "Why," either in your own minds, or in the writings and teachings of the greatest minds. The matter is important, to those who are confronted every day with some of the many attempts to answer this Final Question--it is well that our students inform them regarding the futility of such questioning.
And with this end in view, we shall herein give a few of the wise "guesses" at the answer, and our reasons for considering them inadequate. We ask the student to consider carefully these remarks, for by so doing he will post himself, and will be saved much tedious and perplexing wandering along the dangerous places in the Swamp of Metaphysics, following the will-o'-the-wisp of Finite Mind masquerading as the Infinite Wisdom! Beware of the False Lights! They lead to the quagmire and quicksands of thought!
Let us now consider some of these "guesses" at the answer to the Final Question. Some thinkers have held that the Absolute was bound by a Divine Necessity to manifest itself as Many.
The answer to this is that the Absolute could not be _bound_ by anything, inner or outer, else it would not be Absolute and Infinite, but would be Relative and Finite. Another set of thinkers have held that the Absolute found within itself a Desire to Manifest as Many. From whence could come such an action-causing Desire? The Absolute could lack nothing, and there would be nothing for it to desire to gain, other than that which It already possessed. One does not desire things one already has, but only what he lacks.
Another school would tell us that the Infinite wished to _Express_ itself in the phenomenal world. Why? Such a phenomenal world could only be reflection of Its power, witnessed only by Itself, and could contain nothing that was not already contained in the All. To what end would such a wish tend? What would be accomplished or gained?
The Infinite All could not become anything more than It already was--so why the wish for expression? Some say that the whole phenomenal world is but _Maya_, or Illusion, and does not exist at all. Then who else than the Infinite caused the Illusion, and why the necessity? This answer only removes the question back one point, and does not really answer it.
Some would say that the Universe is the "dream of the Infinite." Can we conceive the Infinite Being as exercising the finite faculty of "dreaming"--is not this childish?
Others would have us believe that the Absolute is indulging in a "game" or "play," when he makes Universes, and those inhabiting them. Can anyone really believe this of The Absolute--playing like a child, with men and women, worlds and suns, as Its blocks and tin-soldiers? Why should the Infinite "play"?--does It need amusement and "fun" like a child? Poor Man, with his attempts to read the Riddle of the Infinite!