I’m committed to no particular theo-cosmogony and no cosmo-metaphysic, either, but it’s always seemed plausible to me that there could have been an uncreated, co-eternal formless void (in no sense some dualistic co-equal of divine forces, e.g. Manichean or otherwise).
There are ongoing scholarly debates (linguistic, etymological & exegetical) regarding cognates like tohu wa bohu and tehom, so, I don’t mean to specifically invoke them, but those debates have certainly evoked some of my thoughts, so, when I employ such concepts, I only intend to co-opt them as helpful metaphors.
To wit, then, we might well imagine neither a classical creatio ex nihilo nor a neo-classical creatio ex profundis, where the tehom refers to a primary creation (early exegesis of Augustine). And, under any circumstances, we best elide the exegetical debates, receiving Biblical accounts theopoetically not metaphysically, anyway.
But, certainly, our theopoetic narratives, theophanic encounters & theopoietic participations gift us some onto-theological & theo-ontological contours?
One such speculative take-away, I’d propose, is that our references to divine Telos must be predicated apophatically, whenever we engage in onto-theo- or theo-onto-speak. While there may indeed be a modicum of univocity, semantically, between a divine Telos, theopoetically, and our cosmic teloi, metaphysically, still, ontologically, like divine Simplicity, divine Telos “essentially” must remain a negative concept, an apophatic reference, a metaphysical placeholder for categories of Being, Reality & Relations that correspond only syntactically (i.e. not ontologically) to categories of determinate being, reality & relations.
So, while believing THAT determinate beings, realities & relations, with their cosmic teloi, participate in divine Telos, we can’t begin to proffer HOW this could be so!
Cosmic teloi might include various emergent “about-nesses” regarding the multiform “ends” of determinate realities:
end-unbounded via teleopotent veldo-poiesis (e.g. quantum fields);
end-stated via teleomatic cosmopoiesis (e.g. thermodynamics, gravity, etc);
end-directed via teleonomic biopoiesis (e.g life origins);
end-purposed via teleoqualic sentio-poiesis (e.g. what is it like to be a bat?)
end-intended via teleologic sapio-poiesis (e.g. origins of symbolic language).
Many recognize these multiform teloi within a strictly materialist monist account of determinate reality, accepting the inescapable nominalist, voluntarist &, ultimately, nihilist consequences.
Other monists recognize them within an idealist framework, accepting the pantheistic consequences, which include a principle of sufficient reason on deterministic steroids.
Ignoring the manifold & multiform aporia and question begging bruteness that unavoidably will afflict such emergentist accounts of determinate beings, realities & relations, such an infinite regression of dynamical efficient-material causes as determined by only the most ephemeral of teloi, in my view, might precisely describe a formless void, an eternal abyss wherein no formal or final causes “necessarily” perdure, otherwise merely probabilistically presenting in various degrees of in/determinacy, in an epistemic-ontic omelet never to be unscrambled.
What if, however, the divine Telos of the Ens Necessarium, substratively, super-stratively & circum-stratively, via a divine matrix, was diffused into this tehomic, formless abyss of determinate being, reality & relations, somehow inviting a creative & imitative participation in its eternal forms & finalities, its activities & works, its Love? (think divine energeia)
Might there ensue an Incarnation?
Might not every trace of human goodness, every beginning of a smile, all wholesome trivialities be eternalized?
Might we all not, apokatastatically, variously populate the firmament, whether as a tiny votive candle (e.g. that altar boy, Hitler) or as blazing helios (e.g Mother Teresa)? Overflowing our capacity, growing per eternal teloi, moving from glory to glory, beatitude to beatitude?
For every eternal Telic potency actualized would thus pierce the heavenly veil as a perfect participatory prayer or oblation, even as every merely ephemeral, tehomic teloi otherwise self-annihilates, not participating in the authentically True, Unitive, Beautiful, Good & Liberative.
A dog shaped by a trace of human goodness & desired by a human person, who’s in turn shaped by Divine Goodness, might well go to heaven, thus eternalized?
All traces of true sin (not mere finitude) might otherwise be washed white as snow, every tear wiped away?
Such a panentheistic account could square nicely with classical theism, even a neo-Platonist approach, with no need for Whiteheadian accounts that, themselves, flirt with nominalism.
Just thinking aloud with no metaphysical horse in the theistic race.