Before the advent of monotheism
, the ancient Greeks developed the theological
model of Emanationism, a school of thought positing that our Universe, our physical experience of existence with all of the phenomena it contains, emanated wholesale from a single divine being, without
that entity having any concern for the nature of the emanation, possibly with our Universe being so insignificant a byproduct of its existence that no notice
of it was taken at all.
The primary early proponent of Emanationism was the philosopher Plotinus
, who imagined an intelligent entity of pure mathematical form, eternally contemplating the infinite purity of mathematics. So great was this entity that waves of its essence
flowed from it, with the occasional intersections of the ripples of these waves causing a 'breakage' of sorts, a shattering of the pure forms and the formation therefrom of a crude world of matter (although matter still governed by mathematics). This idea was likely inspired by the observation of sometimes-chaotic interference pattern
s from the intersection of waves in still water. Plato
had earlier proposed that the organization of our Universe was not the work of a Creator, but instead of a Demiurge
, a lower level of entity which simply worked with the energy produced by a creative higher being -- though that higher being might not have any care for what was created. Plotinus extended this line of thought to the supposition that such a Demiurge may have organized our Universe from the debris of the breakage emanated from an uncaring and unobserving Creator, and that the Demiurge itself might be a byproduct of such a breakage.
Elements of emanationism have been incorporated into some early strains of Christianity
(though not in mainstream Christian thought, which has always relied upon the notions that the Creator was at all levels interested and involved in its Creation). Emanationism is, as well, precursive to the theological model of Deism
, and to the later models of Pandeism
, though both of the latter models invoke the considered and intentional action of a Creator at some point, if not at all points.