Since some are sharing their religious outlooks, let me take a second to share two Christian principles that hold with a lot of value.
Christianity has taken a beating lately because it is the West's traditional religion and has an anthopomorphic outlook on God, which is mocked in some movies today (e.g., Matrix 2).
However, there are some very good attributes about Christianity, which is why it is still my religious 'home'. Mind you, I'm a liberal Christian, but my home is still Christianity.
Christianity, I think, provides a very interesting perspective of why the universe exists as it does and why it is that we are here. I don't have any Lotus flower stories, but I do have two principles - one of which is a mustard seed analogy.
Jesus likened the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed. It starts off as the smallest seed (this was the smallest seed known to Jesus) and it grows to become the whole kingdom. The analogy itself is the small beginning of Jesus' ministry to encompass the first century Hellenistic world in those teachings, but the analogy applies to a wide scale and I think underlies a universal principle that guides the world. The principle is that the universe complexifies as it evolves, and the earliest complexified state happens to be the most simplest of states.
Think about that for a second. If you were to accept this principle as the founding principle of the universe, then that states that the universe should have started out the size of a 'mustard seed' and grown from that seed.
So, if this is true, then big bang cosmology is perhaps a consequence of this principle, and it tells us that what is evolving in the universe is the Kingdom of God. A vast civilization that mirrors God's existence in the universe. Nice sense of purpose, I think.
Another Christian principle that I'd like to share, is the symmetry principle that underlies Christianity. The name Yahweh is God's name as presented in the Hebrew Bible. It literally means (I understand) 'I AM'. It also means 'I WAS', 'I AM', 'I WILL BE'. In Christian literature Christ is identified with the Logos which is the Word or the Logic of God. It is what causes all things to occur.
The symmetry principle is that things start off from God, they flow through some process, and they end with God. God becomes all in all as paraphrased by the apostle Paul.
Combined with the previous principle of the mustard seed, there is a unifying view. The universe starts off the smallest as possible, is led to the process of change by the Logos, and finally reaches the point where God is all in all. Guided evolution.
The underlying principle of the least/greatest principle and symmetry principle also underlies the laws of physics in terms of the least action principle and certain symmetry principles. So, it is interesting that these two principles are also core to Christianity.
One Christian perspective of why this is so, is because when God creates, it must be done with the most maximum good and most maximum glory since God is the greatest good and the greatest glory to exist. Hence, starting off small and finishing with the most significant end demonstrates the maximum good and highest glory. For example, Jesus is pictured as undergoing the worst death of his day by crucifixion and being raised to life and brought to heaven to sit next to God. This demonstrates this lowest 'beginning' and highest 'end' principle.
Hence, the interesting perspective from a Christian viewpoint to our world, is that we are undergoing a symmetry transformation and that our world is giving birth to a new world that is invariant to an approximation of God's existence. It looks like religion still has a thing to say about a thing or two.