I use universe interchangeably with God, as you say some people do not like the the God of the Bible. We are gods, all part of the whole. That may seem nebulous to you, but the power of the universe is love. It is the power of creation, it is the substance we are made of; though for many of us it is covered over or hidden with energies that are less than ideal. God is love, its power is so immense that it manifests as pure light.
I have been told that God is an actual being that is the director of all things. He does not do it alone, its like a military organization with generals, majors, captains... etc. I have not seen this myself or perhaps do not recall, so I can't yet vouch for this.
In college there was this guy that kept insisting on knowing what the definition of silence was, the rest of the class just rolled their eyes. But, having an answer was important to him. The professor never answered his question to his liking. Another student told him to turn off is AC/DE, that is silence;) I suppose its like trying to describe color to a person that has never had sight.