The only fundamental entity in the universe is energy. And not in the form that is around us now, but the form it existed before the big bang.
I do not think we are able to even grasp what energy is. The reason being that we are dealing with the emergent entities, that is all that physics is about. The carrier particles that transfer energy from place to place are emergent entities and they did not exist 'back then'. Are the energy and carrier particles conceptualisations tightly woven to one another and can not have energy without the carriers?
But physics can not penetrate deeper and offer viable solutions of what energy is.
Descriptions, of immense energy amounts before the big bang, unimaginably hot or super-dense, carry no meaning.
We can not transfer the meanings hot and dense, that have been developed by studying the emergent phenomena to that fundamental context where neither space nor time existed. Hot explained out of the necessity to describe this energy form out of human standards, is not enough to describe the state of energy and energy itself, where there were no standard to measure against. There were no living beings around. Likewise for dense when there were no particles to create the density conditions we now know.
The very meaning of energy we hold now is not applicable. A meaning that is woven around the manifestation of emergent processes while to grasp the full meaning of what energy is should be done without the use of what has emerged out of the big bang. And the only thing that can be said for sure, that carries meaning is that energy is carried or transferred or distributed via the forces of nature. The forces of nature themselves, being an emergent phenomenon itself spawned out of a primeval super-force.
which do not give