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  • What is Pantheism?

    Originally posted by dictionary.com
    pan‧the‧ism  /ˈpوnθiˌɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[pan-thee-iz-uhm]
    –noun
    1.the doctrine that God is the transcendent reality of which the material universe and human beings are only manifestations: it involves a denial of God's personality and expresses a tendency to identify God and nature.
    2.any religious belief or philosophical doctrine that identifies God with the universe.
    Now I know that many people in other paths also have a pantheistic view of the universe (Reclaiming Wicca being one of them.) And there are plenty of ways to interpret it, so I'm opening this up to everyone for a discussion. If you are pantheistic, what is your view on life, the universe, and everything?
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  • #2
    I don't consider myself Wiccan. I do label myself pantheist because it's the closest word I
    could find to fit into a definition of how I feel. :}

    I have great reverence for life in all its forms. I am in awe of its abundance and
    diversity, and of the intricate workings of nature and the universe. this is why I'm
    studying Biology.

    I feel that the experience of life is both the lesson and the treasure. life is bittersweet, and
    is meant to be that way. I take the good with the bad, and expect nothing less, because
    there is room for both growth and loss in everyone's life.

    I don't believe in a God, although I have always had a great interest in mythology. I feel
    that all life is sacred, and the respect I show to others, no matter what form they are in,
    is my way to express my respect for the whole experience.

    I do believe that there is far more to life than what meets the eye. much depends on our
    awareness and our abilities to perceive. I feel the undercurrents of energies around
    us and am able to work with them. I feel the connection between all things, and also the
    distance that lies there.

    I celebrate the cycles of the seasons, because they are the cycles of my life as well. I
    watch each year, and learn each year, and live each year, and am glad for the experience.

    :}
    Last edited by catphrodite; September 10th, 2006, 12:24 PM.

    look deep into nature, and then you will
    understand everything better

    - A. Einstein



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    • #3
      Some other great resources for Natural (non-theistic) Pantheism in case anyone wants to read up on it:
      http://www.pantheist.net/
      http://www.pantheism.net/

      I don't believe in a god of any sort per se, so I would consider myself an atheist. However I do believe that the natural world is worthy of rexerence. Not because of any supernatural reasons, but because it is natural - the earth sciences reveal a wonderful complexity to life that to me is more awe inspiring than any creation story.
      I celebrate the seasonal holidays, and a few others from modern Pagan tradtion, as well as some of my own. Instead of being part of Pagan circle, I joined the UU church.



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      • #4
        I am a pantheist. I do not believe in a God who is sentient and has some plan or control for the Universe and the denizens in it. The UNIVERSE is my God. The Universe is All. The Universe is the Creator and Death. The Universe doesn't care, about life, love or anything...it just is. There is power and knowledge to be tapped into thru the Universe, but this power also lies in me as I am also a part of the Universe. I am part of everything, I am connected to everything. As a Chaote I may use the name God, Goddess, Lords, Zues, Osiris, Athena, etc. to give an aspect or characteristic of the Universe, Nature or Human emotion a name so as to be able to connect with it, but normally I do not as I am fairly past that requirement, though I still do when doing works and ritual with Family or friends of other paths. But as a whole, I do not believe in Gods and Goddesses as beings that have control or influence over fate or destiny with anyone or the world. It my goal to find balance within the Universe, within the world and the people around me.

        I know my place in the Universe. In the Big Picture I am insignificant. What I do here on Earth affects not the Universe. I do not possess that kind of power or influence. This I know, I carry no allusions. I do have influence over my surroundings based on what actions I may make and in the long run I may have a significant or an insignificant effect, but as to the Big Picture, I am still insignificant...and that is ok. I have significance to me, family, friends and aquaintances. This is the Little Picture. In this I am significant, what I do affects me and others, but still the Universe is the Higher Power. Any act of Nature, Cosmic or Terrestrial can end my Little Picture and neither I nor the Universe is able to stop it. I cannot appease nor can I control the Universe, I can only try to find balance within and learn to respect it.
        Last edited by Rhisiart; September 11th, 2006, 07:31 PM.
        Be Well!
        Rhisiart y'Daheddog Draig


        ...THE EPIC BATTLE CONTINUES...


        Tesra's Magick Cauldron for ALL your Pagan Needs!! CLICK HERE!

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        • #5
          Everything Rhisiart said.

          our own section in Paths!


          Catphrodite, you freaked me out, that could have been something I typed, I am going into Biology for the same reasons.


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          • #6
            Ah I thought I killed another thread! Thank you Birdy! Yes, perhaps we do need our own section, although youd have to split it up for the different offshoots I believe. I am Panthesit with Taoist tendancies, though not completely taoist, more scientific pantheism and tao humanity/spirituality...ok dont ask heh! PARTY!!!
            Be Well!
            Rhisiart y'Daheddog Draig


            ...THE EPIC BATTLE CONTINUES...


            Tesra's Magick Cauldron for ALL your Pagan Needs!! CLICK HERE!

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            • #7
              Heh , well will you look at that, we DO have our own section in PATHS!! and Im STILL the last one to post here.

              Maybe cuz theres not much to most pantheists. The Universe is just there, no gods or goddesses, no pushing and pulling of some other beings grand cosmic sheming and rules to govern our lives...its up to us how we live, were our heaven and hell is.

              As a scientific pantheist, Its my opinion that yes there are no gods, only those I place in power in my mind or those I give power to control me...like drugs or women...lol, but dont get me wrong. The Universe is an all powerful force and should be respected and revered for the sheer magnitude, splendor, beauty, power and still untold secrets it holds. Need a higher power? Look no further than up into the night sky. Dont know how the stars got there? No it wasnt the gods, its all explained by science my friends. No supernatural hokey pokey here, just physics and chemistry. And guess what? ALL of us are capable of it too!

              And Im not trying to spiritually grow so that I may somehow trancend after I die, Im trying to transend basic humanity as it is and grow as a human being for the survival of the human race. Im simply an intelligent ape, aware of myself and my surroundings and my emotions, scared of the future yet unwisen to the past, trying to overcome certain petty and dangerous emotions, instincts and desires.

              and IF I die and its somethings else, Oh what party there will be! BUT why try and live my life for an ideal of heaven or hell thats different among so many and can never be proven by any? Live this life like its the only one you or I will ever have, cuz it just may be. Your own body is your Temple to the Universe our God. I, You & the Universe are all of the same. Live long, learn much and be good to yourself and your fellow man. You and the Universe are all of the same. Life long, learn much and be good to yourself and your fellow man.

              Wish Id thought it and felt it before 37 years had past by but hey, I still have a chance to live it another 15 to 30! Let me know what you think! Sound good or could it use some work? Oh and leave a message cuz Im goin out to have fun tonight so have a great evening! Caio baby!
              Be Well!
              Rhisiart y'Daheddog Draig


              ...THE EPIC BATTLE CONTINUES...


              Tesra's Magick Cauldron for ALL your Pagan Needs!! CLICK HERE!

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              • #8
                I consider myself a pantheist, however I do believe that the collective energy or spirit which permeates everything has some kind of centralization point or hub. Call it God if you want, but I don't like the humanized images you get when you think about "God" or "Goddess". Maybe it would be better to think of it as a disembodied brain or bright light or something.

                Anyway, it's cool to see that there is a whole section for this path.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bshore View Post
                  I consider myself a pantheist, however I do believe that the collective energy or spirit which permeates everything has some kind of centralization point or hub. Call it God if you want, but I don't like the humanized images you get when you think about "God" or "Goddess". Maybe it would be better to think of it as a disembodied brain or bright light or something.

                  Anyway, it's cool to see that there is a whole section for this path.
                  I use to have a belief along that line though it tended to be associated with the afterlife, kind of like the end of the movie BrainStorm, when the guy dies with the machine recording his experience and one of the scientists put it on the experience his death and he sees a nebulous glob of energy he 's headed too, along with others who appear to be wispy energy, like abstract angels, all headed into this collection of energy.

                  NOW I dont really adhere to an afterlife simply because of the lack of proof or collection of same experiences and the fact that most has been recreated in the lab with drugs and elecronics, BUT Id love to believe in it and if/when I ever do, the central hub idea is one I will advocate!

                  IF there is a soul or spirit, then one would think it should come from some source, and thus when seperated form the living flesh would want to re-connected with it, this being the "life force" of the Universe, every living thing the same bringing its living experience back to the Source. One may try and connect with the Source while alive, enlightenment if you will, though total understanding comes only when you are received back into the Source. Would you keep the seperate identity you had while alive? Are you recycled to live again? This is more a practical afterlife than a million different heavens, but then who wants to be part of an amorphous collective when one was an individual? It doesnt fit with what we humans want as a 'life', as we want an 'after life' to be. And yet this is how the rest of the Universal energy is born and recycled, so why not the possibility of spirit energy acting the same as well?

                  Just something to think about!
                  Be Well!
                  Rhisiart y'Daheddog Draig


                  ...THE EPIC BATTLE CONTINUES...


                  Tesra's Magick Cauldron for ALL your Pagan Needs!! CLICK HERE!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rhisiart View Post
                    Would you keep the seperate identity you had while alive? Are you recycled to live again? This is more a practical afterlife than a million different heavens, but then who wants to be part of an amorphous collective when one was an individual? It doesnt fit with what we humans want as a 'life', as we want an 'after life' to be. And yet this is how the rest of the Universal energy is born and recycled, so why not the possibility of spirit energy acting the same as well?

                    Just something to think about!
                    I believe that our soul is an individual strand of energy, and when we die this strand remains individual but can return to wind itself arround the big ball of God yarn if it wants. It can also decide to be reborn. Basically, I believe that we remain conscious before, during, and after "life". So, to answer your questions:

                    1. Yes

                    2. Yes, if you want to.

                    3. You don't lose your individuality by joining a group, you just add your voice to the group and the is richer because of it.

                    4. Good point. I have no evidence or real reason to believe that we retain our individuality forever. In fact, there is evidence that our energy (and presumably our soul or spirit or whatever) will simply re-join the rest of the universe's energy. However, if the energy is just some huge amorphous blob that indiscriminatly absorbs and assimilates all energy, then where does the whole idea of individual consciousness come from in the first place? For me, this is where the idea of the "hub" comes in. If there is an organizing principle to the universe (God) then that must be what organized us into individual conscious beings.

                    I hope I'm making sense. Good food for thought!

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                    • #11
                      Just be careful that you don't confuse it with one-sided realism. That approach just leads to fatalism.

                      banner courtesy Faeawyn

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                      • #12
                        Forgive my ignorance, but what do you mean "one-sided realsim"?

                        I know I'm not a fatalist, so I doubt I'd go down that path, but just for clarifications sake . . .

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by IvyWitch View Post
                          Some other great resources for Natural (non-theistic) Pantheism in case anyone wants to read up on it:
                          http://www.pantheist.net/
                          http://www.pantheism.net/

                          I don't believe in a god of any sort per se, so I would consider myself an atheist. However I do believe that the natural world is worthy of rexerence. Not because of any supernatural reasons, but because it is natural - the earth sciences reveal a wonderful complexity to life that to me is more awe inspiring than any creation story.
                          I celebrate the seasonal holidays, and a few others from modern Pagan tradtion, as well as some of my own. Instead of being part of Pagan circle, I joined the UU church.
                          Thank you for the links.
                          ~Jen~

                          At home I serve the kind of food I know the story behind. ~ Michael Pollan

                          Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught, will we realize that we cannot eat money. -Cree Proverb

                          People will always try to stop you from doing the right thing if it is unconventional. ~ Warren Buffett

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                          • #14
                            I guess I'm a polytheist pantheist. I believe that there are beings out there that we call gods and that they do have different personalities and influences. They are a part of the totality of deity, not the totality itself.

                            As far as an afterlife, I do ascribe to at least part of the idea of the Summerlands. I think that we do get reincarnated, but I also think that we choose where we are reincarnated based upon our soul's need for experiences.
                            Site Adminstrator, (Yes, really!)
                            Official Site Vixen, 100% Grade A Evil,
                            Cerebral Goddess and Jelly Donut!
                            subscribe to mw

                            Disciple #42 of Jodarius, the Random God of Thwaking.

                            "Even people who think they are dragons think you are crazy. How does that make you feel?"

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rhisiart View Post
                              NOW I dont really adhere to an afterlife simply because of the lack of proof or collection of same experiences and the fact that most has been recreated in the lab with drugs and elecronics, BUT Id love to believe in it and if/when I ever do, the central hub idea is one I will advocate!
                              From the dialogues of Checkerism:

                              Incredulous the student asked: "You believe in creation despite scientific proof?"

                              Answered the teacher: "No. We believe in creation because of the absence of scientific proof. Nothing in the current scientific body of knowledge disproves or contradicts our believes. On the contrary, most quantum theory strengthens our faith. Thus, we see no reason to stray from our path."
                              For the same reason, Checkerists believe in reincarnation. And yes, we also believe in a "central hub" idea.
                              Xentor, your friendly-neighbourhood Checkerist
                              Contact me | The Dialogues on Checkerism

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