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What is the difference between Dualistic Pantheism and Animism?

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  • What is the difference between Dualistic Pantheism and Animism?

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  • #2
    If I'm correct, Dualism is acknowledging the God and the Goddess, and Animism is that all things of the Earth have soul/spirit. (I mean, that is the literal translation, after all lol).

    I don't think one rules out the other. I consider myself a Dualistic Pan(en)theist but also somewhat of an animist.

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    • #3
      Strictly speaking dualism implies the existence of separate elements of creation that are and have always been diametrically opposed to one another (i.e light v. dark, "good" v. "evil", spirit v. mater, etc.,etc.). Pantheism is the belief in an underlying unity between g(G)od(s) and the Universe. While there can be multiple gods & goddesses in a pantheistic tradition, the underlying belief is that the Universe expresses its singular self through these deities and they are basically "lesser" aspects of a unknowable "One". A dualistic pantheistic tradition believes that polarities exist opposed to one another, yet through these polarities one can begin to grasp the workings of the Universe. It is a philosophic "middle-ground" between dualistic polytheism (belief that there is no singular source of "Universe" and that polar opposites are always opposed) and monistic monotheism (belief that everything including the Universe is the product of One God).

      Keep in mind that dualism does not necessarily relate to traditions of a God and Goddess, but rather any tradition that believes in the existence of diametric opposites. This can be monotheistic, pantheistic, or polytheistic. For example, some branches of Gnosticism (i.e Manichaeism) despite being monotheistic are strict dualist (believing that matter and evil are in eternal battle against spirit and good). Others, are less radical proponents of dualism (i.e. the Sethians), and yet other are purely monistic (i.e. the Valentinians). All these groups are considered Gnostic and they are all monotheistic despite their stances on the dualism and monism. Anyway, the point is that dualism and monism are philosophical system that can apply to any cosmological world-view regardless of it being a monotheistic, pantheistic, or polytheistic "religion".

      As for animism, it can easily be part of any tradition regardless of that tradition's view on the nature of polar opposites and number of deities proposed. The belief in animism is one in that all things are "alive" with spirit - whether this spirit is individual or an aspect of another deity is where we begin to to enter the philosophical realm of discussing monotheism, pantheism, and polytheism.
      γνῶθι σεαυτόν
      ___________________________________________
      Reflections from the Black Stone

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      • #4
        Thank you

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        • #5
          The most common definition I personally know of dualistic pantheism that the Universe is comprised of both matter and spirit: spirit being "god" and matter being divine manifestation. So animism, which holds that all manifested entities possess spirit, is certainly compatible with dualistic pantheism but can also pertain to many other ways of perceiving the divine.
          If you're lucky you'll find something that reflects you,
          helps you feel your life protects you,
          cradles you and connects you to everything.
          Dar Williams, "The Hudson"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Christoph View Post
            Strictly speaking dualism implies the existence of separate elements of creation that are and have always been diametrically opposed to one another (i.e light v. dark, "good" v. "evil", spirit v. mater, etc.,etc.). Pantheism is the belief in an underlying unity between g(G)od(s) and the Universe. While there can be multiple gods & goddesses in a pantheistic tradition, the underlying belief is that the Universe expresses its singular self through these deities and they are basically "lesser" aspects of a unknowable "One". A dualistic pantheistic tradition believes that polarities exist opposed to one another, yet through these polarities one can begin to grasp the workings of the Universe. It is a philosophic "middle-ground" between dualistic polytheism (belief that there is no singular source of "Universe" and that polar opposites are always opposed) and monistic monotheism (belief that everything including the Universe is the product of One God).

            Keep in mind that dualism does not necessarily relate to traditions of a God and Goddess, but rather any tradition that believes in the existence of diametric opposites. This can be monotheistic, pantheistic, or polytheistic. For example, some branches of Gnosticism (i.e Manichaeism) despite being monotheistic are strict dualist (believing that matter and evil are in eternal battle against spirit and good). Others, are less radical proponents of dualism (i.e. the Sethians), and yet other are purely monistic (i.e. the Valentinians). All these groups are considered Gnostic and they are all monotheistic despite their stances on the dualism and monism. Anyway, the point is that dualism and monism are philosophical system that can apply to any cosmological world-view regardless of it being a monotheistic, pantheistic, or polytheistic "religion".

            As for animism, it can easily be part of any tradition regardless of that tradition's view on the nature of polar opposites and number of deities proposed. The belief in animism is one in that all things are "alive" with spirit - whether this spirit is individual or an aspect of another deity is where we begin to to enter the philosophical realm of discussing monotheism, pantheism, and polytheism.
            Quoting because it deserves it. Thanks for posting this. It has been very helpful to me in sorting out my beliefs.
            Maggie in the Mead {blog}

            "I met a lady in the meads,
            Full beautiful - a faery’s child,
            Her hair was long, her foot was light,
            And her eyes were wild.
            "
            -John Keats (La Belle Dame sans Merci)

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