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WHAT IS PANTHEISM??????....
Modern Pantheism is often misunderstood. It has
nothing to do
with "pantheon" or "polytheism"- belief in many Gods.
It is neither
theism nor atheism, but transcends both. Its central
tenet is that
the universe is the ultimate reality, the ultimate
reverence, while nature is a sacred part of the
totality of which
every one of us, in life or in death, is an
Pantheism is an ancient religion - older than Buddhism
Christianity - and may already count hundreds of
millions among its
members. Most Taoists are pantheists, along with many
Japanese and Western Buddhists, deep ecologists,
followers of many native religions, and many Unitarian
Universalists. The central philosophical scriptures of
pantheistic. Many atheists and humanists may be
Scientific or natural pantheism is a modern form of
deeply reveres the universe and nature and joyfully
embraces life, the body and earth, but does not
believe in any
supernatural deities, entities or powers.
The word Pantheism comes from two Greek words "pan" =
all + "theos"
= god. In Pantheism, "all is god."
Many Pantheists define "god" as Nature and its
creative forces. God
and Nature are one in the same.
In contrast, many Monotheists (from "mono" = one+
"theos" = god)
define "god" as a supernatural individual. God and
To identify god with Nature, rather than with a
seems odd to those unfamiliar with Pantheism. But
Monotheism is less common than Pantheism in the
history of religion.
For tens of thousands of years, humans viewed the
Earth as a sacred
place with divinity everywhere. Religious scholar
notes "The oldest God is nature...in the beginning,
sensed that their habitat was sacred. With twists and
numberless permutations, they played out this primal
Modern Pantheism revivifies our species' gene-deep
the Earth is indeed holy. Divinity infuses the world,
the skies, the
seas, the rocks, the trees, the animals, and
gives perspective to all we do and instills a
reverence for Nature
which can help reverse the ecological crises of our
As old as antiquity, and as fresh as today, Pantheism
promise for a brighter tomorrow.
These definitions relate the oneness of God and Nature
keystone of Pantheism.
The doctrine identifying the deity with the various
workings of nature. (The American Heritage Dictionary,
The belief that God is identical with the universe.
All is God and
God is all. The universe taken as a whole is God. God
and Nature (
the totality of all that there is) are synonymous, two
words for the
same thing. (The Harper Collins Dictionary of
Pantheism denotes religions which identify God with
(Dictionary of Comparative Religion, 1970)
The view that God is identical with everything. It may
be seen as
the result of two tendencies: an intense religious
spirit and the
belief that all reality is in some way united. (The
Dictionary of Philosophy, 1995)
The religious belief or philosophical theory that God
universe are identical (implying a denial of the
transcendence of God); The doctrine that God is
everything is God. (The Oxford English Dictionary,
The worship of nature (Greek pan=all) as divine (Greek
(The Harper Dictionary of Modern Thought, 1977)
The doctrine that the universe conceived of as a whole
is God and,
conversely, that there is no God but the combined
and laws that are manifested in the existing
Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th edition, 1998)
Pantheism is taken to express the belief that all is
God or God is
all, merging all things into the divine and denying
God or anyone else. (A Dictionary of Non-Christian
Geoffrey Parrinder, 1971)
In pantheistic views, God and the world are
the divine is totally immanent. (The Oxford Dictionary
The doctrine that the world as a whole, nature in the
is identical with God. (A Dictionary of Philosophy,
Thomas Mautner, 1996)
The God Of Pantheism
If someone were to ask me whether I believed in God,
or saw God,
or had a particular relationship with God,
I would reply that I don't separate God from my world
I feel that God is everywhere.
That's why I never feel separated from God or
feel that I must seek God
any more than a fish in the ocean feels it must seek
In a sense, God is the "ocean" in which we live.
As Nature and its creative forces, God is everything
matter and all invisible vibrating energy within
fills the universe, at once infinitesimal and
infinite, from the
smallest atomic particle to the largest galaxy. This
god as both the tangible world and the intangible
the world comprises the pantheistic concept of deity.
The stars, the Sun, the Earth, and every living thing
manifestations of Nature's creative energy. The origin
of it all
remains incomprehensible, the tremendous mystery.
Campbell describes the energy as "an undefinable,
mystery, thought of as a power, that is the source and
supporting ground of all life and being."
Some Pantheists sense Nature's creative energy as a
and feel themselves at one with the Universe through
presence of divinity. Such feelings may be termed
that they stem from direct communion with the
ground of all life and being." These feelings arise
from the wonder
and mystery of Nature, and have nothing to do with
supernaturalism. While other religions seek oneness
supernatural deity, Pantheism finds oneness with a
natural deity, in
other words, with Nature (the material world, and the
processes that produce and control all phenomena in
Nature is ultimate reality.
Although Nature produced conditions amenable to life
on Earth, that
same energy brings death, disease, and natural
disasters. From a
human standpoint, Nature is far from perfect-- its
show indifference to humanity.
But to realize that divinity resides in a rattlesnake
as well as in
a robin, and in a hurricane as much as in a breeze,
helps to explain
the good, the bad, and the ugly in the world. In most
joys of living eclipse the darker happenings, and
treasure-- the gift of life itself-- enriches all our
To accept Nature and its creative forces as they are,
accede to man-made visions of a ideal realm, engenders
surprisingly carefree confidence. The winds of truth
set us free,
and its exhilarating updrafts lift us to new spiritual
A Note On The Word "GOD."
The word god, observes scientist and author Chet
Raymo, has a
independent usage, "that is universal, non-sectarian,
that goes back to the origins of religious observance.
novelist Nikos Kazantzakis writes: 'We have seen the
of spiraling powers. We have named this circle God. We
given it any other name we wished: Abyss, Mystery,
Darkness, Absolute Light, Matter, Spirit, Ultimate
Despair, Silence. But we have named it God because
only this name,
for primordial reasons, can stir our heart
Some Pantheists don't use the term "god" because they
word with traditional beliefs. PAN respects this
position. No one
word or phrase is valid for everyone, and it's the
divinity and oneness of matter and energy) that is
not the word.
In PAN's view, the term "god" evokes ultimate reality
powerfully than any other term; monotheism or
polytheism have no
monopoly on its use. Also, the word "god,"
acts as a bridge to interested persons from mainstream
accustomed to using the term. Pantheism literally
signifies "all is
god." A Pantheist, then, is an "all is god" person. To
the "theos" in Pantheism rings true to the meaning of
Varieties Of Pantheism
An extensive entry in The New Encyclopedia Britannica
forms of Pantheism, but actually, there are as many
Pantheism as there are Pantheists to express them!
Christianity and numerous other faiths, adherents
teachings of charismatic leaders. In Pantheism,
the 'leader' of their own religion, frequently
feeling a sense of divinity in Nature (many persons
are at first
unaware that there is a name for their
Imagine looking through a colorful kaleidoscope to
varieties of Pantheism. Like all pieces in a
Pantheists fit together harmoniously, united by their
belief in the
oneness and sanctity of creation. Yet every piece in
kaleidoscope has unique colors and shadings, just as
has unique colors and shadings which personalize their
The following diagram generalizes contemporary
inclined viewpoints. Adherents spread across the
in the center of a category, others at some point in
modern reference book-defined Pantheism, to the strict
of Scientific Pantheism, and the broad transcendence
all outlooks consider the Universe divine, and all
religious sensibility rich in poetry, mystery, and
kindled by the enthralling wonder of Nature.
Note: PANENTHEISM, coined by K.C.F.Krause (1781-1832)
means God is
immanent in the universe, as a part though not the
whole of his
being. This view preserves the idea of God as Creator.
phrase "scientific pantheism" appeared in a biography
Burroughs (1924) and in later works including a
book (1960), a study of Spinoza (1971), and a
biography of John Muir
(1981). SCIENTIFIC PANTHEISM, as defined in the 1990's
Harrison on his website refers to "a consistent,
materialist and non-dualist brand of pantheism." Paul
that "Scientific pantheism never uses the word God."
is "identical with religious atheism....scientific
pantheism is just
as materialist as atheism, the only real difference is
pantheists have strong feelings of reverence, love,
and sense of
belonging to nature and the universe." Similarly, Paul
that "many atheists hold powerful feelings toward
nature and the
universe; feelings of reverence, love, awe, and a
sense of belonging
to nature and the material universe."
Scientific pantheism grades into atheism, naturalism,
which reject the divinity of Nature. Panentheism
theism, polytheism, and spiritualism, which may
in Nature (and in so doing can lead to confusion with
However, theism, polytheism, and spiritualism
supernatural entities (such as angels and devils) and
elements (such as communication with the dead)
with Pantheism's view of a wholly natural world.
Pantheism is a metaphysical and religious position.
it is the view that (1) "God is everything and
everything is God ...
the world is either identical with God or in some way
_expression of his nature". Similarly, it is the view
everything that exists constitutes a "unity" and this
unity is in some sense divine (MacIntyre 1967: 34). A
specific definition is given by Owen who says (3)
signifies the belief that every existing entity is,
only one Being;
and that all other forms of reality are either modes
appearances) of it or identical with it." Even with
definitions there is dispute as to just how pantheism
is to be
understood and who is and is not a pantheist. Aside
other possible pantheists include some of the
Lao Tzu; Plotinus; Schelling; Hegel; Bruno, Eriugena
Possible pantheists among literary figures include
Whitman, D.H. Lawrence, and Robinson Jeffers.
Beethoven and Martha
Graham have also been thought to be pantheistic in
some of their
work-if not pantheists.
The book recognized as containing the most complete
explaining and defending pantheism from a
is Spinoza's Ethics, finished in 1675 two years before
his death. In
1720 John Toland wrote the Pantheisticon: or The Form
the Socratic-Society in Latin. He (possibly) coined
term "pantheist" and used it as a synonym for
aside from some interesting pantheistic sounding
(like "Every Thing is to All, as All is to Every
despite promising "A short Dissertation upon a
of the Pantheists" Toland's work has little to do with