Fugitives from Fundamentalism

The Musings of Adult Missionary Kids (MKs) & Former Born-Again Believers

of pantheism

Posted by Noraa on February 4, 2012

Now that the Chaplain has left us, I guess we have no regular antagonist for the conversation. So I’m going to throw a thought out there I’ve been mulling over for some time now: pantheism.

I like this definition, although you could put it a number of other ways: “Pantheism is the view that the Universe (Nature) and God (or divinity) are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Greek (pan) meaning “all” and the Greek (theos) meaning “God”. As such, Pantheism denotes the idea that “God” is best seen as a process of relating to the Universe. Although there are divergences within Pantheism, the central ideas found in almost all versions are the Cosmos as an all-encompassing unity and the sacredness of Nature.”

I’m just curious as to what a group of “non-believers” feel about the idea. Let me ask that you not get too hung up on semantics. The word “god” and the suffix “theism” are very touchy, but from a pantheistic perspective I think they only have a vague semblance to the Christian fundamentalist use of the words.

I have been kind of embracing this idea lately. I guess you could argue it’s just me trying to fit my Christian upbringing together with my more current secular views. To me it just more accurately expresses how I perceive as the connected nature of the reality we live in than the word “atheist” and the like. There is something almost “magical” about life and the way everything ties together and works, in my experiences. While I realize that the “magicalness” of it is purely my perception of natural laws and processes, I believe my perceptions merit the right to have some bearing on how I label my view of reality.

I wasn’t really sure how to bring up this topic but I’ll leave it at that…….

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9 Responses to “of pantheism”

  1. Paulo said

    If Nature and God are identical, then what is the difference? How would that be different than saying there is no God? I think perhaps the only difference left at that point would be the magical feeling one feels towards Nature, which still feeds the idea that there is some kind of purposeful intelligence out there. However, if God is Nature, I am of the opinion that it is indifferent to how humans feel about it.

    … or, to put a nice little image here, in the words of Don Draper, “The universe is indifferent.”

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