Friday, June 09, 2006

Pantheism

I'm not sure how I stumbled onto a website about Pantheism, but after reading up on it, I admit I am intrigued.

To me, it sounds much like Paganism but with a twist. Pantheists see nature and the universe as being worthy of the greatest reverence and work to preserve our natural world. Pantheism, taken from the Greek, means "God is all" and so view nature and everything as being part of God. Thus, each of us is a part of God. The "twist" that I see is that Pantheists do not believe in a personal God or a supernatural being.

According to the FAQ on Pantheism (link listed below), Paganism and Pantheists differ in a few ways. Although Pagans sometimes call themselves Pantheists, they are really Polytheists. One of the points brought up in the FAQ says that Pagan also believe in "the irrational," or disembodied spirits (i.e. - Gods).

Anyway, this is an interesting take on religion.


Links on Pantheism:

Wikipedia
FAQ on Pantheism
Pantheism (check out the "Writings on Pantheism")
A different view of Pantheism
Pantheists' Dictionary

7 comments:

Katherine Ayala said...

I did not know that. I will definitely have to look into that subject...

Cosette said...

That's me. I'm Wiccan and a pantheist, not a polytheist.

soleclaw said...

Yes, me to, cosette! I am Pagan, and also pantheist, not polytheist.

Also, an interesting book some may want to read (that I use as a guide for myself and what I am) is "Philosophy of Wicca" by Amber Laine Fisher. It really isn't about Wicca as I would define it, but more about Paganism in general. It discusses pantheism in great detail!

Sojourner said...

LAPaganChick - Of what I've read so far, it made me interested in finding out more as well.

Cosette - I thought that Wiccans believe in a God and a Goddess which would fall under polytheism. Would you be willing to explain? Thanks.:)

Soleclaw - Thanks for suggesting the book. Sounds like something I should put on my reading list.

Cosette said...

Sojourner said: I thought that Wiccans believe in a God and a Goddess which would fall under polytheism. Would you be willing to explain? Thanks.:)

I can try, lol. Wiccans vary in belief and you've inspired me to perhaps write about that in my own blog, but for the time being let me stick to just what I believe.

You could call me a classical pantheist (there are varieties in pantheism, like anything else). Basically, I equate existence (the universe, or nature) with God. This is a very large and abstract concept that is difficult to wrap our brains around. I believe that the individual Gods and Goddesses are simply aspects of this because we want a God that more or less looks like us and we can connect and understand. That's not to mean that these Gods and Goddesses don't have power; they do, because they're part of that 'something greater' and we've worshipped them forever. You find similar thinking in Hinduism.

In that more personal sense, I'm devoted to Kali in my own practice. My coven mates are devoted to different deities so I find myself working with others too on occasion.

Sojourner said...

Cosette - Thanks for responding and for your explanation. You said:

"I equate existence (the universe, or nature) with God."

I see how that fits in with Pantheism. You see it as something that is within everything rather than as the "seperate being" that many religions teach.

I look forward to reading more about this on your blog.

Wanderer said...

Well put Cosette, and very much in line with my own beliefs. Particularly in the aspects of the Gods and Goddesses being part of the greater whole. I always equated myself as monotheistic rather than pantheistic, as I have always equated the latter (perhaps incorrectly) as denying a separate, unique consciousness to to deity.

I would be interested in seeing if and how you might expound on this issue and may swing by your blog to see if you do.