• DingoJones
    2.7k


    Whats comforting is that death isnt the end. Fear of death is at the heart of every fairy tale about an after life. The exact nature of the afterlife is irrelevant to the comfort the fairy tale provides in this regard so I think the point you were responding to still stands.
    Also, both Sumerian and greek mythologies have pleasant afterlife fairy tales to accompany the harsher ones, just like christian mythology has heaven and hell.
  • 180 Proof
    9.8k
    Pantheism is "a doctrine which identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God". But what exactly does this mean when taken literally?Michael McMahon
    Nothing, as far as I can tell, in so far as nature (plus "divinity-providence") is indistinguishable from nature (minus "divinity-providence").

    My perspective: I've strong philosophical affinities for (yin) classical atomism & (yang) modern pandeism, but in practice I'm a methodological physicalist (or scientific 'model-dependent' realist), thereby committed currently to (A) naturalistic pragmatism (re: foundherentism + falsificationism) about "knowledge" and (B) non-reductive physicalism (re: functionalism + embodied cognition) about "consciousness"
  • Michael McMahon
    344
    Panentheism: God is in the tree, the rock, and the river.
    Pantheism: the tree, the rock, and the river are in God.

    However, a lot people with these beliefs don’t think carefully about this difference, so, practically speaking, pantheism and panentheism tend to overlap or blend, as they do with polytheism.

    There’s many layers to this world and we can go however deep we want. There’s an interpersonal level to pantheism of merely trying to feel connected and compassionate towards others in general. There can be many ways to express that simple belief. We could just view the physical universe as being random in its creation. It’s easiest to understand other people compared to nonhuman spirits. As you say there’s also the imbuing of nature with spirituality. From this vantage point it’d be like the natural world was intentionally created by a spirit rather than randomness. We usually view nature as impersonal and incomprehensibly vast or even infinite. Nature worship can of course be compatible with pantheism. But our theory of mind and empathy is more geared towards fellow humans. In my mind the admiration of nature is within a very deep layer of reality and so it personally reminds me more of panentheism or mysticism. I’m not disagreeing with you about nature and pantheism. Technically you’re right that we’re all part of nature. But by its sheer size I feel nature worship sometimes places emphasis on the transcendent qualities of the world rather than interpersonal communication with others in our social environment. Therefore nature worship by itself is consistent with multiple worldviews and faiths to different degrees.

    Imagining a personal spirit inside the sky:
    children-miles-1.jpg
  • Adam Hilstad
    45


    Panentheism is "the belief or doctrine that God is greater than the universe and includes and interpenetrates it". This may be closer to what you have in mind.

    I tend to think panentheism is a more versatile concept, and a bridge to everything from atheism (figurative panentheism) to polytheism to theism. It’s the Swiss Army knife model of reality, it seems to me.

    For a while when I was young I foolishly believed that nothing is more than the sum of its parts. Then one day I realized that everything is more than the sum of its parts. This of course includes the universe—so it only makes sense that the universe as a sum would be distinct from that which is more than the sum (literally or figuratively).
  • Apollodorus
    3.4k
    Pantheism is "a doctrine which identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God". But what exactly does this mean when taken literally?Michael McMahon

    Good question. I think the answer is that it means different things to different people. That's why some believe that Spinoza was a mystic and others that he was the father of communism.

    Some like Moses Hess believed that Spinoza (whom Hess called "our Master") was the prophet of messianic socialism:

    “The Messianic era is the present age, which began to germinate with the teachings of Spinoza, and finally came into historical existence with the great French Revolution ...”

    - M. Hess, Rome and Jerusalem p. 188

    "With Spinoza there began no other period than that for which Christ had yearned, for which he and his first disciples and all of Christendom have hoped and prophesied."

    - The Sacred History of Mankind p. 44
  • Anand-Haqq
    95


    . Pantheism is a belief system ...

    . As all belief systems ... Pantheism is not an exception ... inevitably is an abstract organization ... with organized and preconceived conclusions, your so-called a priori ideas, that "God is everything ... there is nothing ... whose nature is apart of God's nature" ...

    . God cannot be conceived by any religion ... by any ideology ... by any system of thought ...

    . God is beyond any philosophical idea about that which is ...

    . Yes ... God is that which is ...

    . But when you pronounce verbally ... that God is that which is .... and that which is ... is all ... since ever ... Then ... "God is everything" ...

    . You´re lying ... Why is it so?

    . Because ...

    . Truth cannot be said ... and even said ... it turns immediatly to a lie ...

    . Truth is beyond any word ... any pronunciation ... Truth is just a crystal mirror ... a crystal lake ... reflecting the moon shape ...

    . Your so-called philosophical words about Truth ... are like ... dust clinging in a mirror. They can even express theoretically ... what Truth is ... Still ... Truth will be missed by them ... because Truth is beyond any mind activity ...

    . You must live Truth intensly ... You must live Life intensly ... because ... Life is Truth ...

    . Tao cannot be expressed verbally ... and even expressed ... it turns into a lie ...

    . Tao and God ... are one ... an unity ... an oneness ... that ... must be lived ... while ... one is Alive ...
  • TheMadFool
    13.9k
    Pantheism is "a doctrine which identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God". But what exactly does this mean when taken literally?Michael McMahon

    @180 Proof

    Mind-No Mind Equivalency
  • MelB
    1
    Pantheism is "a doctrine which identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God". But what exactly does this mean when taken literally?Michael McMahon

    What it means to me is that god is the universe and the universe is god.
  • Michael McMahon
    344
    There is a subtle difference in energy and vibe between the times of each morning mass and the evening masses. I remember going to a dawn mass for Easter Sunday a few years ago where it concluded in an old cemetery as the night turned to day. The night has its own spiritual symbolism in terms of the starlight and the quietness which makes a night mass feel almost shamanic. The early morning masses are quick and efficient which is a continuation of the early bird mindset. The midday masses are the longest since that's the time of the day where we're at our most attentive. Altered daylight levels can thus have a small background effect on the spirituality a mass exudes.
  • Michael McMahon
    344
    Nature worship isn't always reflected in religion directly but the environment can still serve as small incentive for spiritual enthusiasm. Tibetan meditation must be a lot easier to focus on when the icy peaks of the Himalayas serve as the background. The Mediterranean sun lends itself well to a quiet and humble lifestyle while the pleasant forest scenery might make it tempting to transcend yourself. The endless rain of temperate climates is like a mandatory period of penance for those who have to shiver in wet clothes! The magnificent sandstorms and mesmerising desert climate of Arabia would suit the intensity of their religious devotion. The diverse vegetation and extreme weather changes in India might help to foster the multifaceted ways Hindus celebrate their religion. The pandemonium and anarchy of the Amazon rainforest sets the stage for mystical beliefs of native shamans.
  • Gregory
    4.3k
    I feel like panentheism (Leibniz, the Hare Krisha religion, ect.) is not different from pantheism (Spinoza, ect). Sometimes, or perhaps often, fine distinctions are really too fine and we should leave the proverbial hair alone and see it's beauty instead of dividing it further too infinity. People seem to fall into the camp of either pantheism or theism. Other positions seem to be unstable to me (even deism leaves one unsatisfied in the end)
  • Ennui Elucidator
    466
    Panentheism is a solution to a problem not addressed by pantheism. Specifically, panentheism helps answer the questions of immanence/transcendence, immutability/responsiveness, and eternal/transient in the context of omnipresence and some other stuff. Suffice it say that by having both god as constituted by the universe (everything is god and so god is everywhere) which is changing and effected by itself (god can respond to humanity) and a god that is outside of the universe's existence/causal chain, one can make sense of god having seemingly contradictory attributes.
  • Gregory
    4.3k


    If something comes out of God that is God because he has no parts but is instead a full unity. Pantheism doesn't deny that you can talk to God because all is one divine nature with many persons in it. Communication happens in pantheism even though there is a complete non-duality. I don't see a third position besides duality of creator to creature vs immanent union
  • Gregory
    4.3k


    In that thread you say Spinoza is not a pantheist, a panentheist, nor a theist. Why are you cutting such distinctions so this? Spinoza did not want to be *called* a pantheist because he would be executed for that. Yet he says all flows from God instead of God popping the world out of nothing. It makes much more sense to simply put all religious thought into the theist camp (dieties separate) and the immanent group on the other side. Occam's razor is a better way to slice it
  • Gregory
    4.3k
    I would also add that Spinoza said God had no will but only intellect. Intellect and will cannot be separated though, so our wills are God's will and the divine "beyond" is the ideas in the mind of God (aka, the laws of nature and reason)
  • 180 Proof
    9.8k
    In that thread you say Spinoza is not a pantheist, a panentheist, nor a theist. Why are you cutting such distinctions so this?Gregory
    I've studied Spinoza's writings & correspondances, that's why. As Maimon, Fichte & Hegel explicitly recognized centuries ago, Spinozism is more consistent with acosmism than with pantheism (or panentheism).

    Spinoza did not want to be *called* a pantheist because he would be executed for that.
    Trouble with local church & civil authorities, in part, is why most of his writings were published posthumously. However, Spinoza trusted that the letter to Henry Oldenburg of the Royal Society in London I quoted from would not be published and that his purpose therein was to clarify the ideas and positions which he'd shared with select, clandestine circles of "readers" – in this case in response to a specific question – and not in order to avoid "being called a pantheist" which, btw, is an epithet coined twenty years after Spinoza's death. If Spinoza had feared sharing Giordano Bruno's fate for "heresy" (why would he when he was not a Catholic, Protestant or cleric/professor with "followers"?), then he wouldn't have undertaken such a wide and varied correspondence wherein he'd excerpted many heterodox, even "blasphemous", passages from his unpublished works. Famously cautious, Spinoza had the courage of his convictions, and thereby (unadvisedly perhaps) sought out dialectical engagement with – to test his thought against – some of the best scientific and philosophical minds of his day.
  • Ennui Elucidator
    466
    I'm not sure I understand what you mean here. It isn't that in pantheism you can't talk to god, but that in pantheism god is inherently constituted by the universe and nothing more. The universe is always changing and that means that god is always changing. There is no eternal in something consisting of the universe. If you are looking for an eternally perfect god (and change suggests a lack of perfection), then you cannot get that from a pantheistic god.

    Here is a brief excerpt from SEP:


    The nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw the development of panentheism as a specific position regarding God’s relationship to the world. The awareness of panentheism as an alternative to classical theism and pantheism developed out of a complex of approaches. Philosophical idealism and philosophical adaptation of the scientific concept of evolution provided the basic sources of the explicit position of panentheism. Philosophical approaches applying the concept of development to God reached their most complete expression in process philosophy’s understanding of God being affected by the events of the world.

    ...

    The nature of a panentheistic mutual relationship between the infinite and the finite is crucial to the claim by panentheism to be a creative alternative to classical Christian theism and pantheism. Unlike classical Christian theism which prioritizes transcendence by deriving divine immanence from divine transcendence, panentheism balances divine transcendence and immanence (Clayton 2020). In the classical Christian understanding, divine transcendence is based on the ontological difference in substance between God and the world making interaction between the two distinct substances impossible (Schaab 2006, 547, 548). The panentheistic mutual relation also differs from pantheism which prioritizes divine immanence by identifying the infinite with the finite. The nature of this mutual relationship basically depends upon the understanding of the ontology of each member of the relationship. The issue is the nature of being for God and for the world as the basis for mutual influence between God and the world.
    — SEP on Panentheism
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    Gos becomes one, merges with, His creation! He no longer exists as separate from His creation aka the universe/multiverse. This is pantheism. Intriguingly, this merger is asymmetric and/or illusory - God loses his attribiutes, but the universe neither loses nor gains any property.

    What if I told you that I'm one with my room and when you enter my room, all you see is the room? Is annexation a (re)unification?

    The universe does act/behave logically, reasonably, intelligently - laws of nature that seems to possess the quality of being designed with elegance & simplicity in mind (hallmarks of genius or so I'm told).

    This gives me an idea! Reversibility (inverse functions, mathematically speaking). Perhaps we can, if we're smart enough, reverse this process e.g. 1 + 2 = 3, and (backing up) 3 - 2 = 1, dissociate God from the universe as it were. God reborn!
  • Raymond
    815
    Intriguingly, this merger is asymmetric and/or illusory - God loses his attribiutes, but the universe neither loses nor gains any property.Agent Smith

    Dunno... Doesn't God, in the pantheisthic world (different from the polytheistic world), become the universe? Thereby continuing their attributes? We are god. Everything is god. When it's all over, god will return home and think back happily about his time as universe!
  • Raymond
    815
    What if I told you that I'm one with my room and when you enter my room, all you see is the room?Agent Smith

    :lol:

    If I were your mum, I would scream to get your ass out of the closet!
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    If I were your mum, I would scream to get your ass out of the closet!Raymond

    :rofl:
  • DA671
    625
    I am a pantheist too! Although, I should add that it is a part of my larger belief system, which is also the reason why I do not think that the cycle of birth can be broken by simply not creating beings. Self-realisation is essential, and that is different for each individual, but it is certain that the human birth does give one the best opportunity to look past the illusion. In that sense, both suffering and happiness are maya (illusion). However, I prefer not getting into that stuff here ;)
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    In that sense, both suffering and happiness are maya (illusion).DA671

    :ok: You might find :point: Truth over Pleasure interesting!
  • DA671
    625
    Truth is happiness for me. But thanks for sharing this
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    Truth is happiness for me. But thanks for sharing thisDA671

    Bitter truths & White lies?
  • DA671
    625
    In isolation? Perhaps. Totally? Might be subjectively possible, but not always.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    In isolation? Perhaps. Totally? Might be subjectively possible, but not always.DA671

    Not always, exactly!
  • DA671
    625
    Some lies are necessary for the greater truth ;)
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