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cheddarsox
March 24th, 2007, 05:32 AM
English is my native language, and it does not spring from pantheistic culture, and has no terminology for such...but it is an incredibly rich language...still, when discussing my faith, sometimes the lack of shared terminology causes frustration.

So...which terms, words, etc do you use?

Do you use old terms in new ways, borrow from another language/culture, make up something completely new? Or maybe you've had some terminology come to you...mystically?

I went to a ritual yesterday evening, and at one point they asked us to speak the names of our deity, that they might all be present...and I found myself unwilling to speak my name for the Divine. This isn't the first time this has happened to me. I feel like if I give people an easy term...that they don't understand...it will allow them to just put the whole of the Divine into a box, and not deal with it.

So, I only use my "name" for What Is, with the initiated..

Anyway...it got me thinking...so I started this thread.

cheddar

Windsmith
March 25th, 2007, 12:57 AM
Damnit, cheddar, why ya always gotta make us think?

I'm been on this pantheism train for only a short while, and the language is something I struggle with on a regular basis. How do I name my "deity"? How do I explain what I believe to others without needing a 10-minute explanation? I don't want to turn my religion into a sound bite, but there has to be a better way to condense it.

On the nomenclature question, your phrase "What Is" has been a real gift to me. It doesn't really pin down the concept as well as saying "Athena" would for a Hellenist, but I know what I mean when I say it, and that means the world to me. It also reminds me of one of my favorite deity "names": in certain Christian traditions, Jesus is sometimes referred to simply as "I AM." Obviously, I'm going to avoid using that name because of the vast amounts of confusion I would cause, but the simplicity of the assertion really is beautiful.

OK, it's late and I'm having trouble expressing myself coherently. But maybe this is enough to get a ball rolling that I can come back and swat at again when I'm more awake.

peggyelizabeth
March 25th, 2007, 04:16 PM
I agree with Windsmith, Cheddar you always ask the most thought provoking things! I've been thinking about how to respond and started typing a couple of times, but it's such a deep topic that I'm having trouble thinking of how to put it into words.

I think that in trying to name the vast universal stuff, I run into one major problem. I do not feel that I will ever be able to wrap my mind around it. By forcing a name upon the idea, I limit the qualities of it, and yet, I how can I begin to understand if I cannot name it?

I think maybe that this is the main work of a pantheist. To try to realize that the vastness is so large, so great, so powerful and unknowable and to be open to the parts that are understandable and willing to accept the unknown as a part of the whole despite our inherent incomprehension.

Somehow "the incomprehensible cosmic greatness that may or may not be transcendent" doesnt cut it.

Maybe an acronym would work!?

Birdy
March 31st, 2007, 10:50 PM
I think that in trying to name the vast universal stuff, I run into one major problem. I do not feel that I will ever be able to wrap my mind around it. By forcing a name upon the idea, I limit the qualities of it, and yet, I how can I begin to understand if I cannot name it?

I think maybe that this is the main work of a pantheist. To try to realize that the vastness is so large, so great, so powerful and unknowable and to be open to the parts that are understandable and willing to accept the unknown as a part of the whole despite our inherent incomprehension.

Somehow "the incomprehensible cosmic greatness that may or may not be transcendent" doesnt cut it.

Maybe an acronym would work!?

Thank you so much for articulating this!

Although, I am loving "the ICG"

ravenscape
April 1st, 2007, 04:12 PM
I often use the term "The Multiverse" - it has a no-nonsense, "no mystics here" sense to it that I both like and dislike.

I like "What Is", for many of the reasons Windsmith deliniates, and for another reason as well. "What is...?" It's the beginning of so many questions I find extremely important, though I don't stress about the details of the answers.

"That which is seen, unseen and unseeable, known, unknown, and unknowable, spoken, unspoken, and unspeakable."

That works, too. Pick your verbs.

Windsmith
April 2nd, 2007, 01:56 PM
I often use the term "The Multiverse" - it has a no-nonsense, "no mystics here" sense to it that I both like and dislike.Yes! "Multiverse." I forgot that one, and I use it all the time. :doh2: It allows for the possibility of things we have not yet discovered, like that this Universe is part of some even greater cosmic structure that contains other universes, and other currently unimaginable things as well - in the same way our solar system contains many planets, our galaxy contains many solar systems, and our universe contains many galaxies (and many other things besides!).

Eleisawolf
April 2nd, 2007, 05:26 PM
I got my favorite name for the divine from a preacher at the Episcopal church where my husband conducts and from a different translation for what is often referred to as "Great Spirit."

O Most Blessed One, Great Mystery.

O Most Blessed One reminds me how I feel about it, and Great Mystery reminds me that there's a lot I still don't know about it.

What Is is good too.

And, in all honesty, I often just refer to it as "Goddess" in my own prayers, musings, and journalings, because that's how I currently relate to it. But only I really know what I mean when I speak of Goddess.

Still, O Most Blessed One, Great Mystery, is the poetry of it all.

Peace

ravenscape
April 2nd, 2007, 06:46 PM
"The Multiverse" opens the door a little wider for panentheism in my own mullings. If there is Something -- some Divine and immanent presence in this Universe, whether coalesced or diffuse, whether singular or plural, this Divine could transcend "Creation"/this Universe, yet still be natural - not supernatural.

Rhisiart
April 5th, 2007, 03:27 AM
I have always used the phrase "All That Is". It works for me well. I dont try to personalize the 'Verse or what ever accumulation of consciousness I may try to connect with, I just call it "All That Is". Once I name something, I might try and give it qualities and personifications. "All That Is" is also kinda ancienty, reverent and when you think about, says it all! Its ALL THAT IS!!:fpraise:

I also like the name FREDDY...and Timmers...I dont know why...

cheddarsox
April 5th, 2007, 03:46 PM
I like "Great Mystery", but I think I'd replace "Great" with ...essential, universal...trancendent...something. I like the "mystery" part because it has the agnosticism built in. It acknowledges right off that we arent' putting anything in a box, or claiming to have it figured out etc.

this is a great discussion. I am enjoying "sitting" with the different terms, trying them out for myself and experiencing how I perceive them and react to them.

it's opening me up. I love/live to be opened up.

Windsmith
April 13th, 2007, 05:28 PM
Starting just this week I have been quite taken with the idea of saying simply "Cosmos." It's suitably vast and awe-inspiring, leaves open the possibility of a (natural) something beyond what our instruments can currently see and understand, and is a term already known by a larger percentage of the population than "Multiverse" or "What Is."

Plus, you know, what's not to love about Carl Sagan? ;)

peggyelizabeth
April 13th, 2007, 08:09 PM
Plus, you know, what's not to love about Carl Sagan? ;)

True, so true.

ravenscape
April 14th, 2007, 02:17 AM
windsmith, you reminded me of a word that Carl Sagan used a lot in describing the Cosmos:

Numinous is a Latin term coined by German theologian Rudolf Otto (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Otto) to describe that which is wholly other.

I like the word.

cheddarsox
April 14th, 2007, 07:09 AM
Plus, you know, what's not to love about Carl Sagan? ;)

LOL...my husband is a scientist and he hangs with people who were pals with Carl's ex...now passed away...and well..she said there was PLENTY not to love about Carl...sigh.

The night sky has been awesome this week. Breathtaking every day as I head off to work. I love the sliver of moon..

My celestial calendar tells me...that this new moon, and the one in May will show the most noticable "earth shine" where the new moon is reflecting light from the earth...like mirrors bouncing the sunlight back and forth through space.

Also, the climax of the Lyrid meteor shower is the 22nd of this month.

So...keep looking up!

Windsmith
April 16th, 2007, 11:49 AM
windsmith, you reminded me of a word that Carl Sagan used a lot in describing the Cosmos:

Numinous is a Latin term coined by German theologian Rudolf Otto (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Otto) to describe that which is wholly other.

I like the word.I love the word "numinous"! I don't use it nearly often enough. A few months ago we went to this huge craft fest in our area. One vendor had one of those little button-makers, and you could cut a word out of the dictionary and have it made into a button. I looked through 5 different dictionaries, and none of them had "numinous" in them! I was crushed. I am such a word geek.
LOL...my husband is a scientist and he hangs with people who were pals with Carl's ex...now passed away...and well..she said there was PLENTY not to love about Carl...sigh.Aw, man! Why do the ones who seem so cool have to have screwed-up personal lives?!?
Also, the climax of the Lyrid meteor shower is the 22nd of this month.Yes! Thank you again for the reminders. I want to start getting out there and watching the sky again.

Eleisawolf
April 17th, 2007, 06:04 PM
I like "Great Mystery", but I think I'd replace "Great" with ...essential, universal...trancendent...something. I like the "mystery" part because it has the agnosticism built in. It acknowledges right off that we arent' putting anything in a box, or claiming to have it figured out etc.

I keep "great" because its implication to me is that whatever it is is bigger than me, than my understanding. The intention of "great" for me is "huge" or "vast," as opposed to "excellent" or "better than good."

:hahugh:

Peace

Tranquility
April 17th, 2007, 09:47 PM
I use words like Presence and Cosmos/Cosmic.

I love that word Numinous. For me, when I experience the divine it's exactly that. I know it's special.. but somehow I don't know how. I Just know that it's something more than what's curretnly 'here', and numinous captures that perfectly.

ravenscape
April 20th, 2007, 02:46 PM
I use words like Presence and Cosmos/Cosmic.

I love that word Numinous. For me, when I experience the divine it's exactly that. I know it's special.. but somehow I don't know how. I Just know that it's something more than what's curretnly 'here', and numinous captures that perfectly.
Yeah. It kind of fits in with the concept of a "place between the worlds", too. There is here-and-now, there is wholly other, and there is a miniscus, a fluid interface, that we sometimes inhabit.