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David19
November 23rd, 2009, 09:43 PM
I thought I'd post this here, 'cause, I'd just like to get some advice, but, lately, I've been trying to find my path, as some of you might already know, I've gone through quite a few, and, while I'm not there yet, I've just had a few thoughts.

Anyway, I kind of feel that the Divine can be anything we want, by that, I mean, I think it is in everything, including our imaginations, that's why, if anyone saw my thread in the Gods & Goddessess forum about creating your own God, I don't see a reason why that couldn't happen, even without bringing in the "thought-form" theory, it's something I read in 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism' by Linda Johnson and something I've picked up from Karen King, who said something like the God of our future will be a God of the Imagination.

I was also reading this excerpt from Matthew Fox's book 'Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet' (http://www.matthewfox.org/sys-tmpl/htmlpage13/), and, I may be misrepresenting the books views (I haven't read it, although, it sounds interesting), I think the Divine cane come through in our creativity/imaginations.

Whether or not, the Gods you "create" are somehow already in existence or you actually do create them, I don't know, but, I don't see a conflict with believing them to be individual entities either.

Anyway, is that part of Pantheism, or is it just my own, wierd, beliefs (feel free to criticise them if you want).

Thanks for any help :).

TygerTyger
November 24th, 2009, 04:15 AM
Welcome David and thanks for posting your question.

I'm looking forward to the responses!

:uhhuhuh:

*oonagh*
November 24th, 2009, 09:47 AM
er...is your question, "what is pantheism"? <g>

David19
November 26th, 2009, 07:19 PM
Welcome David and thanks for posting your question.

I'm looking forward to the responses!

:uhhuhuh:

Thanks :).



er...is your question, "what is pantheism"? <g>

I wanted to know if that sounds like Pantheism or not.

PaganSpirit
November 26th, 2009, 09:21 PM
Pantheism is the belief that the Universe itself, or the essence of the universe, is, in totality, God. What you're describing sounds to me more like you're simply open to all theological stances and don't see any contradiction between them (kind of like me), and with that you could have some pantheistic views, but it isn't pantheism in itself.

David19
November 26th, 2009, 09:55 PM
Pantheism is the belief that the Universe itself, or the essence of the universe, is, in totality, God. What you're describing sounds to me more like you're simply open to all theological stances and don't see any contradiction between them (kind of like me), and with that you could have some pantheistic views, but it isn't pantheism in itself.

Thanks, maybe, I'd be better off just saying I'm a Spiritual seeker or something then.

Thanks again :).

TygerTyger
November 27th, 2009, 03:54 AM
Pantheistic beliefs appear in many religions but that is not to say that they are pantheistic in themselves, just that they have recognisable sympathies with a Pantheist's point of view.

mystic_zoe
November 30th, 2009, 05:02 PM
.....
Anyway, I kind of feel that the Divine can be anything we want, by that, I mean, I think it is in everything, including our imaginations,
....


Anyway, is that part of Pantheism, or is it just my own, wierd, beliefs (feel free to criticise them if you want).
.

(the dots are just to show I snipped some of your post out :))

I have a few links which could help:

http://home.utm.net/pan/whatis.html

http://www.pantheism.net/paul/index.htm

The links really just provide various definitions of Pantheism and provide a bit more info.

I think the diagram on the first link is helpful. It shows that Pantheism can be described as saying that God and Nature being one in the same. Like I've said in another thread, the definition I go by which is just what I've said just there:



"belief that God and the universe are identical," which i took from http://www.etymonline.com


I think from what you said that your beliefs could be a part of Pantheism. But you have to decide whether you feel you believe God and Nature/Universe are one in the same or if you feel that God is in and above Nature which would be Panentheism.

Hope I didn't confuse things more :hahugh:

winter rose
November 30th, 2009, 05:12 PM
My belief is that all Gods are the same God - I think all prayer and energy goes to the same place. The religious traditions may be different, but all religions have certain things in common: there is a God, there is some sort of after life, and to get there you have to believe.

I don't think it matters who you worship, or what your dogma is. It just matters that you believe in something and are doing good in the world.

I'm not sure about creating your own God, though. By doing that, you would be worshipping no supreme being...all religions(for the most part) are based on a a figure that was prophetic.

Just my opinion.

Happy God-hunting!

ravenscape
January 21st, 2010, 05:42 PM
Pantheism is a word. It's a confusing word because people use it to label everything from straight-up metaphysical naturalism to one nanometer shy of panentheism. That's some kind of continuum to wrap one word around.

TygerTyger
January 22nd, 2010, 06:06 AM
Pantheism is a word.

Isn't everything in here?

ravenscape
January 22nd, 2010, 10:24 AM
Isn't everything in here?
Any comment on the rest of what I wrote?

TygerTyger
January 25th, 2010, 04:22 AM
Pantheism is a word. It's a confusing word because people use it to label everything from straight-up metaphysical naturalism to one nanometer shy of panentheism. That's some kind of continuum to wrap one word around.

‘Pantheism’ as a label is not unique, many such terms are used in reference to various belief systems, such as Christianity. At their core they have, or at least should have, a number of basic concepts that are agreed upon, but these are then added to, developed, expanded, influenced, reinterpreted, etc. It can seem that everything contained under the one umbrella term hardly bears any real similarity to one another.

For Pantheism this might seem even more confusing as there seems to be nothing concrete to appeal to, no bible, no commandments, no priesthood; no boundaries really.

I have no problem with this. I like the challenge of defining something sensible from the apparent chaos of thought and interpretation.

ravenscape
January 25th, 2010, 12:03 PM
After years of discussing religion and apologetics, I've concluded that labels often get in the way of understanding. People with very similar beliefs and philosophies may use labels that would indicate their beliefs should be quite different. And vice versa.

As someone put it on another message board yesterday "We need fewer labels and more words". That's actually a better statement of my views than my statement was.

Tom Terrific
January 25th, 2010, 02:11 PM
I think from what you said that your beliefs could be a part of Pantheism. But you have to decide whether you feel you believe God and Nature/Universe are one in the same or if you feel that God is in and above Nature which would be Panentheism.

David,

I think Matthew Fox is a panentheist. Have you read his book Original Blessing? I think he discusses the idea in detail there.

TygerTyger
January 25th, 2010, 04:58 PM
After years of discussing religion and apologetics, I've concluded that labels often get in the way of understanding. People with very similar beliefs and philosophies may use labels that would indicate their beliefs should be quite different. And vice versa.

As someone put it on another message board yesterday "We need fewer labels and more words". That's actually a better statement of my views than my statement was.

I agree with you there. You only have to look at the climate change debate to see how the application of a label to a complex concept can give rise to numerous misunderstandings, mistranslations and misrepresentations!

I don't rely on the word 'Pantheism' to define my beliefs in detail, it's just a useful starting point. I like the word, but quite frankly the majority of people who encounter it for the first time always seem to misunderstand it.

It would be good to meet someone who asks "what do you believe in?" and then they hang around for a longer answer than a label!

mystic_zoe
January 25th, 2010, 06:41 PM
I think labels are a good thing so long as you don't get to hung up on 'oh I don't have a label for my path' etc

Like TygerTyger said it is a good place to start. Even if you are able to say my beliefs are similar too...[insert path]. Which kind of leaves you open to explain further if the person/people you are talking with is interested.

Rather than being asked what you believe or what your religion is and you giving some long speech when really the other person isn't all that interested in that much detail.

TygerTyger
January 26th, 2010, 04:03 AM
Rather than being asked what you believe or what your religion is and you giving some long speech when really the other person isn't all that interested in that much detail.

That's what I've found, people ask you a question but don't want an informed answer, a label will do nicely thank you!

The real problem with labels, I have found, is that people often presume that their definition is the one used by everyone else so they don't go to the trouble of explaining what they actually mean when they use them.

ravenscape
January 26th, 2010, 02:05 PM
I agree with you there. You only have to look at the climate change debate to see how the application of a label to a complex concept can give rise to numerous misunderstandings, mistranslations and misrepresentations!

I don't rely on the word 'Pantheism' to define my beliefs in detail, it's just a useful starting point. I like the word, but quite frankly the majority of people who encounter it for the first time always seem to misunderstand it.

It would be good to meet someone who asks "what do you believe in?" and then they hang around for a longer answer than a label!
And although I consider myself a pantheist and a pagan, I find that a more useful starting point for discussion is "I am a nontheist."

Odd, that.

*oonagh*
January 26th, 2010, 02:09 PM
i usually deal with this by saying "all i know is that there is god" and leave it at that.

ravenscape
January 26th, 2010, 02:24 PM
i usually deal with this by saying "all i know is that there is god" and leave it at that.
You know more than I.

TygerTyger
January 27th, 2010, 03:59 AM
And although I consider myself a pantheist and a pagan, I find that a more useful starting point for discussion is "I am a nontheist."

Odd, that.

Not really. I think it depends on the type of people you meet. I think that the term 'nontheist' would prove just as confusing to most people who are not actively spiritual or religious as 'pantheist'.

I don't know if this is unique to Britain but religion is not a topic of conversation that people enter into readily.

*oonagh*
January 27th, 2010, 11:07 AM
i'm confused...
non-theist does not equal pantheist (in my brain it's the exact opposite)

mystic_zoe
January 27th, 2010, 04:48 PM
i'm confused...
non-theist does not equal pantheist (in my brain it's the exact opposite)

In my head I would have said pantheism was closer to non-theistic.
IMO theism is the belief in the existence of God(s) and in my view Pantheism is that the universe and God are equivalent.
Not that the universe is God but is of the same level in the sense that pantheists revere the universe like theists may worship and/or revere God(s).

To me the term God gives a supernatural feeling to it.

I think this page explains it from my point of view



When scientific pantheists say WE REVERE THE UNIVERSE we are not talking about a supernatural being. We are talking about the way our senses and our emotions force us to respond to the overwhelming mystery and power that surrounds us.
We are part of the universe. Our earth was created from the universe and will one day be reabsorbed into the universe


I suppose it depends how what definitions you use really.

Thats just my opinion and probably doesn't make sense :hahugh:

ravenscape
February 2nd, 2010, 02:04 AM
i'm confused...
non-theist does not equal pantheist (in my brain it's the exact opposite)

Like I said, the term pantheism covers a whole lot of ground. Metaphysical Naturalism at one end of the continuum all the way to just this side of panentheism at the other end of the continuum. When I run into someone who self-identifies as pantheist, I have no idea what their spirituality is without a fair bit of discussion.

You and I might sit down, have a chat, and decide we are fairly close in terms of spirituality. Or not.

TygerTyger
February 2nd, 2010, 03:53 AM
Like I said, the term pantheism covers a whole lot of ground. Metaphysical Naturalism at one end of the continuum all the way to just this side of panentheism at the other end of the continuum. When I run into someone who self-identifies as pantheist, I have no idea what their spirituality is without a fair bit of discussion.

You and I might sit down, have a chat, and decide we are fairly close in terms of spirituality. Or not.

The basic principle of Pantheism remains the same; God is the universe. That there are various interpretations of this principle merely reflects the human habit of making a simple idea more complicated; such as the notion of there being only one true god, of which there are several definitions.

*oonagh*
February 2nd, 2010, 03:05 PM
everything that exists is divinity (i.e. god). so, pantheists clearly believe in (know that there is) god. the fact that they do not believe that god is separate does not mean that they do not believe in god.

mystic_zoe
February 2nd, 2010, 06:38 PM
everything that exists is divinity (i.e. god). so, pantheists clearly believe in (know that there is) god. the fact that they do not believe that god is separate does not mean that they do not believe in god.

I suppose that is true because essentially like TygerTyger said God is the Universe, I understand what you are saying.

But when it comes down to it I personally think the term God carries too much extra baggage so to speak. It brings up images for me of a personal God etc

I would probably class myself as Atheist anyways.

Oh and I don't mean to keep picking on your posts or anything I just seem to feel the need to add my 2 cents to in response to some of your posts :)

TygerTyger
February 3rd, 2010, 06:21 AM
I agree that the term 'god' does indeed carry an immense amount of baggage, most of which I don't recognise, but there is something that I find in my beliefs that makes atheism and incorrect label for me also.

*oonagh*
February 3rd, 2010, 09:38 AM
I suppose that is true because essentially like TygerTyger said God is the Universe, I understand what you are saying.

But when it comes down to it I personally think the term God carries too much extra baggage so to speak. It brings up images for me of a personal God etc

I would probably class myself as Atheist anyways.

Oh and I don't mean to keep picking on your posts or anything I just seem to feel the need to add my 2 cents to in response to some of your posts :)


please keep picking on my posts! :uhhuhuh: we're all way too agreeable around here (tee hee)!

i understand how you feel about the word though that's all it is in the end...just a word. sometimes i use the word "source". but, i can't call myself atheist (even though that too is just a word <g>) because i *know* (ok...ok...*really believe*) that there is god (divinity, source, etc., etc.) which is everything that exists. stuff doesn't just exist...it is divnity (good stuff, bad stuff, ugly stuff, pretty stuff, stuff you can see, stuff you can't, stuff that was, stuff that will be etc. etc.).

ravenscape
February 6th, 2010, 01:33 AM
Whether a person considers him/herself to be atheistic or theistic comes down as much to how he defines "god" as it does to what he actually thinks about the universe.

But the universe is all there is. Truly all there is. It makes everything. It destroys everything. And to the extent that empathy and goodness exist, they exist because we - the sentient parts of the universe in infinite diversity - we are the realization of them.

mystic_zoe
February 6th, 2010, 12:45 PM
But the universe is all there is. Truly all there is. It makes everything. It destroys everything. And to the extent that empathy and goodness exit, they exist because we - the sentient parts of the universe in infinite diversity - we are the realization of them.

I totally agree with this.

:uhhuhuh: