PDA

View Full Version : Questions, Questions



Irishwaterz
September 28th, 2010, 06:32 PM
Please forgive me if this post already appears elsewhere, I posted a similar one earlier today and hit the submit button but then aol crashed on me and I wasnt sure if It saved and posted or not, when I just now looked for it, I couldnt find it so I am assuming it did not, could be wrong though!
____
So, I should say that I am simply asking these questions not for validation but because I want to know where I belong spiritually, my church *Unitarian Universalist* has so many different groups and meetings for Pagans, Pantheists, Buddhists, etc and it would be nice to be able to join them and share my thoughts and ideas and learn from them and be firm in my position as a ?

Also in my area there are no people who believe as I do and Id love to maybe start a meet up group but to do that I kind of need to have an idea of what it is that I am believing in, I just need this for myself and Ive asked before and I thought I came to the answer, I thought, ok, Im definately a Pantheist and for months that is what I called myself until....
______
I was on another forum...I introduced myself and explained that I was a Pantheist. These people claim that a Pantheist is someone who believes that EVERYTHING from The Moon and The Ocean to a $9 Toaster is God. There is nothing that isnt natural and nothing that isnt God or Sacred/Divine and since I do not believe this to be true-I believe that NATURE is Sacred/Divine *By Nature I mean that which is found in Nature-Trees, Stars, stones, Dirt, Water, Fire, etc* Then I am not a Pantheist.
______
Ok...so I thought in frustration I am NOT a Pantheist, perhaps Naturalistic Pagan fits me better? Perhaps some other path I am not even aware of fits me better? Lets keep exploring...Then I went into a chatroom today and explained my beliefs...The overwhelming responses from both Pagans and Atheists in the room was that I am a Pantheist.

When I explained to them that a Pantheist believed that EVERYTHING is God or alternatively Holy/Divine, I was told that I was being absurd, I was wrong or that the people on the other board were confused, not following the dictionary definition of a Pantheist or were toying with me but I dont get that impression, they seem to REALLY believe what they are saying, I didnt sense that any of them were playing games, I believe them to be truly honest and open people :)
_______
So...who is right? When I read the statements from the Boards here, I find myself nodding in complete agreement, I find my heart skipping a beat about how beautiful and awe inspiring nature is when its healing us and destroying us at the very same time, I find myself agreeing completely, I dont use the word God to describe Nature but thats to me the only difference Ive seen here and on the WPM site and in a book I bought called 'Elements of Pantheism' and yet I am told on the other board that, this is not TRUE Pantheism, its more Humanism and feel good Naturalism.

Are there different strands of Pantheism perhaps and I am one strand and they are another? What am I missing here? Do you believe that Forests and Trees are Holy? That the man who goes into the forest and cuts down the trees and builds a house is ok to do this because its natural for him to do that and his house once built is God anyways?

What is a person called who is wholly naturalistic in their Worship/Honor? I was asked over there-what is nature-what is NOT Natural...I understand the Gist of what is being asked-everything that exists comes from something that comes from somewhere in Nature. I get that. BUT, I dont believe it's holy once its taken out of its natural context and used in a way that is detrimental to man or society (Guns and Bombs for example are NOT Holy to me, Im not likely to have a gun on my altar and stare at it and say, wow, thats gorgeous but I would do that with a seashell or a pinecone)!
______
Ok, so, All Im asking for is a direction in which I can look, what path do I sound like? what paths can I explore that I might fit into? My basic beliefs are:

1. The Universe/Nature (That which is found in Nature Naturally) is Holy, Sacred, Divine and Deserves Religious reverence and respect....

2. I have random ritual days and I meditate, practice Magical arts (Though I admit this could be psychological=The Placebo effect), Spirit dance, garden, cook and other ritualistic things to connect to both my deeper/Inner self and to The Universe/Nature.

3. Everything Natural is interconnected and therefore shares in divinity...Its important to note here that I do not believe in only the fluffy bunny version of Nature as I have been told I do elsewhere, I know that Nature is both Violent and cruel as well as healing and Nurturing and thats what makes me want to honor and revere it!
_____
Other Questions!
_____
Can a Pantheist practice Magic?
Is Naturalistic whatever I am Technically speaking atheistic because it has no God or Gods?

Do all Pantheists believe GOD and Nature are the same thing, another thing I was told on the other forum is that an Atheist would never say that God and Nature are one. I commented that I also would never say that because to me Nature is Sacred but its not God. I dont use the word God at all. I was told again then I am definately not a Pantheist.

I attempted to get clarification or perhaps other POV's and the entire group there seemed to concur with each other, like I said, I moved on and started looking into Naturalistic Paganism because I dont want to call myself something I am not and then today was told quite angrily that I am a Pantheist pretending to be something else because I dont want to admit Im such, Uh...No...I was told Im not! GRRRR

any ideas?
Oh and if anyone is here that is also there-Im sure you will be peeved off at me for coming here for clarification but maybe you can try to see it from my POV that it is quite confusing, The only thing I can think is that maybe you are one type of Pantheist and I am another type and I need to know what type I am so I can start exploring it :)

Bright Blessings!
Ace

Windsmith
October 1st, 2010, 05:04 PM
Hey, Irishwaterz.

Wow, you ask a lot here; I'm not going to try to reply to all of it; I'll try to keep to a "high level" response.

Yes, I do believe that everything is sacred. You talk about things as they are in Nature, and I understand that, but for me it's a distinction that doesn't work. If a beaver builds a dam out of sticks, the sticks are no longer in their "natural" state, but is the dam unnatural? Why is that different from a person cutting down a tree to build a house?

I don't have to like everything that exists. I don't like what humans are doing to the ecosystem. I don't like the E. coli bacteria. But they exist, and therefore they are holy to me. And, no, I'm not prostrating myself before the $9 toaster and saying, "Thou art God", because to me, what is sacred is the whole. I don't buy a shirt because the tag is awesome; yet the tag is part of the shirt. I try to look at the whole more than the parts. That is the essence of my Pantheism: the sacredness of the whole, regardless of my feelings towards the parts.

As for the folks on the other sites: most everyone perceives Pantheism in their own way, through the lens of their own experience. I'm certainly not going to tell you "You're not a Pantheist!" - I don't think of it as some exclusive club that only the "right" people should be allowed into. Goodness knows I've had enough people tell me I'm not a "real" Pantheist to be leery of anyone who makes that claim. But it seems to me like maybe you're uncomfortable with the label if it includes considering the human-made world in your perception of the divine. Perhaps "Naturalistic Pagan" or even "Nature reverencer" feels more comfortable?

mystic_zoe
October 3rd, 2010, 03:04 PM
I find this site to be useful in explaining a bit about Pantheism or at least it gave me a rough idea:
http://www.pantheism.net/paul/index.htm

Personally I don't like using the label God because in my head it gives off a supernatural feel.

For me I think that the Universe is worthy of reverence and fills me with awe and amazement when I think about it but I wouldn't compare the Universe with God, i.e. God is the Universe and the Universe is God. I wouldn't say they are the same thing.
That's just my opinion.

I tend to use the term Atheist rather than Pantheist to describe myself.

Maybe exploring some of the threads within this section could help you figure out if the term Pantheist fits you?

Here's a link to the FAQ within this section:
http://www.mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=159815

omar
December 11th, 2010, 02:48 PM
If you believe God is the Universe then you are "not an atheist". They belirve in nothing. Insted of saying God I say the Great White Light or Super Mind or Great Spirit or Self Creator,but mostly I say Infinetbeing. I never use the word God but one of the others. He/she is Chaos/ Law, that spoke the word OM over primal mater to turn chaos into laws of the universe. We have always been part of this creation like a drop of rain in the ocean,not seperat like the Christins claim, we cannot be seporated from the creator/selfcreator. Never have been & never will be.

cheddarsox
December 21st, 2010, 06:58 AM
I don't get how people decide something is out of it's natural context, I mean...no one and nothing has the power to remove anything from the universe.

When a beaver builds a damn, or an ant an anthill, has removed something from it's context?

I think it's pretty ballsy and conceited to assume that when humans do it...it means something different than when any other thing does it.

we are part of nature. End of story. We do not have the power to put ourselves above outside of it.

Once upon a long ago, there was very little oxygen in the atmosphere, there was life that lived without oxygen. Then, these other critters came along and started spouting oxygen into the atmosphere, and the anaerobics had to flee to survive.

We are not the first or last species to significantly alter eco system.

Flowering plants revolutionized eco systems. Volcanoes both build and destroy eco systems.

Maybe we don't have the level of consciousness that we like to think we do. I tend to think we are more hardwired than most people do. We are following the drives that evolution selected in us. We did not create ourselves and our tendencies.

Sharizzy
December 21st, 2010, 07:29 AM
omar, atheist literally translates to "without god." It does not mean "without spirituality or religion."

MrsLynch
October 31st, 2011, 03:25 PM
This thread is way old now, I realize, but I had to weigh in on ONE of the OP's questions. Being "Can a Pantheist practice magic?" My answer; Why not? I would consider myself a Pantheist and I am very interested in practicing magic for meditation/reverence to Nature. As a Pantheist I believe that "magic" or energy/power comes from the Earth, the Elements and the Universe around us and we can channel that energy for benevolent purposes. How do "normal" Pagan's practice magic? By doing the very same thing, but in reverence to a deity. To me, it is the same. Right? Right!