Pantheism

The World Pantheist Movement is well worth reading about–at its site and its lively Facebook page. (The other, older, and more traditional pantheist organization is the Universal Pantheist Society, founded in 1975.)

Pantheism emphasizes reverence for nature and the universe as a whole. It rejects supernatural religion, and does so without the anger of some atheists. In fact, for the WPM, religious tolerance is among its primary beliefs, along with two other very human issues, human rights and respect for science. That’s a pretty big umbrella.

Some of the themes of Pantheism resonate for me more deeply than others. I do feel reverence and awe when I look up at the stars, contemplate the age of an ordinary stone, and enjoy the vast expanse of the ocean. I recognize that such experiences help some people feel clearer about their values and where their lives fit in the big picture. But for me such awe also evokes a feeling of being “swallowed up” by what is vastly large without any place for the particular concerns of living things, including me.

So I’m more inclined to contemplate the history of life than the inanimate universe. Perhaps that’s partly a function of advancing age and a new respect for the long chain of living things.  And often, awe and reverence are not enough. I have questions to chew on, I want information to ponder, and I seek insights to carry with me. So it serves me well that the WPM, in its own words, fuses spirituality with science. While other religions narrow or close the door on science, Pantheism widens its own portal on faith by embracing it.

Any comments from Pantheists out there?

3 thoughts on “Pantheism

  1. I have often heard that science is cruel, science gives you no comfort, science describes the ‘how’ while religion describes the ‘why’… I do not agree! I consider myself a Naturalistic Pantheist, and that is just a fancy way of saying that I am able to get spirituality out of atheism/agnosticism, scientific truth, and the natural world. Instead of sitting in a church and paying money to do so, I drive my car up the canyon and stare at the stars and feel peace and amazement that I am made of the universe and in turn am able to stare back at the universe from whence I came.

  2. thank you again for your comments. I had never heard of such a thing as spiritual naturalism, but after reading up on it I realized that term fits my beliefs much better. Thanks again!

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