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?