Pantheism

Pantheism

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Pantheism is the view that the Universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 (Nature
Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

) and God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 (or divinity
Divinity
Divinity and divine are broadly applied but loosely defined terms, used variously within different faiths and belief systems — and even by different individuals within a given faith — to refer to some transcendent or transcendental power or deity, or its attributes or manifestations in...

) are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal
Personal God
A personal god is a deity who can be related to as a person instead of as an "impersonal force", such as the Absolute, "the All", or the "Ground of Being"....

, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Greek (pan) meaning "all" and the Greek (theos) meaning "God". As such, Pantheism denotes the idea that "God" is best seen as a process of relating to the Universe. Although there are divergences within Pantheism, the central ideas found in almost all versions are the Cosmos as an all-encompassing unity and the sacredness of Nature.
In Pantheism, God is identical with the universe, but in Panentheism
Panentheism
Panentheism is a belief system which posits that God exists, interpenetrates every part of nature and timelessly extends beyond it...

 God lies within and also beyond or outside of the universe.

History


The term “Pantheism" is derived from Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 words pan meaning "all
The All
The All is the Hermetic or panentheistic view of God, which is that everything that is, or at least that can be experienced, collectively makes up The All...

" and theos (θεός) meaning God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

, in the sense of theism
Theism
Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists.In a more specific sense, theism refers to a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and God's relationship to the universe....

. The term pantheist — from which the word Pantheism was derived — was purportedly first used in English by Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 writer John Toland
John Toland
John Toland was a rationalist philosopher and freethinker, and occasional satirist, who wrote numerous books and pamphlets on political philosophy and philosophy of religion, which are early expressions of the philosophy of the Age of Enlightenment...

 in his 1705 work "Socinianism
Socinianism
Socinianism is a system of Christian doctrine named for Fausto Sozzini , which was developed among the Polish Brethren in the Minor Reformed Church of Poland during the 15th and 16th centuries and embraced also by the Unitarian Church of Transylvania during the same period...

 Truly Stated, by a pantheist". He clarified the idea in a 1710 letter to Gottfried Leibniz
Gottfried Leibniz
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a German philosopher and mathematician. He wrote in different languages, primarily in Latin , French and German ....

 when he referred to "the pantheistic opinion of those who believe in no other eternal being but the universe". However, many earlier writers, schools of philosophy, and religious movements expressed pantheistic ideas.

They include some of the Presocratics, such as Heraclitus
Heraclitus
Heraclitus of Ephesus was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Asia Minor. He was of distinguished parentage. Little is known about his early life and education, but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom...

 and Anaximander
Anaximander
Anaximander was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher who lived in Miletus, a city of Ionia; Milet in modern Turkey. He belonged to the Milesian school and learned the teachings of his master Thales...

. The Stoics were Pantheists, beginning with Zeno of Citium
Zeno of Citium
Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher from Citium . Zeno was the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy, which he taught in Athens from about 300 BC. Based on the moral ideas of the Cynics, Stoicism laid great emphasis on goodness and peace of mind gained from living a life of virtue in...

 and culminating in the emperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius. During the pre-Christian Roman Empire, Stoicism
Stoicism
Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early . The Stoics taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, and that a sage, or person of "moral and intellectual perfection," would not suffer such emotions.Stoics were concerned...

 was one of the three dominant schools of philosophy, along with Epicureanism
Epicureanism
Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus, founded around 307 BC. Epicurus was an atomic materialist, following in the steps of Democritus. His materialism led him to a general attack on superstition and divine intervention. Following Aristippus—about whom...

 and Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism , is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists, with its earliest contributor believed to be Plotinus, and his teacher Ammonius Saccas...

. The early Taoism of Lao Zi and Zhuangzi
Zhuangzi
Zhuangzi was an influential Chinese philosopher who lived around the 4th century BCE during the Warring States Period, a period corresponding to the philosophical summit of Chinese thought — the Hundred Schools of Thought, and is credited with writing—in part or in whole—a work known by his name,...

 is also pantheistic.

In the West, Pantheism went into retreat during the Christian years between the 4th and 15th centuries, when it was regarded as heresy. The first open revival was by Giordano Bruno
Giordano Bruno
Giordano Bruno , born Filippo Bruno, was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician and astronomer. His cosmological theories went beyond the Copernican model in proposing that the Sun was essentially a star, and moreover, that the universe contained an infinite number of inhabited...

 (burned at the stake in 1600). Baruch Spinoza
Baruch Spinoza
Baruch de Spinoza and later Benedict de Spinoza was a Dutch Jewish philosopher. Revealing considerable scientific aptitude, the breadth and importance of Spinoza's work was not fully realized until years after his death...

Ethics, finished in 1675, was the major source from which Pantheism spread (though Spinoza himself did not use the word, and there is some controversy over whether he may more accurately be termed a panentheist. John Toland
John Toland
John Toland was a rationalist philosopher and freethinker, and occasional satirist, who wrote numerous books and pamphlets on political philosophy and philosophy of religion, which are early expressions of the philosophy of the Age of Enlightenment...

 was influenced by both Spinoza and Bruno. In 1720 he wrote the Pantheisticon: or The Form of Celebrating the Socratic-Society in Latin.

In 1785 a major controversy known in German as the Pantheismus-Streit (Pantheism controversy)
Pantheism controversy
The pantheism controversy was an event in German cultural history which had an impact throughout Europe.A conversation between philosopher Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi and dramatist Gotthold Lessing in 1780 led Jacobi to a protracted study of Spinoza's works. Lessing had avowed that he knew no...

 between critic Friedrich Jacobi and defender Moses Mendelssohn
Moses Mendelssohn
Moses Mendelssohn was a German Jewish philosopher to whose ideas the renaissance of European Jews, Haskalah is indebted...

 helped to spread awareness of Pantheism to many German thinkers in the late 18th and in the 19th century.

For a time during the 19th century it seemed like Pantheism was the religion of the future, attracting figures such as William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads....

 and Samuel Coleridge in Britain; Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Johann Gottlieb Fichte was a German philosopher. He was one of the founding figures of the philosophical movement known as German idealism, a movement that developed from the theoretical and ethical writings of Immanuel Kant...

, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling , later von Schelling, was a German philosopher. Standard histories of philosophy make him the midpoint in the development of German idealism, situating him between Fichte, his mentor prior to 1800, and Hegel, his former university roommate and erstwhile friend...

 and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher, one of the creators of German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality as a whole revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism.Hegel developed a comprehensive...

 in Germany; Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse...

, Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century...

 and Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist...

 in the USA. Seen as a threat by the Vatican, it came under attack in the Syllabus of Errors
Syllabus of Errors
The Syllabus of Errors was a document issued by Holy See under Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1864, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, on the same day as the Pope's encyclical Quanta Cura.- Format :...

 of Pius IX
Pope Pius XI
Pope Pius XI , born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti, was Pope from 6 February 1922, and sovereign of Vatican City from its creation as an independent state on 11 February 1929 until his death on 10 February 1939...

.

However, in the 20th century Pantheism was sidelined by political ideologies such as Communism and Fascism, by the traumatic upheavals of two world wars, and later by relativistic philosophies such as Existentialism
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

 and Post-Modernism. It persisted in eminent pantheists such as the novelist D. H. Lawrence
D. H. Lawrence
David Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation...

, scientist Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...

, poet Robinson Jeffers
Robinson Jeffers
John Robinson Jeffers was an American poet, known for his work about the central California coast. Most of Jeffers' poetry was written in classic narrative and epic form, but today he is also known for his short verse, and considered an icon of the environmental movement.-Life:Jeffers was born in...

, architect Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 500 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture...

 and historian Arnold Toynbee
Arnold Toynbee
Arnold Toynbee was a British economic historian also noted for his social commitment and desire to improve the living conditions of the working classes.-Biography:...

.

Recent developments


In the late 20th century, Pantheism began to see a resurgence. Pantheism chimed with the growing ecological awareness in society and the media. It was described as "Hollywood’s religion of choice for a generation now", and often declared to be the underlying “theology” of Paganism
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

. 1975 saw the foundation of the Universal Pantheist Society
Universal Pantheist Society
The Universal Pantheist Society is one of the world's first official organizations dedicated to the promotion and understanding of modern pantheism. The Society does not require its members to hold to any particular creed about Pantheism and recognizes that there are a variety of beliefs that fall...

, however it remained extremely small. The creation of the naturalistic World Pantheist Movement
World Pantheist Movement
The World Pantheist Movement is the world's largest organization of people associated with pantheism, a philosophy which asserts that spirituality should be centered on nature...

 in 1999, with its multiple mailing lists and social networks, led to much wider visibility.

Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins
Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL , known as Richard Dawkins, is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author...

' The God Delusion
The God Delusion
The God Delusion is a 2006 bestselling non-fiction book by British biologist Richard Dawkins, professorial fellow of New College, Oxford, and inaugural holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford.In The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that...

gave Naturalistic Pantheism
Naturalistic pantheism
Naturalistic pantheism is a naturalistic form of pantheism that encompasses feelings of reverence and belonging towards nature and the wider universe, but is realist and embraces rationalism and the scientific method...

 increased credibility among atheists by describing it as “sexed-up atheism.” The Vatican
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 gave Pantheism further prominence in a Papal encyclical of 2009 and a New Year's Day statement on January 1, 2010, which criticized Pantheism for denying the superiority of humans over nature and "seeing the source of man salvation in nature".

In 2008, Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...

's 1954 German letter in which he dismissed belief in God was auctioned off for more than $330,000 US. Einstein wrote, "the word 'God' is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish." "I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly,” he wrote in another letter in 1954. Einstein relates his belief to Pantheism: "If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

Varieties


All varieties of Pantheism involve reverence for the Universe/Cosmos as a totality
ALL
All or ALL may refer to:- Business :* ALL FM, a radio station in Manchester, England* ALL, an acronym for América Latina Logística* ALL, the ISO 4217 currency code for the Albanian lek- Computability :...

, and all stress some kind of unity. All have a strong emphasis on the natural world as a focus of reverence and of ethics. There are three major categories of Pantheism, which differ as to whether they regard reality as made up of only one type of substance
Substance theory
Substance theory, or substance attribute theory, is an ontological theory about objecthood, positing that a substance is distinct from its properties. A thing-in-itself is a property-bearer that must be distinguished from the properties it bears....

, or two, and what that type of substance is.

Monist Physicalist Pantheism


Monist
Monism
Monism is any philosophical view which holds that there is unity in a given field of inquiry. Accordingly, some philosophers may hold that the universe is one rather than dualistic or pluralistic...

 physicalist Pantheism or Naturalistic Pantheism
Naturalistic pantheism
Naturalistic pantheism is a naturalistic form of pantheism that encompasses feelings of reverence and belonging towards nature and the wider universe, but is realist and embraces rationalism and the scientific method...

 holds that there is only one type of substance, and that substance is physical, i.e. able at its most basic level to be described by physics, though more complex phenomena such as life, consciousness and societies can appear through emergence. Historically this version was held by Stoics such as Zeno of Citium
Zeno of Citium
Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher from Citium . Zeno was the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy, which he taught in Athens from about 300 BC. Based on the moral ideas of the Cynics, Stoicism laid great emphasis on goodness and peace of mind gained from living a life of virtue in...

 or Marcus Aurelius, and in modern times by John Toland
John Toland
John Toland was a rationalist philosopher and freethinker, and occasional satirist, who wrote numerous books and pamphlets on political philosophy and philosophy of religion, which are early expressions of the philosophy of the Age of Enlightenment...

, Ernst Haeckel
Ernst Haeckel
The "European War" became known as "The Great War", and it was not until 1920, in the book "The First World War 1914-1918" by Charles à Court Repington, that the term "First World War" was used as the official name for the conflict.-Research:...

, D.H. Lawrence and Paul Harrison
Paul Harrison (pantheist)
Paul Harrison is an award-winning environmental writer, author of several books and reports on environment and development, and the founder and president of the World Pantheist Movement....

. This version is represented today by the World Pantheist Movement
World Pantheist Movement
The World Pantheist Movement is the world's largest organization of people associated with pantheism, a philosophy which asserts that spirituality should be centered on nature...

. In this version, the term god — if used at all — is basically a synonym for Nature or Universe, seen from the point of view of reverence.

Monist Idealist Pantheism


Monist idealist Pantheism or Monistic Idealism
Monistic idealism
Monistic Idealism is a metaphysical theory which states that consciousness, not matter, is the ground of all being. It is a monistic theory because it holds that there is only one type of thing in the universe, and a form of idealism because it holds that one thing to be consciousness.Monistic...

 holds that there is only one type of substance, and that substance is mental or spiritual. Some versions hold that the ultimate reality consists of a single cosmic consciousness
Cosmic consciousness
Cosmic consciousness is the idea that the universe exists as an interconnected network of consciousness, with each conscious being linked to every other...

. This version is common in Hindu philosophies and Consciousness-Only schools of Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, as well as in some New Age
New Age
The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and then infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational...

 writers such as Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra is an Indian medical doctor, public speaker, and writer on subjects such as spirituality, Ayurveda and mind-body medicine. Chopra began his career as an endocrinologist and later shifted his focus to alternative medicine. Chopra now runs his own medical center, with a focus on...

. This is distinguished from pandeism
Pandeism
Pandeism or Pan-Deism , is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of pantheism and deism Pandeism or Pan-Deism (from and meaning "God" in the sense of deism), is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of...

 in that pandeism asserts that the whole of reality was at some time sentient.

Dualist Pantheism


Dualist Pantheism
Dualist pantheism
Dualist Pantheism holds that there are two major types of substance, physical and mental/spiritual. Dualistic pantheism is very diverse, and may include beliefs in reincarnation, cosmic consciousness, and paranormal connections across Nature...

 holds that there are two major types of substance, physical and mental/spiritual, which interact or are unified in some way. Dualistic
Dualism (philosophy of mind)
In philosophy of mind, dualism is a set of views about the relationship between mind and matter, which begins with the claim that mental phenomena are, in some respects, non-physical....

 pantheism is very diverse, and may include beliefs in reincarnation
Reincarnation
Reincarnation best describes the concept where the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, is believed to return to live in a new human body, or, in some traditions, either as a human being, animal or plant...

, cosmic consciousness
Cosmic consciousness
Cosmic consciousness is the idea that the universe exists as an interconnected network of consciousness, with each conscious being linked to every other...

, and paranormal connections across Nature. Criticisms of this interpretation are generally related to the Mind-body problem.

Use of religious vocabulary


A significant debate within the pantheistic community is about the use of the word “God.” Pantheists do not believe in a God in the common and traditional sense of a personal creator being. Some modern Pantheists avoid using God-words altogether, since they regard them as misleading. Others feel that the word God is essential to express the strength of their feelings towards Nature and the Universe.

Some critics have argued that pantheism is little more than a redefinition of the word “God” to mean “Nature,” “Universe”, or “reality
Reality
In philosophy, reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible...

”.

When pantheism is considered in relation to theism, there is a denial of theistic claims. For example, theism is the belief in a “personal” God that transcends
Transcendence (religion)
In religion transcendence refers to the aspect of God's nature which is wholly independent of the physical universe. This is contrasted with immanence where God is fully present in the physical world and thus accessible to creatures in various ways...

 (is separate from) the world. Pantheists deny the existence of a personal God. Some deny the existence of a Being that has intentional states and associated capacities such as the ability to make decisions. Some Pantheists recognize the intelligence involved in the rational and systematic functioning of Nature and the Universe, which is not necessarily intentional but is "minded" in a sense. Pandeism
Pandeism
Pandeism or Pan-Deism , is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of pantheism and deism Pandeism or Pan-Deism (from and meaning "God" in the sense of deism), is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of...

 differs from Pantheism in that pandeism leaves that possibility of a sentient deity before the creation of the universe.

There are disagreements as to whether Pantheism is atheistic or not. Atheists argue the non-theistic god of pantheism is not a god
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 (according to the traditional definition), while others suggest a deity is not necessarily transcendent.

Taoism


Taoism
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

 is pantheistic at least in the writings of its leading thinkers Lao Tzu and Zhuangzi
Zhuangzi
Zhuangzi was an influential Chinese philosopher who lived around the 4th century BCE during the Warring States Period, a period corresponding to the philosophical summit of Chinese thought — the Hundred Schools of Thought, and is credited with writing—in part or in whole—a work known by his name,...

, although it later developed into a folk religion with many deities.

The Tao te Ching
Tao Te Ching
The Tao Te Ching, Dao De Jing, or Daodejing , also simply referred to as the Laozi, whose authorship has been attributed to Laozi, is a Chinese classic text...

 by Lao Tzu rarely speaks of a personal or creator God. Its central focus, the Tao
Tao
Dao or Tao is a Chinese word meaning 'way', 'path', 'route', or sometimes more loosely, 'doctrine' or 'principle'...

 or Way, is conceived of as a mysterious and numinous unity, infinite and eternal, underlying all things and sustaining them. The Tao is always spoken of with profound religious reverence and respect, similar to the way that Pantheism discusses the "divinity" of the Universe. The ideal of Taoism was to live in harmony with the Tao and to cultivate a simple and frugal life, avoiding unnecessary action: "Being one with nature, he [the sage] is in accord with the Tao."

Zhuangzi emphasized the pantheistic content of Taoism even more clearly. "Heaven and I were created together, and all things and I are one." When Tung Kuo Tzu asked Zhuangzi where the Tao was, he replied that it was in the ant, the grass, the clay tile, even in excrement: "There is nowhere where it is not… There is not a single thing without Tao."

Hinduism


It is generally asserted that Hindu religious texts are the oldest known literature that contains Pantheistic ideas. In Hindu theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

, Brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

 is the unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality which is the Divine Ground of all things in this Universe, and is also the sum total of all that ever is, was, or ever shall be. This idea of pantheism is traceable from some of the more ancient Vedas
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

 and Upanishads to vishishtadvaita
Vishishtadvaita
Vishishtadvaita Vedanta is a sub-school of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy, the other major sub-schools of Vedānta being Advaita, Dvaita, and Achintya-Bheda-Abheda. VishishtAdvaita is a non-dualistic school of Vedanta philosophy...

 philosophy. All Mahāvākyas (Great Sayings)
Mahavakyas
The Mahavakyas are "The Great Sayings" of the Upanishads, the foundational texts of Vedanta. Though there are many Mahavakyas, four of them, one from each of the four Vedas, are often mentioned as "the Mahavakyas"...

 of the Upanishads, in one way or another, seem to indicate the unity of the world with the Brahmam. It further says “This whole universe is Brahman, from Brahman to a clod of earth." Pantheism is a key component of Advaita philosophy. Other subdivisions of Vedanta do not strictly hold this tenet.

Other religions


There are many elements of pantheism in some forms of Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Sufism
Sufism
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

, Sikhism
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

, Neopaganism
Neopaganism
Neopaganism is an umbrella term used to identify a wide variety of modern religious movements, particularly those influenced by or claiming to be derived from the various pagan beliefs of pre-modern Europe...

, and Theosophy
Theosophy
Theosophy, in its modern presentation, is a spiritual philosophy developed since the late 19th century. Its major themes were originally described mainly by Helena Blavatsky , co-founder of the Theosophical Society...

 as well as in several tendencies in the major theistic religions. See also the Neopagan section of Gaia
Gaia (mythology)
Gaia was the primordial Earth-goddess in ancient Greek religion. Gaia was the great mother of all: the heavenly gods and Titans were descended from her union with Uranus , the sea-gods from her union with Pontus , the Giants from her mating with Tartarus and mortal creatures were sprung or born...

 and the Church of All Worlds
Church of All Worlds
The Church of All Worlds is a neopagan religious group whose stated mission is to evolve a network of information, mythology, and experience that provides a context and stimulus for reawakening Gaia and reuniting her children through tribal community dedicated to responsible stewardship and...

.

Many Unitarian Universalists
Unitarian Universalism
Unitarian Universalism is a religion characterized by support for a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning". Unitarian Universalists do not share a creed; rather, they are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth and by the understanding that an individual's theology is a...

 consider themselves pantheists. The Islamic religious tradition, in particular Sufism
Sufism
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

 and Alevi
Alevi
The Alevi are a religious and cultural community, primarily in Turkey, constituting probably more than 15 million people....

sm has a strong belief in the unitary nature of the universe and the concept that everything in it is an aspect of God itself, although this perspective leans closer to panentheism
Panentheism
Panentheism is a belief system which posits that God exists, interpenetrates every part of nature and timelessly extends beyond it...

 and may also be termed Theopanism
Theopanism
Theopanism was first used as a technical term by the Jesuits in elucidating Hinduism. "[O]ne may distinguish pantheism, which imagines the world as an absolute being , from theopanism, which conceives of God as the true spiritual reality from which everything emanates: "God becomes everything",...

. Many traditional and folk religions including African traditional religions and Native American religions can be seen as pantheistic, or a mixture of pantheism and other doctrines such as polytheism
Polytheism
Polytheism is the belief of multiple deities also usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own mythologies and rituals....

 and animism
Animism
Animism refers to the belief that non-human entities are spiritual beings, or at least embody some kind of life-principle....

.

Distinction from related concepts


Some other theological models have attempted to incorporate the perceived benefits of pantheism with the perceived benefits of classical monotheism
Classical theism
Classical theism refers to the a form of Theism in distinction to modern ideas about God such as Theistic Personalism, Open Theism and Process Theism. Classical Theism began with the works of the Greek philosophers, especially Platonists and Neoplatonists and was developed into Christian Theology...

.

The term panentheism
Panentheism
Panentheism is a belief system which posits that God exists, interpenetrates every part of nature and timelessly extends beyond it...

 (from Greek πᾶν (pân) "all"; ἐν (en) "in"; and θεός (theós) "God"; "all-in-God") was formally coined in Germany in the 19th Century to express a philosophical synthesis between traditional theism and pantheism, that God is substantially omnipresent in the physical universe but also in a sense exists "apart from" or "beyond" the universe as its Creator and Sustainer. Thus panentheism is not compatible with pantheism, in which God and the universe are synonymous—with no part of God considered as being distinct from the universe.

For the same reasons, pandeism
Pandeism
Pandeism or Pan-Deism , is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of pantheism and deism Pandeism or Pan-Deism (from and meaning "God" in the sense of deism), is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of...

 is not a form of pantheism. Though pandeism is characterized as a combination of reconcilable elements of pantheism and deism
Deism
Deism in religious philosophy is the belief that reason and observation of the natural world, without the need for organized religion, can determine that the universe is the product of an all-powerful creator. According to deists, the creator does not intervene in human affairs or suspend the...

, it is simply a form of deism which uses some pantheistic terminology while still including a Creator-deity which is at some point distinct from the universe.

See also

  • List of Pantheists
  • Monism
    Monism
    Monism is any philosophical view which holds that there is unity in a given field of inquiry. Accordingly, some philosophers may hold that the universe is one rather than dualistic or pluralistic...

  • Naturalistic pantheism
    Naturalistic pantheism
    Naturalistic pantheism is a naturalistic form of pantheism that encompasses feelings of reverence and belonging towards nature and the wider universe, but is realist and embraces rationalism and the scientific method...

  • Nature worship (disambiguation)
  • Universal Pantheist Society
    Universal Pantheist Society
    The Universal Pantheist Society is one of the world's first official organizations dedicated to the promotion and understanding of modern pantheism. The Society does not require its members to hold to any particular creed about Pantheism and recognizes that there are a variety of beliefs that fall...

  • World Pantheist Movement
    World Pantheist Movement
    The World Pantheist Movement is the world's largest organization of people associated with pantheism, a philosophy which asserts that spirituality should be centered on nature...


External links