aboutiamlogo

   HOME
 FAITH AND REASON   BELIEVING IN GOD  CHRISTIANITY EXPLAINED 

      section contents

(An extract from the article, "So, what is God?"
which is available in this section of the website)


Pantheism
CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE VERSION

-----------------------------

The pantheist religions – which include Taoism in its early form, much of Buddhism and some segments of Hinduism – have a very different viewpoint from monotheism which primarily understands God as a transcendent being with a personal nature. (Within the monotheist religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, God is depicted as a being who wants a two-way personal relationship with each and every one of us humans.)  God is considered transcendent, by monotheists, because he is believed to be all-powerful, all-knowing and beyond our ability to fully understand or experience him.  
He then theoretically transcends us, our universe and even our ability to fully perceive him. Many Christians solely think of God as a ‘being in Heaven’ and separate from his creations.

Pantheists, on the other hand, view God as the basis of reality itself. Indeed everything is understood as having a one-ness with reality, and as such, with God. This outlook is based on the mystical experiences (i.e. arising from religious ‘meditation’) of these religions. God is, as far as they are concerned, very much a part of this world (God and the universe are one and the same). That is, God is totally “immanent” and not transcendent (or personal) at all within their theory.

The most accurate way to describe God’s basis within pantheism, as best can be achieved with words, would be “pure consciousness”. Within pantheism, we might think of the world, indeed the entire universe, as the “mind of God”. This is expected, if realitys basis is a single conscious ‘force’.

Some pantheist writings also promote the existence of a ‘world soul’ that contains the essence of every living being.

The planet Earth, within the general pantheist model, takes on a whole new religious dimension. In the pantheist systems of belief there is no God external to the universe (or ourselves for that matter), with whom we humans can enter into a personal relationship. We simply cannot have a personal relationship with an existence/ mind/ force that is not truly separate from ourselves. Some of pantheisms writings offer a theoretical state where in very simplified terms all living and inanimate things, although having a visible individuality, are also the One (God). This would mean that our individual nature could be illusionary (i.e. the theory of “illusionary individuality”). It would indeed make sense that if God is us’, and nothing more than that, then the individuality we seem to have may be illusionary.

As I have written already, these views primarily come from the experiences of the mystics who founded pantheist religions. When I was a student of pantheist religions myself, I had the same experiences that I mentioned above. It took me several years to get to that level and I respect others who have done the same. And I admit that like other mystics I found that a powerful sense of one-ness is indeed encountered there in those states of mind. Clearly I do accept that the beliefs of pantheists are based on experiences encountered in their search for meaning.

Personally though, I dont think the pantheist view is the complete picture. I say this because I have accumulated considerable evidence during my life, from other religious practises, which makes it clear to me that we do have existences separate from God and each other. Mind you I dont accept the view of some Christians either, e.g. "God as a ‘being in Heaven’ and totally separate from his creations."

You will see in the article, So, what is God?why I, and many others, believe that Gods being is actually an essential combination of both transcendence and immanence  containing the essence of both pantheist and monotheist models. Summarising, both forms of religion head in different directions with their practises and, as a result, they experience differing aspects of God's relationship to us and our universe.

The section of this website, Faith and Reasonwhich includes the So, what is God? article, is devoted completely to presenting God as a believable concept for the 21st Century.

The website also contains guidance on how we can  determine for ourselves whether God does exist.  An entire section, Believing in God has been provided to address that issue.  It is all about how to identify evidence of Gods presence within our lives and genuinely evaluate it  thereby building up a body of evidence that will stand the test of time, indeed grow with the passing of time.  The stumbling block for most of us, when beginners, is knowing how and where to look for this potential evidence. The final section of the website explains Christianity simply.

RETURN TO START OF ARTICLE 






how to read website info


To save time you, the reader, may first read high level information in Lead Articles after clicking the major headings above.

You can then drill down into supporting articles when, and if, you require a deeper understanding on any subject.

Drilling down can be achieved from links in Lead Articles or by selecting "Supporting Articles" from the far left column on those pages.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
AND MAKING CONTACT

FOR FEEDBACK AND QUERIE
S