The following was posted in a Pantheism discussion group on Facebook. It was my contribution to an ongoing (and annoyingly circular) argument about whether pantheism affirms or denies the existence of God. My position is that pantheism is itself a third option that is neither theism nor atheism, and requires a release from the binary logic that tries to force it into one camp or the other.
One: she does not exist. In order to exist, she would have to be less than Existence, paired in contrast against something that she is not, and of course that just isn’t the case. Even dyed in the wool Catholics, she reminded me, know that God is synonymous with Existence itself, so it oughta be self-explanatory for a philosophy whose descriptive title says just that.
Two: she also doesn’t NOT exist. Existence does not lack God, and to profess that it does just to refute a bunch of specious theistic claims is to miss a key point. To truly grok pantheism (her word, not mine), you must let go of binary logic and allow your mind to relax into the non-dual. “To be or not to be” is not the question, for the question is too small for the answer: unlimited Being. I Am That I Am. To doubt that is to doubt Existence and the intelligence inherent in every atom, and that’s just silly. In her words.
Three (and here’s where she got a little snippy with me): it is not our job to prove nor disprove any of the small, oversimplified ideas about her. Whether it be a trite religious metaphor or an elaborate mechanistic model of a universe without a singular self-creating energy, or anything else really, all ideas exist within the fabric of Existence –none can stand aside and observe Existence in its wholeness; they are all essentially attempts at putting the sky in a box, and an effort to dis/prove that idea puts the box in a slightly bigger box.
This especially pertains to one of her pet peeves: the argument over whether or not God is “personal.” As she said (and again, I stress that this is she talking, so please, don’t shoot the messenger), “You have the wisdom to know that I Am beyond all limiting characteristics, and you have the creative power to draw any limitations you want. You hold the tools of perception in one hand and imagination and the other; using both, you carve from me an idol. Not a big deal really, you have full creative license, and I remain whole and Uncarved. But every one of these ideas, from Mithra to Multiverse, is equally idolatrous, so there is no point in condemning any of them! They are action figures of me. Play with them, use your imagination! There is the real Me, and there are the action figure versions of me, and you’re not five years old. You’re damn well smart enough to know the difference. So c’mon people, what the fuck?”
Four: on a lighter note, she likes our group a lot and thinks we have a great deal of potential. “I’m hopeful that if you just get these issues settled, maybe you won’t need so many posts bashing other people’s ideas about me, and you will devote a lot more space to promoting what pantheism IS instead of arguing about what it isn’t.
That’s all folks. Namaste.”