“Pantheism first and foremost is about AWARENESS.. awareness of the natural world and our true place within it. We are not above Nature, we are part of Nature, and Nature is a part of us. As many have aptly stated, the earth and everything in it is sacred and we are all connected. The God that so many down through history have mistakenly humanized and worshiped is really the Universe Itself.. or as i choose to call it, the “Omnia”.
Pantheists see God in everything.. in the birds, in the sky, in the trees, in the stars and in all life that exists. This is more than just a fanciful notion, but an actual, biological reality. Likewise, we are part of this divinity- as evolved, sentient beings, we are literally the eyes and ears of the Cosmos, the hands and feet of God. And this ineffable power is everywhere, in the cells of every living thing and in all the multitude of glorious systems that interact with each other and respond to each other as God evolves.. that’s right, “God” is evolving. And we are an integral part of that evolution.
In order to understand this, you must understand science, evolutionary biology and astronomy <–these things, more than any religious book, teach us where we came from and where we are going. The awareness i spoke of earlier can come from within, or from an external source, it can be fostered and developed by our study of science and Nature, through microbiology, zoology, human anatomy, astrophysics, or astronomy and cosmology.
We derive our inspiration from the beauty and mystery of Life itself- from the subtle intricacies and magnificent designs of Nature, with its profound order, complexity and dynamic cycles, inexhaustibly rich and filled with wonder.. to the incomprehensible age, size, vastness and magnitude of the Cosmos, with its unfathomable depths and self-organizing properties, incredible forces of energy and seemingly infinite power, that stretch the imagination to its limits and boggle the mind.
Pantheism has many things in common with Taoism, Animism, Paganism and other Earth-centered religions, but it does not promote the worship of anything alive or dead, only a solemn reverence, respect and appreciation for Life and the eternal processes that move from chaos to order and then back again. Change is the only constant in existence.. and in this way, Pantheism shares many of its tenets with Buddhism as well.
In summary, the earth is sacred and Nature is divine. All Life is precious and we are all connected. There are no supernatural beings, no spiritual world or fabled afterlife (except in the imaginations of those who desperately wish it to be so). This is not a depressing thought or a hopeless view of existence, because this reality is more remarkable and worthy of consideration and reverence than is commonly thought.
Pantheism doesn’t believe in a power any higher than Nature… we believe in what exists, in what is real and what is tangible- the Universe, the life cycles all around us and the internal power and complexity of the natural world. The Laws of Nature and the Universe we inhabit are already filled with such profound intelligence, such mystery and awe-inspiring beauty, we have no need to invent stories of capricious, imaginary gods, or believe in psychologically destructive delusions of far off heavenly realms or invisible, supernatural beings. There is enough wonder and beauty and magic in the real world to keep our minds and our souls, occupied and enthralled for a veritable lifetime.
I feel the Cosmos within me, i sense the greatness and majestic power of centuries of time. I feel the night air on my skin, i feel the rain on my face and it stirs my blood and quickens my spirit and i know i am connected to all things great and small. I am a part of a vast network- an unbroken legacy of evolved, thinking, sentient beings that is older than myself, older than my ancestors, older than my species, older than the rocks and trees and even the nurturing planet we live upon. She is my mother, even as the sun is my father, but my origins go back ever further, to the Big Bang and beyond.. eons ago, to a time before time.
This, to me is the most mystical thing of all- the Source of all intelligence and supernal wisdom, the inherited drive and tenacious push to evolve, adapt and survive. It lives in my cells, it is programmed in my DNA and it is evident all around me. I know that Nature is always there to teach me in a thousand ways- pushing me always to grow, ever stronger, ever smarter and ever more advanced, aware and conscious. Conscious of self, conscious of the illimitable Whole that penetrates and surrounds me and the wealth of knowledge and ever-increasing wisdom that are available to me, at all times, everywhere, in everything i do.. as i contemplate, study and observe Life’s many mysteries.
As Pantheists, we recognize the overwhelming power and majesty of the Universe and we do so with justifiable reverence and enamored, humility and awe. With our eyes wide open and our ears unobstructed, we perceive “God” every day, in a million different ways.. and in our hearts we know that divinity exists- in the profundity of a thousand twinkling stars on a clear summer night, in the peace and tranquility of a gently flowing mountain stream, or the lustrous glow of a harvest moon, as it rises slowly over the ocean and waxes full above the crashing waves of some far off distant shore. The richness and vibrant blessings of an isolated, pristine wilderness, or a stunning, verdant forest, illuminated slowly by the golden rays of the sun’s light at dawn, as it cascades over a secret, hidden bower, heavy-laden with moss and a multitude of salubrious, life-giving trees.
In the miracles of our own bodies, as they autonomously function and heal on a micro-level, and in the awesome complexity and profound intelligence embedded in the observable macro-Universe above our heads and below our feet- in the myriad of sights and sounds that encompass and manifest abundantly in and throughout a tangible, natural world. Life is sacred. We, are sacred.. and Nature, is all there is.
What then will you do with this unparalleled awareness? How then will you treat your fellow human beings and all the other countless souls on this planet (plants and animals included), who are essentially your own family and kin? Biological systems that all depend upon one another and are fused together in an infinite web of Life. Harmony, peace, cooperation and compassion should be fostered and encouraged everywhere, at all times. Unity, respect and solidarity should flow like a river from our hearts. Enlightenment should fill our minds and gratitude should pervade our souls, for the selcouth gift of Life and our unique existence in this reality.
Do not tell me that Pantheism does not lead one to altruism and unconditional love. Do not tell me that this philosophy excludes ethics, morality and values. On the contrary, by its very nature, it precedes it. For all of these things aforementioned are a natural outgrowth and a universal consequence, that should be known, felt and uniformly expressed and exhibited by all, once it is understood properly and experienced personally.