In simple terms, Pantheism is the ancient and now re-emerging belief in the god1 Pan.2
Pantheism, to wit, the worship3 of Pan, comes in two versions. The naïve, folksy version of ancient Greece and Rom depicts the god Pan as a male creature, half human half goat who goes about boozing and copulating with female nymphs.4 This version of Pan derived from youthful daily observation of nature, represents the creativity and fertility of raw nature, without morals or ethics.5
The second version of Pan, first proposed in the ancient Indian Upanishads6 created about 800BC, let’s called it the sophisticated ‘ivory tower’ interpretation, because derived from observation, abstraction, reason and the ‘live and let live’ generosity of old age, states that ‘All is Brahman’, ‘You too are Brahman’ ‘That art that’.
This, the 2nd version of Pantheism, suggests that nature itself, and, indeed, and this is crucial, each and every form within nature7, is god,8 to wit, creator, rule maker and enforcer.
Entrance to the pantheist temple9
What this means in 21st century understanding terms is that god, as creative urge10 that generates and enforces rules, hence niche limitations, happens as distributed network. In short, each form in nature, both animate and inanimate, happens as iconised niche representation or manifestation of that basic urge/algorithm, that is to say each and every form is god self-applied in/as a niche.11
Both versions of pantheism are amoral and non-judgemental, as is nature.12
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© 2018 by Victor Langheld
1. For the metaphor (as verbal icon) ‘god’ read: supreme creator, law maker and law enforcer, sort of like a big, fearsome and somewhat distant (i.e. transcendent) father in the sky (as an infant would experience him).
2. The word pan derives from the ancient Greek meaning ‘all’ or ‘all containing’. In Pantheism the ‘all’ or ‘all containing’ is interpreted the mean the whole/all of nature, both animate and inanimate. Pantheism was derided and rubbished as paganism by the extraordinarily primitive early Christians and, lumped together with best of Greek philosophical schools, ruthless exterminated by them, in the manner of fanatic Islamic Isis.
3. The New Oxford Dictionary defines the word ‘worship’ as: the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity. The original Old English meaning of the word ‘worship’ was: ‘worthiness, acknowledgment of worth’.
4. Similar to modern day Ireland
5. ‘Nature tooth, claw’ and creative/copulative without limitation.
6. Specifically the Brihadaranayak Upanishad.
7. That is to say, good, bad and indifferent, to wit, warts and all. This is a crucial difference between pantheism as nature-in-general religion and the highly politicised cultural, i.e. man devised religions (such as Judaism) invented to increase the survival capacity of the tribe.
8. In a word, natura naturans (i.e. ‘nature doing its thing’) as first proposed by the Irishman John Scotus Eriugena and then seconded by Giordano Bruno and Baruch Spinoza and a host of other very smart but somewhat detached people (See Wikipedia, List of Pantheists).
9. The entrance is a birth canal through which one returns to the womb of creation, there to be cleansed, regenerated and restored to full creative capacity before being reborn into the world to fully participate in the creative process. The entrance is to be found at Victor’s Way, in Roundwood, Ireland.
10.God is here functioning not as substance or essence (or being) but as active algorithm or recursive self-elaborating fractal, hence as set of rules (viz. as Turing Machine). In short, all the forms of nature happen as localised god applications, therefore each one is god, albeit limited by the specific rules of its niche.
11.That the creative urge/algorithm/fractal is self-starting, self-adapting and self-regulating was suggested in the above mentioned Upanishad where, indeed, the creation urge is translated to mean ‘self, i.e. ether Atman or Brahman.
12.History has shown that in the struggle for survival between the two versions of pantheism, i.e. as amoral and ‘live and let live’ nature worship, and the highly politicised, meaning rules or commandments based, highly moral, highly fanatic, no quarter given to individuals who believe and live differently, cultural, meaning domestication driven religions, born of adolescent needs, like ancient ruthless and brutal Judaism and Christianity, it is pantheism (i.e. god as nature) that loses out.