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kambrielle



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PostSubject: Cool.   Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:04 pm

At the risk of sounding like a total n00b, I have just found out about this Panendeism thing, and I can really wrap my head around it. I have done the religion-shopping thing, I have tried lots of religions on for size, and I have been pagan for about 4 years now. But I started to really have problems with paganism. I don't know what changed in me, but I realized there are commonly accepted things in paganism that just don't make sense to me anymore. The first being the pagan idea of god, goddess, or both. Most pagans are polytheistic. Some just believe in a god and a goddess and work with both. Some just believe in one. I honestly tried very hard to believe in this, especially the polytheistic angle. And I think I did believe it for a while, but suddenly, it sounds silly to me. I respect those who believe it, I respect ancient spirituality and the belief in multiple gods (such as Hinduism, the Greek gods/goddesses, etc. etc.), but it doesn't make *sense* to me. I just can't wrap my head around the idea that all of these gods and goddesses are just facets of the bigger picture. I don't believe that Aphrodite, Isis, Cernnunos, etc. are actual beings that can come to me and talk to me and interact with me and make me feel things. It just doesn't make sense to me.

I can, however, believe in what I can see, touch, taste, hear, smell. I can wrap my head around nature and its powerful forces, including those that happen in "outer space." I don't think that I can tap into that power and ask it to bring me things or grant me wishes or answer my prayers, but I know that they are forces and that everything is linked together because of this. I am a part of the earth, which was originally made up (probably, who knows?) of clumps of little bodies of rock and minerals in space, and they stuck together over time to make the Earth, so therefore, I am really a part of the cosmos, the universe, outer space, the solar system. And everyone else is, too. And either way, I know that the power of the planets and the universe and the Earth are forces to be reckoned with! But, I don't think that I can pray to god and have my wishes granted. I used to think that. And now, again, suddenly, it just doesn't make *sense* to me.

Yet...There are things about paganism that really still work for me. I think there are some herbs that I can consume that will help with whatever ails me, I know that I feel some sort of force when I hold rocks and stones and other natural items, I somehow can still believe that there are animal spirits, I like the rituals and the way they are done (though, I would much rather involve the elements as the "deities" that I would call into my ritual than calling any kind of god or goddess). And I have had some very powerful experiences that involved speaking with someone who was "channeling" a god or goddess, and other such things.

So I'm kind of torn...I'm not really sure where I'm going with this...But I know that what I have seen here on the website makes a LOT of sense to me.

I think one thing also is that I'm worried about losing the feel of community that I have with the pagans I've known...There is something powerful about doing rituals and such in groups. I find it very hard to be solitary in a spiritual way.
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Gnomon
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PostSubject: Re: Cool.   Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:33 am

Quote :
I have just found out about this Panendeism thing,
This "Panendeism thing" is just a recently-coined technical philosophical term used to distinguish a particular emerging worldview from all others. It doesn't really refer to an organized religion, or even a well-defined philosophy. Nevertheless, some Deists are trying to build a religious doctrine and practice around the vague feeling that there is more to this world than accounted for in most traditional religious beliefs, or in materialistic scientific paradigms. But at the moment there is little sense of community in Panendeism, except the virtual communing we do on forums like this.

Some Pagans are essentially Pantheists or Pandeists, even though they go along with the old gods and goddesses for the sake of tradition. And Panendeism may seem to be sort of a blend of polytheistic pagan nature worship, and Judeo-Christian monotheistic super-nature worship. It also acknowledges that the modern, scientific worldview is incompatible with a literal understanding of both those ancient belief systems. Therefore, Panendeism is a broad-minded, ecumenical worldview that is compatible to some degree with all of humankind's attempts to understand the Hows and Whys of this world---as long as Reason has the last word.

However, the abstract and rational requirements of Panendeism may not appeal to those who need personal and tangible symbols of natural forces to identify with. And the limited numbers of avowed Deists practically guarantees a solitary spiritualism. But stick around, this Panendeism thing is still a noobie phenomenon for most of us. We all have a lot to learn about the All-in-God concept.
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Cool.   Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:44 am

Panendeism is a sub-category of Deism* much in the same way that Polytheism is a sub-category of Theism**. Panendeism literally mean "all in deity". In other words, panendeists believe that everything*** is a part of god but that god also transcends all things. (As opposed to Pandeism, which is the belief that god is identical to all things.)

Many panendeists prefer not to use the word "god" due to its connotation and its connection to western theistic traditions and instead use "the One", logos, the Dao, "the Ground of Being", George Wink, etc...

Quote :
I think one thing also is that I'm worried about losing the feel of community that I have with the pagans I've known...There is something powerful about doing rituals and such in groups. I find it very hard to be solitary in a spiritual way.
If there are aspects of Paganism that you like there is no reason why you couldn't continue to practice them. It is possible to be both a deist (or panendeist) and a Pagan at the same time. Perhaps rather than being a polytheistic pagan you have discovered that you have become a panendeistic pagan instead.

There are also taoist panendeists, "christian" panendeists, zen panendeists,
agnostic panendeists, integral panendeists, process panendeists, transcendentalist panendeists, general panendeists, stoic panendeists and many other flavors as well.

Anyway, welcome. Smile


*Belief in god based primarily on reason, nature and experience.
** Belief in god based primarily on tradition, holy texts, and dogma.
*** "Things" refers to manifestations or the material world.

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kambrielle



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PostSubject: Re: Cool.   Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:58 pm

OK, here's a question. I got this from the homepage:

Panendeists believe in a god who is present in everything but also extends beyond the universe.

Wouldn't this mean that a panendeist would have to then believe that there is more than just the universe? That there is something outside of the universe?
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Cool.   Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:09 pm

kambrielle wrote:
OK, here's a question. I got this from the homepage:

Panendeists believe in a god who is present in everything but also extends beyond the universe.

Wouldn't this mean that a panendeist would have to then believe that there is more than just the universe? That there is something outside of the universe?

Well yes, but I'd be careful in describing it that way because "outside" is a spacial term. It implies dimensionality. When a panendeist talks about "extending beyond the universe" it's more in metaphysical terms than in physical or spacial terms.

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Gnomon
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PostSubject: Re: Cool.   Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:47 pm

Quote :
Wouldn't this mean that a panendeist would have to then believe that there is more than just the universe? That there is something outside of the universe?

One way to look at this inside/outside question is to view the finite physical universe as one small component of the infinite metaphysical omniverse. Unfortunately, that concept requires a pertinent definition of "meta-physical". Here's mine :


METAPHYSICS
Literally “after” or “beyond” physics. ~ Aristotle divided his treatise on science into two parts. The world as-known-via-the-senses was labeled “physics”. And the world as-known-by-the-mind, by reason, was labeled “meta-physics”. Plato called the unseen world that hides behind the physical façade: “Ideal” as opposed to Real. For him, Ideal “forms” (concepts) were prior-to the Real “substance” (matter). ~ Physics refers to the things we perceive with the eye of the body. Meta-physics refers to the things we conceive with the eye of the mind. Meta-physics includes the properties, and qualities, and functions that make a thing what it is. Matter is just the clay from which a thing is made. Meta-physics is the design (form, purpose); physics is the product (shape, action). The act of creation brings an ideal design into actual existence. The design concept is the “formal” cause of the thing designed. ~ I use a hyphen in the spelling to indicate that I am not talking about Ghosts and Magic, but about Ontology.


Another way to picture the metaphysical realm is as the Mind of G*d, in which this physical world is a complex, evolving idea. Unfortunately, that raises another question regarding what these coexisting realms are made of. My answer : Matter and Mind are both made of Information. I could go on like this for hours, but you would be well advised to take all these non-mainstream concepts one-step-at-a time. Suffice it to say that G*d is presumed to be eternal and infinite, so everything that is, was, or ever could be is a part of G*d. Hence, there is no way to get outside of G*d, who is the Whole of which we are a part.
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Gnomon
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PostSubject: Re: Cool.   Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:45 pm

Quote :
So I'm kind of torn...I'm not really sure where I'm going with this...But I know that what I have seen here on the website makes a LOT of sense to me.
Speaking strictly for myself, I am not trying to convert anyone to Deism. But for those who can convert themselves away from dependence on Churchism, Biblism, Traditionalism, Tribalism, Theism, and Idolatry of all kinds. I suspect that most of them would automatically be Deists in deed, if not in name.

The required conformity to Spiritual Legalism of any variety is not conducive to the kind of Free-Thinking that leads one to accept that the only requirements of G*D are natural laws. At least Paganism is a little closer to that understanding than the more institutionalized religions. Smile
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Cool.   Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:42 am

Quote :
I respect ancient spirituality and the belief in multiple gods (such as Hinduism, the Greek gods/goddesses, etc. etc.), but it doesn't make *sense* to me. I just can't wrap my head around the idea that all of these gods and goddesses are just facets of the bigger picture. I don't believe that Aphrodite, Isis, Cernnunos, etc. are actual beings that can come to me and talk to me and interact with me and make me feel things. It just doesn't make sense to me.
Welcome.
My take on it is to compare religion with science.
Just as we accord reverential places for the scientific geniuses of the past and accept that we stand on their shoulders in our efforts to understand more ...

In the same way I believe this with the sacred ...
That we should accord reverential places for the religious and spiritual geniuses of the past and accept that we stand on their shoulders in our efforts to understand the sacred more.

One problem with a fundamental theistic view, is that the past becomes frozen. YOu cannot stand on the shoulders of past spiritual geniuses and look further beyond the horizon because, in their view, the sacred has become frozen, immutable. That's where you get REx and Rexella, for instance, furiously lining up every news event with words written eons ago.

My take anyway.
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Gnomon
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PostSubject: Re: Cool.   Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:12 pm

Quote :
My take on it is to compare religion with science.
Just as we accord reverential places for the scientific geniuses of the past and accept that we stand on their shoulders in our efforts to understand more ...

Exactly! Unlike the anti-religious Atheists, I was never able to dismiss thousands of years of Religious history as slobbering stupidity. Most of the ancient religious concepts, recorded in the various myths and scriptures, seem to be in accordance with the scientific understanding of the time. 18th century Deism was merely an upgrade of religion to fit the enlightenment era scientific paradigms. And 21st century PanenDeism is another updated version* of the inherently human religious worldview, which incorporates the latest scientific understanding of how the world works as it does. The scientific Hows are then turned into Philosophical Whys, and thence into Religious and Political Whats.

What is stupid is to cling to out-of-date data as a guide to a rapidly evolving world**. However, it would be even dumber to discard the few ancient truths that have stood the test of time, and the test of scientific scrutiny. For example, modern social, psychological, and neuro- sciences have only corroborated the ancient religious wisdom of the Golden Rule.


* Perhaps it's a Beta-version for early adopters, that is not quite ready for prime time.

** Cultural (memetic) Evolution is more of a challenge for 21st century religion than Natural (Darwinian) Evolution.
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