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 panendeism, panentheism, or pantheism- which am I?

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childofmana



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PostSubject: panendeism, panentheism, or pantheism- which am I?    Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:37 am

Hi everyone,

I have been doing research lately on panentheism, deism, pantheism, and now panendeism. I am trying to find out where my views would fit, if anywhere, not only so I can tell people when they ask but so I can know my own intellectual history better. I would also like to here some other thoughts on how people here have come to their own conclusions, as well as any general observations on my own theology/deology.

Josh

SO WHAT AM I??? :-)

1.) I believe in a universal "Spirit" (or principle, force) who created or helped to create the whole of existence. In some sense, the Spirit is also the Animating Principle or Heart of all current existence.

2.) Spirit's primary ontological characteristics include love, goodness, creativity. It is the Ground from which "The Good" originates and continuously flows.

3.) I do not know whether Spirit is "more" than the universe, but I do think it is continuously creating the universe. This Spirit has never been separate from the whole of the created order except perhaps at the very beginning (which I do not know) and I do not know whether the Spirit extends beyond the existing universe currently.

4.) Spirit is directly accessible by us all through nature, reason, experience and human community. Spirit does not work miracles or violate the laws of nature, or speak through one text or "religious" figure more than another. Spirit is non anthropomorphic, but does manifest in human love, perhaps principally, and is oftentimes known to us in this form. Spirit does, however, move/live within our hearts/minds/intellects, and is known especially every time we experience/encounter "the good" on either an individual or cosmic level.

5.) Spirit is chiefly characterized by a continual drawing all of existence towards greater love, growth, healing, and "the good", and is chiefly recognized by us as a process or energy that is moving towards that end, especially whenever we experience these things and "know" them to be part of that larger movement/process.

6.) Spirit's actions of love and growth and our own are often experienced by us in a non dualistic way, so that our actions of love and compassion are Spirit's and vice versa. To understand "natural" ways of increasing love, growth, healing, etc. as we traverse the "natural" world and the reams of human reason, love, wonder, joy, compassion, etc. is therefore to understand Spirit's actions-these natural phenomena are how "Her" actions are principally discerned by us

7.) Even though Spirit's actions are often indistinguishable from our own or that of the rest of nature, Spirit exists independently of our own conceptions- our theological conceptions are attempts to capture Her or pin Her down. We may be part of the actions of Spirit but Spirit and Her actions extend beyond humankind's efforts, actions, or concepts.

8.) We share the same eternal essence with Spirit or "divine spark" with Her in some way, shape, or form, whether or not our existence extends beyond one human lifetime.
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: panendeism, panentheism, or pantheism- which am I?    Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:11 pm

Hi Josh. Welcome to the forum. I'm running out the door right now but I'll revisit this thread as soon as I get a chance.

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childofmana



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PostSubject: Re: panendeism, panentheism, or pantheism- which am I?    Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:56 am

a guess another option would be process theist or deist. I don't see Spirit as an entity that is a person (rather transpersonal) and although religions/religious people can "see" or "sense" Spirit so can everyone else, so it is not principally associated with revealed religion. That being said, I do see Spirit as the source of the good and a force actively working towards its manifestation across the universe.

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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: panendeism, panentheism, or pantheism- which am I?    Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:21 am

How about Panendeism?

I'm curious, how did you come to your detailed set of beliefs?

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childofmana



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PostSubject: Re: panendeism, panentheism, or pantheism- which am I?    Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:47 am

How did I come to them? Reason and experience. Initially, trying to make sense of the Abrahamic tradition I was raised in, in a modern context. But then I went beyond that.

Mainly, the key part of my deology/theology is that "spirit" is a benevolent force. A creative, loving force. I see her, for example, in emergence and self-organization in the natural world, and in love and caring behavior in primate species, and in our own struggles to become more loving, whole human beings. To quote Kaplan, a religious naturalist, I think Spirit or God is the "power that makes for salvation". Of course, I have no way of knowing whether this Spirit is wholly "natural." I'm not sure that it matters to me if she is.

I guess I would have to be a theist, because even though I do NOT think Spirit is a "personal" performer of miracles and author of religious texts, I do think She is actively "working" or "Creating" continuously. So maybe I'm either a pantheist or a panentheist, depending on whether or not I think God currently extends/has an aspect greater than the universe, which I do not know.
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Mechajutaro



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PostSubject: Re: panendeism, panentheism, or pantheism- which am I?    Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:13 pm

Yo, CM(if you're lurking out there):

The most succinct way to answer this is probably to ask yourself if you ascribe to the notion of a personal, anthropomorphic God as opposed to force/energy/entity etc. etc. that pervades the universe and all within it. If so, then it's a safe bet that your belief system is theistic(pan or panen, take your pick) in nature.
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lildavid



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PostSubject: Re: panendeism, panentheism, or pantheism- which am I?    Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:08 pm

I Am Having a Very Terrible time trying to Figure things out for myself, I think I am a Deist. Maybe i am a Pandeist? or Panendeist? or spiritual Deist? all of the above or none at all!! I'm very confused. I'm not fond of "revealed religions"? It's possible the "holy books" May have at one point in time Been related to god but its unlikely and if they were "influenced" by god the messages have been horribly Misinterpreted, changed. Basically they have Wisdom, even Christianity has Wisdom to Benefit Mankind, This Wisdom of course comes from god. I believe in God, I think for the most part the universe Governs itself. I also believe God is Personal but subtle. Basically i believe he influences the universe especially in ways such as intuition, Emotion and Sometimes "Karma" I also Believe God is what makes up the universe, He is every atom while at the same time able to Remain a Conscious state Separate From Matter. He Is the Universe, but is also In the universe! I Also Believe it is Possible to "Commune" With him In spiritual, and Meditative ways. Just for an Example, If i am Sitting outside. Enjoying the Beauty and Complexity of the world And nature. "Observing Him" Sharing our Existence together, Since we are Two Entities Sharing the same space. ( i think i have a soul separate but personally connected to him) I Get a Sense of his Presence with me. Almost like He walked over and sat down next to me, Or gave me a hug before i went to bed last night. I'm 21 years old and up until a few weeks ago i was trying to Religiously and philosophically Develop Myself. It took me 6-7 years to find out i had deistic type beliefs and had to figure them all out on my own. So Now That i am aware I'm not in this by myself. I'm trying to find out What i should be reading about. I'm trying to focus in on the types of Philosophies i believe in. continue my development and Expand my wisdom. I would be Truly thankful to hear thoughts and Opinions on this. It's really hard to make sense of it all sometimes and i have nearly had no help. Thank you For your time!
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Gnomon
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PostSubject: Re: panendeism, panentheism, or pantheism- which am I?    Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:15 pm

lildavid wrote:
I Am Having a Very Terrible time trying to Figure things out for myself, I think I am a Deist.
I would suggest that you not be in a hurry to worry about which religious label to pin on yourself. Deism, at the moment is simply a general philosophical worldview, whose only "real" presence is in the form of loosely-related virtual internet communities. So there is no formal organization or institution to "join". You are free to sample each & all of the "21 flavors" online without commitment.

For now, just plain Deism should be close enough to suit your self-described seeker status. That generic Deist designation will serve to distinguish you from scripture-bound Theists and hidebound Atheists. Then, after you've had time to get familiar with the various sects of Deism, you can decide which is the best fit for your beliefs & needs. At that time, you can decide if you want to commit to any particular "communion" of the "aints".
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lildavid



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PostSubject: Re: panendeism, panentheism, or pantheism- which am I?    Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:59 pm

Well that's the thing lol i read some where part of being a Deist is to Question, Reflect, ponder, Consider ect ect. I didn't need to be told that, as its already a natural part of my personality. Now I am trying to Explore the Sects of Deism. I'm just having a hard time trying to figure out where i should even start! I'm trying to introduce myself to all the various beliefs but it seems i share a little something with all of them in some way. i pretty much would like to Narrow my search down. i was hoping someone might be able to pin point a part of my beliefs and say "you seem to be along the lines of this" So i can start there, and cross examine with the less likely possibilities. it's going to be very time Consuming. i have a feeling if i go with process of elimination i would probably end up having to double check all of them and the last one may not even be what I'm looking for. It's not so much about Labeling myself, but about making it easier on me for finding the appropriate information, History, Books ect that has a higher chance of providing the best advantage in my learning process. hope this makes sense, i just feel personally it will be better for me if i have an idea of where i should look first. Again, thanks!
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: panendeism, panentheism, or pantheism- which am I?    Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:11 pm

I agree with Gnomon. I wouldn't worry too much about labeling yourself right now.

Deism is a belief in god, a higher power, "force", Tao, Logos, Ground of Being, or whatever you want to call it, based on reason and observation of nature. If that makes sense to you, you are a deist. You can work out the rest later on.

As far as places to look I like some of Paul Davies books, Integral Spirituality by Ken Wilber is a good introduction to Integral Panendeism, I like Stephen Mitchell's translation of the Tao Te Ching. I would also recommend Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, Walden by Thoreau, the philosophy of some of the Stoics as well as Plotinus.

BTW, Welcome to the forum. Smile

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lildavid



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PostSubject: Re: panendeism, panentheism, or pantheism- which am I?    Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:49 pm

Well I feel it is Important to Share Knowledge and Wisdom So that We may all Learn and grow, But a Label Serves me Very little purpose. I don't need a label to Exchange Wisdom, It would be merely for convenience of being able to say "I'm a Deist" instead of Explaining a full set of beliefs. Few people would understand Deist so i would have to Explain a full set of beliefs anyway. so It's pretty much Useless to me, It's Just about Finding direct sources of Knowledge I'm more Inclined to relate too, More closely? I Will look into your Suggestions though, Thanks! If anyone has any others i would be Happy to hear about them! Thanks for Welcoming me! I'm sure we all have Unique Wisdom to Share with Each other! One of the Best ways to Honor god in My Opinion! =)
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Gnomon
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PostSubject: Re: panendeism, panentheism, or pantheism- which am I?    Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:49 pm

lildavid wrote:
i pretty much would like to Narrow my search down. i was hoping someone might be able to pin point a part of my beliefs and say "you seem to be along the lines of this"
There's plenty of resources on the net that you can use to get an overview of Deism. The links below should get you started. The Wiki article is a broad assessment of the Deist phenomenon. The Deist book contains an assortment of more personal views on the topic. It includes essays by yours truly, and by Aaron. Chapter 4 covers some of the different "categories" of Deist belief. And that may be what you are looking for at the moment : a Deist checklist.


Wiki article on Deism

Deist book
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driver



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PostSubject: Re: panendeism, panentheism, or pantheism- which am I?    Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:10 pm

A Spiritual Deist, believes in a personal God and prayer. They don't believe that God is revealed through the Scriptures or Religion.

A pandeist believes that the universe is God. Their also close to nature.

A pantheist is very close to a Pandeist. Their also close to nature.

A Panentheist believes that God is the universe and more. There believe that God is revealed through the Scriptures and religion.

A Panendeist believes that God is the universe and more. They believe that God is revealed through reason, experience, and the observation of nature.

A Deist believes in reason ,experience, and the observation of nature. Through these they have many concepts of a Deity. All the above have many concepts of what the Deity is. Welcome to Deism where you find out though your on reasoning and experience what God is and isn't and can change anytime you decide to.
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