About Panentheism

Panentheism provides for a universal holistic system which gives us a united interpretation as to what it is we believe, observe, and reason. It strengthens us as individuals and as a species. It fuses our religions, sciences, and philosophies into a model demonstrating our purpose and thereby strengthening our resolve to protect the rights of the individual while understanding our importance as a species within the Universe. A Universal Holistic System provides us with a means of reinforcing one of the primary axioms we have learned during our development as a species: “United we stand, divided we fall.”

Until we unify our three means of perception, we will remain a divided species. Until we unify our three means of perception, we will remain ‘a house divided’ into three factions: religion, science, and philosophy. Until we unify our three means of perception, we will remain ‘a house at war with itself’ and ‘a plum ripe for the picking. Religion, science, and philosophy are three entities that we, you and I, have created. They are entities we have cultivated, shaped, and helped evolve over thousands of years. They are entities that have been so good to us yet so viciously damaging to us. They have been entities we have encouraged to remain independent of each other, suspicious of each other, and antagonistic towards each other. Unifying them does not eliminate the ‘good’ they have to offer us. Unifying could, however, significantly reduce the negatives they will inflict upon the future. Until we unify these three means of perception, they will remain our own self-inflicted nemesis.

Panentheism espouses:

  1. Consciousness, being, is composed of the same ‘substance and essence as God’
  2. You do not dissolve into nothingness upon death
  3. ‘Living your religion rather than leaving your religion’
  4. Two moral absolutes:
  • Protect the right and ability of the individual to travel life unimpeded
  • Travel life unimpeded

Religious, scientific, and philosophical perceptions appear to lie closer to our hearts than anything physical we could name. We are willing to give our blood for them, die for them, and in some cases even give up the lives and blood of our children and spouses for them.

Heidegger states: ‘Meditative thinking demands of us that we engage ourselves with what at first sight does not go together at all.’Science, philosophy, and religion are the most obvious example of ‘what at first sight does not go together at all.’ Scientific perceptions, religious perceptions, and philosophical perceptions not only avoid each other; they intentionally antagonize each other.

Religion embraces the existence of a ‘Divine Being’. Science and philosophy both support this perception: science with its concept of ‘Primal Cause’ and philosophy with its concept of ‘First Cause’. Science embraces the existence of a ‘Universe’. Philosophy and religion both support this perception: philosophy with its concept of ‘reality’ and religion with its concept of ‘creation’. Philosophy embraces the existence of a ‘being’, the individual. Religion and science both support this perception: religion with its concept of the ‘soul’ and science with its concept of ‘life’.

These three fields of developing perceptions – science, philosophy, and religion, have been with us for thousands of years. What could they possibly have to offer us that would generate the ‘ground and foundation…for the new autochthony.’? What is it the three – religion, science, and philosophy – have to offer that ‘…lies at hand; so near that we all too easily overlook it.’?The fact that science, religion, and philosophy have been with us so long is exactly what makes them lie so ‘near’. This close proximity may have been the very reason we have overlooked the ‘new ground and foundation’ they have to offer. Philosophy, science, and religion have offered us three independent means of developing perceptions regarding our significance as individuals and as a species. History has recorded over and over again the results of such divided perceptions. Now we have the opportunity to fuse scientific, religious, and philosophical perceptions of reality into one Universal Holistic System and examine the impact such a united perception would have upon ourselves as individuals and as a species.

Presently society basically keeps science, philosophy, and religion separated. Presently, the three – science, religion, and philosophy – work to keep themselves separated. A fused perspective does not replace philosophy, religion, or science. Upon mutual agreement, the fused perspective is placed below the three to act as a foundation, for the individual, and for our species. The fusion of the three would not replace any of the three nor would it replace all three as a whole. Each of the three – our ability to reason (philosophy), our ability to observe (science), and our ability to believe (religion), have their own unique characteristics which can never be replaced by the other two. Religion deals with the abstract. Science deals with the concrete. Philosophy deals with understanding how the abstract and the concrete are related.

6 Responses to About Panentheism

  1. Love your inspired reasoning… thanks for sharing!

  2. Gysela says:

    You have a much kinder view of religion than I do. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in it that I resist it so strongly, or perhaps I’m simply in a stage of teenager evolvement as I move through spiritual maturity. Either way, I would argue that religion has more to do with the separation of thought than either of the other two, as religion has repeatedly refused to consider scientific discovery as anything other than a threat to religious belief. The same goes for philosophy. From my perspective, religions generally seek to control their believers through intimidation and fear…particularly when any believer questions doctrine or the sacred text. Philosophy inherently requires thought and logic…neither of which could survive in religions of today as there is usually very little true logic or reason behind the doctrines. I do hope, however, that religions will evolve so that they are relevant to those generations who value philosophy, reason, logic, science, nature, collaboration, and free will. Only then do I see any hope of reconciliation between the three. In the meantime, hearing another perspective on the topic is vastly appreciated. I look forward to hearing more of what you have to say.

    • William Knox says:

      Your position is certainly valid and is clearly based upon a foundation of sound logical reasoning. Our main difference of opinion seems to be in how we individually define religion, as a concept. I believe that understanding the nature of faith is also the key to understanding religion as the two are ultimately inseparable. Paul Tillich once said that “Faith is the state of being ultimately concerned, which is itself religion. Religion is the substance, the ground, and the depth of man’s spiritual life.”

      I agree that large religious organizations, in particular the Christian church, have consistently assumed that pure devotion to science is, as you say, a major threat to religious belief. I do not however believe one can blame religion itself for this perspective. Not all religions seek to control their followers through restrictive doctrine or unforgiving scripture. While such behavior is common among the Abrahamic faiths, one cannot define all religion by looking through such a narrow lens.

      In my opinion, spirituality is an essential component of our evolution as a species. While my atheist friends find my perspective unreasonable, I maintain that anyone who denies the very possibility of the spiritual nature of our existence is being extremely short sighted at best. Our current understanding of science cannot fully penetrate the depths of the Great Mystery; we cannot even agree scientifically on a comprehensive definition for consciousness itself. One thing is absolutely certain – as a species, we have a very long way to go.

  3. reasoningpolitics says:

    Hi there. First, I like pantheism far better than theistic religion. I always like to ask pantheists and deists, why do you still use the term, ‘god?’ Its sort of a loaded word. The vast, vast majority of believers are theists. When you use ‘god’ to describe the universe instead of Jesus or Thor or Allah it can create confusion. Do you feel it muddies the waters too much when there are so many definitions for ‘god’ and no one agrees on it?

    I am an atheist, but if someone re-named evolution, ‘god’ I’d have to say I believe in ‘god’ now, but its a far different concept than Jesus. See what I mean?

    Anyway, I like your site and will continue reading.

    • William Knox says:

      God as a concept resists any attempt to apply a definitive label. The important thing to recognize is that everybody has a different individual perspective on God. I would also point out that many pantheists and deists consider themselves to be theists by default. The true conflict in religious discussions occurs when one’s beliefs are dismissed out of hand due to doctrinal bias. I sometimes think that there is nothing more dangerous than the closed mind of the zealot for bigotry serves no positive purpose.

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