What is pantheism?
The word ‘pan’ is derived from the ancient Greek word ‘pas’, meaning ‘all’ or ‘all-inclusive’.
The word theism is derived from the Greek word theos, translated as God. Precisely what the word God actually means is anybody’s guess. There are plenty of fanciful guesses. More often than not God is conceived as creator, lawgiver and law enforcer.
In naďve religions, such as Judaism, Islam and numerous Hindu variants, God is imagined as transcendental, i.e. as abiding elsewhere, and being unlimited in every way. That is the God, sometimes personal, who is ideally suited for the socializing of infants and other primitives. That God, often fantasized as Father, takes responsibility for creation and gets the infants off that hook. Often human capacities such as caring, pity, love, anger, hatred and jealousy are attributed to him to make him acceptable to the immature and comfort and console them in stressful times. This God makes the law. He and those following have the might. During the immature, the infantile phase, ‘might follows right’.
In more developed, adolescent religious systems created by and for more developed humans, God, as creator and lawgiver, is assumed to operate both outside and inside the human, to wit, as an imminent force. He still retains some human, often superlative attributes. Responsibility for creation and the laws that support it are being transferred to the human.
In the most developed, meaning mature systems, now no longer religious, God is assumed to be identical with each and every living systems. In other words, those individuals who have fully matured understand that ‘All is God’, in other words, that every living systems operates as a local elaboration of the basic God function. This God is impersonal, displays no human attributes. He is the law that supports and drives creation and niche adaptation. The mature human now carries for responsibility for the creative process.
This is the pantheist view. It is severely antithetic to those still operating in development phases 1 and 2.
Obviously, if every individual living thing is God applied to a particular niche, who then decides how creation will evolve and what new laws will need to be invented for that to happen. How is the one God who will drive creation forward to be selected from a vast host of god peers.
For instance, if every human is wholly God, albeit adapted to a niche, who decides what is right or wrong, good or bad. If all are equal, who, meaning which god niche application, wins the day and decides and regulates the future?
Well the answer to the problem of selection from peers can be observed in nature as it has evolved over the last 4 billion years. The god who is selected, that is to say, who actually self-selects, like for instance Alexander the Great or Stephen Jobs or the stag who acquires most doe’s during the rutting season, is the one who develops greater power. In pantheism (as in democracy, as in tennis or chess), because all are fundamentally equal, meaning equally God, ‘might trumps right’.
This is why the pantheist declares that God is always on the side of the bigger guns. And which is why pantheism is rightly regarded as a severe threat to those still developing towards maturity and who yet lack might. And why those few who express the pantheist view, namely that god is simply nature being nature, are regularly murdered by fanatic theists who are actually doing a good job for their naďve clients even though they are lying to their charges to protect them.
© 2017 Victor Langheld