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toddaa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 10:24 AM
Original message
The Pantheist Credo
The belief statement of the World Pantheist Movement

1. We revere and celebrate the Universe as the totality of being, past, present and future. It is self-organizing, ever-evolving and inexhaustibly diverse. Its overwhelming power, beauty and fundamental mystery compel the deepest human reverence and wonder.

2. All matter, energy, and life are an interconnected unity of which we are an inseparable part. We rejoice in our existence and seek to participate ever more deeply in this unity through knowledge, celebration, meditation, empathy, love, ethical action and art.

3. We are an integral part of Nature, which we should cherish, revere and preserve in all its magnificent beauty and diversity. We should strive to live in harmony with Nature locally and globally. We acknowledge the inherent value of all life, human and non-human, and strive to treat all living beings with compassion and respect.

4. All humans are equal centers of awareness of the Universe and nature, and all deserve a life of equal dignity and mutual respect. To this end we support and work towards freedom, democracy, justice, and non-discrimination, and a world community based on peace, sustainable ways of life, full respect for human rights and an end to poverty.

5. There is a single kind of substance, energy/matter, which is vibrant and infinitely creative in all its forms. Body and mind are indivisibly united.

6. We see death as the return to nature of our elements, and the end of our existence as individuals. The forms of "afterlife" available to humans are natural ones, in the natural world. Our actions, our ideas and memories of us live on, according to what we do in our lives. Our genes live on in our families, and our elements are endlessly recycled in nature.

7. We honor reality, and keep our minds open to the evidence of the senses and of science's unending quest for deeper understanding. These are our best means of coming to know the Universe, and on them we base our aesthetic and religious feelings about reality.

8. Every individual has direct access through perception, emotion and meditation to ultimate reality, which is the Universe and Nature. There is no need for mediation by priests, gurus or revealed scriptures.

9. We uphold the separation of religion and state, and the universal human right of freedom of religion. We recognize the freedom of all pantheists to express and celebrate their beliefs, as individuals or in groups, in any non-harmful ritual, symbol or vocabulary that is meaningful to them.

Not proselytizing, just informing -> http://www.pantheism.net /
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Delphinus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
1. Wow!
I've never thought of visiting this particular group, because I don't consider myself a religious person - I'm spiritual, but not religious. So, it was just luck that I saw this on the Latest page!

I might just be a Pantheist. It certainly incorporates a lot of who I consider myself to be.

Thanks for sharing!
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
2. Yeah, pantheism is a fantastic doctrine
One of the best, IMO.

Thanks for posting.
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benny05 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
3. Thanks for posting this
I've known that I've been a pantheist for some time. One of the few places I've been able to express this is at the Unitarian Universalist Church.
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soleft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
4. Got a couple questions, comments, items to throw up for discussion
Death -

We see death as the return to nature of our elements, and the end of our existence as individuals. The forms of "afterlife" available to humans are natural ones, in the natural world. Our actions, our ideas and memories of us live on, according to what we do in our lives. Our genes live on in our families, and our elements are endlessly recycled in nature.

Seems to me this view wouldn't differ from an atheist or non spiritual person's point of view. I'm wondering how this view compares the a Taoist's POV of after death existence.

It also seems to focus on "elements" as returning to nature and being recycled. My view and it seems for the most part the Credo's view is that energy and matter or the same thing - so I'm wondering why the use of the term "elements" as opposed to "energy" or "force" - "elements" conjures for me ideas of matter, physical residue, where as if matter cannot be destroyed, only transformed - the idea of one's "energy" or "force" returning to nature to and being recycled gives me a sense of returning to a collected conciousness, while one no longer exists as an indivual, one melds back into a universal flow.

It almost seems to me the use of the word element is a deliberate means to avoid seeming overly spiritual or having similarities to other more esoteric philosophies.

Then lastly - this part

We recognize the freedom of all pantheists to express and celebrate their beliefs, as individuals or in groups, in any non-harmful ritual, symbol or vocabulary that is meaningful to them.

I'm just wondering why not inclusiveness here, why not recognize all spiritual paths that express and celebrate their beliefs, as individuals or in groups, in any non-harmful ritual, symbol or vocabulary that is meaningful to them



Other than these two areas, I'd say this credo embodies all that I believe.

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toddaa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Good questions
Seems to me this view wouldn't differ from an atheist or non spiritual person's point of view. I'm wondering how this view compares the a Taoist's POV of after death existence.

As I am philosophically speaking a Taoist, I'd say it's primarily the Taoist teaching that informs this point. Taoist teaching emphasizes the returning of creation. It's circular, rather than linear. From the Taoist standpoint, life is a gift of heaven and so is death.

It also seems to focus on "elements" as returning to nature and being recycled. My view and it seems for the most part the Credo's view is that energy and matter or the same thing - so I'm wondering why the use of the term "elements" as opposed to "energy" or "force" - "elements" conjures for me ideas of matter, physical residue, where as if matter cannot be destroyed, only transformed - the idea of one's "energy" or "force" returning to nature to and being recycled gives me a sense of returning to a collected conciousness, while one no longer exists as an indivual, one melds back into a universal flow.

The WPM is a special brand of pantheism. Paul Harrison, it's founder, calls it scientific pantheism, so your charge that it's only one step removed from materialism isn't without base. However, I think the use of the word element has to be interpreted in the philosophical sense, rather than the scientific. What are we as individuals? We are elements or parts of the universe. As such, the elements that are parts of our minds and bodies, are also parts of the universe. We rise and fall like all the myriad creatures in the Taoist sense.

Personally, I'd rather interpret the use of the word element in the same way that the great jazz mystic Sun Ra would. We are made up of the stars. We go back to the stars.

We recognize the freedom of all pantheists to express and celebrate their beliefs, as individuals or in groups, in any non-harmful ritual, symbol or vocabulary that is meaningful to them.

I'm just wondering why not inclusiveness here, why not recognize all spiritual paths that express and celebrate their beliefs, as individuals or in groups, in any non-harmful ritual, symbol or vocabulary that is meaningful to them


This credo is specific to the WPM membership. If you are not a WPM member, see #4. Beyond that, I'm not sure how this credo is exclusionary. I know of pagan pantheists, Christian pantheists, Buddhist pantheists, and atheist pantheists. Seems pretty inclusive to me.
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I thought of myself as a universalist with a small 'u', but this does put
a lot of what I believe into words. However, I need to believe in the soul, so without defining 'God', I can accept the use of the word-concept of God to adopt the Hindu belief of the evolution of the soul on a journey to oneness (to the best of my understanding).

I just can't believe in a world dictated by Satan and one that is exclusionary of all the people who came before us, those living now, and those to come who have never been baptized or who won't be baptized in a Christian faith; a faith of teachers, preachers, and followers who believe that only they have a right to salvation, that everyone else will rot in hell, and therefore, they are superior (and, for some, that those who are not with them, can be or should be eliminated).

The human mind can really get messed up by the limitations of 'messages' others use to shape the universe and our potential.

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toddaa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Keep this in mind when browsing the WPM site
Edited on Sat Mar-05-05 05:10 PM by toddaa
It is a formal organization for those of us of the scientific pantheist persuasion. The older organization, the Universal Pantheist Society, is more accommodating to those pantheists who lean towards more spiritual matters. Every pagan I've ever met qualifies as a pantheist in my book, and I would say the same for most oriental religious traditions like Hindu, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Throw in the mystical traditions of Gnosticism, Kabbalah, and Sufism, and pantheism can be said to have influenced all the world's major religions.

We live in the 21st century. Science is the dominating method of gathering, organizing, and explaining knowledge. The key to scientific pantheism is recognizing that science can only answer the how questions, not the why ones.

Here's the Universal Pantheist link -> http://www.pantheist.net
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benny05 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
8. I'm glad this thread is still easily acceptable
A chat friend who is a Christian didn't understand why I do not accept Jesus as Lord, or any kind of lord. I had forgotten the website addy for pantheists, so I have it book marked. I sent him this link.

I understand that he believes Jesus is the only begotten son of God. I just happen to believe we all children of the Universe (as Kerry put very aptly in the second debate), and sometimes the Universe is labeled God.

Pax...and I see that Fruit trees are already in bloom in North Carolina, home to the Center for Poverty, Work, and Opportunity created by a good man, John R. Edwards.

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benny05 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Sorry--multi-task malfunction--
Thread is readily accessible...thanks again.
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