Breaking free

Pantheism

Pantheism (Photo credit: Helico)

For quite a while I have been going through the mental anguish of disentangling myself from a belief system that had been implanted and cultivated into my mind as a child. For the better part of 2 years I have been inconsistent with the answer to the question “what do I believe?” because it has been an ever evolving process. However, my moral compass and personal philosophy has solidified for the past couple of months and I’ve been coping with exactly what that means. After all, abandoning a system that teaches that the lack of adhering to it will result in an eternity of torment, does tend to make one second guess abandoning their faith. Eventually I realized that the whole threat of eternal torment is actually the psychological hook that when implanted at a young age, or at a point in one’s life when they are the most vulnerable, can produce an almost impenetrable motivational framework that is extremely difficult to break away from.

After almost slipping into atheism, the birth of my first child made me realize that there had to be something other than a chemical reaction to the love I felt when I looked into his newborn eyes. The same love that managed to spread without effort to my daughter and my youngest son. There has to be something more than just “my imagination” when I can feel the emotion or mood of a room full of people before I see a single face or here the first voice. When I can feel the pain of someone else when I read the details of the many “Pray for ..” Facebook pages and then ask myself the same question they ask themselves everyday, “why?”

For me to believe in something greater than myself, that being or thing actually needs to be greater than me. So when I think of a being with omnipotent power that is present everywhere and is capable of altering “His” own laws of nature, that being is no longer greater than I am when children are sucked up by tornadoes or washed away with floods. Now I used natural forces for a reason, so as not to hear the “man is evil and sinful” retort. To that extent though, a child being raped or multiple children being shot in a school under the watchful eye of a “heavenly father” is inexcusable if that supreme being actually exists.

Sure while parting seas, walking on water, magic ladders, and turning water into wine make for great reading (and the last one would be great at a party) these things are not realities. They are no more factually true then Paul Bunyan dragging his ax to form the Grand Canyon or George Washington chopping down a cherry tree. Since ancient times the greatest teachers have often used stories (aka parables) to teach lessons. Now, we live in a world that is incredibly connected with technology, mass transit, and lightning fast communications. One only needs to take a second look deeper and discover that connection that is longing to be cultivated. It is our true Divine Source that has never faltered and never wavered. It is that which makes us one.

So now it is time to step out from behind the veil of dogma and accept that which I have come to know for quite a while.

I believe the universe is one being; all its parts are different expressions of the same energy, and they are all in communication with each other, therefore parts of one organic whole … The whole is in all its parts so beautiful, and is felt by me to be so intensely in earnest, that I am compelled to love it, and to think of it as divine. It seems to me that this whole alone is worthy of the deeper sort of love; and there is peace, freedom, I might say a kind of salvation, in turning one’s affections outward toward this one God; rather than inwards on one’s self, or on humanity, or on human imaginations and abstractions the world of spirits. (Robinson Jeffers, Pantheism)

There you have it, I’m a Pantheist.

11 thoughts on “Breaking free

  1. I reduced my theology down to god is love, god is infinite, therefore I am that to which I pray and then prayed my entire stream of consciousness to myself for three solid months. This caused the mystical experience of the love inside me taking on a life of its own. So for about two months I had a being named Love living inside me.

    It wasn’t real, I had just prayed myself into an altered state of consciousness. It was however an absolutely amazing experience. I also knew what I was doing when I did it. Just didn’t expect to turn into an Avatar of Love. But Holy Crap that was fun!

    Mysticism: Once you know how it works you can just play with it.

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  2. Wonderful blog post. I remember sitting in Catholic elementary school in the mid 60’s hearing the nun claim that “protestants were evil” and “jews were practically the devil.” Looking out the window I thought “If God was the Alpha and Omega” this truly cannot be. And I was in 2nd grade. From then on I always had a question mark about religion. When I sobered up in a 12 step program at the age of 19, I was told believe in a higher power to help keep me sober. To believe in a God “as I understood God”. From that point on I sought to understand what God meant for me. Sought through prayer and meditation and self-studies. At 52 years, when asked what I believe, I can honestly say “I don’t know and can’t put it into words”. I can’t really put it into words and for the most part, I don’t feel compelled to do so. My experience has been that what I believe now is changed slightly or progressively from what I believed yesterday. I continue to learn. I continue to understand. I’m constantly inspired by fellow travelers who search and struggle with their relationship with the Divine Spirit or God or Energy or …Thanks for sharing your journey.

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    • Happy to share and thank you for sharing as well. We should hope that others can start to no longer be afraid to shed the nonsensical and oppressive traditions that defy reason and intellect and embrace that ineffable Source in whatever manner makes them complete.

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  3. Pingback: Points of clarity | The Quest for Light

  4. Seems that pantheism or panentheism in this light are functionally one and the same. I just told someone a few days ago that I now see God as the sum total of everything. That is why God is beyond description…how could you describe all people in even a lifetime, let alone all creation? The vast diversity and complexity of the universe as a whole expresses one living Deity. Having said that, I acknowledge an overarching intelligence (greater than myself) conspiring and arranging the details so that I can never imagine myself to be responsible. 🙂

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  5. I love your blatant honesty here with regards to your thoughts and feelings. Although there is much we can discuss about different things said here, I will save that for another day. A level of trust must first be established between two people and I would like to gain yours. Cheers to building new web relationships. God bless Nelson. 😉

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  6. Nelson, I agree with you that theism (“heavenly Father” outlook) has its problems in the face of suffering and evil in this world. How do find pantheism a better or more comforting framework in this aspect. In other words, if everything is God, is evil and suffering all part of God also?

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