Posted: Aug 26, 2010 |Comments: 0
A Study of Pantheism in World Religions
By: Grayson Graham
Pantheism is a religion that is followed by people who consider Nature to be divine and derive a lot of spiritual satisfaction communing with the Universe. The word Pantheism is in fact derived from two Greek words, “Pan” meaning “everything” and “Theos” meaning “God”. So, according to Pantheists everything is God and God is in everything. Pantheism has existed in some form or the other right from the early Greek times. However, it did not have any name until the 17th century. Today, a lot of people are showing interest towards Pantheism owing to the explosion of the internet which provides a platform for people interested in Pantheistic thoughts to get together on the internet and exchange ideas and views.
Pantheists derive a lot of peace and spiritual satisfaction from Nature. They respect the Universe and find their spiritual inspiration from there. They believe that the universe and nature are to be revered and that one should treat nature with utmost respect. Since the basic tenement of Pantheism is based on the spiritual aspects of nature, it is not surprising to find a lot of pantheists associating themselves with environmental and ecological movements around the world.
Unlike other monotheistic religions like Judaism, Islam and Christianity, Pantheism does not believe that there is a personal God. Pantheists do not believe that God judges each and every human being and rewards or punishes them according to their actions. According to them God is part of everything available in nature and since human beings are a part of that nature they are also considered to be divine.
Unlike in other religions, the concept of hell or heaven does not exist in Pantheism. They do not believe that human soul lives beyond death. According to Pantheism, physical death is simply the culmination of the life cycle, putting an end to the conscious and a return to the lap of nature. Even when it comes to prayer, there is no traditional way of praying which we witness in other religions like Islam, Christianity or Hinduism. This is because there is no personal God in Pantheism and since human beings are in constant communion with nature there is no need for a formal way of worship or prayer. For a pantheist, prayer or worship could mean a long walk alone on the beach.
Pantheism is more of a philosophy than an organized religion. In fact, they reject the concept of organized religion. According to pantheists, the lack of any formal creed along with ministers and priests actually liberates the religion from the need of an intermediary between the communion of God and Man. Since there is a direct contact established between man and God, anybody can practice Pantheism, unlike other religions where communion with God is through different intermediaries.
Finally, Pantheism appeals to a lot of people because of its benign nature. All that Pantheism requires of you is respect for nature and all living beings in this Universe. You do not have to follow a specific doctrine or attend special ceremonies in order to become a Pantheist. The beauty of Pantheism is that there is a lot of scope for individual beliefs and thoughts to flourish without any fear.
(ArticlesBase SC #3132234)
Grayson Graham –
About the Author:
This is part of a 5 piece series on Pantheism by PantheistSite.com
PantheistSite.com is a spiritual community where members can explore Pantheism and get to know other Pantheists.