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Author Topic: Pantheistic Practice  (Read 13770 times)
FierFlye
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« Topic Start: August 10, 2008, 10:08:19 pm »

I'm having a hard time accepting practices that honor the Gods.  I've been looking a little into pantheism, but the two main sites I've found seem heavy on theory and short on practice.  I'm wondering what kinds of rituals and daily practices you do, and how you do them.  If you'd like to give any specific examples, that would be very helpful.
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FierFlye
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« Reply #1: August 10, 2008, 10:25:29 pm »

the two main sites I've found seem heavy on theory

'mindset' might be a better word here than 'theory'
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« Reply #2: August 10, 2008, 11:35:30 pm »

'mindset' might be a better word here than 'theory'

Ditto the gods worship thing. My observation only, but I see little evidence there are God(s)/god(s) that have any control over this realm. I do believe there are godlike entities but they are limited to having no influence on what we do here. I am surprised you haven't received a cavalcade of response on this question as it is the key question with regards to 99% of the conversation going on here. Perhaps it goes into the faith thing, that is belief in something that cannot be proven? I find that faith based questions are extremely limited in scope relative to the answers given.

It is my opinion that most of the 'revelation' or 'prophecy' given is in actuallity a misdiagnoses of our natural ability to interact with our universe, rather than a deities intervention. I would love to be corrected on this. I believe that the very nature of faith based questions/answers is a dichotomy of objective/subjective. By this I mean that you as one revealed to 'know' it to be true, but to the unrevealed it is impossible to prove. This I have experienced in reams.

For example, I 'know' that Jesus is the Christ through private meditation resulting in a deeply personal revelation. This contrasts with shamanistic experiences I know of where I journied to the underworld and have had intimate interactions with my personal 'totem'. I do not believe the two are in contradiction. I know that any who try the same time honored techniques will experience the same type of journying I did. This is not true for having a revelation from a deity. I would love to hear of pantheistic testimonies relative to their beliefs. I say this in all humility, without prejudice or judgement. After all, if your revelation or prophecy is of the same efficacy (sp?) as mine, who am I to judge?
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« Reply #3: August 11, 2008, 10:43:15 am »

It is my opinion that most of the 'revelation' or 'prophecy' given is in actuallity a misdiagnoses of our natural ability to interact with our universe, rather than a deities intervention.  I would love to be corrected on this.

And I'd love to try...except I'm not entirely sure what you're talking about.  Hard polytheists believe that gods are separate, specific entities that sometimes choose to interact with people.  I doubt they'd appreciate their beliefs called a "misdiagnoses".

Quote
I know that any who try the same time honored techniques will experience the same type of journying I did.

I don't.  Plenty of people are too rational/literal to see these experiences as anything more than hallucinations or brain glitches.  I've heard fundies say the same sort of thing, actually:  "If you'd just read the book, you'd understand..."  You can't claim that spiritual revelation is deeply personal in one breath, then claim there's a turnkey, uniform way to get there in the next.
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« Reply #4: August 11, 2008, 10:57:10 am »

I'm having a hard time accepting practices that honor the Gods.  I've been looking a little into pantheism, but the two main sites I've found seem heavy on theory and short on practice.  I'm wondering what kinds of rituals and daily practices you do, and how you do them.  If you'd like to give any specific examples, that would be very helpful.

Honestly?  I don't do rituals or daily practices very often.  I do do the energy-work practice of ground-center-shield on a regular basis, but the closest I come to a veneration is that whenever I see a work of natural beauty I give thanks to Existence for allowing me my sense of wonder.
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« Reply #5: August 11, 2008, 11:09:13 am »

Honestly?  I don't do rituals or daily practices very often.
What kind of ritual might you do when you do one?

Quote
I do do the energy-work practice of ground-center-shield on a regular basis
What benefit do you find from doing this?

Quote
but the closest I come to a veneration is that whenever I see a work of natural beauty I give thanks to Existence for allowing me my sense of wonder.
Do you deliberately seek out such places when you otherwise wouldn't encounter them? 
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FierFlye
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« Reply #6: August 11, 2008, 11:11:34 am »

I am surprised you haven't received a cavalcade of response on this question as it is the key question with regards to 99% of the conversation going on here.

I'm not sure what you mean by that.  What I am asking is, "What do Pantheists DO?" 
I am interested in what kinds of ways religion (or spirituality) can be practiced when god is not involved.
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« Reply #7: August 11, 2008, 12:29:17 pm »

I've been looking a little into pantheism, but the two main sites I've found seem heavy on theory and short on practice.

First of all, which sites are these?  There are several different flavors of pantheism, some of which have no real "practices" beyond seeing the world in a certain way.

Personally?  The only things I do regularly, outwardly, that I could consider pantheistic are my seasonal celebrations.  I mark the year (locally--very tied to the land) with feasting and get-togethers.  It's the closest I come to worship within a pantheistic framework.  And it really doesn't look anything like worship to most folks (including me).

Brina
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« Reply #8: August 11, 2008, 12:46:17 pm »

I'm not sure what you mean by that.  What I am asking is, "What do Pantheists DO?" 
I am interested in what kinds of ways religion (or spirituality) can be practiced when god is not involved.

heh.  I could answer, but I'm complicated.  I'm a polytheist pantheist.

but at least in FlameKeeping, what we *do* is trying to see the divinity in other people, other things, and ourselves.  And to encourage that divinity as best we can to flourish.

There aren't *rituals* - a few meditations that you can either do or not.  But no set rules of practice.

Just .. I guess an understanding?  I think that's the best way of putting it.

if that makes any sense at all. Cheesy
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« Reply #9: August 11, 2008, 01:13:23 pm »

First of all, which sites are these?  There are several different flavors of pantheism, some of which have no real "practices" beyond seeing the world in a certain way.

pantheism.net
pantheist.net
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« Reply #10: August 11, 2008, 01:20:08 pm »

but at least in FlameKeeping, what we *do* is trying to see the divinity in other people, other things, and ourselves. 

You've sparked some thoughts...

Can divinity be stronger during certain situations, at certains times, or in certain people?  Or is it the same across the board for all persons at all times?

If it does fluxuate, are there things one can do to increase their divinity?
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« Reply #11: August 11, 2008, 02:02:05 pm »

You've sparked some thoughts...

Can divinity be stronger during certain situations, at certains times, or in certain people?  Or is it the same across the board for all persons at all times?

If it does fluxuate, are there things one can do to increase their divinity?

I think the *amount* of divinity is static - we are Divine and that is that.

however, the awareness of that divinity fluctuates.  The connectedness with that divinity fluctuates.

And I've actually written essays about growing one's soul, which I think would equate to your increasing divinity?
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« Reply #12: August 11, 2008, 02:36:53 pm »

I think the *amount* of divinity is static - we are Divine and that is that.
That makes sense.

Quote
And I've actually written essays about growing one's soul, which I think would equate to your increasing divinity?
I was thinking, "what changes when one does good deeds, opens themselves up to love, sees the beauty in everyday things..."  I think growing the soul is a good answer.  I'd agree now, that divinity doesn't change.
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« Reply #13: August 11, 2008, 03:05:32 pm »

And I'd love to try...except I'm not entirely sure what you're talking about.  Hard polytheists believe that gods are separate, specific entities that sometimes choose to interact with people.  I doubt they'd appreciate their beliefs called a "misdiagnoses".

I don't.  Plenty of people are too rational/literal to see these experiences as anything more than hallucinations or brain glitches.  I've heard fundies say the same sort of thing, actually:  "If you'd just read the book, you'd understand..."  You can't claim that spiritual revelation is deeply personal in one breath, then claim there's a turnkey, uniform way to get there in the next.

I agree with you. I think the 'religious experience' is both easy to claim and easy to discount. I believe in pantheism as defined by:

1. the doctrine that God is the transcendent reality of which the material universe and human beings are only manifestations: it involves a denial of God's personality and expresses a tendency to identify God and nature. 
2. any religious belief or philosophical doctrine that identifies God with the universe. 
'random house unabridged dictionary'
with certain caveats. I believe the entities that make up the universe are potentially eternal. I believe that all these entities have a personality while maintaining an integral part of the whole.

Spinoza's Ethics is my favourate book. He gives a beautiful discourse on what pantheism is about (not necessarily what it is). His concept of a unified universe intricately tied together creating one whole monist is very elegant. I think as part of a pantheistic universe we have an innate ability to feel the infinite threads around us, and even to interact with it. I believe this interaction creates wonderful numinous experiences. I do not think this ability is necessarily divine communication, talking to and receiving answers back in a personal relationship. Fierfly use of the word 'mindset' is classically Spinozist. It refers (as I interpret it) as a state of being relating oneself to the universe.

Pantheism in general denies two key elements of theism: first, that God is a 'person', and second, God is a seperate, autonomous, and transcendent being. While most pantheist (myself in included) believe there are many different modes within the universe that are identified (or self-identified) as individuals. These individuals could be defined as 'gods' making the universe a polytheistic-pantheon. I would be very interested to hear how and what happens when individuals actually communicate with these gods.

Yewberry, it has been my experience those who make the claims (hallucinations...brain glitches) also never try it. Ditto with fundies. You are not understanding what I am saying. I do not claim there is a turnkey, uniform way to get there (I assume you mean 'there' to be have spiritual revelation). The shamanistic practice of journeying is not per say a religious act. I make no supplication to a god, make no prayers, or have any kind of a religous experience to journey. The ability to explore our universe is what journying is about. It is possible to use any part of our natural life to attempt the religous experience, but it is not necessary. Fundies say 'read it and you'd understand', but there is an implication of God Revealed in the request for the read. In a way journying is a self-centered activity, requiring only one entity to perform it, me. Divine revelation requires two to participate, me and God. God is not always obliging. Without the input of God, the activity becomes either a prayer in supplication, or a prayer with delusional answers.
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« Reply #14: August 11, 2008, 03:16:07 pm »

I think the *amount* of divinity is static - we are Divine and that is that.

however, the awareness of that divinity fluctuates.  The connectedness with that divinity fluctuates.

And I've actually written essays about growing one's soul, which I think would equate to your increasing divinity?

I would be very interested in reading your essays. Some questions...
You say you think the amount of divinity is static. What do you mean by that. I find that a very intriguing statement.

You have also talked of 'growing one's soul'. Could you expound on that?

I also like the way you equate our awareness and connectedness with the divinity as a fluctuating status. Mind if I borrow that term? Would it be possible to read your essays? I like the way you write.
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