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Author Topic: Pantheistic Practice  (Read 15429 times)
Zedd
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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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