Arc summed it up pretty nicely. As a pantheist myself, I would only add that a pantheist believes the universe is not a blind lifeless system; it feels something, some subjective experience.

Wait a minute wait a minute. “It”, you said, as if all the individual subjective experiences of all the living people combine to form one, whole single experience for whatever “it” is. Like a zeitgeist that has feelings. I think this is going too far and its the kind of thing spinz warned about.

Well Zoot, I understand that pantheism isn’t the most popular views in philosophy, but it isn’t exactly as you put it.

First, I don’t believe in a “zeitgeist” in the sense of a spirit looming over us all, let alone an additional consciousness to the individual ones we all feel ourselves to be. It’s more just the belief that everything “feels”, that there is no such thing as a truly unconscious or lifeless entity in this world. That doesn’t mean everything thinks, or feels emotions, or “sees”–these are all human experiences corresponding to specific brain activity–but every physical activity comes along with a subjective experience characterized by some qualitative feel (or so I believe).

Second, the collective consciousness of the universe, if we can call it that, is more than just the sum of human consciousnesses. Even rocks feel something as far as I’m concern (I usually describe it as a “steady buzz”). The collective consciousness of the universe is the totality of all “feeling”, which includes human consciousness, but not exclusively, and it doesn’t count, like I said, as an additional consciousness with its own point of view.

gib, does someone have to be a pantheist in order to feel or sense that the universe is NOT a blind lifeless system? I don’t think so. Phiosophers and scientists would sense this - i mean, those who are not pantheists.
On the other hand, does IT really feel something - some subjective experience? We might say that it has its own peculiar kind of consciousness in a way (if we can even say that) but DOES IT, in actuality, have the consciousness as a human has or are we simply projecting our own consciousness and qualia onto IT?

I suppose though that a pantheist who believes that a god moves and lives in all things would see a living consciousness in all things.
But then, how do we know that we can even refer to god as being a living consciousness? That is us but would that be god?

Well, pantheist just means one who believes God is the universe. If these scientists and philosophers believe that God is the universe, then they would be pantheist. But you’re suggesting there’s a level down from “God” but still up from a “blind lifeless system”. Maybe panpsychism?

Well, of course I’m projecting my own consciousness onto it. :smiley: I mean, this is just a theory, I haven’t actually “communed” with the universe to feel its experiences directly. I’m just taking my own experiences with mind and qualia and proposing that brains are not the only things to come along with this.

Does the universe have consciousness in the same way that humans do? I don’t think so. I think it experiences qualia but not our qualia.

I like to think of the range of possible qualia as limitless. The human brain only experiences a tiny sample of all the qualia possible. We may label non-human qualia as x, y, z, for example:

… x, y, z, … [… taste, color-perception, pain, thought, emotion, tickles, music, …] … a, b, c, …

^^ This represents all the qualia going on in the universe. The section in red represents those of the universe’s qualia that corresponds to human brain activity. x, y, z might correspond to the activity of a car engine. a, b, c might correspond to the inner workings of a computer circuit. As far as I’m concerned, x, y, z and a, b, c are unimaginable to us. So what consciousness is like for the universe is probably nothing like what it’s like for us, though our consciousness is part of the universe’s, so in a sense it “knows” what our consciousness is like.

I don’t know. Comes back to the “projection” thing. If you think that what’s going on “in here” is the same as what’s going on “out there”, then it feels natural to use the same vocabulary–I mean, we call the stuff in here consciousness, qualia, life, etc.–so if we project those onto the outer world, should we use the same terminology? I don’t see why not. But like I said, whatever it is God “feels” or “knows”, it’s probably incomprehensible to us and we may not even recognize it as consciousness or mind if we somehow had access to it.

Pantheism has four mainstreams:

  1. Theomononistic pantheism.
  2. Physiomonistic pantheism.
  3. Transcendental pantheism.
  4. Immanent-transcendental pantheism.

The question whether there the universe just appeared or was made by a creator is very similar to the question whether nature is because of itself or because of god. This leads to the question whether “god” is what we call “nature” or “nature” is what we call “god”? The subject is called “pantheism” with all its various modes.

God is the Principle that causes the physical universe to be.
But is that the physical universe itself?
The physical universe is not made OF principles, but DUE TO principles, One in particular.
Divine Realm → Principles
Mortal Realm → Physical Universe

God as a principle and as the one (the unmoved mover?) who caused the universe. Didn’t you say in another tread that this has also to do with the impossibility?

Yes, the ultimate unmoved mover is impossibility, aka “logical contradiction”.

What does happen only happens because nothing else was possible. Motion (the physical universe) exists because nothing can be what it is and also remain as it is (because what it is, is the “affecting”). That impossibility “causes” the entire universe to be what it is. There is absolutely no choice (the supreme, immutable power).

We already talked about this. And it can also be read in your signature: “The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives. … The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = ‘The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is’.”

You try making over 23,000 posts without repeating yourself. :confused:

In the long run, it all boils down to:
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony.
…or else accept … #-o

Is ( #-o ) the finishing touch on absolute certainly, James?
By the way, Hi :greetings-waveyellow:

I think it’s trendy, much like Starbucks or pirate shirts, but as equally absurd as monotheism.
Is God the dreamer and we the dream, or is God the potter and we the clay?
Is Yoda the 8th and final avatar of Polish Freemasonry?

Pantheism is the belief that the universe and nature are numinous - that they and they alone are worthy of the reverence that traditional religions devote to “God.”

I never realized that I was STILL a pantheist.
So, after having read the hyperlink are you still going to compare “pantheism” to a place which serves up coffee or to viking wear?

We are BOTH the dreamer and the dream - the potter and the clay.

But that is not what pantheism means. Pantheism means, for example, that nature could be or is God resp. that God could be or is nature. Either God or nature is reserved.

I define Gods as supernatural entities with magical powers who reign over the cosmos or aspects of it, as supreme beings.
Like Asclepius was one such entity, he was the God of medicine, another was Athena, the Goddess of war and wisdom.

Pantheism means all is God, to me that’s as confusing as saying all is love, or all is pasta.
Existence consists of all sorts of things, some of these things we can prove exist, like pasta, and some of these things we cannot, like Gods.
To say existence itself is any one of these sorts of things, is a contradiction in terms.

The universe is a lot of things, it’s a lot of nothing too.
All of these things are somewhat interconnected (monism), but they’re also somewhat disconnected (pluralism) too.
Some of these things are intelligent and active, or relatively so at least, and some of these things are unintelligent and passive.
The supernatural is mysterious to us by definition, or it wouldn’t be the supernatural, so mysterious we can’t say very much about it with anything approaching certitude, even that it exists or does not exist.
So the universe, which isn’t anymore one than many, isn’t anymore intelligent and active than it is unintelligent and passive, and so it’s not God, which is something active, intelligent.
The universe isn’t supernatural, by definition it’s natural.
So to say the universe is God seems highly illogical to me, I don’t even think it has much poetic merit.

Yeah we’re the potter and the clay, I’ll give you that much, everything in the cosmos shapes itself and others, and is in turn shaped by others, but that’s not what God is, God is something that shapes, but is not shaped, or at least not very much, otherwise it wouldn’t be as worthy of awe and wonder.
The Gods of mythology are usually immortal, all or very powerful, that’s what makes them special and so unlike the things we know, which are ephemeral, and at the mercy of external forces and circumstances.
I don’t think saying we’re the potter and the clay makes us Godly at all, God was traditionally defined as something that partly or fully transcends time and space, the cycle of birth, growth, decay and death, same with soul.

So rather, the cosmos is a lot of things, it’s a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a little pleasure, a little pain, a little strength, a little weakness, in some sense everything is infinite and one, and in another it’s many and finite.
It’s all the things and it’s no things, it’s everything we can say about it and so much more, and less.
What it’s not is any particular thing we can imagine like God or don’t have to like rocks, trees and dirt.

Where as some religions like the Abrahamic religions, paganism and movements like spiritualism turn to the supernatural in order to ease their suffering, the Hindian religions turn to try to make the natural super, and in my view, fall short
They’re like two sides of the same coin.
I would much rather say life is life, it is what it is, and leave it at that.

I was not talking about my belief but about the definition of “pantheism”. So I was referring to, for example, Baruch Spinoza (cp. “Deus sive natura”) and other philosophers, for example some of the German Idealists and Romantics.


You said:

According to the hyperlink I inserted above …

Pantheism is the belief that the universe and nature are numinous - that they and they alone are worthy of the reverence that traditional religions devote to “God.”

Your definition spells out God akin to the very breath and spirit of God living in all things.

The above definition from the hyperlink is devoid of any concept of God. All IT sees is the universe and nature exclusively, standing alone on its own merits.

Maybe it’s akin to when one goes to a museum and observes a beautiful painting. One is fully absorbed only in that…notices only that. There is no artist - he is lost only in what is before him and the experience of that.

Another seeing the same painting will see the artist’s hand at work, will attribute the quality and characteristics to that artist whether he/she is known or not.

We all have our blind spots. lol

A useless concept with no foundation in reality.