Christianity and Pantheism compared
I would like to put Pantheism into Christian terms so that Christians and other theists might be able to understand it better. But to that end, please understand that I am talking metaphorically in many instances. I am comparing Christian ideas to Pantheist ideas in terms Christians or theists can better understand. So if some of this seems be too theistic to other Pantheists, it really isn’t.
One thing Christians seem to believe about Pantheism is that it isn’t warm and loving toward god. This is a false assumption. Pantheists are warm, loving, and caring toward god. There is nothing but god. They stand in awe of nature and the creative process. They love existence and celebrate the intimate connection between all things.
To “get right with god” is to learn cause and effect. The universe answers those who know the rules, and it helps them through those rules. Because there is order in the universe there are ways to get things done and there are ways to mess up your life. If you know the rules you can learn how to live in peace with others and with yourself. Pantheists learn what is right and wrong through that process. You can get slapped down hard if you think you can just do what ever you like. Morality is derived from cause and effect. Cause and effect demand morality.
Pantheists have a reverence for life and thank the totality for their existence. They know that to do harm brings conflict, which is something no one wants, and only brings conflict and harm to themselves. They serve god in everything they do. They can do nothing else as there is nothing but god. None of us can.
If we suffer, it is for a reason. Suffering teaches. But suffering teaches only one thing: How to avoid suffering. If people know that, then they can try to learn from their mistakes and end their suffering. It’s all part of the process.
Even though god is not thought to be a conscious being, because of the intimate connection of all things, Pantheists have an intimate connection with god. They are the ultimate monotheists.
But it is true. Pantheists do not expect or want everlasting life. They are willing to give themselves to god completely. What nobler purpose can there be? Life is precious exactly because it is not eternal.
Everlasting life devalues life. Most people don't know what to do with themselves in the short lives they have. They are bored. Yet somehow they think that would change if they lived forever. The Pantheist tries to live life in wonder and awe, to love and be loved. There is no time to be bored.
I am not telling you all this to try to convert anyone, don't get me wrong. Pantheism is not something you convert to. You either find yourself, your own understanding, in the religion, or you do not. Like I said you can not help but serve god, so no need to remind anyone to do it. Pantheism has nothing to sell and nothing to save you from. But you can learn to save yourself from yourself, through it.
The advantage of having a god that is not conscious or separate is that you have no one and nothing to blame for your mistakes but yourself. In a world of suffering where everything must kill and eat to survive, one would hard-pressed to see wonder in it if any conscious god did it with intent. One could hardly forgive such a god. But if god is the process of existence, there is no malice in cause and effect. It’s just the way things are. The rules are just the rules, and the totality just is as it is. Personally the idea that there is no separate conscious god makes it easier to sleep at night.
So while Christianity and Pantheism are different, they still see the same patterns in the world. They just explain them in different ways.
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