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What Is The Pantheist God?

Updated on August 26, 2012

What do pantheists mean when they say the universe is god?

Pantheism is not just substituting the word god for the word universe. We are not trying to say that the word “everything” should now be changed to the word god.  Some people have actually suggested that what we mean is in essence exactly that. That would be silly.

When pantheism uses the word god we are talking about the nature of the universe. While everything together is god, everything is a lot of other things as well. An orange may be said to be part of god, but it is also a fruit. In the same way, the universe is god but it is a lot of other things as well. It is a series of systems within systems.

What is really meant is that god is the process of existence, and nothing is outside that process. All things that exist are part of that process. So while it is ok to say “all is god,” it is rather a cumbersome and metaphorical way of saying things, and it can be confusing to people.

We also do not mean all things are the same. It is obvious that is not true. You are not me.  We are connected, but not the same thing. In other words: god is all but it is divided. Every individual thing together makes up the process of existence, or what many Pantheists call god. 

That is the problem with using the word god.  It has too much baggage. It’s a useless word.

For instance, all other religions use the word god to mean not only the creator of all things. They all insist the god is conscious and intelligent. Pantheists do not. The Pantheist god is redundant. At least the word is.

In all other religions god is above all else. But if there is nothing but god, then there is nothing objectively above anything else.  If all is god then there is no god by traditional definition. The word is redundant because nothing is not god.  If all is divine, nothing is divine. The reason for this is that both the word divine and the word god need their opposites existing, for the words to have meaning.

So Rational and Scientific Pantheists, unlike many other Pantheists, don’t use the word god. They might use the phrase: The process of existence. Or they may use some variant of that. The process of existence, or what produced, developed, and nurtures us, is the only definition of a god both Pantheist and theists can agree is god. But not in the same way.

So the Rational or Scientific Pantheist says that the process of existence is what theists are really talking about when they say god.  

Some Pantheists might want to say all there is, is energy. There is nothing but energy. It doesn’t matter which phrases you use.  Energy and the process of existence mean the same thing. 

So not only are Pantheists the ultimate monotheists, holding to the idea that only the one god exists, Rational/Scientific Pantheism has destroyed god and has no farther need for the concept unless something claiming to be god pops it’s head out the sky and says hi. That makes us religious atheists.

Saying there is nothing but god, is the same as saying there is nothing but the process of existence.


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    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Excellent hub. My two favorite lines are: "What is really meant is that God is the process of existence and nothing is outside that process" and "God is all, but it is divided".

      Ever since i was old enough to think and reason, i have believed that there is a "Whole" invisible sentience (awareness) that is made up of everything we see, and that which is hidden from the human view. We, here on earth (and most probably other earths) are just individual components of that whole. Like tentacles (metaphorically; unseen tethers) out of the 'whole' that is exploring the material world that was 'created' for what ever reason; and we are all merely instruments for the gathering of knowledge and experience of the material world that take what we have individually experienced back to the "whole" to share. Organized religions teach that God is one entity and we are all separate souls created to pay him homage. I guess that is the only way that the originators of religion could convey a supreme "being" that "controls" each of us. Crude, but effective in controlling the masses by those who desire that power over others.

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      Tony 6 years ago

      Pantheism seems to present a middle ground between the extremes of atheism and theocracy, where scientific truths about the universe are incorporated with a spiritual understand of our place within the universe.

      this is an interesting website that paints a pantheist picture of how consciousness evolved upon Earth through a naturalistic law:

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image

      Ron Hooft 7 years ago from Ottawa


    • Captain Jimmy profile image

      Captain Jimmy 7 years ago from WV