Friday, January 28, 2005

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "‘Pantheism’ ... signifies the belief that every existing entity is, only one Being; and that all other forms of reality are either modes (or appearances) of it or identical with it."

I AM a pantheist.

And I believe that a lot of you would be too, if only you had been exposed to the idea. Thus, I have created this forum for the discussion of pantheism, major arguments for its Truth, and for the gathering together of like minds.
Together, we will raise the awareness of others.



At 4:43 PM, Blogger Codesuidae said...

I AM a pantheist.I think perhaps you mean "We are all pantheists"?

Can we be solipsist too?

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Kyle Vernon said...

I'm glad to see that you noticed my choice of words there. It was an off the cuff attempt to point to the dual mode of existence from a pantheist perspective. I AM signifies the ONE, and a pantheist signifies the ego. As for the solipsist question, I think that, yes, it may be possible to be solipsist and pantheistic. In fact, one could argue that if all that exists is ONE, then that ONE would be ignorant of his/her/its own nature, not having any outside reference with which to compare. However, I don't think that this is the state we find ourselves in. I (ego) experience individuality (regardless of its "truth") and this experience is (because I am part of the ONE) certainly available to the whole.

At 3:37 AM, Blogger Kyle Vernon said...

3:23 AM, or so sayeth the Timekeeper. And I cannot sleep. So, like all bloggers, I write. But what? Sadly, no profound meaning or insight into the nature of pantheism or any other -ism makes itself known to me this sleepless night. So. Let's make like the productive procrastinator and do some meaningless housekeeping tasks. You may have noticed that I will sometimes close my postings with the greeting 'namaste.' This is a greeting that I have picked up from my Hindu readings. It is a sanskrit term loosely meaning "the divine in me recognizes and honors the divine in you." I can think of no higher honor than to greet my readers with such.

At 3:43 AM, Blogger Kyle Vernon said...

One more thing that should've been included as part of my last post(but I hadn't found it yet). Here's an article that discusses the namaste greeting versus the handshake:

Interesting to note the distinctly eastern revulsion at our western convention of the handshake.

At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You wanted me to say something, but you've not giving me much to work with; besides of course a definition.
C'mon Kyle ask some tough questions!! -- Ravenna-in-the-hat

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Ravenna said...

you are very flattering.
that aside, give me something to work with here.... I'd love to be in a discussion but providing a definition alone doesn't cut the mustard for me.
c'mon Kyle -- cut my mustard!

At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who practice yoga traditionally end a class by pressing the palms together at the heart center and saying Namaste' to one another followed by a little bow. The divine light in me bows to the divine light in you is basically what Namaste' means. I had never heard of Pantheism though. Very interesting. Thanks Kyle. BJV, Hunt, TX.

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Ravenna said...

I'll try and go with what you've given me; for now:
You would like Plotinus, then. If you don't know what he's all about you are welcome to borrow my copy of selections from the Enenads, or to read my paper. Although, in my honest opinion, it could have been a better paper.
The basic principle is this: There exists and has always existed a supreme, absolute, and perfect *thing* which is the ultimate beauty, and by its being beautiful it requires and observer, namely the Nous or Intellect, which in realizing itself and something not itself gives rise to the first multiple, and therefore the Forms and the World Sould, which gives by its being necessarily life, movement and change to all things, and creates by its existence individual souls which reside in the ever-existence of matter. Causally down from the One, the ultimate perfection, we are all instilled with a spark of its divinity.
Plotinus in particular led, almost directly, into Early Christianity. Mainly because of the time-frame.
As an athiest [and by the way, the discussion going on on the Listserv is interesting but it clogs my Inbox; that's the most talkative group I've joined to date!] I am incredibly skeptical of the existence of such a Good, but it is a good principle for living assuredly to acknowledge the sanctity [if not necessarily divinity] of all living things.

At 12:07 AM, Blogger Kyle Vernon said...

Well, certainly, Plotinus sounds like a wise man. And from what was written here about him, I'd say I have to agree. But a full out reasoned response will have to wait until I'm not tired... so, alas and alack, this will be a quasi-post. Goodnight all.

At 12:20 AM, Blogger Codesuidae said...

From my perspective, while that description paints a pretty picture, it, like a thousand others, is unverifiable by any method that I consider valid.

That is not to say that such a belief is without merit, but I personally require verifiable, credible evidence for a belief.

While information handed down through the ages is a useful guide, it is only useful to me in that it can be a hint toward possibly useful lines of reasoning. Information that is not in principle verifiable is mostly useless (from the metaphysical viewpoint, it obviously has historical and cultural value). An example of information that is not verifiable would be a revelation from a god. It is information that cannot, even in principle, be verified, which makes it useless for me.

The typical method of evaluation of such information is through prayer. To me this is not a rational way to make a decision. Knowledge is gained only though reason. I cannot claim as knowledge facts for which I have no justification. While I do have a number of beliefs that are supported only empirically, I believe that in order to provide the most rational and, for me, harmonious system, the number of such beliefs should be kept to a minimum.

Thousands of people, many much smarter and more creative than myself have spent thousands of years brainstorming about the nature of human existence. The most successful theories have been passed on, but that doesn't make them true. Indeed, in view of my assessment of the gullibility and drives of everyman, it seems that the few nuggets of truth in the popular theories are mostly obscured by mounds of what is essentially no more than marketing and 'customer' retention techniques.

So, I recognize that what I've got is and always will be incomplete and I patch it with what bits of information I can find through the only tools I believe I can trust: reason and verifiable sense experience.


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