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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Faces of the Supreme Being: Pandeism

I discovered an interesting theory about the nature of the Supreme Creator. The theory is known as Deism, and one of the facets thereof is Pandeism. Basically, Deism holds that a supreme being created the universe but is not involved thereafter in its operations.

The following paragraph is from Wikipedia:

Pandeism combines deism with pantheism, or the belief that the universe is identical to God. Pandeism holds that God was a conscious and sentient force or entity that designed and created the universe, which operates by mechanisms set forth in the creation. God thus became an unconscious and nonresponsive being by becoming the universe. Other than this distinction (and the possibility that the universe will one day return to the state of being God) pandeistic beliefs are identical to deistic ones. The term pandeism was coined in 1859 by German philosophers and frequent collaborators Moritz Lazarus and Heymann Steinthal in Zeitschrift f├╝r V├Âlkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft. They wrote:

Man stelle es also den Denkern frei, ob sie Theisten, Pan-theisten, Atheisten, Deisten (und warum nicht auch Pandeisten?)

This is translated as:

So we should let these thinkers decide themselves whether they are theists, pan-theists, atheists, deists (and why not even pandeists?)

Why not indeed? Surely we do no service to the Divine Creative Energy by applying dogma to it. We will learn far more about it by allowing ourselves to study it freely without the confines of doctrine.

I appreciate this concept and intend to look into it further. I've been fascinated with the workings of the Universe and the energies that created it, both natural and divine, for as long as I can remember, and appreciate the idea of studying these concepts without fear of retribution for refusing to behave as a sheep.

One might well ask, is there really a difference between Natural and Divine forces? Is not the Divine natural, and is not nature divine?

The force that created all things made all things beautiful. The ugliness in the world was created by our own folly and selfishness. Sin is a purely human problem. The Divine need not be bothered punishing us. We create our own punishments, our own heavens and our own hells. I'm far from the first to express such ideas. But the older I get, the more sense they make to me. A divine creator that is a natural force, even one that our current level of science may not understand or be able to measure, makes more sense to me than a punitive judge watching every move we make.

This is not, in my opinion, at odds with the idea of karma, which I also believe exists. Nor does it eliminate the possible reality of those forces that we refer to as "supernatural." Karma is part of the collective human consciousness, not a construct of the creator, at least according to theories such as Pandeism. And the nature of spirit is not by any means understood by humans. Spirit is eternal.

The beauty and power of the Divine can't be relegated to theories postulated in dusty old tomes and politicized over the centuries. We will never fully understand it. But let us at least allow ourselves to discuss it with open minds and without fear of retribution. By doing so we enrich our minds and maybe even our souls, which are a spark of the Divine, thus bringing ourselves closer to the Divine.

Blessed be.

3 comments:

mago said...

Deism, Toland and Shaftesbury come to my mind.
For Pantheism have a look here:
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pantheism/

For Lazarus have a look here:
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=123&letter=L

"Deismus" and "Theismus":
Kant (1724-1804) definiert kurz: »Der Deist glaubt einen Gott, der Theist aber einen lebendigen Gott (summam intelligentiam)«. Kr. d. r. V., S. 633.
(http://www.textlog.de/997.html)

Kant says: "The Deist believes in ONE God,the Theist believes in a LIVING God (summam intelligentiam - the highest intelligence)" (Kritik der reinen Vernunft, page 633)

masterymistery said...

Agree with much of the thinking, but I don't buy the part about "...God thus became an unconscious and nonresponsive being by becoming the universe"

Why can't God be a concscious, responsive being, that comprises the universe. Or, as I like to put it, Everything That Is

There's no imperative or law or feaure of reality that says if you are the universe you must be unaware. Why can't we have both. After all, my foot is not aware, but I am, and yet my foot is part of me.

Knuje said...

Have a look at the PanDeism Channel on YouTube -- http://www.youtube.com/user/PanDeism -- do you have a YouTube account? I'd welcome a guest blog/post!!