Pages

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Pantheism: The Golden Thread Combining Religion, Philosophy, and Science

Pantheism: The Golden Thread Combining Religion, Philosophy, and Science

The following is an extract from the Janthopoyism Bible (Chapter 1.2. Pantheism: The Golden Thread Combining Religion, Philosophy, and Science). The publication will be available in 2022. Please sign up to the mailing list if you'd like to stay informed about future magic times.

1.2.1. TERMINOLOGY

Before I attempt to convince you why Pantheism makes more sense than any other spiritual belief, there are some other terms to discuss first. These ideas may have distinct meanings, but from a Janthopoyism standpoint, we recognise that they stem from the same soil.

Pantheism states that the collection of everything functions as a unified system or "organism". We label this as an all-encompassing "God", even though you don't have to. It is a version of "monism", noting that we have merely divided the Universe into subcategories to analyse it more easily. Yet, it is all the same thing, and even these divisions are made of the same substance anyway (atoms). Using this, we shift into a gear of idealism, where matter presents different attributes when perceived, whereby the Universe's awareness of itself (through minds like ours) creates the reality as we experience it.

Every idea we're exhibiting here loosely falls beneath the panpsychism umbrella. This viewpoint asserts that everything in the Universe features some manner of a "mind" or "spirit". Janthopoyism sifts this down to an atomic level, where energy (electrons) group to create organic material through consciousness, building together as one ultimate system. Developing forward from that angle, panprotopsychism teaches that everything is protoconscious (i.e. sustaining a secondary form of consciousness) and that we are only fully conscious as a singular unit. Similarly, cosmopsychism states that each of our individual consciousness is simply the building blocks to a bigger cosmic mind, whereas micropsychism moves from the opposite direction, stating that consciousness itself only exists at micro-levels. The philosophy of Janthopoyism can effortlessly accept any of these proposals.

Panentheism is an intriguing theory that elevates to a stage where Pantheism and monotheism connects. It suggests that the Universe lives within God, meaning the supreme being transcends and is greater than the Universe. These meditations are undeniably possible and are not something we reject. But as we cannot prove/disprove the concept, Janthopoyism prefers to stick to the one thing that we do know: the collective Universe as a combined entity is the highest power we can speak of without assumption.

Emanationism is another fun conversation. It concerns an original "perfect God" as a source essence, the underlying principle to all of reality. From this Absolute Godhead, all things flow and evolve/emanate, expanding out from God like hairs; the more we materialise, the further away from divinity we go. Many faiths refer to this as the "Breath of God", believing that we are currently on an exhale but will ultimately retreat into the source once we've reached a particular potential. Interestingly enough, the word "spirit" comes from the Latin spīritus, which means breath, so take that as you will. Regardless, even this stimulating notion is too unprovable and specific for our tastes and is only applicable from certain Janthopoyistic grounds.

In the end, the above examples each grant us a puzzle piece that blurs into consolidated understandings of common denominators, slotting together in views that have existed since the birth of thought. And from those foundations, we build upwards into a Janthopoyism rocket and then blast off into the stratosphere of improved living. Hopefully, by the end of this lengthy five-part chapter, we'll illustrate how so many of us got there.

1.2.2. RELIGION

Buckle up, children, because here comes an extensive history lesson about Pantheism and its cornerstone position in religion as a whole.

But first, please note that Janthopoyism does not advocate "teachers" who manipulate interpretations of scriptures to support their narrative because one could conjure any message using this process (like so many have done). However, the following documentation comparing Pantheism to other world religions is vast and worthy of the exercise. We hope you'll allow it.

So Pantheists define their doctrine as one "which identifies God with the Universe, or regards the Universe as a manifestation of God." The word itself has Greek origins from pan ("all") and theos ("God").

Interestingly, our vague descriptions of "God" and the "Universe" utilise identical terminology applicable either way, even if by our adversaries. We hear classifications such as "origin", "eternal", "omnipotent", "omnipresent", "indestructible", "infallible", "infinite", and "permeating time and space". Already on a language basis, we can effortlessly grasp the abstractions as the same.

Janthopoyism believes that ancient civilisations knew this. They were far more in sync with a spiritual intuition because their brains had not yet matured to demand a logic-based world. Instead, they spent their lives gazing at the stars while observing patterns in reality that responded to their emotional offerings.

This tradition can be dated back to the oft-argued first religion that studies are aware of, called animism (a practice still prevalent in many cultures today, and fundamentally connected to the panpsychism term we noted earlier). Animism teaches that everything (plants, rocks, water, animals, people, smells, musical notes, symbols, you name it) harness a spiritual essence. Sure, animism lacks the undivided definition of Pantheism (monism), but the core concept is undeniable: a spirit persists throughout all.

One unique sub-branch of the animistic tree would be the 10,000+ years old Aboriginal mythology dubbed Dreamtime. It's a frequently misunderstood and generalised worldview, so much so that the "Dreamtime" label itself is a mistranslation of the Aranda people's word "Altjira". Latter-day academics now agree that Altjira is not necessarily about dreaming whatsoever and instead means "uncreated; springing out of itself; having originated from its own eternity". Sounds familiar.

Animism evolved to shamanism, and that's where everything went wrong. Here, specific "chosen" individuals were deemed more in harmony with this spiritual essence and therefore could communicate with it. Such a self-appointed skill allowed them to influence the natural world as well as receive messages or chase away the ghosts of deceased loved ones. It established a hierarchy of holiness; a practice excessively exploited to this very day. 

It's also worth acknowledging that some variation of shamanism and animism developed on every continent seemingly independent of one another.

"Every seed is awakened and so is all animal life. It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being and we therefore yield to our animal neighbours the same right as ourselves, to inhabit this land." ― Sitting Bull (1831-1890), Hunkpapa Lakota Holy Man

These ideas eventually unfolded into polytheism across the globe, which is the fun practice of worshipping limitless pantheons of anthropomorphic deities. We can see how animism naturally reached this point, but we can also clearly note the Pantheistic ties. These (now firmly defined) religions personified pieces of the natural world into bite-sized beings to better relate to them, making it easier to manifest through them. In every polytheistic canon across continents, these deities shared obvious characteristics, including gods of the sky, water, farming, fertility, the Sun, and the Moon.

Be that as it may, it's significant to note that above every deity was always the "creator" or "overseer" who came first and made everything, including the lower gods we spoke of previously. It was a spirit above the spirits, the monism "God", the Pantheistic source glueing the faiths together. Examples include Ptah in Ancient Egypt, Nammu in Sumerian, Chronos in Ancient Greek, and Tengri in Tengrism, as well as Olodumare (Yoruba), Unkulunkulu (Xhosa), and Nhialic (Dinka) in African mythology, to name only the most popular. But none are as closely fixed to the Pantheism model (and more central to Janthopoyism) as Hinduism.

Despite standing as the oldest practised religion in the world (and the third biggest), the teachings of Hinduism are infinitely intricate and continue to inspire many forward-thinking spiritual seekers to this day. Their colossal polytheistic Pantheon totals millions in numbers, but these deities and everything else lives within one essence, namely Brahman.

"Brahman alone is real; the world is the appearance." ― Adi Shankara (8th cent. CE), Indian philosopher, reported avatar of Lord Shiva, Vivekachudamani

"Brahman is one, without a second."Chāndogya Upaniṣad (oldest Upanishad, Vedic Holy Text)

"All this is Brahman."Chāndogya Upaniṣad (oldest Upanishad, Vedic Holy Text)

"All life comes from the one universal source, call it Allah, God or Parmeshwara." ― Mahatma Gandhi (1869―1948), Hindu political ethicist

Thanks to the supreme Brahman unifying the entirety of the One Universal Soul, Hinduism goes from a polytheistic to a monotheistic, but more accurately, a full-on Pantheistic belief system. Moreover, within each of us lives a vibrational section of this Brahman energy substance (Atman), which you may be more acquainted with as your soul (aka the True Self), an allocation of divinity within you.

"Brahman [Absolute Reality] is the only truth, the world is unreal, and there is ultimately no difference between Brahman and Atman [soul of individual self]" ― Adi Shankara (8th cent. CE), Indian philosopher, reported avatar of Lord Shiva, Brahma Jnanavali Mala

Much of Janthopoyism relies on this revelation.

Sticking in the East, even Hindu-inspired non-creationism religions such as Buddhism and Jainism could not escape the scent of Pantheism lining their carpets.

"The Buddhists or the Jains do not depend upon God; but the whole force of their religion is directed to the great central truth in every religion, to evolve a God out of man." ― Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), Indian Hindu monk

One of the most important (Mahayana) Buddhist philosophers, Nagarjuna, taught of an absolute reality. The highly influential Mahāyāna sutras of East Asian Buddhis, Avataṃsaka Sūtra, tells that a singular pure awareness lies beneath all phenomenon. And the tantric practices of Tibetan Buddhism perform secret mantras to merge energies with deities.

"Who, then, is 'animate' and who 'inanimate'? Within the assembly of the Lotus, all are present without division. In the case of grass, trees and the soil... whether they merely lift their feet or energetically traverse the long path, they will all reach Nirvana." ― Zhanran, the sixth patriarch of the Tiantai school of Chinese Buddhism

"If you want to understand all the Buddhas of the past, present and future, then you should view the nature of the whole universe, as being created by Mind-only."The Avataṃsaka Sūtra, a Mahāyāna sutra of East Asian Buddhism

Jainism is so acutely tied into the souls of all creatures that their monks sweep the ground before themselves to avoid accidentally crushing bugs. They do so to maintain a sinless energy in hopes of attaining the same properties as a god-figure.

"All souls are equal and alike and have similar nature and qualities." ― Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism

Along the road to China, two distinct and immeasurably persuasive spiritual principles grew almost concurrently: Confucianism and Taoism.

Confucianism's Tiān (Heaven) was considered the celestial aspect of the Cosmos, a supreme source of goodness that overruled human efforts, something in which Confucian placed complete faith. Additionally, pioneering Neo-Confucian philosopher, Zhang Zai, spoke of forming one body with the Universe.

"Heaven is my father and Earth is my mother, and even such a small creature as I finds an intimate place in their midst. Therefore that which fills the universe I regard as my body and that which directs the universe I consider as my nature. All people are my brothers and sisters and all things are my companions." ― Zhang Zai (1020-1077), Confucian philosopher and politician, The Western Inscription

But that is nothing compared to the schoolings of Taoism/Daoism by the legendary Lao Tzu.

The Tao/Dao is "The Way". It is the name of the name of the thing that we cannot name. It is undefinable by words but is everything and nothing, the vitality of the Universe which becomes physical matter but also exists between it. There is nothing that is not the result of the Tao.

There is something
that contains everything.
Before heaven and earth
it is.
Oh, it is still, unbodied,
all on its own, unchanging,
all-pervading,
ever-moving.
So it can act as the mother
of all things.
Not knowing its real name,
we only call it the Way.

Tao Te Ching, XXV (Ursula K. Le Guin translation)

You would struggle to find words more congruent with Pantheism there.

In Japan, two other prominent dogmas arrived, sharing Pantheistic characteristics. The indigenous nature religion of Shinto speaks of Musubi (the creative principle saturating all of existence) and Kami (the natural spirit manifestations that live in everything). And then the more recent Tenrikyo religion describes the Universe as "the body of God", which is a better description than anything we've come up with.

Eventually, polytheism fell out of favour, and monotheism conquered much of the globe. One would think that monotheism being the personification of a sole over-arching "God" would be even closer to the unified energy understanding, but thanks to the strict Abrahamic timeline and its dramatically rigid texts, the opposite occurred. Thus, whenever an argument about God or the Universe comes up, you will usually find an Abrahamic definition on the opposing side (including when the opposition is of an atheist persuasion).

Although, that is not to say that it's impenetrable! Many Biblical pages describe the monotheistic creator deity on Pantheistic levels, if even just metaphorically. Starting with the Hebrew Torah/Christian Old Testament, we read submissions such as:

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." ― Genisis/The Book of Bereishit [1:27]

We could interpret the above as humans receiving life as an extension of God, evolving from his substance. Furthermore, we find:

"I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the Most High." ― Elohim/Psalms [82:6]

Our Judaism conversation does not end there either as we move deeper into the Jewish mysticism of the Kabbalah. Here, we discover Ein Sof, God's most basic essence, existing for eternity before it manifested into tangible material. Eventually, this Ein Sof removed its limitlessness to create a finite space within itself. From this new standpoint, it birthed the Universe, its presence now woven between the consciousness of reality. This process is known as Tzimtzum by those Kabbalah mystics.

The mighty Christianity followed, and despite much historical animosity towards the Pantheistic ideology (including violent executions), their holy scripture does hold some lines that reinforce our causes, such as:

"Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." ― Luke [7:21], King James Bible

"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." ― Romans [8.9], King James Bible

"Jesus said: I am the light that is above them all. I am the all; the all came forth from me, and the all attained to me. Cleave a (piece of) wood; I am there. Raise up a stone, and you will find me there." ― Gospel of Thomas [77], Blatz (extra-canonical)

To conclude Christ's input, we have the Latter Day Saint movement who also put forward some unignorable Pantheistic interpretations when it comes to the religion:

"This is the alight of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also he is in the moon, and in the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made; As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made; And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand. And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; Which alight proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—The alight which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the claw by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things."The Doctrine and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [88:7-13]

The Abrahamic chronology keeps marching forward until we catch up with Islam, another complex case regarding Pantheism, as they've forever fought against anyone who challenges their traditional monotheism. But there are some slivers to clutch here and there, such as:

"To Allah belongs the East and the West. So, whichever way you turn, there is the Face of Allah. Indeed, Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing." ― Al-Baqara [2:115], Quran

"He is the First and the Last, and the Manifest and the Hidden, and He is All-Knowing about every thing. He is the One who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then He positioned Himself on the Throne. He knows whatever goes into the earth and whatever comes out from it, and whatever descends from the sky, and whatever ascends thereto. He is with you wherever you are, and Allah is watchful of whatever you do." ― Surah Al-Hadid [57:3-4], Quran

"Said those who disbelieve, 'The Hour (i.e. the Day of Judgment) will not come to us.' Say, 'Why not? By my Lord, the knower of the Unseen, it will come to you.' Nothing in the heavens and in the earth, even to the measure of a particle, can escape Him, nor is there anything smaller than that or bigger, but it is recorded in a manifest book." ― Surah Saba [34:3], Quran

Now, much like the Kabbalah of Judaism, Islam also has its esoteric reflections (Sufism), which too lean much deeper into Pantheistic philosophies. Exceedingly influential Sufi mystic, Ibn Arabi (1165-1240), wrote:

"God is all things. The Cosmos is His form. The forms of the Cosmos are the manifest Reality, He being the manifest. He is also their inner essence, being also the unmanifest. He is the first, since He was when they were not, and also the Last, since in their manifestation He is the Essence." ― Ibn Arabi, The Bezels of Wisdom

"None sees Him, save Himself. None perceives Him, save Himself. By Himself He sees Himself, and by Himself he knows Himself. His Veil is part of his Oneness; nothing veils other than he... His Prophet is he, and his sending is He, and His word is He." ― Ibn Arabi, The Treatise on Being

And then there was Muslim Sufi Yahya ibn Mu'adh al-Razi (830–871) who offered us this quote which is so hugely favoured that it's often misattributed to the prophet Muhammad:

"Whosoever knows himself knows his Lord." ― Yahya ibn Mu'adh al-Razi

Finally, let's look at one of the most well-known Sufis and Islamic scholars ever, Rumi (1207-1273). Always the poetic wordsmith, he blessed the world with some immensely profound Pantheistic gems, some of which goes a little bit like this:

"I speak of plural souls in name alone –
One soul becomes one hundred in their frames;
Just as God's single sun in heaven
Shines on earth and lights a hundred walls
But all these beams of light return to one
If you remove the walls that block the sun
The walls of houses do not stand forever
And believers then will be as but one soul"

- Rumi, Masnavi 4: 415-18

"You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop." ― Rumi

To wrap up the Abrahamic story nice and neatly, we have the new-ish (yet oft-outdated) Baha'i Faith, where their founder Baha'u'llah tried his best to unify every religion as one, focusing mainly on the Judo-Christian-Islam grouping. The faith teaches that God is an eternal and infinite yet uncreated being who is the source of all of Life. Mere mortals cannot comprehend such a supreme power; hence, it creates "Manifestations", chosen humans designed to deliver a message for those specific times, be it Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, or whomever. Such an admirable approach does not wholly conform to Pantheism, but it helps erode the separation enforced by strict monotheism.

As spirituality has evolved, the prehistoric components of Pantheism have persisted, gradually breaking through into a large portion of modern tutoring. For example, Helena Blavatsky's (1831―1891) Theosophy religion was heavily built upon Eastern esotericism, referring to the Pantheistic Absolute as the essence of everything. She also details concepts such as a Universal Mind while stating that all matter is energy, as the materialism of spirit.

"Once we admit of a Deity, the God of the Pantheists seems the only reasonable one. True Pantheists do not say that everything is God ― for they would be fetish-worshippers then; but that God is in everything and the whole in God." ― Helena Blavatsky, Cosmogony and Anthropology

Meanwhile, a combination of Hinduism and Islamic Sufism spawned Sikhism, which also dances with Pantheism in its divine scripture from the very first sentence:

"There is only one God, and it is called the truth, It exists in all creation, and it has no fear, It does not hate, and it is timeless, universal and self-existent!" ― Mul Mantar [verse 1], Sri Guru Granth Sahib

The list continues on and on with any New Thought/New Age derivative swearing by a supreme everlasting spirit of energy as the Ultimate Reality that lives within all. At the same time, Pagan/Wiccanism/Druidism explicitly worships the divinity of nature. And for all its humorous qualities, even Jediism is accurate in its Pantheist perspective, educating us about the life force that exists around us and inside of us. Who better to trust than Yoda?

"You must feel the force around you. Here. Between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship." ― Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

1.2.3. PHILOSOPHY

When considering the vast array of polytheistic societies, it's impressive that Greek mythology is often the first to capture a scholar's attention (especially when analysing the Egyptian influences and Roman appropriating). But at its peak, it was Greek philosophy that thrived as somewhat of a religion on its own, setting in motion perhaps the most critical Pantheistic conversations that are still prevalent in Western culture today.

"All things are full of gods." ― Thales of Miletus (626/623―548/545 BC, pre-Socratic period), one of the Seven Sages of Greece

"God (theos) is day and night, winter and summer... but he takes various shapes, just as fire, when it is mingled with spices, is named according to the savour of each." ― Heraclitus of Ephesus (535-475 BC, pre-Socratic period)

One of the most lauded Pre-Socratic philosophers, Xenophanes, believed God was the unity of everything, and our world of plurality was merely a manifestation of this intelligence.

"...all things are one, that this is unchanging, and is god, that this never came into being and is eternal, and has a spherical shape." ― Xenophanes (570-478 BC, pre-Socratic period), paraphrased from Cicero's Prior Academics

For Pythagoreans, underlying mathematical and geometrical formulas ruled the cosmos; numbers at the essence of the harmony within everything, the logic of God's mind identical to the laws of nature.

"Number rules the universe [...] Man know thyself; then thou shalt know the Universe and God." ― Pythagoras (570-495 BC, pre-Socratic period)

As the ages rolled on, there became no more revered and quotable Pantheists than the 3rd century BC Greek Stoics, who taught the Universe as a unified construction made of logic, ethics, and monistic physics. It is one of determinism, where the unfurling of external events is wholly out of our control while interchangeably using the terms "God" and "Nature" as the same.

"God is not separate from the world; He is the soul of the world, and each of us contains a part of the Divine Fire. All things are parts of one single system, which is called Nature; the individual life is good when it is in harmony with Nature. In one sense, every life is in harmony with Nature, since it is such as Nature's laws have caused it to be; but in another sense, a human life is only in harmony with Nature when the individual will is directed to ends which are among those of Nature. Virtue consists in a will which is in agreement with Nature." ― Zeno of Citium (334―262 BC, Hellenistic period), founder of the Stoics

"The universe itself is God and the universal outpouring of its soul; it is this same world's guiding principle, operating in mind and reason, together with the common nature of things and the totality that embraces all existence; then the foreordained might and necessity of the future; then fire and the principle of aether; then those elements whose natural state is one of flux and transition, such as water, earth, and air; then the sun, the moon, the stars; and the universal existence in which all things are contained." ― Chrysippus (279–206 BC, Hellenistic period)

"Never forget that the universe is a single living organism possessed of one substance and one soul, holding all things suspended in a single consciousness and creating all things with a single purpose that they might work together spinning and weaving and knotting whatever comes to pass." ― Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD), Roman Emperor

Rewinding a few centuries and we bump into "the founder of Western political philosophy", Plato. Although one can widely interpret his material, Pantheists agree that his principles involve a duality between the absoluteness and relativity of the divine.

"Thus, then, in accordance with the likely account, we must declare that this Cosmos has verily come into existence as a Living Creature endowed with soul and reason [...] a Living Creature, one and visible, containing within itself all the living creatures which are by nature akin to itself." ― Plato (428–347 BC, Socratic period)

Plato's impact on modern thought can not be overstated as one of the most substantial in history, laying the fertile breeding ground for many philosophies and spiritual practices to flourish alike. These include a plethora of mystical beliefs that toyed with the line between science and religion, evolving into some of the most prominent occult sects the world has ever seen.

Hermeticism was a big one. Dating back to 100 CE, they referred to God as the Ultimate Reality. They defined it as the all-encompassing nature of the cosmos, in which we too participate. This doctrine assisted the idea that our minds could influence or even manipulate nature, a notion that has persisted through any secret circle that practises spells or the like.

Even closely related to Plato was the aptly named Neoplatonism, a 3rd century AD philosophy encapsulated by Plotinus. Their chosen title for God was The One as an unknowable absolute subsistence that developed into everything.

These two examples inspired various esoteric trains of thought, still fixed as building blocks within almost all Western occult movements today. But, sadly, these obscure explorations were driven far underground when Christianity conquered the land around the 2nd-3rd century; Pantheism suddenly regarded blasphemy resulting in severe consequences. Just ask renowned theologian philosopher Meister Eckhart (1260-1328), whose Pantheistic murmurings ended with the charge of heresy.

"All things are contained in the One, by virtue of the fact that it is one. For all multiplicity is one, and is one thing, and is in and through the One. The One is not distinct from all things. Therefore all things in the fullness of being are in the One by virtue of its indistinction and unity." ― Meister Eckhart, Sermon LW XXIX

This battle between free thought and religious restriction raged through the Renaissance period. Authorities confined Tommaso Campanella to house arrest for two years after stating nature was a living organism. An even worse fate fell upon occultist Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), whose Pantheistic speculations famously got him burned at the stake in Rome.

"Thus the single spirit doth simultaneously temper the whole together; this is the single soul of all things; all are filled with God." ― Giordano Bruno

Thankfully, during the 1600s, Pantheism made its comeback owed massively to the great rationalist philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677). He was such a figurehead in the movement that some amusingly refer to him as the "prophet" of Pantheism, and practically all modern Pantheistic standpoints are synonymous with his interpretations (known unimaginatively as Spinoza's Pantheism).

"God is the indwelling and not the transient cause of all things." ― Baruch Spinoza

Interestingly, Spinoza's analysis of divinity wedged a distance between the Church's personal God and another more natural force-type of Higher Power (even if Spinoza never argued against the Christian deity). This prospect excited many atheists to change their tune, including the most famous nihilist of all time, Friedrich "God is Dead" Nietzsche (1844 – 1900), himself.

"I am utterly amazed, utterly enchanted! I have a precursor, and what a precursor! I hardly knew Spinoza: that I should have turned to him just now, was inspired by 'instinct'." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"We find in all philosophies the proposition – everything is one!" ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Once you start to recruit the heathens, you know you're onto something good, right?

To end, let's give some love to someone who not only endlessly influenced the fields of psychiatry, anthropology, literature, philosophy, and psychology but also very much Janthopoyism's teachings in itself. We are, of course, talking about notable Pantheist Carl Jung (1875-1961), who firmly stated that "nothing separated man from God", leading to his psychological concept of a collective unconscious, profoundly impacting New Age practices for decades to come.

"Nothing could persuade me that 'in the image of God' applied only to man. In fact, it seemed to me that the high mountains, the rivers, lakes, trees, flowers, and animals far better exemplified the essence of God than men." ― Carl Jung

1.2.4. SCIENCE

Of course, what concern is religion to a nonbeliever? And can we not simply write off philosophy as an exercise in mental wankery? Hence, we ultimately turn to science to provide answers of a more infallible nature.

When it comes to topics of spirituality, the scientific community is notoriously challenging to convince because matters of faith are not matters of logic. However, Pantheism has received a surprisingly warm embrace by many top minds in the field.

Have you ever heard of Isaac Newton (1642-1726)? He is easily one of the greatest mathematicians and scientists of all time, and while his stance on God is far from established, the Pantheist organisation have snapped him up into the crew. This move is not without merit, especially in regards to Newton's idea of "absolute space", a relation between God and nature where space is an "attribute" or "extension" of God. As noted in Newton's Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis and Opticks, God appears less as a creator but more a presence that organises via physics.

"[God] is not Eternity or Infinity, but Eternal and Infinite; he is not Duration or Space, but he endures and is present. He endures forever, and is every where present; and by existing always and every where, he constitutes Duration and Space." ― Isaac Newton

One of my favourite Pantheists is the physicist and chemist Hans Christian Ørsted (1777-1851). He is the scientist who discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields, which is already deeply tied into Janthopoyism's perception of the Universal Energy anyway. In 1849-50, he hypothesised the unity of mind in nature, published in his most revered work named Aanden i Naturen, which quite literally translated to "The Spirit in Nature".

"The laws of Nature are the thoughts of Nature [...] these thoughts of Nature are also thoughts of God." ― Hans Christian Ørsted

The next Pantheistic fan favourite is Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), another man recognised for his contributions to understanding electricity. His comprehension of the Universe is so in tune with what we teach that we can let the man speak for himself:

"If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration." ― Nikola Tesla

"What one man calls God, another calls the laws of physics." ― Nikola Tesla

"When we speak of man, we have a conception of humanity as a whole, and before applying scientific methods to the investigation of his movement, we must accept this as a physical fact. But can anyone doubt to-day that all the millions of individuals and all the innumerable types and characters constitute an entity, a unit? Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them. I cut myself in the finger, and it pains me: this finger is a part of me. I see a friend hurt, and it hurts me, too: my friend and I are one. And now I see stricken down an enemy, a lump of matter which, of all the lumps of matter in the universe, I care least for, and it still grieves me. Does this not prove that each of us is only part of a whole?" ― Nikola Tesla

Or how about Nobel Prize-winning physicist Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961), whose work has led him to be dubbed "the father of quantum mechanics", vastly shifting our model thoughts of reality without losing his keen interest in the mysticism of religion.

"Multiplicity is only apparent, in truth, there is only one mind." ― Erwin Schrödinger, The Oneness of Mind

But there's no bigger gun than inarguably the most famous and greatest physicists of all time, Albert Einstein (1879-1955), who was a proud Pantheist without room for doubt in any direction. Again, our attempts to articulate his beliefs would fall short of allowing Einstein to do it himself:

"I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings." ― Albert Einstein

"If there is any such concept as a God, it is a subtle spirit, not an image of a man that so many have fixed in their minds. In essence, my religion consists of a humble admiration for this illimitable superior spirit that reveals itself in the slight details that we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds." ― Albert Einstein

"A human being is part of the whole called by us universe... We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive." ― Albert Einstein

Cool, huh? If nothing else, we've got some good company in this Pantheistic land

And finally, just for fun, let's hear from perhaps the most well-known modern solider of atheism, Richard Dawkins. Expectantly, he places such extreme limitations on the Pantheistic term that he misses the point, approaching it from the complete opposite side that we do. And yet, even he cannot disagree with the idea, and instead, desperately seeks to squeeze it beneath his own little umbrella.

"Pantheists don't believe in a supernatural God at all, but use the word God as a non-supernatural synonym for Nature, or for the Universe, or for the lawfulness that governs its workings. Deists differ from theists in that their God does not answer prayers, is not interested in sins or confessions, does not read our thoughts and does not intervene with capricious miracles. Deists differ from Pantheists in that the deist God is some kind of cosmic intelligence, rather than the Pantheist's metaphoric or poetic synonym for the laws of the universe. Pantheism is sexed-up atheism." ― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

And thus ends the holy trinity of thought, each pursuing distinct approaches to achieve the same mission of unwinding the mysteries of the Universe, yet every conclusion seemingly braided together via the shared thread of Pantheism. And once you find yourself accepting this as the true lowest common denominator, you are ready to continue building upwards with Janthopoyism for the rest of our scripture.

However, if you still disagree, then take a moment to reflect on this. Don't you think it's strange that your brain believes itself to be more intelligent than the most brilliant brains that have existed throughout our planet's history? Could you possibly be drowning in the arrogance of your ego? Or trapped in a box nailed shut by your convictions? Perhaps this blinding excess of self-importance warrants your attention before you seek any spiritual growth? Just a suggestion.

1.2.5. APPENDIX: ART AND LITERATURE

The great Pantheists of history are not limited to the above subjects, and to demonstrate, here's a bonus punch of creatives you may have heard of before, each armed with quotes to reveal similar spiritual philosophies that we teach.

"Nature alone is the master of true genius."" - Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), painter/scientist

"Nature is a glorious school for the heart! It is well; I shall be a scholar of this school and bring an eager heart to her instruction. Here I shall learn wisdom, the only wisdom which is free from disgust; here I shall learn to know God and find a foretaste of heaven in His knowledge." ― Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), composer

Side note: Beethoven's philosophies on the interchangeability of "God" and "Nature" has been well documented and he has, in retrospect, been called an enthusiastic Pantheist by modern scholars.

"It is from the more or less obscure intuition of the oneness that is the ground and principle of all multiplicity that philosophy takes its source. And not alone philosophy, but natural science as well. All science, in Meyerson's phrase, is the reduction of multiplicities to identities. Divining the One within and beyond the many, we find an intrinsic plausibility in any explanation of the diverse in terms of a single principle." ― Aldous Huxley (1749-1832), author

"Travel why to Nature, when she dwells with us? Those who lift their hats shall see her as devout do God." ― Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), poet

"We are Pantheists when we study nature, polytheists when we poetize, monotheists in our morality." ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), poet

"Everything in nature contains all the power of nature. Everything is made of One hidden stuff." — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), poet

"The soul or spirit transmits itself into all matter." ― Walt Whitman (1819-1892), poet

"One grand great life throbs through earth's giant heart,
And mighty waves of single Being roll
From nerve-less germ to man, for we are part
Of every rock and bird and beast and hill,
One with the things that prey on us, and one with what we kill."
― Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900), poet, playwright (taken from his Panthea piece)

"You are that vast thing that you see far, far off with great telescopes. You don't look out there for God, something in the sky, you look in you [...] Life is the universe experiencing itself, in endless variety." ― Alan Watts (1915-1973), writer

"What did the Pantheist say to the hot dog vendor? Make me one with everything." ― Hilarious Pantheism Joke