by Paul Harrison.

A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.

Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot (1994)

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Are You a Pantheist?

When you look at the night sky or at the images of the Hubble Space Telescope, are you filled with feelings of awe and wonder at the overwhelming beauty and power of the universe?  When you are in the midst of nature, in a forest, by the sea, on a mountain peak – do you ever feel a sense of the sacred, like the feeling of being in a vast cathedral?  Do you believe that humans should be a part of Nature, rather than set above it?
If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then you are probably a pantheist.

Are you sceptical about a “God” other than Nature and the wider Universe, yet feel an emotional need for a recognition of something greater than your own self or than the human race?
If so, then you may well be a scientific pantheist.
Take our quiz to find out.

Pantheism is older than Buddhism or Christianity, and may already count hundreds of millions among its members. Most Taoists are pantheists, along with many Chinese, Japanese and Western Buddhists, deep ecologists, pagans, animists, followers of many native religions, and many Unitarian Universalists. The central philosophical scriptures of Hinduism are pantheistic. Many atheists and humanists may be scientific pantheists without realizing it.

Scientific pantheism is a modern form of pantheism that deeply reveres the universe and nature and joyfully accepts and embraces life, the body and earth, but does not believe in any supernatural deities, entities or powers.

What Pantheism believes

At the heart of pantheism is considering the universe as the ultimate focus of reverence, and for the natural earth as sacred.

Scientific Pantheism –  SciPan for short – has a naturalistic approach which simply accepts and reveres the universe and nature just as they are, as science and our senses revesal them to us. It promotes an ethic of respect for human and animal rights and for lifestyles that sustain rather than destroy the environment.

When scientific pantheists say REVERE THE UNIVERSE we are not talking about a supernatural being. We are talking about the way our senses and our emotions respond to the overwhelming beauty, power and mystery that surrounds us. We are part of the universe. Our earth was created from the universe and will one day be reabsorbed into the universe. We are made of the same matter and energy as the universe. We are not in exile here: we are at home. It is only here that we will ever get the chance to see paradise face to face.
If we believe our real home is not here but in a land that lies beyond death – if we believe that the truth is found only in old books, or old buildings, or inside our head, or outside this reality – then we will see this real, vibrant, luminous world as if through a glass darkly. The universe, by way of our planet, creates us, preserves us, destroys us. It is deep and old beyond our ability to reach with our senses. It is beautiful beyond our ability to describe in words. It is complex beyond our ability to fully grasp in science. We relate to the universe with humility, awe, reverence, belonging, celebration and the search for deeper understanding – in many of the ways that believers relate to their “God,” minus the grovelling worship or the expectation that there is some being out there who can answer our prayers.

This overwhelming presence is everywhere inside you and outside you and you can never be separated from it.
Whatever else is taken from you, this can never be taken from you.
Wherever you are, it is there with you. Wherever you go, it goes with you.
Whatever happens to you, it remains with you.

When scientific pantheists say WE REVERE AND CARE FOR NATURE, we mean it with just as much commitment as believers speaking about their church or mosque, or the relics of their saints. But again we are not talking about supernatural beings. We are saying this:

We are part of nature. Nature made us and at our death we will be reabsorbed into nature. We are at home in nature and in our bodies. This is where we belong. This is the only place where we can find and make our paradise, not in some imaginary world on the other side of the grave. If nature is the only paradise, then separation from nature is the only hell. When we destroy nature, we create hell on earth for other species and for ourselves.

Nature is our mother, our home, our security, our peace, our past and our future. We should treat natural things and habitats as believers treat their temples and shrines, as sacred – to be revered and preserved as far as possible in all their intricate and fragile beauty.

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

A positive approach to life on earth.

Scientific Pantheism offers one of the most positive and embracing approaches to life, the body and nature of any form of spirituality. Our bodies are not base and evil: they are good. Nature is not a reflection of something higher: it is the highest. Life is not a path to somewhere else: it is the destination. We must make the best of while we have it.

Scientific Pantheism is rooted in the present world. It reconciles concern for humans, and concern for the planet. It places life, not death, in the focus of our concern.

Healthy mind – healthy body – healthy planet

Healthy mind

Scientific Pantheism fosters a mind that accepts the world: a mind alert to vibrant reality, in touch with the senses, receptive to the energy of the body and the universe. A mind fully awake to nature, open to new knowledge, responsive to the beauty of the natural world.

Scientific Pantheism fosters a mind that accepts life, the body, and the self: a mind that is free from guilt about original sin or inability to be a martyr; free of anxiety about death or the possibility of eternal punishment beyond death.

Scientific Pantheism fosters a sane and whole mind that respects reason and evidence, that will not accept key beliefs without rational basis, simply on the claims of ancient scripture or the assertions or priests or gurus. Scientific Pantheism demands no faith in impossible events and secret revelations.

Scientific Pantheism satisfies our need to revere something greater than ourselves – yet never turns its back on the earth, and never departs from the evidence before us. Pantheism fuses spirituality and science, mind and body, humans and nature.

Healthy body

Transcendental religions – especially traditional Christianity and Theravada Buddhism – have a negative attitude to the body. The body is seen as a temporary container for the soul, or as a disgusting bag of foul substances.

Scientific Pantheism has a totally positive attitude. The body is natural and is sacred like every other part of nature. Its pleasures are good and not evil, as long as they are pursued without harm to one’s health, to other humans or to nature. Looking after the body, preserving its health and fitness through a healthy diet and exercise, are things we can and should do without slinking feelings of guilt.

Healthy earth

For transcendental religions the whole earth, like the body, is merely a temporary stage which will be destroyed before the Last Judgement, or will vanish when we realize that it is mere illusion.

But this earth is not a staging post and it is not an illusion. Scientific Pantheism affirms the earth and upholds nature as the most sacred temples. Concern for the health of the earth is not just a matter of human survival, not just a matter of preserving diversity and wilderness for our enjoyment. It is a primary spiritual and ethical calling.

A spiritual approach in keeping with the age of science and environment

On the eve of the Third Millennium we have become citizens of the cosmos. Through the eyes of the Hubble telescope we have seen the universe as never before. We have seen the emptiness of space strewn with galaxies as thick as snow. We have seen the birth of stars. We have found planetary discs around many stars. We have found amino acids in space.

In this situation it is becoming impossible to believe in invisible gods who created this ungraspable immensity just as a frame for our tiny presence.

During this same generation we have lost our citizenship of this earth, and risk losing our delicate foothold in the cosmos. We have acquired the power to modify life, to alter ecosystems, to change the planet itself and threaten the future of every species, including our own.

Today we need a spiritual approach that provide powerful backing for environmental action. Yet the three largest Western religions provide only feeble support.

In this generation spirituality must come of age and be reborn into the age of space, the age of science, the age of environment.

Introduction to this site

These pages are intended as a guide to Pantheism:

  • To the theory and practice of Scientific Pantheism – from the self-existence and self-organization of the cosmos and nature, to the ways in which we can cement and celebrate our belonging and connection with them and with each other, and create the social and environmental conditions for everyone to enjoy this connection. Scientific Pantheism is a consistent, non-dualistic, empirical and logical approach to pantheism.
  • To the rich history of Pantheism, represented by thinkers and readings from every tradition – from Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism to ancient Greece, Rome, from Native Americans to Romantic poets – and every age, from the sixth century BC to the present day.
  • The sister pages of the World Pantheist Movement provide resources for community and action and communication among pantheists, religious atheists, religious humanists, religious naturalists, philosophical Taoists, pagans and Wiccans who like natural ceremony don’t believe in magic or gods, nature-worshippers, and others who share our beliefs whatever they call themselves.

Join our growing movement.

If you think you share these beliefs and would like to join with others in expressing them, living them and promoting them, then do consider joining the World Pantheist Movement. You can JOIN HERE or Visit the WPM site here.

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