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Author Topic: Animism or Pantheism?  (Read 4342 times)

Indra

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Animism or Pantheism?
« on: March 11, 2013, 01:39:09 pm »
So I've seen these terms used around the forums and decided to look into them. I found all descriptions of them a bit hard to follow if I'm honest but I think that one of these terms might sum up my beliefs but I'm not sure which one would be more suitable! Could anyone give me a slightly simplified definition of both?

yewberry

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Re: Animism or Pantheism?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2013, 04:00:49 pm »
Quote from: Indra;100686
Could anyone give me a slightly simplified definition of both?


Not really.  They're terms that have differing and nuanced definitions.  Further complicating the situation is organizations like the World Pantheism movement, who claim to have cornered the market and understand the only "true" definition of the word.  :rolleye::

Brina

ccardinot

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Re: Animism or Pantheism?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2013, 05:41:55 pm »
Quote from: yewberry;100693
Not really.  They're terms that have differing and nuanced definitions.  Further complicating the situation is organizations like the World Pantheism movement, who claim to have cornered the market and understand the only "true" definition of the word.  :rolleye::

Brina

 
Dear Brina,

My advice first: stop listening to organisations, they all try to sell their own fish to you, without worries if you are or not educated on the topic they're talking about. Keep a dictionary handy, there is the right place to ask questions.:-D
Now, let us take a look on each definition. Animism is when you attribute living qualities to something that has no life of it's own. I.e.: to say that amethyst ( a stone) has the power to cure drunkness. Looking straightforward to a stone, it does nothing at all on it's own, but you imbue it with a living quality ( a certain power).
Now, let us check the word pantheism. To make it easier, we are going to divide the word in two parts: pan (many) + theism ( god or godlike).   Theism is a word that defines the presence of a certain god or gods in one's  religious practice. A + Theism ( no belief in god); Mono +Theism ( belief in only one god, i.e.: Judaism, Islamism and Catholicism all believe in one single male god), Pan + Theism ( belief in many gods, i. e.: Greek and Nordic religions are pantheistic for they believe in many gods).
In my own magical practice, I chose to keep myself as an animist, for it encompasses all godlike qualities you might find in entire pantheons, but it's only a matter of choice and suitability.

Hope to have helped,

Wish you the best,
ccardinot.

Darkhawk

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Re: Animism or Pantheism?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2013, 05:54:06 pm »
Quote from: ccardinot;100701
Now, let us check the word pantheism. To make it easier, we are going to divide the word in two parts: pan (many)

 
No, that's "poly".
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HeartShadow

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Animism or Pantheism?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2013, 06:00:43 pm »
Quote from: Indra;100686
So I've seen these terms used around the forums and decided to look into them. I found all descriptions of them a bit hard to follow if I'm honest but I think that one of these terms might sum up my beliefs but I'm not sure which one would be more suitable! Could anyone give me a slightly simplified definition of both?

Pantheism is belief in everything as god.  The world or the universe, depending, is god.  (I use Divine in FlameKeeping, which is a pantheistic philosophy) .

Animism is when everything has a spirit.  You, me, that tree, this rock.  Manmade stuff may or may not depending on who you ask.

Neither is exclusive of the other, either, so you could well be both!

yewberry

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Re: Animism or Pantheism?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2013, 06:08:02 pm »
Quote from: ccardinot;100701
My advice first: stop listening to organisations


<sigh>

Brina

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Re: Animism or Pantheism?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 06:54:44 pm »
Quote from: ccardinot;100701
To make it easier, we are going to divide the word in two parts: pan (many) + theism ( god or godlike).  

 
No, pan means 'all'. Pantheism basically means 'all is god'.

Louisvillian

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Re: Animism or Pantheism?
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2013, 09:24:29 am »
Quote from: Indra;100686
Could anyone give me a slightly simplified definition of both?

Both believe that "the universe" or the sum total of the natural world is divine or spiritual. Pantheism generally is monist about it, seeing all of it as one being or entity. Animism is pluralist about it, seeing the many parts as having each its own entity.

WarHorse

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Re: Animism or Pantheism?
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2013, 07:11:20 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;100708
Pantheism is belief in everything as god.  The world or the universe, depending, is god.  (I use Divine in FlameKeeping, which is a pantheistic philosophy) .

Animism is when everything has a spirit.  You, me, that tree, this rock.  Manmade stuff may or may not depending on who you ask.

Neither is exclusive of the other, either, so you could well be both!

 
Me! :) Thanks Shad! I totally subscribe to this view, Indra.
"The Author of all things watches over me, and I have a fine horse."  Mattie Ross, True Grit.

Darkhawk

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Re: Animism or Pantheism?
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2013, 10:02:31 pm »
Quote from: WarHorse;110899
Me! :) Thanks Shad! I totally subscribe to this view, Indra.

 
HI HI HI WARHORSE.

(Don't recall that I've seen you around for a while, so HI HI HI.)
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

EclecticWheel

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Re: Animism or Pantheism?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2013, 09:14:28 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;100708
Pantheism is belief in everything as god.  The world or the universe, depending, is god.  (I use Divine in FlameKeeping, which is a pantheistic philosophy) .

Animism is when everything has a spirit.  You, me, that tree, this rock.  Manmade stuff may or may not depending on who you ask.

Neither is exclusive of the other, either, so you could well be both!

 
I tend to use these definitions, too.

There is another category, too: panentheism.  Panentheism is sometimes defined as "All is in God, God is in all" or that God is both transcendent and immanent.

I consider myself both a panentheist and animist, but I have my own unique understanding of these words.

As a panentheist, I do believe God is transcendent and immanent.  My personal interpretation of this is that all things emerge from nothingness at the Big Bang, the beginning of time and space.  This nothingness, or "potential" as I sometimes call it, is the transcendent aspect of God.  God is also the universe, the immanent aspect of God, the embodiment of the potential or nothingness that is God.

One can view this on a macroscopic or microscopic level.  On the macroscopic level, everything comes from nothingness.  On the microscopic level, we are mostly empty space.  Our consciousness, our thoughts, seem to spring from nothingness, nor can we understand how physical processes in the brain give rise to consciousness.  I believe, like Buddhists, that we are empty and that the self is an illusion.

Aside from this, I am also an animist which means that I experience the world around me -- people, animals, plants, stones, etc., to be persons and do my best to act as though they are, even if I'm not "feeling it" in the moment.

I have no opinion on whether human made objects are ensouled but I think they could be.  Even if they were not, I believe the Divine is immanent in all things and thus would not separate even a plastic bag from the Divine.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

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