Pantheism is the belief that the entire universe and all that is in it is god--all is god.
Monism is the belief that there is only one basic essence to all of reality--all is one.
Belief about God
Does God exist?
Yes | Brahman [Hinduism] Dharmakaya [Buddhism].
How do you describe God?
- only 1 god; God is everything and everything is god.
- impersonal--it is an energy, a presence, or a directing life force, but not a being with whom people can have a relationship.
- changeless--all of reality is in in a circular, cyclical pattern of repetition.
- indefinable--god cannot neither be fully known nor described.
Is there any kind of spirit world?
There is no legitimate distinction between "spirit" vs. "non-spirit."
Belief about the world
Is there an overall plan or order behind nature?
No--the individual (Atman) is one with god (Brahman); but humans may have the greatest chance to understand this. There is an order to all of reality, but no plan--we are not moving forward to some particular ideal.
Belief about humanity
Are human beings different from the rest of nature?
No-nature is only an illusion (maya).
Where did we come from, & where are we going?
Brahman (& thus the world) is eternal. History is an illusion.
Pantheists generally don't wear their religion on their sleeve. In fact, they shy away from proselytizing as practiced by many organized religions.
Pantheism excels as a personal religion, rather than an organizational one, because it requires neither clergy nor congregation--Pantheism quietly sanctifies and unifies an individual's relationship with Nature, without the need for intermediaries.
Yet many Pantheists believe their Nature-based spirituality can help ameliorate the ecological crisis, and so they seek to share their joy-bringing faith with others, for example by:
- conversing with friends and acquaintances when apropos
- joining Pantheist organizations
- creating art, poetry, and writing in celebration of Pantheism
- using mass media, from letters-to-the-editor to internet web pages, to spread Pantheist precepts
2.1 Beliefs about purpose
What is the overall purpose or meaning of humanity?
There is no overarching meaning to the human species.
What is the main purpose or highest good for each individual?
- to unite with god by losing all individual identity (Nirvana).
- to seek "good" karma.
Belief about ethics
How does one decide right & wrong?
Since everything is god, both "good" and "evil" are an illusion.
Is it possible for humans to know truth?
Truth itself is not meaningful-ideas and logic are not useful.
What are legitimate sources of truth?
Inward "enlightenment" (Buddha) by transcending one's self.
HYBRIDS: Unitarianism, Christian Scientism, universalism
For more information
Kenneth Richard Sample, A World of Difference: Putting Christian Truth-Claims to the Worldview Test (Grand Rapids. 2007): 223-218.
James Sire, The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalogue (Downer Grove: InterVarsity, 2009): 144-165.