As a rather outspoken, nonbeliever, I’m often asked about my spiritual beliefs. Like most African Americans, I was raised in a very religious family, a Christian family to be precise. However, since childhood, I knew that both the history of Christianity and much of its doctrines didn’t fit with my understanding of the world or humanity. Despite this, like most humans, I have always felt a connection to something intangible outside myself. What the something was just didn’t have a name that I could point to. What I was certain about is that it wasn’t anything that I had been taught that I should believe it to be.
For years, I labeled myself an Atheist but that didn’t quite fit either. I am definitely a Humanist but that speaks more to my belief in humanity. It doesn’t address my relationship to the unknown, or the intangible. It wasn’t until one day when I was having a conversation with a friend, some years ago, that where I really stood hit me.
He said, “either God is nothing or God is everything.” EVERYTHING! It was as if a light bulb had gone off in my mind. I had always felt that everyone in the world was grasping at truth but had also felt like organized religion consistently fell short. I also felt that ancient religions and some modern Eastern philosophies seemed to have a grasp of interconnectedness that spoke to me. Believe it or not, I was even a practicing Buddhist in my youth.
Pantheism is an intriguing belief system that has gained popularity among many people. Its central premise is that the universe is divine, and everything within it is imbued with the divine. The idea that nature, animals, and even inanimate objects are all part of the divine is a unique and compelling perspective that offers a refreshing take on our place in the universe.
Living in harmony with the natural world is one of the key principles of pantheism. This philosophy emphasizes the intrinsic value of all living things and encourages us to treat them with respect and reverence. By acknowledging the divine within everything, we can cultivate a deep sense of interconnectedness with the world around us.
Pantheism has its roots in many cultures and religions, including ancient Greek philosophy and Hinduism. It continues to be a popular spiritual perspective for many people today, as it offers a way to connect with something greater than ourselves while also acknowledging the inherent divinity within all things.
For me, pantheism provides a unique and meaningful way to view the universe and our place within it. The idea that everything, including ourselves, is part of the divine is a powerful reminder of the interconnectedness of all things. By embracing this perspective, we can live our lives with a greater sense of purpose and meaning, knowing that we are an integral part of the fabric of the universe.
I do not see my faith as a master-servant relationship with divinity, nor do I believe in a paternal deity pulling the strings or a hierarchy of piety. Instead, I view my beliefs as a means of inspiring me to look within myself, value nature, and fulfill my responsibility to my fellow humans. These principles push me forward and provide me with comfort.