The idea of Panentheism  sometimes strikes me a s an ultimate theosophical position. It places connections between everything, explains the Hermetic axiom "As Above so Below; As Below so Above." It can even be used to explain entanglement in Quantum Physics, one of the greatest mysteries known in Physics. It is even said to be in the Religions of Egyptian Ikhnaton (1375–1358 BCE), the Vedas, Christianity, Jewish Mysticism (Kabbalah), Taoism (Lao-Tse), Native American Religions and the list is huge.

so does Panentheism fail anywhere? The two fastest references are in The Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy and Wikipedia Panentheism.

the definition below is from the beginning pages in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry (reference above):

“Panentheism” is a constructed word composed of the English equivalents of the Greek terms “pan”, meaning all, “en”, meaning in, and “theism”, meaning God. Panentheism considers God and the world to be inter-related with the world being in God and God being in the world. It offers an increasingly popular alternative to both traditional theism and pantheism. Panentheism seeks to avoid either isolating God from the world as traditional theism often does or identifying God with the world as pantheism does. Traditional theistic systems emphasize the difference between God and the world while panentheism stresses God's active presence in the world. Pantheism emphasizes God's presence in the world but panentheism maintains the identity and significance of the non-divine. Anticipations of panentheistic understandings of God have occurred in both philosophical and theological writings throughout history (Hartshorne and Reese 1953; Cooper, 2006). However, a rich diversity of panentheistic understandings has developed in the past two centuries primarily in Christian traditions responding to scientific thought (Clayton and Peacocke 2004). While panentheism generally emphasizes God's presence in the world without losing the distinct identity of either God or the world, specific forms of panenethism, drawing from a different sources, explain the nature of the relationship of God to the world in a variety of ways and come to different conclusions about the significance of the world for the identity of God.

Tags: Panentheism

Views: 393

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I should add that obviously the ultimate Point of theosophy is How does one become directly aware (Experience) this reality?  There are many answers to that question, which we explore here.

If I had to include myself in a named religious perception, panentheism (from what I've seen so far) would be a strong contender.

In my opinion it fails by maintaining a separate God. If God is the alpha (the beginning, the source, the start) and the omega (the end, the finish, the goal), then it is this idea that God is separate that keeps us from connecting with God within ourselves. As an extension of this, we can't connect with each other because it is God within each of us that connects us all together. So our separation from God separates us from everything.

I think that's beautifully said, my thinking falls in line with that almost perfectly.

I somehow go tlost in your arguement.

"Panentheism considers God and the world to be inter-related with the world being in God and God being in the world"

If God is everything, then it ("God") connects everything and is in you as you in him.  ??  why does that solve the problem?

you come from a piece of "God" and end as a piece of "God" with neither being completely separate from each other or "God". I seem to read it that way.

My bad, what was the problem?

You posted about panentheism and asked if it failed anywhere. I did some looking into panentheism (something I thoroughly enjoyed, thank you), commented on how much I liked what I had seen so far, and ventured my opinion on where I thought it failed. It seemed to keep God and the world (although in each other) distinct (which means separate).

I've tried many times to express my understanding of my relationship (read our relationship) with God.

Consider a fractal, it starts as a simple pattern, as it repeats itself the pattern becomes more complex. So the information of the complex pattern is contained within the initial simple pattern. If you consider that a fractal can continue on indefinitely, and the information of whatever it may become is contained within the initial pattern. Then you have the infinite bounded.

So everything is an expression of an infinite "God" bounded.

that helps! I think I see where your thinking is coming from now. I will ponder the new information! I am trying to understand your argument better,

Monad in the theosophical sense is similarly like that kind of fractal, IMO, unbound in absolute essence and yet apparently bounded in temporal and spatial terns by emanation into form vehicles (compounded from it's own substance/energy/consciousness) The whole phenomenal thing an amalgam of variously differentiated, spinning "holes in (living) space."

Much like wave/particle phenomenal can appear as separate events to observers when manifesting into appearance from the undifferentiated, all-potential of the homogenous quantum foam or vacuum. A very similar idea, IMO.

I also think the idea of "God as Alpha and Omega", (or beginning and end) can be supplemented with the idea of "God as the interdependance of all phenomenon DURING" as well. In other words, all relationships and all participants in them as ONE THING. The key becomes are we aware and participating as such or not (i.e. have we worked to bridge the gap of that ignorance, either by direct experience of our true nature or by attempts to form some kind of relationship (yoga) with some focus of higher consciousness, in an effort to overcome this basic ignorance and our sense of being separate).

Individuality in my view, therefore becomes a relative thing. Separation or the sense of it, when examined, can be seen to be rooted in the interdependence of "all with every."

My $0.02

it appears that mind (part of god) connects all the souls/spirits and groups of individual thoughts. A concept is a part of mind - including this argument. Hence they are actually connected or the thought would not be possible.

Fractals are only one way to look at it. If god is limited, then your model is off. Maybe one need to not think in terms that are limited as fractals from the get-go. Use a different model that reflects Panentheism?  (everything - including the infinite)

it appears that mind (part of god) connects all the souls/spirits and groups of individual thoughts."

It also appears that mind, at least conventionally speaking, might also play a role in the production of effects resulting in a sense of separateness: for example, subject/object distinctions, name and form (nama-rupa), conceptual designation, etc.

I have no problem applying a  principle like fractalization as a model to help picture a relationship of ONE THING appearing temporally and spatially as apparently MANY to subjective viewers who are also participating as fractalizations of that same ONE THING.

To me that has useful application, although i would also agree it is just a model, like the words "science", "academia" and  "theosophy" are as well. At least that is my current personal view.

IMO, forming, holding to or stating positions as individual people necessarily relativizes perceptions, views and epistemological constructions. Description does as well, in my view.

I'm not denying that fractality is a model. As models go, IMO, all are relativities and have their respective limits, but still can be employed and have useful application in the practical context of skillful means, nevertheless.

"If god is limited, then your model is off?"

Thanks for your evaluation, but I never stated that as an initial assumption, instead I was referring to David's use of the concept of fractality as one possible way of looking at manifest interdependance, which is what I stated.

I'm not telling anyone how or what to need to think in terms of.

Although if you were to ask me, I might say that I believe any thought used as a model or position from which or through which to view or intuit abstractions, even very complex thoughts or belief systems, are only ever, at best partial constructs, capable of filtering and bringing into awareness certain valences (values) which by their structure and content they are sympathetic with, but leaving the rest of the cosmos perhaps psychologically unconscious and unknown.

My personal axiom in such cases lies along the lines of " All that we think we know is always necessarily relative to what we do not." - even if we seek an increase of knowledge in a LaPlacian manner, or hop around from model to model in an attempt to try looking through or exploring some subject from multiple perspectives.

Mind objects and apprehensions, all, IMO.

I would personally hold suspect any living person who professed an ability to wrap their thoughts around "everything - including the infinite" and then attempted to describe it to others.

Such attempts, in my view, would necessarily be always self-limited and conditional, albeit perhaps well-intended, perhaps even useful, as personal interpretations, my own included.

my $0.02

my note was directed to both of you (and anyone else not asleep), despite the way the tree looks.

I agree with no one knows everything. However I have met a person on FB who claims to know everything and is enlightened. Why he is on FB escapes me :)

I like your response. I will have more to think about now. very interesting.

LOL! Thx.

No kidding, huh? it's hard enough to find even a few people interested enough to talk sometimes, or so it seems.

I'd tried to show up and at least do my bit ...


Bird sits on a firm supportive branch

Man reads in the quietude

Scripture without words 


Search Theosophy.Net!


What to do...

Join Theosophy.Net Blogs Forum Live Chat Invite Facebook Facebook Group

A New View of Theosophy


Theosophy References

Wiki Characteristics History Spirituality Esotericism Mysticism RotR ToS

Our Friends

© 2017   Created by Theosophy Network.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service