Frequently Asked Questions

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This page provides quick references and answers to many of the commonly asked questions about Panendeism. For a more in depth look at Panendeism, we encourage you to browse our articles, check out the wonderful resources in our library, and join our vibrant international community of Panendeists on Facebook.

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SUGGESTED READING






Treatise on Panendeism


Read the Treatise on Panendeism by Benjamin Sullivan and James McDermott


ABOUT PANENDEISM


What is Panendeism?
Panendeism is an ontological position that explores the interrelationship between God (The Cosmic Mind) and the known attributes of the universe. Combining aspects of Panentheism and Deism, Panendeism proposes an idea of God that both embodies the universe and is transcendent of its observable physical properties.
Is Panendeism a Break-Away from Deism?
No, Panendeism is a philosophic, and scientific subcategory within the parent philosophy of Deism, one open to discussions incorporating reasonable speculation regarding that vast undiscovered sea of truth of which Sir Isaac Newton spoke, including notions considered as possible ‘spiritual’ reality as well as possible ‘material’ reality. True Deists embrace no dogma with regard to any notion not demonstrated by our rigorous system of scientific review, but instead prefer to assume a reason-based agnostic position. A Panendeist is effectively a Deist with a 'pan-en' (all in G-d) area of focus or interest.

The basic defining principles of Deism apply, as always:

1. A necessary Uncaused First Cause conceived and implemented (created) the observed Universe, including the very Laws of Physics, the Time-space Fabric and the quantum ‘sea’ which represents the ‘contents’ of the Universe on which the Laws of Physics operate. Time and space themselves were created at the moment of the Big Bang Event some 13.7 billion years ago. Therefore, no previous time or event is either necessary or possible.
2. The primacy of Science and Reason as the final arbiters of truth and error.
3. Supreme intelligent consciousness is an essential prerequisite for the Uncaused First Cause.
4. Freedom of Belief or disbelief, tolerance and goodwill as essential rules and guides.
5. Reasonable skepticism regarding claims of sole divine authorship of books, ‘truths’ or prophetic claims in general.
6. Reasonable skepticism regarding claims of ‘supernatural’ events. All events and phenomena occurring in the Universe, whether known or unknown, are considered by definition as ‘natural.’
7. Rejection of the very notion of dogma, that is the presentation of unproven negative or affirmative notions as if proven.

The impressive number of prominent physicists and scientists who have, over the past century, supported or affirmed the idea of G-d as a Cosmic Mind or consciousness compels one to consider the concept as worthy of our exploration. And while neither popularity nor the weight of this body of expertise represent a proof, they do in this case recommend the validity and probable reality of this model for the Universe and G-d. Nor should we presume to suggest that we recently-evolved and galactically provincial human primates are capable of ever fully comprehending the ultimate and complete reality of either the Universe or of G-d. Yet, we may reasonably assert that they've pointed us in the right direction and have given us a breathtaking glimpse into the inner workings of the ‘naturally miraculous’ Universe of which we are an integrated part.
What is the 'Cosmic Mind' in Panendeism?
'Cosmic Mind' or Word-Soul is an age old philosophical concept of G-d that has gained scientific validity over the past century. It refers the seemingly 'intelligent' behavior that has been observed in particle interactions which make up reality as we know it and to recent scientific observations that demonstrate a strong correlation between the expanding universe, the human mind, and computer networks.
Is Panendeism a 'New Age' Religion?
No, Panendeism is a millenia old philosophical concept of G-d that was embraced by many of the great ancient philosophers including Plato, Plotinus, and Ovid and has been embraced by many of the great physicists of the past century.

COMPARED TO OTHER PAN AND PANEN CONSTRUCTS


What's the Difference Between Panentheism and Panendeism?
While Panendeism and Panenthiesm are fairly similar in their base assumptions, Panendeists tend to look at the universe as being purely comprised of mind, while Panentheists tend look at the universe as being a part of the body of G-d. Additionally, Panendeists, being a part of the parent organization of Deism, tend to be more agnostic, speculative, and cautious when it comes to forming and presenting opinions about the true nature of reality, whereas Panentheists tend to present and accept speculations as facts and follow a structure that is more akin to organized religions and dogmatic-theism.
What's the Difference Between Pandeism and Panendeism?
Pandeism is the worship of a physical universe and mindless energy force as a deceased or destroyed G-d with a resurrection doctrine that claims G-d will someday evolve back into being, whereas Panendeism postulates that a mindful and transcendent G-d is the underlying reality of what we perceive as the universe. A great real-world analogy for this is to imagine the universe as a quantum super-computer. In this scenario, Panendeism's God would be primarily the processor, memory, and hard drive and Pandeism's God would be the battery. This isn't to say that Panendeists don't recognize the importance of energy, or see it as part of G-d, they just don't attribute the vast complexity of the universe solely to it.
What's the difference between Pantheism and Panendeism?
Pantheism is the worship of a physical universe and mindless energy force as G-d, whereas Panendeism postulates that a mindful and transcendent G-d is the underlying reality of what we perceive as the universe. As with Panentheists, Pantheists tend to present and accept speculations as facts and follow a structure that is more akin to organized religions and dogmatic-theism.

ATTRIBUTES OF PANENDEISM


Does Panendeism Have Prophets, Leaders or Figure Heads?
No, Panendeism, is a self governed philosophy and as such, it is incompatible with organized religion, prophets, figure heads, dogma, false-information, oppression, and inequality. Each Panendeist, past, present and future, must justify their conclusions and hypotheses by means of the 'God-given' instruments of reason and science.
Are Panendeists Spiritual?
Though certainly not a requirement, Panendeism does recognize that we live in an amazing universe and welcomes individuals to freely discuss and explore their own spirituality, bearing in mind that experiences like these are different for each person. Anyone who promotes the contrary position or claims to have special powers, methods, or connection to God should be treated with caution. We encourage exploration, but not evangelism. Personal and public exploration may include any one of a number of things, from sitting atop a mountain as the sun sets or gazing into the vastness of space on a clear night, to a pursuit of science, meditation, or the simplest things in life, such as being close to someone you love.
Do Panendeists Pray?
Since Panendeists don't tend to see G-d as interpersonal, but as intrapersonal, they are perhaps more likely to meditate than pray. Many studies suggest that most humans are inclined towards spirituality, and that such experiences are healthy to engage in. However, spirituality is not a requirement of Panendeism.