Introduction: One – Pantheism

You and I will make a detour to the third classic named “Pantheism”. Pantheism is quite similar to Polytheism, because both forms of religion recognize and acknowledge many gods . The major difference between the two religions is, that in Polytheism there is a separation between the believers – in our case mankind – and the gods, whereas in Pantheism the believer – or the subject of religion – coincides with the gods or the divine. A pantheist sees himself and everything around him as a god, or as a part of god; or any item – thing or living being – is seen as divine. Retrieval of the god or gods is not necessary, even as coming to terms with the god or gods, as the reality – and therefore also individual – is identical with God. Making a covenant with God and seeking the favours of God are also superfluous.

Do you and I regard ourselves as a god or gods? Currently not, pride comes before a fall and we still have a long journey to go. On our Odyssey you and I will probably encounter various forms of Pantheism. An example of this is the hubris of rulers who allow themselves to be worshipped by believers/people, e.g.:

  • the Pharaohs or
  • the Chinese emperors who have portrayed themselves around 500 AD Chr. as Buddhas[1].


Other (secondary) forms of pantheism are ancient stones or special places in the landscape that are honoured. By the Catholic Church, these places are often adapted and incorporated into the Christian faith as field crosses[3].


This concludes our detour along the three classics.

The next post is a transition between “One” and the next stage “Two” on our Odyssey. We will watch the 10-minutes movie “Powers of Ten” made by Ray and Charles Eames in 1968, which will place you and me on a picnic place. We will travel to the borders of the universe, where-from we will return to the smallest particle and again return to the picnic place.

[1] See also: Porter, Bill, Zen Baggage, Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2009, p. 39

[3] See also: Robb, Graham, The discovery of France. London: Picador, 2007

[4] Source photo: Marieke Grijpink


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