The words, “spiritual” and “spirituality” mean different things to different people, but in the Pantheist community, it generally means a heightened awareness of reality, a deeper consideration for the natural world and our place within it; a more pervasive, expansive and preeminent knowledge of self and the interconnectedness and interdependence of all things.
And adding to that, a deeper respect and appreciation for Nature, a greater understanding of biological processes and a more intimate knowledge and awareness of biology, physics and cosmology, with a very strong emotional reaction to the size, scale and vastness of Cosmos, all of which leads to humility and an overwhelming sense of mystery, wonderment and awe.
These things also intrinsically motivate inspiration, contemplation, creativity and a heightened sense of idealism… with a more holistic outlook and a higher level of ethics, morals and values that are sure to follow. All of this, is what I define as “spiritual.” It has nothing to do with a supernatural world, or with any archaic concept of ghosts, devils, demons, angels, disembodied spirits, an afterlife, or the fanciful notions of heaven or hell.
No invented, man-made gods or mythological fairy tales of supernatural entities. Spirituality is communion with Nature, pure and simple. It is connecting with the forces and powers that already exist in the real world, minus any false delusions that religions have created in peoples’ minds and projected onto reality for centuries. Hence, Biopantheism is a completely Naturalistic philosophy.
Look outside at the trees, look at plants and flowers, look at other people, look at LIFE. Look at the moon and stars, see the gigantic ball of fire over your head, creating heat and energy to fuel the earth, allowing all things to thrive and grow. THAT, is what I believe in. Now, look in the mirror at this incredibly complex and subtle organism that functions autonomously and self-regulates and heals and grows and thinks and breathes and is intelligent, cognizant and self-aware… THAT, is what I call “divine.”
Why? Because Nature and the physical Universe represent the highest source of inspiration, the most powerful and profound and complex and intelligent thing in existence- inherently supernal and more extraordinary than what is commonly thought. It is what has created us, given us life and It is what pushes and pulls us to evolve. It is all-powerful and should be honored (not worshiped). The Universe is more than what is commonly thought and Nature is really what people throughout history have mistakenly worshiped as God.
Scientists, like most Atheists, cannot answer the really big questions. No scientist can honestly tell you WHY the Universe exists to begin with, all they can offer is the “how.” Likewise, no Atheist can explain WHY all plants and animals evolve and adapt and intrinsically move toward greater and greater levels of complexity and self-awareness. No scientific theory can account for what initially caused the Big Bang, or why the Universe appears to be a spontaneous, self-organizing, interdependent system, with the precise laws that are necessary for producing and sustaining Life.
It is the propensity toward coherence and the miraculous consistency of natural laws, which bring about order and give rise to extraordinary ecosystems and environments, that eventually become the backdrop for the evolution of all energy/matter into conscious and sentient Life forms. It is these^ things which make the Universe and Nature much more than just what is commonly thought… it is these things that make It “divine.”
Just to reiterate, when I say Nature is “divine” I’m not implying something supernatural. No, “divine” in a Pantheistic context means ‘supernal’ NOT supernatural- it means the greatest, most intelligent, most impressive and powerful thing there is… and only Nature and the Universe fit this description.
Consider how extraordinary DNA is and the autonomic healing abilities of our bodies. DNA is the most complex and incredible system of information encoding in existence—you can literally create a new human being, via one strand of hair (plants and animals are all fractal in nature, so one part simultaneously represents the whole and vice-versa). The self-regulating nature of living organisms and how every biological entity unconsciously seeks physiological homeostasis. All of these things and more are what make Life “divine.”
And just to clarify, when I say, “Nature is divine” I don’t mean It is “a” god, I mean It IS God… in the sense that It is the most powerful, most complex and beautiful thing there is (Omnipotence), that just so happens to be incomprehensibly large and everywhere at all times (Omnipresent), imbued with supernal intelligence (Omniscience) AND, due to Einstein’s Law of Conservation (energy cannot be created or destroyed), is essentially eternal… all attributes typically attributed to God.
Pantheism essentially is the belief that all of Nature is divine, that the Universe as a whole is an interconnected system, made up of one substance (energy/matter), stemming from the same source (the Big Bang). We believe that Nature is divine and we are all a part of Nature. We believe the Universe Itself is God, but not in the sense that It is a personal, conscious or coherent entity.
It’s a completely Naturalistic philosophy that denies traditional beliefs in the supernatural and posits that there is no afterlife or spiritual realm, but that the earth and Nature are the most important aspects of the Universe that exist in relation to us, with a natural progression of thought that says we should care for and protect the environment and value Life and living organisms above all else.
In order to achieve this understanding, we must ask ourselves the most pertinent question: As a whole, what is Nature doing? The answer is obvious. It is self-organizing, coalescing, designing, establishing and maintaining living, cognizant beings; these are Its feelers—Its arms and legs and eyes and ears and hands and feet. When you study the real world, when you study biology and the sciences, they all point toward Pantheism. If you are a Pagan, you are much closer to this concept than most. If you are an Atheist or an Agnostic, I suppose it’s because you’ve yet to see the big picture.
As a Wiccan, Neopagan, or New Age Syncretist, you can call It whatever you like and invoke the names of a thousand Hindu, Sumerian, Egyptian, Celtic, Nordic, Greek and Roman deities to better relate to Nature or grasp Its incomprehensibility, but in the end we are not just talking about a nostalgic idea, or an ancient personification, or a poetic metaphor. Nature is a very real and very powerful force that supersedes all things and binds all things, in an interconnected web of inescapable unity.
When I speak of God, I’m talking about the laws of Nature and the Universe- the ever-expanding, self-regulating, self-organizing, autonomic system that you and I and every other living thing are all a part of and cannot be separated from, except through false perceptions of self-delusion and cognitive dissonance.
Nature and the Universe are the divine Omnia… much more than just a physical locale we inhabit, more than just a mechanistic program without purpose or intent. It is a dynamic, self-sustaining, biological, emergent intelligence that is immanent and inherent at every scale, pervasive on every level, permeating in and through all things, and awakening and developing progressively, through us.
This process started roughly 13.8 billion years ago and it has continued on, throughout all of time, with no end in sight. Even though this physical manifestation of the Universe had a beginning, the potential for everything that exists, was already present in the Singularity that existed before the Big Bang… so in this sense, the Universe and Nature are actually eternal.
All these things and more are why we consider It “divine.” It is not just because we are naively responding to the Cosmos and Nature with reverence and awe (as Scientific Pantheists would claim) but because, as I have demonstrated, It literally IS divine- meeting all the criteria for an all-powerful, all-knowing, eternal and omnipresent Life force responsible for all things.
So, in summary… true spirituality is simply the awareness and experiential knowledge of everything that I have been talking about. A knowledge which, once properly understood, naturally leads to a strong Biocentric attitude, with an overwhelming desire to deepen this awareness and commune with all of the forces and powers aforementioned. THIS, is what it really means to be spiritual. THIS, is true spirituality.