• posted an update January 23, 2017 @ 8:38 pm

    Can a pantheist have a “religious” experience?

    I ask this humbly, as some one who isn’t new here. As some one who has spent a lot of time thinking on about topics such as this one (and I’ve written a few thousand words on it too!)

    Please. Read the question, attempt to answer honestly from your own personal experience/pantheism? No quibbling of words or arguing about semantics. If the question isn’t clear enough for some of you, I’ll rephrase it. Thanks 🙂

    Can a pantheist have a “religious” experience?

    Here, before it starts: I know everyone is capable of an purely emotional experience. By that I mean one that is perhaps unexpected and certainly unintended. We pantheists say, loosely, that being one means relating to the universe (and all within it) with “awe” and “honor” and “reverence” similar to what a traditional theist might speak of when talking about their “God”… But has that ever been such an overwhelming encounter for you to make your heart beat powerfully, your mind spin and eyes tear up with joy?

    What makes such an experience so special? Are there ways of learning to “open up” to such experiences that you can share?

    • Jon Hoskins replied

      I started this thread because I’m a 50 year old father of three. My youngest and I were listening to music tonight… He’s a self-proclaimed “atheist” although I think 20 years of living with me has softened him a bit in any sort of militancy.

      We were listening to music that in particular suggested a certain relation to pantheism. I think he started it by asking me if I had ever read the lyrics to Tool’s “Parabola” (a good read, even if you don’t like the music!), following the question with “I think it’s a pretty pantheistic piece.” or something to that effect.

      Music is in and of itself an emotional energy source for me. We listened to several more songs as our conversation continued.

      I’ve been a pantheist for the better part of 40 years, although I didn’t know I had the right label to slap on my forehead (for SURE) until maybe 10 or 12 years ago… During our conversation I drifted into the truly electrifying sort of reaction I have experienced on certain occasions… Watching the northern lights while wolves howled in the distance (I know, that sounds cliche’d but it’s true), or a field of fire flies, dancing around my careful movements. Yelling at the top of my lungs “I AM YOU!” into the face of a powerful thunderstorm crashing ashore off of the Pacific.

      I’ve never felt more alive than in moments like those.

      How many other “pantheists” have learned to nurture the mindset, to be present in the moment for whatever it has to offer, to appreciate these things on a similar level?

      “Religion” seems to be a taboo concept with many pantheists. So too, the rituals and experiences that may also be expressed as “religious”. And that’s fine.

      But for those that have gone a bit deeper, dangled your feet in the black waters of the unknown and felt your pulse race with the experience… share with me?

      • Anna de Omnia replied

        Every time I say “wow”, every time im overcome with the awe, both the most beautiful and the most deplorable things of our reality, this is when I feel the powerful notion of “god” the Omnia, strongest. The mundane parts of reality are part of the whole bag too, but it’s those powerful moments that really wake you up and remind you.

      • Anna de Omnia replied

        Im taking back the word religion. My religion doesnt have a book, and society is just going to have to deal with it.

    • Jon Hoskins replied

      “Amen”! 😉

    • Mike Dobler replied

      No over whelming exsperiences. Never.

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