God's Interaction in Panendeism, Compared

This chart demonstrates the nature of God's interaction in all cited models.


The Theistic God 

In Theism, we typically find God watching us from some metaphysical realm outside our own universe. Despite residence in an alternate sphere, the Theistic God is often thought to be aware of everything (“omniconscious”), as well as intimately involved in the minutia of our material lives and immaterial thoughts. As a consequence of this direct “interventionaistic” relationship with humans in a world in which the distribution of hardship and suffering seems un-linked to merit or good and evil, the God of theism seems either cruel, unjust or indifferent, or impotent, and often incapable of protecting, rescuing or elevating all. Many Theists believe that they can influence God’s grace through prayer in return for certain improved results, such as personal gain, comfort or wealth. Where results do not materialize, other Theists often assert that the supplicant was not sufficiently sincere or did not live their lives properly.

The Deistic God

In Modern Deism, God created the Universe, including the Laws of Physics, the Time-Space Fabric, its quantum-generated contents and its sentient and sapient inhabitants. God then elected to withdraw and assume disinterest and even obliviousness. Traditional Deists however, embrace no dogma or notion, but assume a reason-based agnostic position in these cases. In the former case there is no connection between creation and creator, while in the latter case, an unknown or unknowable connection may exist. Everything we do (good or evil) is an expression of our own free will. God may or may not observe it, may or may not be aware of it and of us, and certainly does not act upon it. We as humans are left to our own devices, and perhaps wisdom or folly, cruelty or kindness, benevolence or malevolence. In contrast, some “Classical” Deists did assume God at least passively interacted with the Universe or the broad affairs of mankind, and subtly guided the world as “Providence”. Many Classical Deists did assume God at least passively interacted with the Universe or in the broad affairs of mankind, and subtly guided the world as “Providence”. Some Classical Deists also prayed.


The Pandeistic, or Pantheistic God

In Pandeism, God died or killed itself and became (or was absorbed into) the universe. In Pantheism, God is and always has been the universe. Both world-views put forth the idea that God is literally the embodiment of the universe. Both views theorize that beings are interconnected with the universe and that individuality is ultimately an illusion. Pantheists often identify with New Age movement values and are typically spiritual and look at the universe as possessing mysterious powers and capable of answering prayers or thoughts that are sent out to it. Pandeists, on the other hand, hold that God is dead and tend to be much more reductionist in their world-views, seeing the universe as largely material. However, Pandeists do maintain a resurrection doctrine (similar to the mythologies of the ancient Greeks and Romans) which proposes that the universe is evolving through some underlying force that is derivative of the once existent God and its ultimate goal is to be resurrected once again as a living God, at which point individual perception of being will cease to exist, perfect harmony will ensue, and God will yet again resume the form it had prior to destroying itself to become the universe. Both Pantheism and Pandeism suggest a material universe that possesses an unknown, underlying force. This differs from Panentheism and Panendeism in that they suggest consciousness (or mindfulness) is the only real source for matter, and ultimately, reality1 Pandeism, respectively differs from all other Pan and Panen beliefs in suggesting a coming utopic or heaven like state of perfection and eventual unification with an embodied God.

The Atheistic Material Universe

In Atheism, God is not present, nor was God ever present, and everything that exists came into being through natural processes that did not involve a cognitive being. The atheist model for the Universe also requires an improbable, or impossible element of infinite time, infinite space - or both. Beyond this, no model or explanation for the origin of the Laws of Physics or the Time-Space Fabric is provided.

The Panentheistic, or Panendeistic God

In Panendeism, G-d is enfolded in all perceptual reality as the Word-Soul or Cosmic Mind, forming all animate and inanimate things. G-d is greater than our measurable or quantifiable perception of reality2 - our own cosmos and anything that may lie outside of it. We are the free observers of and witnesses to the vast beauty of creation, and of being itself. Our relationship to G-d is intra-personal and inseparable. Without a governing mind, all of reality as we know it must fall apart into a mindless sea of energy. We are drawn freely towards resonance with G-d, and we can sense the numinous both within and beyond ourselves. In this way, G-d contains all of the universe, but also transcends our perception of it, having some existence apart from anything we can yet comprehend. Unlike Pandeism, which suggests a coming utopia and unity with God, Panendeism views reality in terms of contrast where self implies other, life implies death, and good implies evil.  In Panendeism it is imperfection that gives life depth and meaning.

Footnotes

  1. Reference to the scientific observation of the minuscule part matter occupies (if any) in reality. For example, if all the "space" between the atoms was removed from the entire human population on earth, the remaning contents could easily be fit into an object the size of a sugar cube. Additionally, the observed phenomenon in fields of study such as particle-wave duality, suggest that matter is simply an organized form that energy takes when conscious observation of any kind is introduced.
  2. Reference to the many real, but immaterial properties of the universe (i.e. gravitational waves, mass-less particles, perception of time, consciousness, etc).