A DEFINITION – THEOLOGICAL CHALLENGE
A definition of Pantheism – an essential perspective
Pantheism regards the Universe as a whole as “divine”; this being the case, the central object of this science and metaphysical system is a profound unity, a union. Variations in the understanding of this unitary perception offer us different theoretical aspects, which means that pantheism is an authorial and creative theology and philosophy.
There is, however, a central vision – pantheism:
1. Affirms that the idea of “god” is metaphorical, referring to the Universe/Cosmos itself, more specifically: the essential unity of all things.
1.1 This position implies the non-recognition of “transcendentalism”: to the pantheist, there is no “revelation,” there is no creative entity separate from or “transcendent” from the Cosmos.
2. Cultivates and sanctifies a feeling defined as “divine” when appreciating the beauty, the grandeur and the amazing mystery of universal nature.
3. Affirms the virtue and legitimacy of the individual when faced with existential experience, and expresses the intention of celebrating, praising and loving life and Nature.
One recognizes that the Universe is divine by experiencing a sublime, numinous feeling when contemplating Nature. This aesthetic delight is the source and motive of an intuitive process that generates values that bring about a humbler, more joyful and reverent relationship with Nature, as well as an impulse, élan or conatus (a Spinozan expression), seeking a clearer and ever more profound experience of “unicity”.
Pantheism as essential monism
The essential pantheist intuition opens out into a mystical path which is manifested through an axis of metaphysical perspective here described as the cosmo-existential axis of metaphysical perspective: we are talking about the dawn of a poetic and radical sense of unicity and paradoxicality in which consciousness fuses and synchronizes with existence. The metaphysical intuition is experienced, is known and recognized, but remains indescribable: a cosmic transcendence where the state-of-being experiences a feeling of infinity.
When those who identify themselves as “pantheists” consider the Universe divine, the Earth sacred, they do it with reverence, respect, love and devotion.
In these pages, pantheism is affirmed as essential monism. This is because it does not polarize or reduce experience or understanding into radical and exclusive oppositional directions, as happens with materialism or idealism, positions which are are built on a logical structure of “x or y”.
Materialism reveals itself as being, by contrast and by definition, a simple “polarization” – and not a unitary aggregation. In materialism, one understands the whole of what exists (the “pan” of pantheism) as a material reality, with consciousness being an epiphenomenon resulting from and belonging to matter-energy. On the other hand, the followers of the “idealistic polarization” emphasize and reconfirm the reduction by believing that everything that exists is made up of spirit and consciousness, with existence and its innumerable aspects being merely “thoughts”. Therefore materialism and idealism are intertwined definitions on a dualist axis of perspective, totally aligned with the neo-Kantian position: transcendent-transcendental.
In this existential process: how does one position oneself, how does one interact, what should one feel? How should one understand nature and the existential meaning of these dichotomies, which, equally, construct knowledge and ignorance, and which regulate problems, potentials and destinies? Does this relationship of consciousness with “the other” – the relationship between consciousness and existence which is witnessed and experienced in the first person – represent a phemonenon of union or a chasm of rupture?
As explained in the articles and essays available in these pages, our chosen metaphysical perspective doesn’t dichotomize, which is characteristic of an “essentialism” or essential monism, as defined. We are talking about a meeting or an existential reformulation in which opposite and complementary attributes come together in a paradoxical unitary event: a tabernacle full and empty of being-and-not-being, a point of junction-disjunction, essence and mystery.
This essential monism sets up an amazing relationship between consciousness and existence which operates within a circular axis of metaphysical perspective – like a Möbius strip – here defined as cosmo-existential, while dualism and the materialist and idealist polarizations operate within a transcendent-transcendental metaphysical perspective.
Virtuous or not, feelings are clearly things which determine the choices that are made when one confronts existence: how can one reach a philosophical response merely by analyzing the logic of the “concepts”, contrasting real and hypothetical “things”, ruling out deep feelings and intuitions? We are a union of physical and cognitive attributes; therefore, as well as being a process of discovery, the philosophical search is, at the same time, a dialogic process, an exercise in choices and decisions, a meeting – everything which makes up existential reality presents itself to be appreciated and considered in different ways, with different methods.
It’s in this alchemy in the deepest part of the state-of-being, that destinies close and open. Where is the philosopher’s stone capable of curing and reuniting the disunited, respositioning the cosmo-existential axis – the stone upon which a new life and civilization is to be built?
Deep philosophy, integrated and properly understood, brings with it the tools which go to make up a just and sober understanding, beginning a centered discourse and an existential search which starts from the “interior-in-itself” (a counter and opposite argument to Kant’s famous “things in themselves”), the place and base where one finds the essence which lives in the properly appreciated communion of consciousness and existence. To approach things, it is necessary to recognize them properly, which is done by pulling aside the curtains of their boundaries, frontiers which must not be confused with strictly factual dimensions, but also including gnosiological formations, and in this way transcending materialism and idealism. To track the radical limits, the depth of things – the “eidos”, the “idea” – is not simply “to see”; it is to contemplate and know oneself, to the extent that we already exist in the moment in which everything is revealed. Knowing the boundaries is to envision and intuitively understand the totality in the unlimited mysteries of the state-of-being.
In this resolute intuitive and metaphysical process which extricates the state-of-being from dualistic polarizations, one is surprised and moved by the original and identifying convergence which is established between the totality of cognition and its objects: the measurable world, or “extensive state, ” and the intelligent and sensitive being, or “philosophical cogitator”, come together in a sym-bállein, or sym-bolon, an integrated state-of-being, celebrating life, scattering and reflecting universal concepts, like a mandala; a union where the essence is love before reason. The union is not analyzed and the Beautiful is not formulated, they are understood intuitively.
The singular and universal state-of-being is the founding structure, which exists first, and which contains and harmoniously juxtaposes being-state and state-being in various degrees of acuteness, presence and reflection: radically a priori, this interactivity is an essential existential category. Apart from hypotheses, there are no objects of “natural history” outside the field of the historical and categorizing consciousness, which is equally natural. There is an integrated triangulation of universal dimensions: an originating place to which one belongs as a “living being” (Ethos), providing evidence of a reflexive and intuitive knowledge and intelligence, which shows itself by being what it is (Logos): a place and a knowledge associated and united like brothers in conjoined communion (Mythos). Cognitive duality and polarization are transcended in the arising of this rebis, (from latin: res bina: two substances) made of an integrated existential place and consciousness.
We are talking about a founding and profound philosophy, in a sense which transcends methodological rationalism and its infinite divisions: none of the psychic functions are excluded, integrating the whole of cognition in investigative processes. It’s an existential philosophy, an ethic and an aesthetic, with the fundamental benchmark being your own, singular knowledge as the final arbiter of value; a purpose which is capable of being decoded and understood by all humans with sensitivity and a poetic vein; a philosophy built to find the best way of bringing meaning to and experiencing life, in itself and collectively – an autonomous position that is renewed in the search for more knowledge – Euthymia and Eudaemonism.
Being in order to be demands belonging (having and being in union), making evident the existence of irrefutable and universal paradoxes, even though these are veiled and subordinated in allegories, pedagogic styles and a conservative socio-politicial consensus. To exist is to happen in the universal moment, bringing together in union the fields of being and having.
Undiverted concentration on the study of this metaphysical union reveals a full state-of-being, a rebis, like a Möbius strip: a paradoxical struture in which the discriminating consciousness and the totality of that which is discriminated go to make up a symbol which brings together the dichotomies in a marriage whose final meaning is union.
Dualist extrapolations or extrapolations which are said to be pantheistic
While one’s outlook is based on a polarized perspective, fragmented into categories and incomplete tendencies, it’s only possible to (mis)understand pantheism in a reduced way.
Monistic and paradoxical essentialism or pantheism diverges from so-called “neutral” monism or dualistic pantheism because it does not re-absorb, accommodate or nullify opposities into inferred, hypothetical or polar substances, but places them in a unitary and essential relationship, in which the consciousness-existence event only exists and has meaning jointly and reciprocally, making up a unitary system of opposites which complement each other. One piece of evidence does not require proofs: Cosmos, body and thought make up a single circumstance. The evidence demands a radical and full adaptation, which does not prevent the emergence of an agnostic and poetic halo that is intrinsic to the mystery evoked by Leibniz: in the end, why is there something rather than nothing?
In this existential appreciation, the subject is a unitary state-of-being, equally visionary and vision. Expressed in “meta-phenomenological terms”, the Intention, in the sense used by Brentano, is what profoundly exists, what is most real – in this case, of course, the phenomenon is stripped of its idealistic reduction, to show itself as existential by its very nature.