Panenthism, and What It Means to Me
For aware entities, relations with God progress from dependence, to independence, to interdependence. This corresponds with the dependence of childhood, the rebellion of youth, and the responsibility of adulthood. The same applies to individuals, families, tribes, nations, civilizations, species, and biospheres. My ontology, although more general and universal in scale, coincidentally correlates with Peter Russell's Gaia-related work on the The Global Brain. My supposition is:
This universe is an embryo of God, and active intelligent beings are forming its nervous system. A fully formed God at the end of time reaches backward in time to bring about what's needed for its fullfilment, even as far back as causing its own beginning. This God could also create and gestate another universe to enrich itself.
See Jack Sarfatti's BACK FROM THE FUTURE!
Allan Anderson quoting from New Thought: A Practical American Spirituality writes:
- "Panentheism says that all is in God, somewhat as if God were the ocean and we were fish. If one considers what is in God's body to be part of God, then we can say that God is all there is and then some. The universe is God's body, but God's awareness or personality is greater than the sum of all the parts of the universe. All the parts have some degree of freedom in co-creating with God. At the start of its momentary career as a subject, an experience is God--as the divine initial aim. As the experience carries on its choosing process, it is a freely aiming reality that is not strictly God, since it departs from God's purpose to some degree. Yet everything is within God (Anderson & Whitehouse, 89f.)."
A good article exploring panentheism is at http://www.wehope.com/Pages/articles01.html
The site on Nikos Kazantzakis, the Greek writer and author of The Last Temptation of Christ has good references to panentheism as well as arguments against it within the critique of the book and the Martin Scorsese movie. Use your page search function to go to the panentheism references. Some of the quotes are:
An articulate traditional Christian response to panentheism is at http://www.rockies.net/~spirit/united/articles/mendtheworld.htm. The crux of the argument is on the definition of "Christ". Is Christ an alias singly applicable to Jesus of Nazareth, or was Jesus of Nazareth a single distinct/unique manifestation of a universally common Christ Spirit which flows through the infinite number of distinct/unique manifestations of life?