Deus non alligatur. God is not bound. Nibbanam paramam sukham. Unbinding is the Highest Happiness. The Heart is Divinity. God is the primal radiance of Divinity. Nature is the primal manifestation of Divinity. The Buddha is the primal realization of Divinity. La ilaha il Allah. Allah is Complete Wholeness.

10 July 2007


Where does Jivanta fit, in relationship to the usual web of meanings (see connecting "atheism", "deism", "theism", "agnosticism", "pantheism", and "panentheism"?

Let's start with the dreaded atheism:
1a. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods. b. The doctrine that there is no God or gods. 2. Godlessness; immorality.
It might help if "God" or "gods" were defined:
1. God a. A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions. b. The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being. 2. A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality. 3. An image of a supernatural being; an idol. 4. One that is worshiped, idealized, or followed: Money was their god. 5. A very handsome man. 6. A powerful ruler or despot.
We can safely exclude #3, 4, 5, and 6 from the pool of relevancy. The problem with #1.a. is that "God" need not be seen as a 'separate' something that created the universe (which is separate from God). So #1.a. is not satisfactory; as is not #1.b. That leaves #2, which is also not satisfactory, since it implies that God is only supernatural, and thus excludes the natural.

So, our working definition of God would be a being that is not necessarily separate from the universe, and not necessarily merely supernatural. If that is the definition used, then Jivanta is not atheist. (However, if God is defined as necessarily separate from the universe, then that sort of God, Jivanta rejects, atheistically.)

Is Jivanta deist? Deism:
The belief, based solely on reason, in a God who created the universe and then abandoned it, assuming no control over life, exerting no influence on natural phenomena, and giving no supernatural revelation.
Jivanta is not deist, because Jivanta includes experience, as well as reason; and also because the deist deity is held as necessarily separate from the universe, which, in Jivanta, is an unfounded assumption.

Theists argue thus:
Belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world.
If one excludes the phrase starting with "especially", (and given the caveats concerning "God"), then Jivanta can be seen as theist.

Is Jivanta absolutely sure that God exists? Agnosticism presents the following:
1. The doctrine that certainty about first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge. 2. The belief that there can be no proof either that God exists or that God does not exist.
Jivanta argues that "absolute truth" need not be outside of "perceptual phenomena". So, Jivanta rejects a strict agnosticism. Jivanta does allow, however, that, at any given point in time, absolute truth need not be presently perceived. (By "absolute truth", is meant "God".)

What about pantheism? Sources often define pantheism in a manner similar to this:
1. A doctrine identifying the Deity with the universe and its phenomena. 2. Belief in and worship of all gods.
If we exclude #2, then we can critique pantheism as limiting God to the universe of matter/energy as presently conceived by modern Western science. God need not be so constrictedly defined. Jivanta rejects pantheism.

OK, is panentheism a workable solution? Panentheism argues that God transcends the universe (as deism and some forms of theism teach), but God is also within and permeates the universe. Jivanta lauds panentheism's attempt to create a workable synthesis of theisms, but panentheism's limitations exist in its assumption that God merely permeates the universe, like the water in the ocean permeates all that lives in the ocean, such as whales, sharks, starfish, and horseshoe crabs. In panentheism, God is necessarily limited, even though pervasive.

Jivanta thus finds all these terms unsatisfactory (or dukkha!), and thus proposes a new term that is more satisfactorily descriptive of the Jivantic stance: Holotheism. (Jivantic "holotheism" should not be confused with the holotheism associated with neo-platonism and ideas of the "Mind of God".) In "pantheism", the "pan" refers to the "all" of the universe of energy and matter, the universe currently acknowledged by modern Western science. In contrast, the "holos" in "holotheism" refers to the "fullness" of reality, whether that reality be matter/energy or some other phenomenal fullness nonetheless perceptible (e.g., an "image", apparently held in the brain; this image is neither matter nor energy as defined by modern Western science). In holotheism, God is nature, and supernature; not exclusively one or the other; and God is thus not necessarily separate from nature, nor necessarily separate from supernature. God is fullness.

1 comment:

Knuje said...

There is a theory called PanDeism, which combines the compatible aspects of Pantheism and Deism. It envisions a God who is indeed identical to the Universe, but also a God that created the Universe -- created it precisely by becoming it!! This God is now one with the Universe, and will be so until the Universe ceases to be a Universe and again becomes a God, but a God that is richer for its experience of having been the Universe!!