Practices

>Practices
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The World Pantheist Movement does not have any required  ceremonies, rituals or specific “commandments.” 
Because we do not believe in any supernatural powers, we feel no external compulsion to enact rituals. Many individual members may feel an internal desire to mark special times of the day, the year, or the passage of one’s life, with ceremony, celebration or reflection.  They find that to do so deepens their links with the universe, the solar system and nature. Others see ceremony as a distraction and prefer direct connection with Nature and the night sky.
Many members enjoy meeting together, because they find that they share a lot with other WPM members or friends, and that meeting helps to create mutual support and confidence in one’s beliefs in an environment that, in many places, may be hostile. The meetings may take any format that the members choose. We offer only suggestions.
As far as ethics go the WPM has no commandments. We don’t issue orders like churches do. We won’t be telling you what you should smoke or do in the bedroom. We may offer suggestions, and we do have values of a more general kind included in our Statement of Principles. They follow logically from our reverence for Nature and for humans and other living beings as centers of perception of Nature and the Universe.

Many members share a strong ethos towards nature, embodied in clause three of the belief statement:

We are an inseparable part of Nature, which we should cherish, revere and preserve in all its magnificent beauty and diversity. We should strive to live in harmony with Nature locally and globally. We believe in treating all living creatures with compassion, empathy, and respect. We believe in the inherent value of all life, human and non-human.

And many share a general social ethos, embodied in clause four:

We believe in freedom, democracy, justice, equity, and non-discrimination, and in a world community based on peace, an end to poverty, sustainable ways of life, and full respect for human rights.

However, ethical practice for WPM members will always be a matter for individual conscience. Ceremonial and group practice will be a matter for individual or group taste. Suggestions may be made, as in the links below, but these are just guidelines. If you are interested in joining the WPM please check out the benefits and subscriptions page  or click the Join button on any page.

Ceremony
A Pantheist Calendar
A Pantheist Almanac
Sacred time, sacred space
Natural death

Personal practice
Meditation
Heightened perception
Pantheist ethics

Pantheist circles
Suggested formats
Suggested topics

Pantheism as a way of life

by Paul Harrison

“Pantheism means living my life authentically and not letting other people determine how I think or feel or act. Pantheism means truly living each day one at a time, because now is all there is.  I realize how right it all is and how I’m part of it, as is every part of nature. It means knowing that when I die I am still part of it just in a different way.”

Sharon Dobrovic

Natural pantheism is not just a set of theories. It can be a way of life, giving a deep and strong grounding in reality to our whole approach to living, perceiving, feeling, and acting.

It can provide all the psychological services people derive from traditional religion, such as

  • a supportive community of “fellow spirits”
  • honest and realistic ways of coping with stress
  • profound approaches to dealing with grief
  • pathways to self-realization and self-renewal in the real world

To get these benefits from traditional religion usually involves accepting beliefs that defy common sense, reason and evidence. Often it means distancing yourself from body and world, thinking of life after death as more important than life right here and now, and submitting to a Deity who listens in to your every thought, who may one day plunge you into Hell and will one day destroy the earth as we know it.

These are heavy mental costs, and Pantheism  carries none of them. Indeed it can enhance our enjoyment of life, our interest in science and nature, our sense of belonging right here in this universe, on this earth,  in this body, in this our only life.

Of course everyone finds their own combination of what works best for them. We share daily insights on these issues in World Pantheism’s mailing lists and message boards, especially the Community list and the Bulletin Board.

The pages below are intended as a provisional guide to approaches that may help you find your own way.

 

Life and Death

 What it means to be a pantheist: personal statements
        
Pantheist ethics: the rights of the sacred.
         The pantheist way of death

Celebrating

Sacred time, sacred space: ceremony and celebration
A pantheist almanac: equinoxes, solstices, full moons
A pantheist calendar: notable dates in the year

Connecting

Union with Reality: pantheist meditation techniques
Pantheist perception: regaining the child’s vision

Caring

Save nature with World Pantheism

Community

Why organize?
Help to spread Natural Pantheism

 

Pantheist circles: Suggestions for weekly meetings