The concept of God as inhabiting the universe and therefore being in residence in nature is not difficult to understand. But one need not have detailed knowledge of the how and why of God’s universal existence any more than one needs to examine the delicate workings of a fine Swiss watch before he can accept its usefulness in telling time. Likewise, one must resist the temptation to categorize this panoramic view of God in nature as “pantheistic” (with all of the pagan overtones feared by Christians).
Webster says that pantheism is “a doctrine that equates God with the forces and laws of the universe.” The Standard College Dictionary defines pantheism as “the doctrine that the whole universe is God, or that every part of the universe is a manifestation of God.” To argue against this theory is to deny that Leonardo lives in his paintings, that Michelangelo can be known in his sculpture, or that Christ lives in his Sermon on the Mount and in the hearts of millions who have touched the hem of his garment.
Some of the sayings of Jesus not recorded in the Gospels but found in the writings of the church fathers on the Oxyrhynchus papyruses discovered in Egypt about 1900 support this concept of a mystical pantheism: “Raise the stone, and there thou shalt find me; cleave the wood, and there am I.”
The Creator dwells in his creation; his Presence endows it with innate immortality; his Law maintains the outer structure; and his Spirit gives it Life. It has been said by wise men that God sustains the universe with the flow of his attention moment by moment throughout eternity and that if he were to withdraw the energies of his Mind, it would collapse into a heap of nothingness. These statements are made not in defense of the word pantheism, which has been bandied about by those who would make light of occult mysteries, but in order to show the reality of God’s Spirit in Nature.
Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, The Path of the Higher Self, volume 1 of the Climb the Highest Mountain® series, pp. 323–24.
- Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, s.v. “pantheism.”
- Standard College Dictionary, 1963 ed., s.v. “pantheism.”
- Oxyrhynchus Logia (Agrapha), Fifth Logion, in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, ed. Christopher Morley and Louella D. Everett, 11th ed. rev. and enl. (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1938), p. 1126.