Panendeism and Animism

Pierce adopted Cosmotheism[2] as his religion in 1978. In effect it is a form of panendeism, or a impersonal panentheism, or a belief that an impersonal God is the animating force within the universe. Moreover, Pierce's salutation of the "life principle" adumbrates the Greek Logos, his own professed agnosticism and his atheism regarding a Personal God notwithstanding.

Cosmotheism asserts that "all is within God and God is within all." It considers the nature of reality and of existence to be mutable and destined to co-evolve towards a complete "universal consciousness," or godhood. Cosmos means an orderly and harmonious universe and thus the divine is tantamount to reality and consciousness, an inseparable part of an orderly, harmonious, and whole universal system.

In his speech "Our Cause", Pierce said:
"All we require is that you share with us a commitment to the simple, but great, truth which I have explained to you here, that you understand that you are a part of the whole, which is the creator, that you understand that your purpose, the purpose of mankind and the purpose of every other part of creation, is the creator's purpose, that this purpose is the never-ending ascent of the path of creation, the path of life symbolized by our life rune, that you understand that this path leads ever upward toward the creator's self-realization, and that the destiny of those who follow this path is godhood."

Pierce described his form of panendeism as being based on "[t]he idea of an evolutionary universe … with an evolution toward ever higher and higher states of self-consciousness."

While I withhold comment on the other views of the individual quoted above, I think he's right about the universe. I've always been an animist: I believe that all of the universe has, in a sense, life, and that like our thoughts, it is always trying to refine itself toward greater accuracy, and that it does this through a dumb process so it doesn't get neurotic and lock up like humans. It just keeps inching forward and never giving up. I can see why Jesus Christ, Buddha, etc. might call that "love."


  1. Ram Thom3:04 PM

    Everything is derivative of everything else -- panendeism comes from panentheism (God is the Universe, but also something greater than) and pandeism (God is no longer God, but became the Universe), and pandeism came from pantheism (God is the Universe) and deism (God created the Universe but now ignores it) at the same time that panentheism came from pantheism with an extra "en" thrown in for oomph. I can't say that panendeism is an advance on pandeism, since it just takes pandeism and adds an element of God that rather uselessly exists outside the Universe but does ignores it.

  2. Panendeism does not add an element of God that rather uselessly exists outside the Universe. That would be an impossibility. The Universe is the All, anything that is anything must, by definition, exist as either a part, or the whole, of the Universe. Panendeism says that the *cosmos* we experience as reality is only a part of the Universe, which is God. Pandeism, on the other hand, equates God only with the physical cosmos, denying any further element to the Universe. To a pandeist, the cosmos=the Universe=God. To a panendeist, the cosmos=part of the Universe, the Universe=God. This is actually a significant philosophical and scientific difference.


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