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Is your spiritual home right here on Earth?
On this page
Are you searching for a path which focuses on Earth and the Cosmos, rather than some imaginary beyond? Are you more concerned with saving the planet than saving your eternal soul? With making the best of your one life here, rather than longing for life in an imaginary paradise?
Do you find it hard to believe in supernatural gods, and difficult to conceive of anything worthier of the deepest respect than the beauty, power and mystery of the Universe?
Do you feel a deep sense of peace, belonging, and wonder in the midst of Nature?
Are you looking for a spirituality that respects individual choice and the rights of all living things? One that values reason and science over adherence to ancient scriptures?
If so, then you will feel at home in the World Pantheist community.
Can a spirituality be based in Nature?
In the World Pantheist Movement we revere and care for Nature, we accept this life as our only life, and this earth as our only paradise, if we look after it. We revel in the beauty of Nature and the night sky, and are full of wonder at their mystery and power.
By spirituality and spiritual we don't mean any kind of supernatural or non-physical activity. We mean our deeper emotions and aesthetic responses towards Nature and the wider Universe - our sense of our place in these, and the ethics and values that these feelings imply.
We take the real Universe and Nature as our starting and finishing point, not some preconceived idea of God. We feel a profound wonder and awe for these, in some ways similar to the reverence that believers in more conventional gods feel towards their deity, but without anthropomorphic worship or belief that Nature has a mind or personality that we can influence through prayer or ritual.
Our ethics are humanistic and green, our metaphysics naturalistic and scientific. To these we add the emotional and aesthetic dimensions which humans need to cope with life's challenges and to embrace life's joys, and to motivate their concern for Nature and human welfare.
Our beliefs and values reconcile spirituality and rationality, emotion and values and environmental concern with science and respect for evidence. They are summarized in our Pantheist Statement of Principles, which embodies the following basic principles:
- Reverence, awe, wonder and a feeling of belonging to Nature and the wider Universe .
- Respect and active care for the rights of all humans and other living beings.
- Celebration of our lives in our bodies on this beautiful earth as a joy and a privilege.
- Strong naturalism - without belief in supernatural realms, afterlives, beings or forces.
- Respect for reason, evidence and the scientific method as our best ways of understanding nature and the Cosmos.
- Promotion of religious tolerance, freedom of religion and complete separation of state and religion.
If you want to see why other people have chosen this spiritual approach, then check out Members' Voices.
Most people have a sense that there is something greater than the self or than the human race. And indeed there is. It's the planet, and at a broader level the entire Universe.
Pantheism's naturalistic reverence for Nature can satisfy the need for a feeling of belonging to a greater whole, without sacrificing logic or respect for evidence and science. As one WPM member put it, it is spirituality without absurdity.
- It does not require faith in miracles, invisible entities or supernatural powers.
- It accepts and affirms life joyously. It does not regard this life as a waiting room or a staging post on the way to a better existence after death.
- It has a healthy and positive attitude to sex and life in the body.
- It teaches reverence and love and active concern for Nature. Nature was not created for us to use or abuse - Nature created us, we are an inseparable part of her, and we have a duty of care towards her.
- It enthusiastically embraces the picture of a vast, creative and often violent Universe revealed by the Hubble Space Telescope. We need a spirituality in keeping with this new knowledge, not one that seeks to deny or explain away parts of it.
- It does not simply co-exist uncomfortably with science: it fully embraces science as part of the human exploration of the awesome Cosmos. However, this does not mean we believe that science can answer all questions, nor that we endorse all modern technologies regardless of their impact on Nature.
So why an organization?
Many people also have a deep need to belong to a community - this is perhaps the main reason why people join or stick with religions they may privately doubt. The WPM aims to provide a spiritual and social "home base" for people who love Nature and the Universe but do not believe in supernatural entities. A home base that provides the community support of local groups, and facilitators to help celebrate natural weddings, funerals and other special occasions in the style that people really want. A base where you can share your beliefs and your enthusiasms without fear of being ostracized or considered an outsider.
The WPM Statement of Principles is not a requirement of membership but simply a notice on our door, to show what we are about so people can decide if it suits them or not.
The major aims of the movement are:
- To promote the values of environmental concern
and human rights.
- To sponsor Nature conservation activities and help members to conserve Nature
- To make earth-honoring life-affirming naturalistic beliefs widely available as a spiritual option and a rational alternative to traditional religions.
- To build up membership in localities and promote the formation of local groups.
- To create a network of celebrants for Nature and life-oriented child dedications, weddings, and funerals.
- To promote an expanding presence for these beliefs and values on the Internet and in other media of all types.
- To assist in the production and publication of media promoting these beliefs and values.
If you join the WPM you will be joining a young, rapidly growing and dynamic group with an expanding range of activities. Our Facebook fan page has over 130,000 members from all over the world. Our online community has many discussions, local groups, and groups for practical pantheist living.
There have been many local meetings of members across the USA and in other parts of the world, where people have found a rare level of fellowship and stimulation. Two of the major benefits, members find, are gaining new like-minded friends and finding support for your own beliefs and attitudes to life and Nature.
How we relate to closely allied beliefs
We use the name pantheism because it has a long and venerable history. Our beliefs (see the Statement of Principles) are entirely naturalistic, and compatible with atheism, humanism, agnosticism, universalism, and those forms of paganism that see magic and the gods as symbols rather than objective realities.
We offer a home to all forms of naturalistic spirituality - scientific pantheism, religious humanism, religious naturalism, positive atheism, deep ecology, philosophical Taoism, modern Stoicism, Gaia religion, Western forms of Buddhism that celebrate Nature and daily life without supernatural beliefs, and to those in Unitarian Universalism who do not believe in supernatural beings.
You are completely free to adopt the terms and practices you prefer and draw on other traditions for inspiration. Most of us avoid "god-language" and the rest use it metaphorically. Some call this a religion (a positive one), while others call it a philosophy, a way of life, or a form of general spirituality.
Please explore our pages. Check out the highlights un the left pane, and browse the menu at the top. If you have any questions, please contact us.