The World Pantheist Movement’s basic orienting beliefs (also known as Scientific Pantheism) are set out in the WPM belief statement. This is not a creed in the Christian sense. It is not something we recite, or that we are obliged to accept every word of. It is a guide to what the WPM is about, and it is the set of beliefs that the WPM seeks to make widely available as a spiritual option to as many people as possible. The central belief is that the universe and nature should be regarded with the deepest reverence, and nature should be treated with the deepest respect. These beliefs and values are of course shared by many people who do not call themselves pantheists, but prefer terms such as religious humanist, religious naturalist, religious atheist, or other combinations. The WPM is a natural home for those who have the same orientation, whatever terms they use to call themselves.
When we say WE REVERE THE EARTH, we mean it with just as much commitment and reverence as believers speaking about their church or mosque, or the relics of their saints. But we are not talking about supernatural powers or beings. We are saying this: We are part of nature. Nature made us and at our death we will be reabsorbed into nature. We are at home in nature and in our bodies. This is where we belong. This is the only place where we can find and make our paradise, not in some imaginary world on the other side of the grave. If nature is the only paradise, then separation from nature is the only hell. When we destroy nature, we create hell on earth for other species and for ourselves. Nature is our mother, our home, our security, our peace, our past and our future. We should treat natural things and habitats as sacred – that is, to be revered and preserved in all their intricate and fragile beauty.
When we say WE REVERE THE UNIVERSE we are not talking about a supernatural being, because we do not believe in supernatural beings. We are talking about the way our senses and our emotions force us to respond to the overwhelming mystery and power that surrounds us. We are part of the universe. Our earth was created from the universe and will one day be reabsorbed into the universe. We are made of the same matter and energy as the universe. We are not in exile here: we are at home. It is only here that we will ever get the chance to see paradise. If we believe our real home is not here but in a land that lies beyond death – if we believe that the true object of reverence is described only in old books, or found only in old buildings, or inside our head – then we will see this real, vibrant, luminous world as if through a glass darkly. The universe creates us, preserves us, destroys us. It is deep and old beyond our ability to reach with our senses. It is beautiful beyond our ability to describe in words. It is complex beyond our ability to fully grasp in science. This wonder is everywhere inside you and outside you and you can never be separated from it. Whatever else is taken from you, this can never be taken from you. Wherever you are, it’s there with you. Wherever you go, it goes with you. Whatever happens to you, it remains with you.