One of the best ways to get to know a group
is through its members’ voices. So it’s not surprising that this page is one of the most
frequently visited on the World Pantheist Movement site, and rightly so. It is a unique
collection of spiritual wisdom, hard come by, deeply felt, and moving.
When people join the World
Pantheist Movement or the natural/scientific pantheism mailing list, they are asked to say
why they became a pantheist. The answers to this question have gradually built up into
an inspiring library of brief accounts of spiritual exploration and insight.
Copyright belongs in all cases to the named writers. Collection copyright ©2000 World Pantheist Movement.
I was flying back from Baltimore, flying out
of Dulles International Airport on Saturday, August 12, 2000, and had a divine encounter,
for lack of better words. The moon was full; there were mountains of clouds, storm clouds
all about us. I leaned up and looked out only to see the black sky sprinkled with stars,
accompanying the moon. Then off in the distance with the stars and the moon, there was
lightning. Some of it blew up in balls or bursting light, some of it was bolts. It lit up
the clouds, lining them, displaying density, depth and magnitude; it made the universe
accessible to me. I cried. I had the most calm and clear feeling that I belonged to this,
that I am part of this universe, not separate but with the universe, of it, one with it.
Alaska was like nothing I’d ever experienced.
Such vastness, such wildness, such diversity – I immersed myself in it, and it taught me
to love the other places I visited. For the first time, I was able to gaze with wonder at
a hawk circling over the interstate in Ohio – a sight I’d seen hundreds of times before,
but it had just never registered as an important sight. Now, every detail of the world
took on new meaning. It is a big, beautiful universe out there, and our little tiny corner
of it is enough to inspire endless awe. Once when I was hiking, I paused to watch the
sunset colors on the view before me. I overheard a nearby couple talking. One said to the
other, "When you see something like this, you can’t help but know that it was created
by God." And I had just been thinking to myself, "Isn’t it miraculous and
incredible that this astounding sight just appeared out of the random chaos of the
universe? How wonderful!" I am a pantheist because I believe in the miracle of the
universe, I believe that by being the best person I can be – loving, compassionate,
inquisitive, seeking justice, being respectful – I am adding what I can to the universe
while I am here. When I am gone, I am stardust, and nothing could be better than that.
For as long as I can remember I’ve looked up
in awe at the heavens and wondered. I’ve sat on hilltops in the dead of night, moved to
tears at its still beauty. The wild oceans and landscapes of Earth have the same effect. I
believe there’s an inherent magic to Life, and we should make the most of what we can in
this miraculous realm.
I have always felt a spiritual connection to
nature. I lived in New Mexico for five years. EVERY TIME I climbed to the top of the mesa
I felt like I was in church more than when I was actually in a church! I love rocks and
have been a rock worshipper for a long time before I even knew in my heart that I was a
When I was a child, I spent a week alone in
the woods. One day, I wanted to see how high in a tree I could climb. After overcoming my
fear, and going very high in an old, hardy maple, I came out on top of the canopy. I
cannot describe the emotions or feelings of that time. It was another universe, made up
only of leaves swaying below me, and blue sky above. I can still close my eyes and see it.
I became a pantheist at that moment.
I believe in one divinity, eternal Nature, the
sum of all that is, and hold sacred the nourishing Earth, our beautiful home. I rejoice in
this life, and express this in grateful worship of Nature, and respect for all sentient
beings and the biosphere.
Tor Myrvang, Rome, Italy
I believe in Heaven on Earth, and that each
person’s existence is what that person makes of their life here and now. I believe in
living this life for the here and now, and not living this life for the hope that I might
be given something greater for my worship later on.
The most vivid experience of my childhood was
the sight of the stars overhead – beautiful, mysterious, unreachable. The most exciting
was the pursuit of other living beings in ponds, in desert, by the seaside. To understand
these things I turned to science, which taught me everything but what it all meant. I
became a skeptic of all spiritual and supernatural systems. All science and all religion
were just thoughts. The only real thing was the experience. When I discovered this web
page I realized that the phrase "scientific pantheism" described very well where
I was now.
I am part of the universe. I am privileged to
use this body to experience the beauty and wonder of mortal life. I try to live fully,
each moment. I’ll live as morally and happily as possible. I don’t know the place of
origin or the place of transcendence. It doesn’t matter! Living is the journey, there is
Ernest Hopkins, California
At the heart of what I believe is awe and
oneness with the universe/ nature/Mother Earth. Just yesterday I was thinking about the
not so far off death of my parents and how they view death. Then it came to me that I
won’t be afraid, I will become ‘one’ again with all that I revere and love.
I believe that human nature is simply natural
and that it is not ugly or sinful. I believe in evolution and that when I pass away, my
body and my life force will return to the earth and join back with the circle of life.
I have tremendous peace in the thought that
when I die, my elements will be recycled back into the universe. We always have existed,
and always will exist in some form.
As painful as it is to swallow, I no longer
believe in an ongoing being named Brian Bartholomew upon my demise. I now believe that the
only reason I am concerned with that person is due to the fact it is an integration at
this moment. Upon my disintegration the need for my continued concern disappears. Dammit!
I love it here!
I believe that people only subscribe to the
other faiths of the world to medicate their fear of death. When I die, I know that my
energy will be incorporated into the biosphere. The faintest glimpses of stars on a dark
night stir my soul.
Wade Farge, Texas
I feel a sense of being overpowered in the
presence of nature. I have to sit down, close my eyes to take the feeling to my soul. It
feels like I have a strange power within me, like all the little molecules within me are
listening to a voice. This is the only time I am moved beyond speech. I feel a sense of
oneness with my surroundings. A great sense of peace settles over me. I became a pantheist
because it is THE only thing that moves me in this entire world. I want to live every
second of my life, savour every breath in this precious body of mine. Glorious life, I
want to embrace it and live it to the fullest.
M. A., India
I believe the only ultimate reality is the
natural world which I hold sacred.
I cannot remember a time when I didn’t love
nature, and feel that only there, was I in my one true home. Everything I explored in the
woods and around the lake. when I was growing up, was a miracle to me. I simply could not
join the church; it seemed too much like emotional blackmail. I’ve called myself a pagan
before, and I think I’ve always been a pantheist in spirit.
When I was quite young, I remember writing on
a school notebook "Nature is my god". But through the years I tried to conform
to a faith that simply didn’t ring true to me. Then, this past summer, my family visited
Muir Woods outside of San Francisco. As I entered the magnificent forest, I could not
speak. I had the deepest sense of standing within a cathedral, more magnificent than any
building ever created. This experience led me to seek again to understand the roots of my
beliefs, and I discovered Pantheism a few months later. I now feel a peace that was always
Even as a child, I was never happy except
outside communing with nature. Being indoors seems to suppress my spirit and I can only
feel free outside. Just walking to classes, I am overcome with the awe of what is around
I believe "god" is an acronym for
I was always taken by the wonder of the
natural world. Some of my happiest times have been lying in my backyard identifying all
the little weeds most people never even notice. It requires no faith, just an ability to
appreciate what is!
I’ve always described nature as sort of my
religion. Because no matter how I feel, I can look at the world around me and find so much
meaning. To me, nature is the most beautiful art that can ever be imagined.
Nature is as much my mother as the wonderful
woman who bore me. Nature provides us with food, protection, friends, beauty and life. I
wish to provide her with the same. I now know that I am not separated from nature, but a
part of it. I have all of the power of nature within me. Before I had limits, now I have
My most profound and lasting spiritual
experiences are centered around nature and my being a part of it. I feel that my heart,
sometimes my whole body, is transformed by the beauty I see in the world. It is a physical
experience, an opening. I feel that the void that is created by my separation from nature
is being filled by the sunshine and rain, the winds and the dirt the feel of my feet on
the Earth. It is an experience I am sure others have, but words do no justice to. My soul
is transported by the Winds, and my body is comforted and sheltered by the World.
I have a sense of awe at things as diverse as
the texture of bark on trees or the image of a solar flare or even the song of a bird. To
believe these things exist separately from that which is sacred seems ludicrous.
Caring for the earth
A common Pagan chant, "The Earth is Her
body, we must take care of Her," personifies the planet. In doing so, it has the
effect of subliminally portraying a *separation* between "us" and
"Her" (the Earth). A more scientifically accurate expression might be, "The
Earth is *our* body, we must take care of *us*" (with the "us" including
everything on the planet, not just humans).
Robin ni Dana
I believe that too many people put themselves
above the Earth, like it belongs to them. We are part of it all, not better than any other
living thing. We, as a society, tend to believe that we can control the happenings on this
earth, forgetting that we "own" nothing and we are simply here to be part of
nature and help and enjoy it. Too many of us are disconnected from the Earth’s beauty and
magic…and I believe that is at the root of our most pressing problems.
I am a Pantheist because I feel much more
spiritual in a park or the woods than I ever have inside a church, with a preacher yelling
about why I am going to hell. I recognize that every living thing is made up the same
matter. We (as humans) are as much a part of nature as trees and dirt. The Earth provides
us with life: without the planet, there would be no human beings, nor anything else. And
as quickly as we destroy the planet, we also destroy ourselves.
I feel the essence of our living planet in my
bones. I live, eat and breathe in order to help others know this connection as well, so
that we may live in harmony with our planetary home.
Pantheism isn’t a "cult" religion to
me, but a basic understanding of life and the universe. We are all interconnected and me
must all learn to respect and get along with each other in order to make the Earth a
positive place. My one definable goal in life is to leave the Earth as a more positive
place than when I entered it.
Clint Burr Jr
I am strongly involved with creating an better
environment, that would involve the depletion of racism, homophobia, classism, sexism, and
most other discriminations. I believe we must work to become one with each other and our
Rather than needing to believe in stories
about the world and its creation, I prefer to seek spirituality in the world itself, in
what I know, see, feel and experience every day.
I became an agnostic because traditional
Western religions required that I betray my mind. Other belief systems seemed either to
require that I betray my body or my heart. For years I did nothing until it occurred to me
one day that I might celebrate the earth, the universe and myself in ritual and study
exactly as other religions did but without their dogma. Thus I am a pagan, but a pagan
whose worship is celebratory rather than "magickal."
I worship the world.
I celebrate the concept of immanence and find
the sacred and holy in all things.
Believing in only God makes me feel helpless.
Believing in only atoms makes me feel purposeless. It has to be something else. I can’t
read it in a book, but when I look through a telescope, stand on a mountaintop, watch a
sunset, or hold a child in my arms, I feel I am nearly breathing it. It is my reason for
wondering, my reason for hope.
I remember sitting in the sun and picking up
sand and being awe-struck by it as a pre-verbal child. I remember as a teenager that I
cried for joy at the beauty of trees. As a technology student I remember learning that
stars are the furnaces that forge the material we are composed of. As a counselor, I now
know that life is all about participation in life with the full range of our feelings
intact. The Universe is divine and life is sacred. It is bigger than me, and I can turn to
it for solace, serenity and guidance, in despair or joy.
To me a miraculous thing is a cat always
landing on its feet, the plants and weeds that grow between the cracks of a 4th floor
cement balcony as well as the anthills, bees collecting pollen, shooting stars or the
wonder of no two snowflakes being alike. The universe is a beautiful thing and needs to be
revered and preserved.
I used to be a strict Southern Baptist. On my
journey, I realized I primarily experienced God in the stability of the trees, the silent
beauty of the stars, in another person. I depended less and less on the Bible, and opened
myself up to the universe and grew less fearful and more happy.
While searching my heart, being, and
surroundings for ultimate Truths, my love and reverence always returns to our immense and
wondrous Universe. I’m simply blown away by the vastness and possibilities of this
Universe. From the tiniest sub-atomic particles, to the violent and beautiful nebulas
I am of African-American/West Indian/ and
Cherokee heritage. I remember feeling a sense of the Divine – in the forest, sitting at
the edge of a creek, in the swamps of Mississippi, in the caves of Georgia – but never in
church – not in Druid or Wicca ritual. I like the idea of a non-escapist religion. So, I’m
basically here on a quest for a religion that deals with the real – that incorporates
science into it’s teachings, but leaves room for awe.
It’s the only tangible religion.
The beauty of the world and all living beings
surrounds us. How can one not be in awe each moment about existing here in this UNIVERSE.
Kerri Anne Huckabee
Revering the Universe
The evidence of my
senses tells me there is most definitely a universe. I agree to call it the only true
divinity merely because I recognise no other divinity. However, the term ‘divinity’ does
not mean to me what the term God does to a Christian or a Moslem or a Jew. I do not grovel
before the Universe, nor do I worship it (though I do dance alone under the moon). I
respect the Universe, its laws and its workings (those tiny few I understand and the vast
complexity of those I will never have a hope of understanding). I am in total awe of and
in love with It. I believe and feel that I am an interconnected part of It. The idea
thrills me to my very bones. I am a tiny strand in its totality. When my personal
consciousness flickers out, like the flame of a candle, I hope the people I have loved
will retain some happy memories of me. I also believe the beautiful truth that the matter
and energy that make up my physical body will be re-integrated into various parts of
Nature, like the earth, the rivers, seas and winds. It is all so simple. So beautiful.
I KNOW the Universe is Alive, and that I am to
it as a cell is to my own body; an intrinsic part of a greater whole. This is something
that transcends "belief" or "faith"; it is as immediate and realizable
as the knowledge of the fingers at the end of my hand.
I’m basically an atheist with a religious need
and a devotion to the power of science. The universe itself is the greatest
creation/entity we ARE aware of. There is nothing evident that is more worthy of
No one’s watching us, looking after us,
looking out for us. But there’s more to it than that. You are actually part of the
universe, and you’re alive, and everything in the universe is energy in motion, a flux of
heterogenous matter. It’s so amazing that when I want to express it the only words that
have the right kind of force are words like "sacred" "spirit" and
While searching my heart, being, and
surroundings for ultimate Truths, my love and reverence always returns to our immense and
wondrous Universe. I’m simply blown away by the vastness and possibilities of this
Universe. From the tiniest sub-atomic particles, to the violent and beautiful nebulas
As one who believes that what we see is all
that there is – nothing less but, also nothing more – I also feel an affinity to the
cosmos. I wouldn’t call it divine, but I would call it sacred, significant, meaningful as
though it were divine. The consequence is: the world to me is god-like. That, in my eyes,
makes me a Pan-theist.
I have always felt a "kinship" with
earth, from the tiniest speck of sand to the oceans. I have always found the universe awe
inspiring. I cannot conceive of anything more powerful and am unable to believe in an
intelligence greater than the universe itself.
Combining reason and spirit
Pantheism is a movement that makes rationalism
compatible with an almost mystical sense of awe at the very beauty and reality of our
existence. it’s not about answers, it’s not about faith. It is about a rationally inspired
profound state of mind that transcends the limits of religion.
I have tried to find a belief system where
logic and common sense are the cornerstones — not the stumbling blocks.
Scientific pantheism is a perfect combination
of rational thinking and nature oriented spirituality.
Over hundreds or thousands of years
traditional religions all have become weighed down with the dogmatic "baggage"
of our ancestors, or the irrational world views of times long past. Either way, I cannot
honestly approach these systems without compromising reason. Mine is a world of sense,
emotion and experience.
Chris Donaldson, Texas
I yearn for a way of integrating my love of
science with the primal sense of wonder.
A consequence of G”del’s Incompleteness
Theorem is that a type of "rational mysticism" is logically supportable.
Tony Van der Mude
I love the oneness of pantheism – how I don’t
have to divide the way I think into two modes, one for day to day science and another for
believing in heaven and hell.
I have always felt that people must believe in
themselves, and that we are not so low that we must worship anything, but should revere
what we have and live this life counting on the power of nature and ourselves.
I became seriously disillusioned with the
Anglican church when I was an adolescent, and left. I have been looking for something else
ever since, some way of defining the deep and spiritual reverence I feel for this physical
world, the science that attempts to describe it and the universe that we are a part of.
I have always known that our true mother is
Nature. Sagan helped me understand that the Cosmos is Nature’s Mother, and that we are all
made of Star Stuff. For many of us, there is much more to non-belief than mere Atheism.
Scientific Pantheism is, to me, the next level of Atheism.
Simple dry atheism, although descriptive of my
beliefs about the literal existence of gods and spirits, was not sufficient to express my
developing world view; I didn’t just disbelieve something, I also began to BELIEVE in
something: in living life fully, awarely, in the here and now, instead of shutting myself
off from it out of some misguided notion that such alienation is "spiritual." I
began to find myself saying things like, "The truly spiritual path does not lead us
out of the world but through the midst of the world," and, "This life, this
world, is holy." For me, calling the universe "god" does not accurately
convey my experience of it. Rather than making the universe my god, I prefer to view my
experience as one of having gone beyond the god-oriented paradigm, from "having a
god" to embracing something more elemental and profound: Life Itself, the Cosmos
Itself, as an ever-changing tapestry in which I am one thread contributing to the living
When I would say I was an Atheist, people
believed this to mean that I not only didn’t believe in God, but that I was running around
in my life with no set of governing factors, no belief system, no meaning. This is not the
case. Scientific Pantheism seems to encompass all that I was trying to convey to people
about my beliefs and puts a title to it.
I was raised in an American Indian family in
Montana. Growing up, I was taught a deep respect and reverence for nature. My family
belonged to a Christian Church that seemed alien and barren. So, as a young man I began
searching the libraries for a philosophy that put in words what I felt growing up among a
people who for thousands of years had worshipped nature. I eventually discovered the
writings of Spinoza, and realized that what I felt was called Pantheism. That was nearly
30 years ago. In trying to explain to others my religious beliefs, I was branded an
Atheist. I resigned myself to that judgement, and have been living all these years
thinking I was an Atheist. Now at last I feel I have come home to a philosophy that truly
reflects my way of thinking and a group of people who share my beliefs.
Science and Spirit
The pursuit of a truly accurate understanding
of the Universe is a spiritual journey – the truest aim of science is in essence
spiritual. To look as unflinchingly as possible at what can be known as accurately and
truthfully as possible, and to remain conscious of the joy and wondrousness of existence,
is I think the highest aim of both religion and science. In this endeavor spirituality and
scientific inquiry are inseparable – they are one and the same pursuit.
Robin ni Dana
I need the truth, I hate bullshit. I feel
compelled to expose and arrest hypocrisy, false idolatry, and mankind’s spastic
destruction of the universe. I can’t begin to put into words the amazingness of infinity,
fractals, diatoms, mathematical formulas for how things grow. Wow! It would all be SO
unbelievable if we didn’t have it in front of us every day to admire and protect.
Anna McColl, California
During my work as a scientist, I am required
to think critically about hypotheses, experiments, and hard data, and I am required to
challenge all assumptions. There is simply no room in research for fuzzy explanations and
hand waving. When I leave the lab and enter the real world, I find it difficult to turn
these faculties off. Thus I am drawn toward a naturalistic world view, saturated by
science. When I look into the night sky, I see the fusion reactions of stars and the
curved space-time through which the planets and their satellites move. I do not believe
the universe was created. Rather, I believe that it is SELF-EXISTING. As such, its very
existence is the profoundest of mysteries. Thus, if anything can inspire awe and be called
divine, it is the Universe itself. Moreover, the divine is directly accessible to us
through our senses. It is these beliefs that make me a pantheist.
I have worked in planetariums and science
museums for 25 years, and I guess I have been teaching scientific pantheism all this time.
I have long tried to explain that death is only part of the existence of the on going
universe. I love the line "we have loved the stars too well to fear the night".
I feel that without the acceptance of a view that embraces humanity and the universe as a
whole, humankind is on a path of oblivion. Look into a small telescope at a faint cluster
of galaxies and realize that you are seeing and are part of a vast system that we can only
barely comprehend, and you open your mind to the peace that comes with the understanding
that we will always be part of this reality.
At heart, I am a skeptic. Unfortunately, I was
raised in a strict, dogmatic church. I spent years trying to reconcile what I’d been
taught with my passion: science. Two years ago, when I was fifteen, I finally gave up and
stopped believing in the Judeo-Christian faith entirely. In order to distance myself from
my former religion, I tried to get away from *all* religion. However, after about a year,
I realized that, although I don’t believe in "god" as an individual deity, there
was a spiritual void in my life. I turned to what I loved most: science. I am in awe of
nature, especially biology. I find it incredible that 3 billion As and Cs and Ts and Gs in
DNA make us who we are. That gives me far more satisfaction than simply believing that I
am who I am simply because "God made me that way," as I’d been taught.
When I was a child, I was in love with the
universe and the earth and all the sciences that study and illuminate them. I considered
that if I had a religion at all, it was science, because it was in science that I most
found a way to understand the awe and love I felt for the natural world. As I grew older,
these things were "taught out" of me by my religious upbringing, and my
disappointments over the corporatization of science tainted my deepest expression of awe.
Now I am beginning to come back to where I started, now old enough to begin to heal and
retake what I sense intuitively as the truest understanding of the cosmos and my place in
I have pondered the beauty of the universe and
knowledge for as long as I can remember. If such a thing as `worship’ exists then my
worship is the act of observing and questioning. Nothing is more awesome for me than the
natural world. I am strongly attracted to physical ‘structures’ which echo and resonate
with the vibrations of the cosmos.
I believe that there is no
"supernatural". All that exists, every phenomenon, explainable or not, is
natural because it exists.
There is no supernatural – the natural is
I have a strong inner intuition of the unity
of Universe and Life, of the common source of matter and soul and its common destiny. I
believe science is the only tool to explore reality, whether external Nature at large or
our internal reality. I think that man has a religious dimension that can only be
repressed at his damage, and that it must be consciously channeled in order to avoid
Oscar Luis Rigiroli, Argentina
I am a biologist and as a scientist, I never
understood how one could study the inexplicable magical beauty and wonder of creation and
not be drawn close to The All That Is. Science is a tool of observation through which we
might gain a greater understanding of something so fantastic it defied meager language.
Only the language of love, through the channels of acceptance, empathy, art, and music,
approach the multidimensional fluency to touch the skirt of how wondrous the Life we share
As a scientist, I am happy to look down the
hierarchy for an understanding of the parts and their properties. As a pantheist, my
spirituality finds its expression at the highest reaches of the hierarchy. When I say that
my god is coterminous with the cosmos I hope to imply that my god is that system for which
there is no supersystem. I hasten to add that my god is NOT anything and everything, but
rather the ALL. I do not worship each and every part, but rather the whole shebang as a
totality. I can accept the loss of a single tree, but I will fight to save the forest. The
biosphere is more sacred to me than any single species, including Homo sapiens.
I feel a growing sense of connectedness to
others, to the wider community, to the world itself. This isn’t simply a cognitive thing,
it’s very deeply emotional, a kind of trust in a unity which embraces everything.
E=MC² means everything is one. God IS and
always WAS ‘everything’. We were born of the material from stars and will return to the
stars. Our energy, like all energy is in constant flux. We will change forever.
When I look up to the night sky filled with
stars, a part of me joins with it. I feel the power of "god" in the thunderstorm
and rejoice in its coming. I breathe in the scent of the woodlands and I am refreshed. Am
I not part of all…and all in me?
Thank the rain, it pours over me and brings
growth where stagnant water once pooled. Thank the Sun, without it, no fire to burn deep
in my belly. Thank the wind, it whispers the past, and talks of what is coming. Stand
still and listen. Thank the Moon, without it I have no longings or hearts desire. Thank
the Earth, without it, I have Nothing to Stand ON!
Catherine Maples, Missouri
Try sitting quietly in a natural setting, or
just walking in a wood, or sailing on the ocean, away from the distractions of human urban
society and ask yourself what you feel. A sense of connection perhaps? Can you feel
yourself being alive? What is that pounding through your veins, feeding your brain so that
you can think and be aware. Why does that green leaf look and smell and feel so good? Why
does the sight of a leaping whale fill you with awe and love? Why do the stars sparkle so
brightly for you? And what is that sensation rising in your chest, so that you draw in air
and stand fixed, gazing into infinity? As above, so below. Within you and without you. All
is one. That from which we came, and that to which we will all return.
When I sit and look out to the ocean, I feel a
real connection, almost as though the waves and I are one. I feel an energy.
What you see is what you get
For me, the essence of prayer is
"Wow!" and evangelism is "Look!"
Suzanne Rebert, Kentucky
The ‘revealed’ religions assert that ‘God is
all around’ but the personal God they mean is not evident to me. The universe is evident,
it fills my senses all through the day. A thunder storm can cause more exaltation in me
than a thousand rousing church sermons. I do not condemn ceremony in fact I think there
should be more of it, but for me, it must be based in something I believe in. Celestial
events are worth celebrating, the birthday of a man because lots of people think he is the
son of God is not. We are all the Children of God, we are born from the stuff of the
Universe and to the Universe we shall return.
I believe in being able to see, smell, taste,
hear, and touch my religion.
Linda Zeno, Florida
I believe that what you see is what you get.
This is it. There ain’t no more. Yet the universe, nature, the workings of life are
Searching and Finding
Oh, the search, the
quest I have been on, from evangelical to humanist! I have felt closest to a mix of Quaker
and Taoist traditions as Buddhist seemed too empty and humanist too sterile!!! I have now
come home to a land of nature and cosmic reverence!
Even as a little girl, the things I was told
to believe did violence to my rational consciousness. My mind and heart screamed NO, but I
was forced to say yes. Years of guilt, fear, shame, anger, questioning, doubt, sadness . .
. When my elder sister died suddenly, all I had were questions and emptiness so I said:
"Fie on your decrees and proclamations! I have a right to search things out for
myself." Paganism made most sense for awhile, because it acknowledged the
magnificence of all that is, but still I was being asked to believe in things that flew in
the face of reason, science, and simple *beingness.* Ritual ritual ritual: what about just
being barefoot on grass and soaking up sunshine?
I needed a religion which was as deep as space
and as close as a heartbeat; that was bigger than all life but small enough to include a
tiny insect; that could know the potential for evil in humans but understandably forgive.
Harland Carney Jr, Philadelphia
At 15 I got pregnant. I couldn’t understand
why everyone at church was looking down on me and my child when I was bringing a wonderful
new life into the world. I thought that life was sacred not something to frown upon. I
stopped going to church because I was being shunned and constantly told I was damned to
hell. At 5 days old my son died in my arms. I heard his last heartbeat, watched him gasp
for breath, watched him suffer for two hours as died. After that I no longer believed in
the compassionate God I was raised to believe in. After years of soul searching I was
directed to the SciPan home page. When I read the credo I was amazed and pleased because
finally someone had described my religion to the letter. And ever since then I am proud to
say I am a Scientific Pantheist.
Dolli Baker, Tennessee.
I am only 15 years old, yet I find myself
constantly lost inside my head, asking questions about life and the universe beyond my
years and I feel such feelings of loneliness and anxiety, as I try to find a guide in my
life. Now after going through these pages, I find that it is based on everything I stand
for, and I am very relieved that I may have found something to believe in.
Tash King, New Zealand.