Pantheism, the personal feeling that everything is or contains God, and God is everything or all. The concept that God is immanent in all things is one of the oldest intuitions found in humankind. However, pantheism never developed into a formal doctrine. Pantheism is the belief system of those who hold that the entire universe is the only God. This worldview and philosophical doctrine affirms that the entire universe, nature and God are the same. In other words, existence (everything that was, is and will be) can be represented through the theological notion of God.
Each existing creature, according to pantheism, is a manifestation of God, which adopts human, animal, vegetable, etc. form. For many experts, pantheism is the nexus that unites non-creationist religions, as well as appearing in the essence of polytheism.
It is not usually considered as a religion, but rather as a conception of the world or a philosophy. Because of its amplitude, it can be understood in different ways.
Pantheism may consider that the divine reality is the only existing reality. The entire universe, therefore, is a manifestation or an emanation of God. In another sense, pantheism can understand that the world is the only true reality: God, in this case, is reduced to the world and becomes the self-consciousness of the universe or the organic principle of the natural.
Several of the leading thinkers in the history of mankind are considered as pantheists. Heraclitus, for example, argued that the divine is present in the totality of things. For Plotinus, God is the beginning of the whole, although not the whole. Giordano Bruno, on the other hand, supported the existence of the soul of the world, which is the general form of the universe. For Baruch de Spinoza, finally, nothing can be conceived outside of God.
The earliest evidence of pantheism is found on Brahmanism, the oldest existing religion, in the Vedas, dating back to 1000 BC. It is associated with the Egyptian religion when Ra, Isis and Osiris were identified with all existence.
Many philosophical scholars think the great Greek philosopher Parmanides was a pantheist as well as Plotinus, Erigen, and Spinoza.
The sentiment or belief in pantheism have predominantly influenced the thoughts and works of many poets, philosophers, mystics, and extremely spiritual people. Notably among pantheistic poets are Goethe, Coleridge, Wordsworth and Emerson. Many modern poets consider pantheism existing in their world-view. A.G.H.