Monday, January 10, 2011

Non-Teleological Pantheism

What a mouthful that is, and yet it can be deliciously succinct.

Pantheism is the belief of the earth or local major planetary body (Jupiter if you're living on Europa, for example) is the supreme and ruling deity. Arguments can be made that our sun, Sol, also fits into this, but that's not where my beliefs lie, so you are welcome to discuss that amongst yourselves, in the comments or elsewhere.

As a pantheist, I see the Earth as the mother Goddess. She is female, not male, though you will sometimes catch me up in saying "He," which is residue from my upbringing in the Christian Science church. There is no "god in the sky" judging us, no "divine intervention" (though that fall more under the non-teleological portion).

Teleology is the belief in a Plan. Yes, in a Plan with a capital P. Destiny, fate, luck, divine intervention, miracles, all these fall under teleologism. However, the heading above doesn't say "Teleological Pantheism." I don't believe in fate, destiny, luck, or divine intervention. I believe in nothing more than the Science of Causality.

Fans of science-fiction will hopefully recognize at least one reference in this entry: I was introduced to Causality with The Matrix. Cause and Effect. One thing leads to another and so on and so forth: A string of dominoes, not just existing in two dimensions, but in the order of four to thirteen dimensions, depending on how theoretical I'm feeling.

The second reference comes from John DeChancie, whose Starriggers trilogy introduced us to the Teelies, who were my "original Teleological Pantheists," who succeeded in adapting their religion for a universe where humans lived and traveled frequently between local major planetary bodies.

So there it is. The basis for my beliefs in a nutshell. Feel free to direct any questions, comments, and attempts at conversion (which I will treat with humor and no seriousness) in the comments below.

If you want to read more, this is a good place to start.


  1. Not that John Varley doesn't also write great science fiction, but he does not deserve credit for the Starrigger series, since that was written by John DECHANCIE!!!

    1. Whoops. Sorry about that. Funny (or sad) that it took someone this long to notice.

  2. Let me quote from STARRIGGER, chapter 11.
    "You did what you had to do, Jake," (Susan) said. "It wasn't your fault. You have a Plan, too."
    "I do? And here I thought I was improvising so brilliantly."
    "No, no. Your task is to discover the Plan first, then go with it, accept it."
    "Uh-huh. Karma."
    "No, not Karma. Karma is another word for fate, predestination. A Plan is just that. A scheme, a plot, something to follow. Plans can be changed, but only if they have linkage with the overall design of things."

    1. Let me quote from Homeland by Mr Doctorow, chapter 14.
      As I pedaled for downtown, I realized I didn't want pleasant experiences anymore. I was done with trying to optimize my life for what would make me happy. From now on, I was going to optimize my life for whatever worked at the moment.

      Thank you for your comment, especially if you really are Mr DeChancie.

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