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Afterlife in Pantheism?

So it would appear in most philosophies of Pantheism, there isn't any kind of afterlife?
There isn't any kind of soul, or spirit, anything like that?

How does this differ from Panentheism?
 

Jainarayan

ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
Staff member
Premium Member
They both say that God is everything and everything is God. This is not unlike Brahman in Hinduism, which btw is both pantheistic and panentheistic without being mutually exclusive. Brahman is technically not God, but for the sake of discussion we'll dispense with that. Sarvam khalvidam brahma ... "all this is Brahman". After death we shed our physical bodies. If we believe we are nondifferent from God, then we exist after death. Now, this is all just my belief based on Hindu scriptures, specifically the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna first lays all this out in chapter 2. He reassures Arjuna that we will always exist: Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. Then later on in the discourse expands on it. So I believe there must be an afterlife in both.
 

George-ananda

Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
Premium Member
So it would appear in most philosophies of Pantheism, there isn't any kind of afterlife?
There isn't any kind of soul, or spirit, anything like that?

How does this differ from Panentheism?
There is nothing in pantheism or panentheism that says there isn't an afterlife in our relative reality. In our relative reality we certainly have a physical body so why not subtle astral and soul bodies interpenetrating the physical body?

I am a pantheist (Advaita Vedanta) and for other reasons also believe in an afterlife and reincarnation and I consider it all compatible beliefs.
 

Quintessence

Consults with Trees
Staff member
Premium Member
I'm guessing from the framing "philosophies of pantheism" you've mostly been looking at naturalistic pantheism, right? It's true naturalistic pantheism isn't going to give much (if any) conservation to common notions of the afterlife, or to anything else that lies outside of physicalist accountings of reality.

Pantheism as a whole defies the typical Western dualistic assumptions about what "matter/nature" and "spirit/gods" means. They are more or less viewed as one in the same. As such it would seem a bit odd for me to consider pantheism as anything other than inherently accepting of reincarnation since reincarnation - stuff being broken down to become part of other stuff - is readily observed even in daily life. Pantheism isn't going to be preoccupied with some eternal/unchanging immortal soul, granted, but that's only one perspective on that metaphysics. The universe/gods are constantly changing and transforming. Why would any part of it be unchanging? Panentheism could account for that, perhaps, as one could find that something must be "beyond" nature (i.e., supernatural) to be unchanging.
 

Guitar's Cry

Disciple of Pan
So it would appear in most philosophies of Pantheism, there isn't any kind of afterlife?
There isn't any kind of soul, or spirit, anything like that?

How does this differ from Panentheism?

As a pantheist, I equate God with with Universe itself. We are a part of God in this view. Our consciousness is the Universe observing itself from distinct points. In this way, our deaths are only part of ourselves dying. The "afterlife" is a melting back into the Whole.

Another thought. Since what makes up my consciousness is based on this particular pattern of the Universe I find myself observing, and if rearranging all of the Universe enough to allow this particular pattern to reform would allow this observing Self to reemerge, then could the soul (from my particular pantheistic perspective) be a sort of Platonic blueprint that emerges when the Universe arranges itself in a particular way?
 
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