As you well know, I have chosen to refer to Nature/the Universe as the “Omnia” (Latin for “all” or “everything”), as I find this to be the most accurate word we can use which concurrently has a subtle feminine quality to it as well (a positive step in the right direction away from the archaic, patriarchal, male aspect… which sadly, has dominated our concepts of divinity for thousands of years). Many others in my groups have chosen to adopt this word in tandem with my regular usage and it seems to have caught on and is now growing in popularity and gaining acceptance. I am pleased with this, as I am of the personal opinion that we should attempt to incorporate new language into the discussion of Pantheism, since by all observation, our current vocabulary seems terribly limited, restrictive and inadequate when it comes to articulating these profound and ineffable ideas.
Although I use it interchangeably, I also prefer to use “Omnia” when speaking of the Universe, because the word “Universe” does not properly convey the sacred, divine qualities that actually exist in the physical world which Pantheists acutely recognize. Also, the word “Universe” in its standard, modern usage is generally considered to be a stagnate locale or place, rather than a dynamic, living, interconnected, biological system. Likewise, I believe the word “Nature” is equally lacking, in that it only describes the collective body of organisms and natural laws present that operate and run the Universe, without the critical, defining, teleological perspective that I’m trying to encourage and promote through Biopantheism.
And of course, as I’ve discussed many times before, the word “God” in common speech conveys the idea of a supernatural being that does not exist in reality. Although I don’t mind using it because it has a very different meaning for me and it works well to exemplify a point and bridge the gap between Pantheism and other forms of religion/philosophy, there is of course a downside as well, since the word “God” also carries with it far too much baggage and negative associations to be used comfortably by some. I know that “God” does not exist, but I also know that the Universe and Nature are what people down through the centuries have mistakenly worshiped, personified and equated with a personal deity… and, in many cases, promoted and enforced to maintain power and control, instill fear, provide false comfort and inspire morality and good behavior, via the delusion of an all-powerful, all-knowing, heavenly being.
In any event, ‘Omnia’ IS the Universe we live in, but It is also us, just as It is also the totality of being. It is all of Nature as well as the Life principle found within Nature. It is the unknowable Intelligence that existed before the Big Bang and It is the collective consciousness that we are all evolving into currently. It is what we will be in the future and It is what we were in the past. It is what Pantheists revere and draw inspiration from in the present and what would still exist if all the humans on Earth were gone. It is the eternal ground of being upon which all the multitudinous Life forms that have ever existed or ever will exist, will ultimately, always, emerge and grow out of, reproduce, thrive and evolve to eventually be reabsorbed back into, for the greater purpose of gaining experiential knowledge of existence through their individual subjectivity.
The Omnia wants to be diversified, but It also wants to be whole again (Dark Energy/Dark Matter, Matter and Anti-Matter). This, is the meaning of Life… and it is what accounts for the push and pull of all things, even subatomic particles. Atheists and Secular Humanists will rightly say: “There is no divine mind, no higher intelligence, the Universe operates according to fixed patterns and natural laws.” I agree… but where did “natural laws” come from? What ’causes’ them to be? Can you see that what Anti-theists are really describing is the ‘will’ ..i.e., the ‘discretion’ of a pre-existing ‘Mind’ that desired everything to exist? Like the Atheist, we agree that natural laws made everything and cause everything to be—but what ’causes’ natural laws to be? We could say, “well, Nature does” ..and what ’causes’ Nature? Can you see how it’s actually a cyclical question where we run into the problem of infinite regression? Allow me a brief personification to explain my point. Essentially, Nature does something, because it’s what Nature ‘wants’ to do… because atomically speaking, all things are traced back to the pre-Big-Bang Singularity.
The “All” as a whole does not have agency, discretion or a conscious mind right now, but It absolutely must have been conscious at some point, in order for the Big Bang to have occurred and I believe it absolutely will be once again, through us and all biological Life forms who are conscious. Likewise, It feels pain as we feel pain… because It thinks, It suffers and It ‘experiences’ everything, through us, as we experience those things (and not just through us, but all Life forms, sentient and even microbial), but there is more and it is the teleological perspective, or the ‘intent’ behind it all. What we are describing is not a coherent, cohesive mind that exists presently… but one that actually existed before time began. Right now It is scattered, differentiated, split up into trillions and trillions of forms, etc… but this was not always so. At one time, before time began, It existed as the Singularity.
Why does Nature do what It does? (or why ‘did’ It?). Philosophers and scientists should not be afraid to ask the question. This is why we have a mind and can think and reason, i.e. to ask the really, really BIG questions… and indeed, this is why we have a mind that can do so. This is what sets us apart from other animals and allows us to imagine and dream—the ability to ask questions, ruminate and ponder. “Star stuff, pondering the stars…” as Carl Sagan once said. All you have to do, is look at the outcome (and this is where teleology comes in). What has Nature done? What is It STILL doing? What is It ALWAYS doing? Creating the conditions and environments suitable for Life to develop and exist… but why? And what does Life do? It adapts and reproduces and replicates Itself and survives… but why? To continue Its own survival… why?? Look at the outcome. As It perpetuates Life, It creates biodiversity and that diversity evolves to become the most efficient at whatever it happens to be… why? So that It can continue existing… but why?? Well, what is happening through the process of existence? Life is collectively ‘experiencing’ existence… so, the answer to all of these questions is so that It can experience existence, learn, evolve and grow. And in the process, become better, smarter, more proficient, more self-conscious, more self-aware… i.e. It is gaining knowledge.
This is not conjecture or speculation. This is EXACTLY what has transpired and it IS what is happening right now. God, is learning. There is a reason for everything, otherwise it would not be (cause and effect, etc.) Life HAS evolved to become self-conscious, self-aware, highly complex, thinking, feeling, MORAL entities with discretion and volition. And what is the goal of all sentient Life according to each individual? To enjoy the experience of being alive. To co-exist and thrive. To live symbiotically, in peace and cohesion. This is what all living organisms instinctively crave and desire and it could be summed up in a word: “Homeostasis.” Can you see now where all this is going? Just look at it—we are all, ‘becoming’ God. “God” has never existed in the history of the Universe… that’s because in order for “God” to exist, It has to first become a Universe… to know, everything. To be, everywhere. To be, all-knowing. To be, all-powerful. To be… all-loving. THIS, is what the Omnia is and what It is doing.
“For when you dream, you become gods- you fly and you transform and you walk upon water. And when you dream, you are closest to Me, closest to what you once were- an omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent Mind, with limitless creative potential, envisioning what you want decisively and creating reality with each subtle thought. You are powerful beyond measure. You ARE the Creator. And one day, you will return home!”
(that’s^ the last paragraph of the last chapter in my book, “Dreaming of Portals”)
The “All” IS us… and that deity you Atheists fear to consider and you Theists falsely personify and worship, is us… in the future. and in the past. And that, is the extraordinary paradox. It’s ALL us. Just like a gigantic set of cosmic bookends!
On the subject of language and semantics, beyond just a shorthand form of the word, there’s a very important reason why I started instituting the word “Biopan” instead of “Biopantheism.” Two reasons really. One of which being because a former colleague and friend of mine Peter Moriarty, already had a previous codification or extension of Pantheism which he termed, “Biotheism.” After working together for several months, for reasons I will not get into, we ended up having a falling out and subsequently parted ways. So, the shortened version came about as a way to distance myself from his work, so that regardless of the similarity in names, there would be no confusion between his philosophy and my own. The other reason is that I don’t particularly care for the word “Pantheism” itself, as I don’t think that Pantheism is a form of “Theism” at all (not in the traditional sense anyway).
I actually wish there was a better word we could use instead of Pantheism, because it confuses many people who assume we worship Nature, or that we believe in some form of Theism, which is completely untrue of course. If anything, it is much more akin to Deism (this is why I and others have labeled Biopan as a progressive form of Omnideist Monism). Furthermore, there is no suitable word that adequately conveys exactly what we believe in (although perhaps “Biodivinity” may be a more accurate term, as far as a qualitative description of the fundamental character and essence of Nature). In time, hopefully this word will become more commonplace among Pantheists, until it is firmly established and understood by all.
The closest I could come to describing what Pantheism is to me would be something like an ‘awareness’ or ‘philosophy’, which could in time become a kind of ‘meta-religion’, that is wholly predicated on a deeper understanding of the awesome mystery, power, beauty, complexity, intelligence and overall magnificence of Nature. As I’ve said many times, we need to throw out the old definition of God and update our current definition of Nature… expand our understanding of the Universe and view all things as an interconnected, interdependent and interrelated whole. As stated before, “Omnia” is my word for Nature and the Universe—particularly, the inherent, “Life Principle” found in all things, that maintains the consistency of and immutability of all physical laws and pushes and pulls all things to self-organize, reproduce, adapt, survive, etc.
It was Peter Moriarty who originally coined the word, “Omniunum” (literally meaning, “All in One”), as a better way of describing the Universe and the active, perpetual, immanent and emergent, “Life Principle” inherent in all things. It denotes the all-ness, one-ness and none-ness” of God, as he describes it in his introduction to “Organismic Philosophy & Biotheism” (or “OPBT” for short), to which I then shortened and chose to implement the original Latin word for everything (“Omnia”), because it has a great phonetic sound that evokes something sacred and holy, with a distinctly feminine quality (hearkening back to the ancient Greek and Roman linguistic custom of ending all female names in “ia”), AND the fact that it simultaneously represents the most accurate word etymologically speaking to describe the Universe, Nature and that inexorable Life Principle in relation to the prefix “Pan” (the Greek word for “All”), since it literally means, “everything” or “the totality of all that exists.”