Panentheism: Encountering the Divine in Nature

Panentheism is a way of understanding the relationship between God and creation. There are many different ideas about how the universe and the creator of the universe interact with one another. Is God separate from the universe? Is the universe made of God? Did God create from nothing? These kinds of questions have been asked by Christians since the first centuries of the church and the debates stretch back to well before the Christian era too. These questions may feel a little bit irrelevant at first. What does the distinction between God and creation have to do with living out our lives in a meaningful way? As it turns out, these things have a big impact on how we view nature, our place in the world, and our personal relationship with the divine. David Cole and I will be leading a zoom retreat May 10-12 where we discuss all of this and we would love to have you join us.

During our time together we will be looking at a few different things like:

  1. The metaphysics of panentheism and how it differs from pantheism
  2. The mystical vision of panentheism as shown through Meister Eckhart and others
  3. Hildegard of Bingen and her teaching of greening and the life force of nature
  4. Earthy Mysticism and eco-theology
  5. Eriugena’s idea of salvation through the incarnation
  6. Quantum Consciousness and stepping out into the world

The retreat will have two sessions each day starting at 10am & 2pm EST. We will share a little bit of silence to open our time together, then have a talk presented by either myself or David, followed by some break out rooms and time for discussion and asking questions. Each session will be about 1.5 hours. There will be additional reading material and suggestions for meditation following each session so that you can continue your retreat experience between sessions and get a little break from the screen time.

This retreat is designed to give a framework for what so many of us have experienced on our own. If you feel God’s presence in the forest or hear God’s voice in the rushing of a waterfall then this way of understanding God and creation may be for you. If you know that God is present in the rising and setting of the sun yet at the same time feel like God is so completely beyond everything that no words can even speak about the divine mysteries, then you will fit right in. Panentheism makes space for both of these truths.

There is a suggested donation of £50 ($70 USD) but we never want to turn anyone away because of a lack of funds. You are welcome to attend regardless of how much you are able to pay (even nothing is ok). If you would like to register then you can email David at WaymarkMinistries@live.co.uk. Hope to see you soon!

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One thought on “Panentheism: Encountering the Divine in Nature

  1. Hey Justin – wonderful topic and best to you on your retreat.

    2 thoughts:

    You might enjoy looking over Michael Murphy’s “Evolutionary Panentheism,” which manages to integrate de chardin’s panentheism with Sri aurobindo’s integral evolutionary panentheistic vision.

    2nd, I’m not sure how you’re presenting quantum “consciousness,” because technically speaking, science as nowadays practiced has nothing (not just nothing of any value, but quite literally nothing) to contribute regarding consciousness. Arthur Zajonc, an internationally renowned physicist, has studied this issue for decades and has written eloquently of the fact that science as “pure science” is ONLY capable of speaking of quantities, with nothing ot say of qualities, much less that fundamental Being-Consciousness which is beyond BOTH quality and quantity.

    Much gratitude to you!

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