1 month 5 days ago - 1 month 10 hours ago#61213by gnomon
The Cosmos is a Manifestation of God
Panendeism --- The God of Philosophers & Mystics In 1828, the German philosopher Karl Christian
Friedrich Krause (1781–1832) seeking to reconcile
monotheism and pantheism, coined the term panentheism
(from the Ancient Greek expression πᾶν ἐν θεῷ, pān en
theṓ, literally “all in god”).
Varieties of Theism : Religious sages throughout the ages have presented a variety of ways to imagine the invisible deity who presumably animates & operates the otherwise mechanical natural world, and whom some assumed must have created & sustained the entire Cosmos. Yet the earliest notions of spirits & deities predated the concept of incomprehensible Cosmos or astronomical Universe, and even of the flat Earth as an enormous spherical world. Primitive Homo Sapiens had a circumscribed worldview limited to an area within a few days walk of their campsite. They may have heard rumors of strange places over in the next valley or on the other side of a river. But their gods were typically parochial, and identified with specific places. However, as humanity's knowledge of the physical world expanded, so too did their concept of powerful-but-mysterious deities. Animism, which envisioned magical spirits in all living things, eventually became formalized into Polytheism, with a variety of gods performing specialized tasks in running the world and ruling over humans. Eventually, Monotheism emerged as the preferred form of religion, first in Egypt as official deity of an ethnic group (henotheism) /see Varieties of Monotheism below/
, and later among the Hebrew tribes that evolved into Israelites and Jews, with their sacred scriptures. It is now the core belief among the Abrahamic religions, and the dominant god-model on the planet.
Varieties of MonoDeism : Most people today may not be aware that other forms of Monotheism actually predated the national God of Israel. Actually, the Israelites may have adopted the notion of a single universal deity from the Egyptian religion of pharaoh Akenaten, who may have ruled near the time of the Hebrew sojourn in that foreign land. Varied-but-similar notions of a single all-encompassing divine entity were held by the learned philosophers, sages, and scribes of several polytheistic societies. /see Types of Monotheism below/
Among those unitary god-constructs were the concepts of Deism, PanDeism, and PanEnDeism. Modern Deism was originally a variation on traditional MonoTheism, but which rejected the divine authorship of ancient scriptures, and instead accepted the mundane scientific method of discerning truth about the world. Due to the skeptical attitude of Science, popular notions of anthro-morphic deities were rejected as merely projections and elaborations of human desires and feelings. Yet, the idea of some kind of universal causal power behind the scenes of natural processes was hard to dismiss. Consequently, the vague general notion of Deism, God is Nature, eventually evolved into more specific philosophical definitions of the necessary attributes & properties of The Deity. For example, if the deity was identified with empirical reality, that god-model was called PanDeism (PD), meaning “God is All Things” (i.e. the whole universe). But a few metaphysical thinkers concluded that the scope of the deity might extend beyond the physical space-time universe into uncharted regions of metaphysical eternity-infinity. That “God is Mind” notion was originally called PanEnTheism (PET), but in a further departure from anthro-morphic tradition, the amorphous behind-the-scenes Mind & Matter deity became known as PanEnDeism (PED). Some applications of PET retain aspects of the traditional Abrahamic concept of a masculine personal deity who loves his creatures. But PED typically views the deity as more like an eternal logical principle than as a humanoid being. Since the claimed miracles of Theism are believed rather than observed, the -deism appendix suggests the more scientific inference that the creation is evolving exactly as intended --- including Yin & Yang, good & evil features --- and requires no tinkering or intervening. However, as inferred from the reality around us, that abstract “ground of being" must possess at least the potential for emotional expressions and interpersonal relations, such as love, if not from god to human, then from human to human, or even as exemplified by many non-human creatures. In the PED definition, G*D encompasses not only all things in the space-time universe, but all possible things & qualia in the eternal-infinite realm of divine mind/consciousness --- which we might call the "mono-verse" to distinguish it from the materialist presumptions of "universe".
Historical examples of PED : The vaguely-defined & impersonal-abstract god-concept of Deism, and its more philosophically-specific variant PanEnDeism, is not normally held by the rank & file masses of world religions. Instead, such an esoteric god-model is typically limited to a few metaphysical (philosophical) and mystical/magical theorists, who concede more tangible god-models (idols) for their less-sophisticated fellows. I will discuss a few examples of those transcendent & intellectual counterparts to the more common mundane & concrete concepts of God. Unless otherwise noted, ● bulleted quotes are excerpted from
___ 1. Perhaps the most famous philosopher ever, Plato (370 BC), seemed to tacitly believe in some kind of transcendent deity, but his later disciples, known as Neo-Platonists, developed a more detailed theory of that arcane alternative to traditional polytheistic deities; and along with the Stoics, used the non-personal name “Logos” to indicate the divine organizing & animating principle pervading the Universe. ● The religious beliefs of Neoplatonism can be regarded
as panentheistic. Plotinus taught that there was an ineffable
transcendent God ("the One", τὸ Ἕν) of which
subsequent realities were emanations. From “the One”
emanates the Divine Mind (Nous, Νοῦς) and the Cosmic
Soul (Psyche, Ψυχή). In Neoplatonism the world itself
is God (according to Plato's Timaeus 37). This concept
of divinity is associated with that of the Logos (Λόγος),
which had originated centuries earlier with Heraclitus
___ 2.a The roots of PanEnDeism go back to the earliest forms of civilization. For example, Hinduism (Vedas 1100 BC), though popularly Polytheistic, taught that all manifestations of god in temporal physical form were actually avatars of the eternal formless Brahman. ● The relationship between Brahman and the creation is often
thought to be panentheistic. . . .
In Kashmir Shaivism, all things are believed
to be a manifestation of Universal Consciousness
(Cit or Brahman). So from the point of view of this
school, the phenomenal world (Śakti) is real, and it exists
and has its being in Consciousness (Cit).
___ 2.b Although Buddhism is most commonly associated with China, Tibet, and Japan, its founder was a Hindu nobleman. The inwardly-focused Buddha (480 BC) advised his followers to avoid wasting their brief lifetime in idealist contemplation of invisible deities “out there”, but to concentrate on the pragmatic task of gaining control of the wayward human mind, mostly by inwardly-directed meditation. Yet, later Buddhist thinkers developed some notions of a panentheistic deity, similar to Brahman, to serve as the explanation for being. ● At the outset, let me state that Buddhism
is not atheistic as the term is ordinarily understood.
It has certainly a God, the highest reality
and truth, through which and in which this universe
exists. However, the followers of Buddhism
usually avoid the term God, for it savors
so much of Christianity, whose spirit is
not always exactly in accord with the Buddhist
interpretation of religious experience. Again,
Buddhism is not pantheistic in the sense that it
identifies the universe with God. On the other
hand, the Buddhist God is absolute and transcendent;
this world, being merely its manifestation,
is necessarily fragmental and imperfect.
To define more exactly the Buddhist notion of
the highest being, it may be convenient to borrow
the term very happily coined by a modern
German scholar, “panentheism,” according
to which God is πᾶν καὶ ἕν (all and one) and
more than the totality of existence.
____ 2.cTaoism is the ancient Chinese philosophy (531 BC) that assumes the existence of an amorphous Principle or Force, which is equivalent to an abstraction of Nature. “The Tao” is usually translated as “The Way”, but it could also mean “doctrine” or “principle”. The power of that hypothetical force, as applied within natural processes, is called “chi”, and is equivalent to the modern term “energy”, except with implications of “life force” and “soul”, as well as mundane causative power. Confucianism (490 BC) is another pragmatic Chinese doctrine --- of political ethics & personal virtue rather than religious practices --- that makes little reference to gods, although the related popular religions are polytheistic or animistic. Like Buddhism, gods were not a major concern of utilitarian Confucian practice. When Confucius referred to “the mandate of Heaven” in his sayings, what he had in mind might be as mundane as Natural Law, or as abstract as The Tao. Which could be construed as a PanEnDeist position. ● Taoism says that all is part of the eternal tao, and that all interact through qi.
● Confucius did believe, however, in the Great Ultimate (Tao),
which manifests itself in the I, or change. Tao is the cause of I,
and generates Yang (energy) and Yin (a passive form).
Together, Yin and Yang are seen as complementary symbols
of the energy and tension in a system of counter forces.
Tao, or the Great Ultimate, is the first-cause of the universe,
a force that flows through all life, but is not a personal being.
___ 3. Some primitive and pagan religious worldviews have been categorized as PanEnTheistic. For example, the more “civilized & centralized” cultures in central & south America were officially polytheistic, with pantheons reflecting the stratified structure of their dynastic monarchical society. But the more loosely-organized tribes of “Indians”,including those in North America, tended to hold less anthro-morphic notions of deity, sometimes referred to generically as “Great Spirit”. ● While most pagan religions express a worldview that
is pantheistic, polytheistic, or animistic, there are some
● Native American beliefs in North America have been
characterized as panentheistic in that there is an emphasis
on a single, unified divine spirit that is manifest in
each individual entity. (North American Native writers
have also translated the word for God as the Great
Mystery or as the Sacred Other) This concept is
referred to by many as the Great Spirit. Philosopher J.
Baird Callicott has described Lakota theology as panentheistic,
___ 4. Although the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are officially, and strictly, monotheistic & anthro-morphic, their mystical offshoots have often viewed the deity in more pantheistic & abstract terms. For example, the non-mainstream traditions of Jewish Kabbalah, and Christian Gnosticism, and Islamic Sufism may be classified as PanEnTheistic. ● Lurianic Kabbalah, with its doctrine of
tzimtzum, can be regarded as panentheistic.
According to Hasidism, the infinite Ein Sof is incorporeal
and exists in a state that is both transcendent and
● Gnosticism is panentheistic, believing that the true God is
simultaneously both separate from the physical universe
and present within it.
● Panentheism is also a feature of some Christian
philosophical theologies and resonates strongly within
the theological tradition of the Orthodox Church. It
also appears in some Roman Catholic mysticism and in
● Several Sufi saints and thinkers, primarily Ibn Arabi, held
beliefs that have been considered panentheistic.These
notions later took shape in the theory of wahdat ul-wujud
(the Unity of All Things). Some Sufi Orders, notably the
Bektashis and the Universal Sufi movement, continue
to espouse panentheistic beliefs. Nizari Ismaili follow
panentheism according to Ismaili doctrine
Philosophical vs Magical PED : As noted above, PanDeism and PanEnDeism have been associated with several mystical traditions on the margins of mainstream monotheistic Abrahamic religions. Moreover, the modern emergence of New Age spirituality --- which is "an eclectic blend of ideas from a variety of ancient esoteric traditions, and typically adopts a belief in a holistic form of divinity which imbues all of the universe, including human beings themselves" --- marks a return to an “all in god” worldview. Some of those pre-scientific mystical god-concepts may even have intuited, and presaged, a few of the mysterious metaphysical features of the Quantum levels of reality that have been discovered by 20th century Science. But the magical elements of New Ageism seem to be primitive mythical notions added on top of Quantum science by presumption, rather than by rational inference or empirical inductance (conclusions based on evidence). Consequently, the more secular versions of Deism and PED tend to eschew the popular mind-over-matter magic, and belief in direct communion with god, as exemplified in the Star Wars mythology of the all-pervading Force. Such preternatural explications of PD & PED are found in paranormal theories of PSI/ESP, Psychokinetics, Spiritualism, and OOBE/Near-Death Experiences. But, for those less poetically inclined, PED can be interpreted as completely normal & natural, from quirky Quantum foundations to apparently intentional Cosmic development. One form of naturalistic PED is the Process Theology of A.N. Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne, which describes the evolution of the physical world as-if it is a thought process in the Mind of God. Magic is a form of imposed mind-control by adepts, while mundane Science is a method for a mind to take control of its own beliefs. Science uses "as-if" hypotheses as tools for exploration, not as grounds for faith or inspiration.
PED Coda : This brief overview of the PanEnDeism god-concept should support the conclusion that it has been a minor thread in religion and philosophy throughout the ages, but never an integral component of popular religions. That's why I call PED the God of philosophers and mystics. In its mystical form, it still has a religious function, in that The Divine Force can be called upon for intervention in the non-human-centric machinations of Nature. But as a more secular scientific worldview, it can be combined with ethical doctrines of personal virtue, such as Greek Stoicism and Chinese Confucianism, to serve as a guide to "the good life", as originally defined by Aristotle. Plus it can, without logical contradiction, add narrative structure to isolated facts, lending some cosmic & personal meaning to the materialistic & mechanical theories of Modern Science.
PanEnDeism : same as Panentheism, except with the anti-revelation & pro-science implications of Deism.
Stoicism : a philosophy of personal ethics which is informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world.
Philosophical & Scientific Panendeism :
“I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind... “ ______ Albert Einstein
<< Many scholars would argue that “panentheism” is the best single-word description of the philosophical theology of
Varieties of Monotheism :
● Exclusive Monotheism: The belief that there is only one deity,
and that all other claimed deities are false and not to be worshiped.
● Inclusive monotheism: One god in many forms (e.g. Brahmanism).
An ethnic deity has a monopoly on worship by his chosen people.
Elohim was an inclusive deity of Hebrews & Canaanites, until
Yahweh became the official exclusive deity of Israelites.
● Substance Monotheism: all gods are immaterial spirits, a substance different from matter.
● Pantheism: Deity identified with Nature. (e.g. the body & soul of the world)
● Panentheism: eternal Deity manifested in space-time creation.
● Deism: Deity is inferred from observations of nature.
● Henotheism: official god of an ethnic group.
● Monolatrism (or Monolatry): Similar to Inclusive Monotheism.
Types of Monotheism :
● Exclusive Monotheism:
The belief that there is only one deity, and that all other claimed deities are distinct from it and false. The Abrahamic religions, and the Hindu denomination of Vaishnavism (which regards the worship of anyone other than Vishnu as incorrect) are examples of Exclusive Monotheism.
● Inclusive monotheism:
The belief that there is only one deity, and that all other claimed deities are just different names for it. The Hindu denomination of Smartism is an example of Inclusive Monotheism.
● Substance Monotheism:
The belief (found in some indigenous African religions) that the many gods are just different forms of a single underlying substance.
● Pantheism (or PanDeism):
The belief in one God who is equivalent to Nature or the physical universe, or that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent abstract God.
● Panentheism (or PanEnDeism):
The belief (also known as Monistic Monotheism), similar to Pantheism, that the physical universe is joined to, or an integral part of, God, but stressing that God is greater than (rather than equivalent to) the universe.
A form of monotheism in which it is believed that one God exists, but that this God does not intervene in the world, or interfere with human life and the laws of the universe. It posits a non-interventionist creator who permits the universe to run itself according to natural laws.
The devotion to a single god while accepting the existence of other gods, and without denying that others can with equal truth worship different gods. It has been called "monotheism in principle and polytheism in fact".
● Monolatrism (or Monolatry):
The belief in the existence of many gods, but with the consistent worship of only one deity. Unlike Henotheism, Monolatrism asserts that there is only one god who is worthy of worship, though other gods are known to exist. This is really more Polytheism than Monotheism.
The belief that a God exists, but is actually evil. The English word was coined by Thomas de Quincey in 1846. Strictly speaking, the term connotes an attitude of hatred towards God, rather than making a statement about His nature.
The belief that a God exists, but is not wholly good, or possibly even evil (as opposed to eutheism, the belief that God exists and is wholly good). There are various examples of arguable dystheism in the Bible.
4 weeks 2 days ago - 4 weeks 1 day ago#61222by gnomon
PanEnDeism is not New-Ageism
____One aspect of the New Age worldview, mentioned in the previous post as a form of PanEnTheism, is the notion of Panpsychism or universal consciousness. From that viewpoint even inanimate rocks and crystals must be conscious in some sense. But the idea that a rock knows what it's doing when it's just soaking-up the sun's energy, is absurd from a common-sense perspective. It also sounds laughable to Atheists and most scientists. Therefore, I think using the term “consciousness” to describe the generic information-processing power of the universe is misleading. So I have coined a novel portmanteau word to describe the synthesis of mental information and physical energy : EnFormAction. /see below/
That creative & causative divine power, when applied to matter, is labelled "Energy"; but when referring to mundane minds is known as "Knowledge", when processed by brains or computers it is classified as "Information"; and when applied to sentience or awareness is called "Consciousness". Note: quotes are from
___That's why I feel the need to distinguish my own hypothesis of Enformationism from the New Age worldview, which leads to faith in crystal power & psychic abilities & the miraculous power of positive thinking /see The Secret below/
. IMHO, these beliefs are merely updated versions of ancient magic, with which adepts claim to control the physical world via their metaphysical minds. /see Video below/
By contrast, if EnFormAction is the generic power of G*D flowing through the world, then the non-divine human psyche can influence material objects only by means of the old-fashioned methods of physical work. For example, you may command a mountain to be moved into the sea, but if you want to see that imaginary event in reality, you'd have to organize an army of mechanical earth-movers. Moreover, if you want health, wealth & happiness, you need to do the mundane things that typically lead to such outcomes. “Faith without Works is dead”. James 2:14-26
___New Age philosophy is typically characterized as a form of Western Esotericism (occult secrets), which for me distinguishes it from more prosaic Deism (based on public scientific knowledge and debatable philosophical inferences). Although the NA worldview, like PanEnDeism, is based on a holistic form of divinity (Gaia, Mother Nature, The Force) and the related notion of Panpsychism, it also includes romantic fictional beliefs in << a wide variety of semi-divine non-human entities, such as angels and masters, with whom humans can communicate, particularly through the form of channeling.>> A primary motivation of NA spirituality is to counter the “spiritual degeneracy” of the modern era, mostly by a return to the simpler, more intuitive, beliefs of pre-scientific pre-Christian pagans, or Eastern sages. Presumably, inevitable divine historical forces will soon bring about earthbound salvation, in the form of an apocalypse initiated by Mother Nature to rid the world of “sin” in the form of analytical atheistic materialistic Science. The Aquarian apocalypse, or Turning Point, may not come in the form of a war to end all wars, but instead as a << vision of radical mystical transformation on both the personal and collective levels. >> By contrast, Deism has no reason to predict such a radical change in human nature. Instead, we can expect more of the gradual & mundane oscillations in the Zeitgeist (variable public opinion, or spirit of the age), which Hegel called The Dialectic. He seemed to believe that it was something like an actual flow of energy or spirit in the world. But, there's no need to infer divine intervention in the regular processes of Nature, except maybe as a simplifying metaphor.
___So, PanEnDeism is similar to New Ageism in many ways, but makes no claims of occult Gnostic knowledge regarding divine intentions for correcting the "degenerate" state of the world --- other than the natural homeostatic (self-correcting) mechanisms of evolution, which don't seem to be anthropocentric. That's why I prefer to remain as close as possible to the Agnostic revelations of objective modern empirical Science, adding only a little hypothetical conjecture --- to fill the subjective Qualia gaps in the current quantitative materialistic paradigm --- toward essential meaning for self-aware humans, who are indeed anthropocentric.
Panpsychism : the view that consciousness, mind or soul (psyche) is a universal and primordial feature of all things.
EnFormAction : the divine creative power to enform; to cause transformation from one form to another. As the generic power of creation, it turns eternal potential into temporal actual. As physical energy, it is the power to cause changes in material structure. As condensed energy (Matter), it is light speed vibrations slowed down to more stable states. As animating energy (elan vital), it is the power to cause complex matter to self-move. As mental energy (consciousness; knowing), it is the power to store & process incoming information as meaning relative to self. As self-awareness (self-consciousness; will-power), it is the power to make intentional changes to self and environment.
The New Age : New Age doctrine says that humans are currently estranged from god due to a lack of insight concerning god's real nature and reality. ... At its foundation, the New Age movement is a religious system with two main doctrines: Evolutionary Godhood and Global Unity. The Secret : It is based on the law of attraction and claims that positive thinking can create life-changing results such as increased happiness, health, and wealth. [IMHO, that hypothetical “law” is a sort of self-help “miracle” of self-control rather than divine intervention] Esoteric : intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest. Anthropocentric : implying human supremacy, or human exceptionalism, or divine concern for humanity.
Note : magical mind over matter is really mind over mind, as illustrated in the 53 minute video below. M i n d__O v e r__ M a t t e r ?
3 weeks 5 days ago - 3 weeks 3 days ago#61225by gnomon
VARIETIES OF SPIRITUALITY
___The 19th century semi-religious movement called Spiritualism was based on the ancient belief that souls of dead people want to communicate with the living, but that their channels are limited to indirect messages sent via humans with rare talents for receiving occult transmissions, or for interpreting certain ambiguous signals, such as rapping noises. However, a common modern usage of the term “spiritual” refers to anything that may lead to salvation of the soul, including pious acts of faith and of selfless good works, as prescribed by the tenets of a specific religious communion. That is not the kind of spirituality I'm interested in. Yet there is another form of occult belief that is specifically non-religious : those individuals who label themselves “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR). They are typically wary of the rules & regimentation of organized religions, and prefer to focus on their interior life of the mind or soul of the individual, instead of performing perfunctory religious rituals and conforming to arbitrary restrictions on belief and behavior in faceless masses. /see Dalai Lama below/
___When I refer to “spirituality” with respect to the religious philosophy of Deism, I mean something closer in spirit to the SBNR usage, but without the esoteric & occult implications. Since Deism is distinguished from Theism primarily in its rejection of special revelations and ancient scriptures, it necessarily relies on empirical science for most of its knowledge the hows & whys of the world. Consequently, any narrowly-channeled information that is incapable of verification is suspect, because that is how fantasies & fictions are all-too-often passed-off as sober facts.
___Spirituality is a worldview that is the essence of most religions worldwide. But its specific beliefs vary even within a single faith tradition. 1> For most, it may be part of the exciting feeling of belonging to something greater than the individual, and is felt mostly in communion with large numbers of other believers, such as Sunday Mass and Holy Day rituals (we feel). 2> For a few, it's a personal feeling of harmony derived from direct communion with God, and is felt primarily in silent meditation or in activities such as dance or Yoga (I feel). 3> And for a minority, spirituality may be simply the quiet confidence gained from objective observations that the world is not a chaotic mess of material accidents, but instead a rational meaningful process unfolding in accordance with a cosmic plan, sometimes described as the Will of God (I & Thou relation). The first type of spirituality requires third-person blind faith in those who have written down their experiences with God in Holy Scriptures. The second type results from first person experience of union with a higher consciousness. And the third type is a consequence of an objective third-person understanding of human nature (what makes us feel), and of Nature (how the universe works), plus a hypothesis of why it works that way (divine plan).
___Deism, since it rejects most of the outward forms of traditional religions, cannot inspire the kind of spirituality that emerges from immersion in a large group of believers (mob psychology) guided by a simple faith and a central authority. It may however allow the second type of spirituality that arises from non-rational introspection. But that kind tends to be mystical & anti-scientific, so it can be subject to personal & cultural biases. Which is why the third aspect of spirituality, while less emotionally satisfying, can in theory come closer to seeing absolute truth without the obscuring filters of human nature. Admittedly, it may not be possible to know God as a scientific fact, yet in the process of weeding out fantasies & fictions we may be able to approach an asymptotic/see below/
understanding of the infinite. Since infinity is beyond the natural world of our physical senses, only spirituality is able to see the possibility of God in the great beyond.
Spiritualism is the belief that the spirits of the dead have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living.
"Spiritual but not religious" (SBNR) is a popular phrase and initialism used to self-identify a life stance of spirituality that takes issue with organized religion as the sole or most valuable means of furthering spiritual growth. Spirituality places an emphasis upon the well-being of the "mind-body-spirit",:63 so "holistic" activities such as tai chi, reiki, and yoga are common within the SBNR movement.:64 In contrast to religion, spirituality has often been associated with the interior life of the individual.
The Dalai Lama, relates spirituality to those qualities of the human spirit such as; love, compassion, patience, forgiveness, an intrinsic sense of responsibility and harmony. He believes spirituality can be cultivated in each of us and unlike religiosity—spirituality is a tenet we cannot live without.Jun 14, 2012
Aysmptotic : a process that gradually approaches infinity, but is prevented by the laws of space-time from crossing over into infinity-eternity.
"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp--or what's a heaven for?" – Robert Browning
"The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible."
– Albert Einstein
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity,
and I'm not sure about the former." – Albert Einstein
"Our minds are finite, and yet even in these circumstances of finitude we are surrounded by possibilities that are infinite, and the purpose of life is to grasp as much as we can out of that infinitude." – Alfred North Whitehead
"If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite."
– William Blake
"The religious idea of God cannot do full duty for the metaphysical infinity." – Alan Watts
"For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either. The ends of things and their beginnings are impregnably concealed from him in an impenetrable secret. He is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is engulfed." – Blaise Pascal
"God is the tangential point between zero and infinity." – Alfred Jarry
I find the Problem of Evil to be a very troubling aspect of any deitic observing entity capable of intervention, but which does nothing in the face of the most grievous evil is leading to the greatest instances of suffering.