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Pantheism and Monism


Pantheism is the belief that all existing things are in some sense divine.  In other words, all beings are divine or God is in everything. A classical expression of such pantheism is the philosophy of the Stoics of ancient Greece.  They taught that there is one sacred being which they called the Logos.  Put simply, they believed that a little bit of the Logos  - a “spark of the divine” was in everything.  All objects are separate from the Logos, even though they may participate in the divine. 

On the other hand, monism in the strictest sense is the belief that only One Being exists. Whereas pantheism is the belief that God or the Logos is present in all the separate and distinct objects that make up the cosmos, monism believes that the only thing that exists is God; in other words, there are no separate objects.

It should be noted that pantheism and monism are closely related. In many cases, scholars may use the terms interchangeably. Our definitions, however, are based upon the fine distinction between whet here a single divine being dwells within each object (pantheism) or whether each object in its essential nature is a part of the single divine being or substance (monism). We should probably also make a distinction between animism and both pantheism and monism. Remember that animism is the belief that every object (including rocks, trees, and people) possess as spirit or a soul. Animism does not necessarily believe that these spirits of all objects are part of a single divine soul or substance.