Drakken - Nega - Jim (drakkenzero) wrote in omnitheism,
Drakken - Nega - Jim

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Let's write a book.

I've been debating about this for some time, and the deletion of the Wikipedia entry seems to seal the deal.  We should write a book.

I'm tired of not being taken seriously by others when I enter a religious discussion.  I'm tired of not having enough good reasonable material available to back me up.  I know starting a religion from the ground up, even if it's based on a really good idea that makes sense, isn't going to be easy.  And I know compiling a collection of essays and works trying to define one of the most indefinable religions... nay, one that by it's very nature almost defies contemporary definition... it's a task and a half.  But I think we can do it.

I say "we" because I don't think any one person would be capable of writing a good book on Omnitheism by our selves.  Also, I don't like the idea of any one of us having complete and total control over the public face of Omnitheism... 

Martin, I'm going to use you as an example here, but don't be offended, it's just that you're an easy target for my metaphor...

If Martin would decide to change his views on omnitheism to something radical and contrary to my views, he alone holds the keys to omnitheism.com.  If he changes his beliefs, I'd have little recourse but to say "I disagree" and perhaps start my own competing website.  Then it becomes a duel, and unless I'm going to trek over to his house and nail my demands to his front door... well, let's not go there, shall we?

That's why I want anyone and everyone who wants to participate and is competent to do so.  I acknowledge here and now that this topic is too dynamic a topic for any one person to try and nail down.  Two different views make us twice as right... three different views make us triple the wise.  The more people we pour into the collective, the more information, views, and opinions we take in... the more we know, and the closer we are to something vaguely approaching a fraction of the truth.

So... that said... I'm declaring now that I'm editing together a book.  In the time since I last spoke to you all en masse, I've written a scifi novel and have gone through a fair bit of editing, haggling, negotiating, bargaining, and learning of the publishing industry... and I think we can do this.  We can print-on-demand and register it with the Library of Congress, that's usually the easiest way to do these things on a topic nobody knows about (not yet, anyway). 

And once it's in print... once it's in print, then it's a book, and people can believe in books.  I know it's silly to say, but some people don't believe in a thing unless it's written down somewhere.  This shouldn't be the defining work... more like Volume 1 of an unfinished (and unfinishable) collection, but it's a foothold.  It's something to hand to a curious friend, something to slip into a box of books being donated to a charity, something to hold in your hands and say "I can't tell you ALL of what Omnitheism is, but here's a start."

So... who's with me?
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I'm in the middle of writing a small book about intelligent evolution that is intended to open people up to Omnitheism. It's not a "THIS IS OMNITHEISM", but more of a "if you look at A and B, what does that say about C?" kind of book.

I'm all for us having a "definitive" work to point at, but just arriving at definitions can be very difficult. Some Omnitheists are totally monotheistic, while others are polytheistic. I'm totally willing to help out, we just need to be ready for the storm of arguments.
Agreed, I tried to nail it down a year or so ago, and I think I failed luxuriously.

But as far as the prefix "Omni" goes, what can you say about religious ideals that go against the grain of others? When one religion brings up a "Satan" that seems to go against all others, or one religion denies your interaction with anybody outside of that religion based on the speakings of their Deity... Are these things just Dogma, or are they supposed to be taken as spiritual truths?

Isn't Omnitheism just the realization of the truth behind each religion? If some madman wrote a deluded parody of the bible, but is now taken seriously by a vast majority of people in middle-eastern countries, we can't simply 'accept or deny' the book, or the people. Is Omnitheism just a collection of 'Wikipedia-truths' behind each religion? Or facets of truth within each religion? And how do we divine what is truth? We disassemble the facets that are found in every religious script, place a tickmark next to their name on the list, and then divide their number of tickmarks by the total number of religions to find their percentage of truth?

Wouldn't Omni merely be a 'Statistical' religion then?
I'm sure that no matter how we define Omnitheism someone can come up with a scenario or religion that doesn't fit. I personally consider the major religions when I define Omnitheism as the core appreciation of The Creator. Even in the case of a religion, or belief system, such as Buddhism that does not recognize a Creator, it is still Creation that they appreciate.

But we could get easily lost by following a trail of accommodating every single religion.

But to take two obvious contradictions: Judaism and Hinduism, they are easily accommodated within my definition. Judaism is monotheistic and Hinduism is Poly or Pantheistic depending on who is arguing. It's easy to see that Judaism and Hinduism can't both be right.

But deep down in each religion is that core appreciation, love and worship of The Creator. That's the least common denominator. Everything else is myth. We don’t need the mythology. It’s only use is to separate us.

So the point where Hinduism and Judaism and Islam and Christianity and Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Tao, Shinto and other great paths cross is Omnitheism.
I think the difficulty is in how much mythology to chuck out. I tend to err on the more diverse side whereas you tend to err on the more unified side. I don't see them as mutually exclusive, per se; however, I am much more agnostic about THE Creator than I am about the shaping of the universe. I'm willing to go so far as to say that there is an ultimate intelligence in the universe, but I dare not go further than that. I can't even be sure that said intelligence created the universe, only that it is statistically probable that it manipulates the formation of the universe in some way. Whether it predates the universe or not is, to my mind, unknowable.

On the other hand, I find it statistically improbable that there are NOT innumberable "lesser" entities that are more directly involved in the day-to-day act of shaping the universe. Indeed, I would argue that every thing, or at least every living thing, in the universe shapes it in ways that we are either not detecting or not paying attention to. For instance, the PEAR Effect of human thought on electronic and mechanical devices.
It seems to me you are discussing the nature of God. I view the nature of God as irrelevant. I don't need to know anything more about God than that God performed the very first action that started the long chain of cause-and-effect that has lead to this moment. I do not need to know if God is a conscious being or an intelligent being, if God is a committee of beings or an energy source. I do not care. What I know is that God is The Creator and I love Creation. I love being alive and exploring what God set in motion. The who or what or why of God doesn't matter.
That's why I dislike the term "God". It carries too much cultural baggage, at least in English. "God" implies a singular, intelligent entity, so it canalizes thinking. It also helps to confuse us with Pantheists.

I'm perfectly happy to say "something spiritual is going on, and I don't know what it is", but that's a bit unwieldy. :)

I think that's why Ayelis uses the word "Omni". I keep trying to come up with a word, but I'm having trouble. :P
I like the word Omni too, as it's vague nature plays well into most discussions, being both singular and plural.

It is important to mention, occasionally, however, that we do not hold the Dodge Omni with any sort of reverence, no matter how good it's gas mileage may be.

I also tend toward 'The Divine', but usually only when I'm referring to processes and non-anthropomorphisized supernatural beings.
Yeah, maybe that's why I dislike "Omni". My dad had one. :)

I prefer "the divine" or "the spiritual" in generalized discussions.

When we use words that evoke singularity, we run the risk of anthropomorphization.
Deists and pandeists sometimes refer to the divine entity as "the Deus", if that gives you any useful thoughts....
That's why I'm suggesting that we write this like old-fashioned religious texts were written. Nobody set out to write a definitive book on Christianity... the Bible is a patchwork quilt of different essays, letters, hastily scribbled napkins, poorly remembered conversations... they're all about Christianity (or Judaism), but by different people at different times about different parts of their faith. And hey, look at how well that did.

Any essays, articles, notes, emails... anything we've got that might help paint a picture of Omnitheism. We only try to define it in terms of our own individual beliefs, as that's all any of us really are qualified to write about. You tell your Omni, I tell mine, we all tell ours... and somewhere in the middle, we try and convey the idea that the person reading ought to develop their own, even if it uses ours as building blocks.
I'm not opposed to writing a book with you all. We're clearly the core Omnitheistic thinkers. And I really like Drakken'z concept of a book of essays that make up the cannon of Omnitheism.

The books of the Torah and the New Testament have a thread running through them - a common theme. I don't think we are there yet. Before we can write a book together we must come up with a set of shared core beliefs. And then we can each riff on that theme in our own section of the book.

I feel like we tried once before to come up with a common theme - I called it a creed - and we got absolutely nowhere. And then Dunkelza posted the Wikipedia page and it was way, way off my own topic.

On my website I've done my best to define Omnitheism in 10 points. If you all agree that we need to find a common definition before writing a book then I offer my list as the strawman. Can we start with it, each of you change it as you see fit to define your belief and then let's compare?

I also encourage you to meet on Second Life. I have a church there and 5 people attended the first Omnitheism service last Sunday. I'm holding meetings every Sunday at 10AM Pacific. I think it could grow to a good thing. I'm extremely happy to have you all join me in welcoming people and talking to them about Omnitheism in Second Life.
Hmm... Here's my take on your 10 points. I've cut it to five, though I think I've touched on most of your points:

  • Omnitheists cherish and hold sacred all that is, all that was, and all that ever shall be. We acknowledge forces at work beyond human understanding and explore the cause-and-effect relationships used to shape our universe according to some greater design.

  • Omnitheists recognize that natural law is the only divine law, because it cannot be broken. We fear no divine retribution or eternal wrath, only the fate we bring upon ourselves.

  • Omnitheists insist that each individual's relationship with the spiritual is personal and private. We charge hierarchical religions with separating people from one another, polluting simple, sacred truths with terror and mythology, and confusing human mores with divine law in order to achieve worldly gain.

  • Omnitheists respect cultural diversity as a beautiful human creation even as we work to separate truth from the fear and mythology in which it is so often concealed. We seek out and desire to incorporate new and different knowledge so that the gestalt of our awareness might grow ever more perfect.

  • Omnitheists strive to know the true nature of our universe, spiritual and scientific, thereby to enlighten ourselves and to share the gifts of enlightenment with those who want it. We shall share eagerly, but never impose our faith upon others, nor seek to compel others, even within our circles, to agree with our opinions.
Most of the Bible is allegorical story -- tales that give a glimpse into the philosophical foundations of the faith.... that's what you need, a collection of short stories (with some intertwined themes) each of which illustrates a key point or points about the belief system....
You all know you are welcome to create your own blog on my website. You are welcome to post as you wish. If you join I can make you moderators of the forum. I want to build a community. I would prefer to have other voices than mine. I am advertising the site and the Second Life event and readership is growing.
Thanks! I should do that.
I'm in.... been working on a book on Pandeism for a while now, and it mentions Omnitheism, so maybe there's some "there" there that I can pitch in....
Hey I think the book thing is a great idea. I have been writing a book on omnitheism for about 6 years now, but as of yet it is all in disarray, mostly all from subjective experience, with brief insight's in to an objective paradise. I do believe in the Beautiful dream held within Omnitheism. I believe this age is the son rise of clarity, truth, Dynamics, ect.
And yes I do need an editor, and yes I have been looking for other authors, and for number 3, yes I recognize the need for a community of authors, I believe a book about and by Omnitheists, is a living book, growing and evolving with man, Much like the "living" word of "God", not to be confused with the mirror fragments that reflect the truth, but meant to be understood as pertaining to truth itself, or MA'AT ~subjective
I have began working on a thesis for a core philosophy as the main focus of the book. I am taking two perspectives in order to do so, Subjective, and Objective. The Book is titled "Core Omnitheism", which means, a central theme, and a central spirit. This spirit may be interpreted by some as, God, and by others as energy. Einstein described it perfect while discussing zero point energy. One Particular. One Object.One Thing. One Physical something. We are part of this "something". Don't forget science and quantum physics are an integral part in understanding an Omni-philosophy, or even an Omni-theology. An Omni-science if you will. I even include things from internet blogs and post with links and attributions included about the structure of what I term General Omnitheism. Let me know if you are interested.