You probably expect from this title that this is yet another installment in Pandeism Fish
's comparative Pandeism
pieces. But this one is not actually mine at all -- it is instead a passage
in an 1872
book by Edward Vaughan Kenealy, Enoch, the Second Messenger of God--Volume 1
, spanning pages 300-302. The passage is left nameless in the body of the work, where it is simply numbered 70
(much like the 69
coming before it); direct reference to Pandeism
being limited to the index
, which in identifying this passage indexes it under, "Pandeism, or Pantheism
of the Red race." But the pandeistic spirit of the piece as apparent from its described aspects, especially its concluding lines. The passage as a whole is:
In the golden age of Anahuac we are told that the corn sprang up with such luxuriance that one ear became a burden for a man; cotton grew of all colours so as to supersede the art of dyeing; other products of the soil were so abundant that the life of the community might be described as one perpetual feast. The palaces were constructed of gold, of silver, and of precious stones; the air was laden with rich perfumes, while the birds in brilliant plumage gladdened every heart with their enchanting music. All this points to an era, when the Enochian religion reviving the Chadamic, brought peace and purity and earnest industry in its train, from Asia into the mighty Kingdom of Atlantis, from which it diffused itself in time throughout the vast regions of Central America, until it grew corrupt and hideous in the hands of the priests, who seem to have been invented for hardly any other purpose than to poison and pollute the Revelations of God.
The wild man of America, says Archdeacon Hardwick, alluding to the Red Man, who is at present the true representative of the race whom the Enochian colonizing pontiffs taught, and who have filled the Central continent with their mystical and stupendous buildings, is in fact a worshipper of all above him and all around him. As the skies, the woods, the waters are his books, they also form his oracles and his divinities. Pervaded by some Spiritual Essence, every leaf that rustles in the forest, quite as much as the great orbs that move in silent majesty across the firmament, conveys to him a message from the Unseen World. The threatening cloud, the genial shower, the lightning, thunder, and the northern aurora, flowers of every hue, and animals of every shape and species, are alike regarded as instinct with supernatural virtue, and as fitted to enkindle in the human heart the sentiments of awe or love, of adoration or of deprecation.
The archdeacon sees in this sublime confraternity between all living things, between the flower, the moon and the star, only that dreaded thing Pantheism: but who will deny that in thus bringing the soul and spirit into direct communication with all the beautiful existent works of the Supreme, the religion which achieves so great a result is far superior to that stolid, sensual, chaw-bacon Petro-Paulism now prevalent, which reduces its believers to a condition of hardened and idiotic selfishness, akin to that of swine. The mountain tribes of Armenia, according to Layard, still worship venerable oaks, great trees, huge solitary rocks, and other grand features of Nature. Compare a common Red Indian, or Armenian mountaineer pantheist, as described above, with a common English protestant in the rural districts, and how infinitely superior is the first. The one communes with Nature in her silent grandeur, in her glorious features; the other thinks but of his belly; his summum bonum is pork, or cheese and beer. But even this divine sympathy with life universal, which thus so exquisitely exists in these untutored Children of the Forest, as it does through Hindostan, is subordinated, as Prescott says, to the sublime conception of One Great Spirit, the Creator of the Universe.
And oh, but do I dig how this cat writes, with his golden ages and air laden with rich perfumes, his poetic invocations of colonizing pontiffs and sublime confraternities and great orbs that move in silent majesty. I imagine that were he alive today, he'd be noding thickly evocative essays for Everything2
's Pandeism Index
. Here, he begins this construction in a mythic
plentiful age and connects that blissful bounty to the pantheistic nature of Man as thence living. He draws the contrast between the American Indian, the archtypal noble savage
in his view, the seer of divinity pervading all things, and the theologically corrupted, fat-bellied English churchgoer. But note, importantly, the subtle distinction he draws at the end, where he contends that the nominally Pantheist American native shares with the Hindus
that not only is all around us divine, but that it is so as an aspect of an even more profound divinity, a Creator of our Universe (and so not a purely pantheistic eternally uncreated Universe). And this is why, coming full circle
, the conception of which Kenealy preaches is indeed a species of Pandeism