There is a small but strong emerging branch of Paganism that has melded Naturalism into it's beliefs and practices.
"Naturalism is the understanding that there is a single, natural world as shown by science, and that we are completely included in it. Naturalism holds that everything we are and do is connected to the rest of the world and derived from conditions that precede us and surround us. Each of us is an unfolding natural process, and every aspect of that process is caused, and is a cause itself. So we are fully caused creatures, and seeing just how we are caused gives us power and control, while encouraging compassion and humility. By understanding consciousness, choice, and even our highest capacities as materially based, naturalism re-enchants the physical world, allowing us to be at home in the universe. Naturalism shows our full connection to the world and others, it leads to an ethics of compassion, and it gives us far greater control over our circumstances".
One of the main groups speaking out for this type of Paganism is Humanistic Paganism.http://humanisticpaganism.com/community/
The main premise is one can be a Pagan without all the Woo that seems to go with it.No external Gods,Spirits or supernatural components.
How does this differ from humanism?
Naturalism shows our full connection to the world and others, it leads to an ethics of compassion, and it gives us far greater control over our circumstances
It doesn't necessarily follow that once we have an understanding it will lead to compassion. It certainly does lead to control. Humans have been altering our surroundings to suit ourselves for thousands of years.
Do you mean how does Naturalism differ from Humanism?
I would hazard to say Humanism puts humans at the center of their universe and Naturalism sees Humans and the natural world as interconnected.
Sounds a bit like my understanding of animism - with an icing of morality and man's anthropomorphic viw on top of the cake.
Not a bad thing though, if it makes the believers behave better towards each other.
Sounds a bit like my understanding of animism
Your intellectual distance and carefully maintained objectivity are commendable. But I think you may be discussing something that is beyond dry analysis. My Paganism arises from the single shattering realization that all of Nature is alive and intelligent, and that I am a part of it. Everything else proceeds from that. My assumption is that ancient practices arose from the same insight. And to date I have found most magical techniques completely in line with that assumption.
My Paganism arises from the single shattering realization that all of Nature is alive and intelligent, and that I am a part of it.
My basic belief is similar,but where as we agree that as human persons we are a part of Nature.For myself there is isn't anything outside of it nothing "supernatural."
Me and some of my religious friends were talking one time about how we hate trying to talk to Westerners about the god of Judaism, because as soon as we say God, they think of this Jovian God. This big man in a white beard, and you can't understand Kabbalah if you think of God like that. But if you break down 'his' name that is given to Moshe in the desert, it means "Is". Our god is all that is.
So we started calling it The Force, and people respond to that somewhat better.
From my understanding of the kabbalah and the Tetragramaton the force would sum it up.
I was always under the impression that Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh was translated as I am that I am.But I'm sure it could be is.
As a naturalistic pantheist I run into the same issues.If I choose to use the word God many instantly think of the Zeus archetype so often associated with the word,instead of the Universe as a whole I actually mean.
It's an interesting word, in that Hebrew is a root word language, so you have the consonants, which are more or less always the same for each meaning, but the vowels make the grammar. So when you combine all the letters of the Tetragrammaton, it can easily mean is, was, and will be all at the same time. When he speaks to Moshe he says "I am 'I AM' ". So, he sort of just says "I am." S/He just is.
Hebrew is fun.
At first, I thought you were talking about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturism