Derham and the Universal Pantheist Society - By Harold Wood, UPS co-founder
Derham Giuliani was a co-founder of the Universal Pantheist Society, which he and I founded in in 1975. He served as our President from about 1977 to the present.
He and I spent a lot of time hiking together that summer in 1975 while I was working for the Forest Service at the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, and in a discussion one evening in Silver Canyon of the White Mountains he and I decided to form the Universal Pantheist Society. I’ve served as editor of our quarterly newsletter, Pantheist Vision, while he served as President. Derham has been active in the Society all these years – working on the founding documents, writing articles for the newsletter, discussing plans for the Society, etc. He and Enid Larsen were both active in the Society - Enid was Vice-President for many years. In recent years we’ve only met about once a year – long days spent hiking with long discussions about pantheistic ideas and scientific observation. I last heard from him via email two or three months ago.
Most of Derham’s writings on pantheistic ideas in our newsletter and elsewhere are not digitized, so I will need to work through paper files to locate some more of them.
Meanwhile, attached is an article he wrote for Pantheist Vision, and a few quotes and excerpts from Derham’s writings about pantheism:
“Someone asked me to define pantheism in one sentence. After some months I’ve come up with the following tentative attempt: “A Pantheist is a person whose spiritual feelings are centered in the natural world.” Enid Larsen wouldn’t like it because it contains the word ‘spiritual’ but I know no other word to use. And it is rather vague since ‘feelings’ and ‘natural’ are open to interpretation. But it does express my own pantheism exactly and it is how I judge or classify anyone I meet.” - (Derham Giuliani, 1986).
"The word 'pantheist' is the nearest label I've found so far for my behavior in the world: 1.) inability to determine where 'I' leave off and the rest of the world begins, 2.) a feeling that everything is inter-related and inter-dependent, 3.) a feeling that there is such a thing as religious experience and a spiritual aspect to the world, and 4.) continual growth in awareness by constant observation of natural processes and patterns." - Derham Giuliani
http://www.pantheist.net/society/inner.htmlExcerpted from: Pantheist Vision, Vol. 24, No. 2, February, 2005
From A YahoGroup posting, April 15, 2007:
“I find a strong spiritual aspect to the world, inaccessible by strict scientific methods, and it is only in this sense that I use the upper case spelling of Pantheism.
Intellectually and emotionally guided by mystery, beauty, and awe as seen in the patterns of nature found in wild areas, I seek what is natural in the world and in people. Being biocentric, I wish every living thing well and seek to help all to follow their natural paths.
Observation of my own behavior patterns: "meaningfulness", sudden awareness that changes one's life; "committments", whereby decisions become no longer worrisome; inderminancy as to where "I" leave off & rest of world begins, leading to no longer trying to draw such a line.
Some things seem more representative of a kind than others (like an artist's most characteristic work) & I have selected many Pantheist Temples which I seek to visit, interact with, or meditate beside regularly--living symbols that are part of my 'soul'.
Other rituals: taking note of Spring indicators, passage of bird & butterfly migrations, moon phases & tidal motions; searching out & gathering data to look for the patterns in a phenomenon; visiting points in life cycles of various species each year.”
- Derham Giuliani, Big Pine, Calif.
From a Forum message board:
By Derham Giuliani on Wednesday, July 26, 2000 - 01:27 pm:
Evan, what a fine question to think about. There would be many pantheist approaches, it would depend on which pantheism is your kind, and I can only describe my own procedure as follows (and it is descriptive of why I call myself a Pantheist).
It seems more a search for guidance than prayer or petition. One is not a separate entity thrust onto the world to cope, but is an integral part of the whole, containing the same grandeur, power, Mystery as that whole. Most problems come out of mental strictures from the narrow route of one's immediate life & growth. Letting in some direct awarenesses from the total world arouses new intuitions & considerations. Seeing oneself as part of a vaster scale, recognizing (and in fact feeling with empathy) the similarity one's actions have with the rest of the natural world, takes the load off of one's shoulders, broadens out the value judgments, changes desires & goals, points the way toward one's path as well as what to avoid or let go, gives insights into one's inner & outer self and glimpses into one's deepest motivations, brings to mind what is truly meaningful to you. Direct answers don't appear magically, one's behavior subtely changes so that one walks in a slightly different orientation giving rise to increasingly new encounters, insights, and views of the patterns that tie everything together.
Add to your life a routine of periodically removing yourself from the surrounding & familiar civilization to an area where the rocks & living things are continuing their existences much the same as eons ago, where one becomes immersed in age-old patterns; in effect, comes home. We are filled with mechanisms which respond, dormant or unfelt while being taught by our limited human culture. When you begin to see and feel the vastness and depth of this "Other", this greater culture, and to see that you are a part of that diverse enormity (both humbled and empowered by it), one's scattered magnetic lines of force, so to speak, become aligned. Do this alone at first, then gradually with family & friends, be very watchful & observant inside and out, have trust and follow wherever it leads.
Hopefully, some of this and what others offer will trigger thought trends that "answer" your questions.