“All is God (i.e. Brahman)
…. localised.” Which simply means that each and every appearance (i.e. as actual (i.e. as creation algorithm) observer manifestation) happens as a local application of god. In other words, every appearance functions as a niche application of a universal creation algorithm.
The notion that ‘All is God’, called pantheism,* was first imagined, indeed fantasized some 2500 years ago in India, allegedly by warrior (Sanskrit, kastriya, originally Scythian)) cow herders cooling down in a forest after a hard day’s night on the range and exchanging pleasing and uplifting (hence placebo) metaphysical yarns. Their fantasies (or speculations) were later written down and transmitted as the Upanishads, thereafter condensed, abstracted and then selectively re-elaborated and politicised by Brahmin scholiasts (such as Badarayana, c.1st century AD) as the Vedanta belief system. Those ancient Indian pantheists (actually pan-deists) proposed that ‘All is Brahman (the impersonal God or Godhead. i.e. prana as ‘vital force’, nowadays called the ‘survival drive’)’, or ‘You too are Brahman’, or ‘self is SELF’ or (Sanskrit) ‘tat tvam asi’ ≈ ‘thou art that’**), each appearance happening as (unidentifiable) Brahman/God (i.e. the Ruler) relativized by and so identified as a set of local, hence niche conditions, rules or laws producing a specific manifestation or reality.
That meant that each appearance is God with either a local frill or whistle (i.e. a local mask or cosmetic deriving from a local rules set, Sanskrit: guna). Drop the frill or whistle (i.e. the local rules/laws), i.e. quit the niche, and the unidentifiable Brahman/God *** is recovered/realised and moksha, falsely imagined as release from Samsara, actually from the saguna Brahman, is achieved. Hence the contemporary Irish maxim: ‘To find a niche you must leave the Way.’
Pantheism does not state that Brahman (i.e. God ≈ (Greek) Theos) is (more or less) inherent or immanent in appearance, as some wavering Judeo-Christian heno-(mono)-theists, like St Paul and St Augustine, state (under their breath). Pantheism proposes that God (i.e. Brahman/Atman) is fundamentally identical with appearance,**** as, for instance, a fractal elaboration is fundamentally identical with its originating fractal (or algorithm), albeit (locally) elaborated.
It is interesting to note that the Brahman (i.e. Theos) of Upanishadic speculation, also called Atman and Prajapati, also states: ‘I am both predator (i.e. feeder) and prey (i.e. food)’, and which confirms the common observation that all ‘Life is a food chain’, which also suggests that the good guys/gals are the ones who survive on top of the pile, thus reaffirming Kautilya’s (approx. 300 BC) law, namely that the ‘Law of the fishes’ regulates life.
Pantheism (i.e. divine or creation holism) is today the religion of choice of many genteel, a-political philosophers and scientists (like Einstein). Because pantheism is holistic, hence non-divisive, it is fundamentally a-political. Being a-political, pantheism does not provide political leverage and so, as a creed, is useless for ordinary humans and human groupings competing for survival. …. more
Enter the priest. He feels called upon to create and uphold divisive political agendas that further both personal and communal survival by creating clear identities that distinguish between friends (i.e. my tribe, i.e. the righteous) and enemies (i.e. any other tribe, i.e. sinners/failures) and between right and wrong. To that biologically benign end priests invent a multiplicity of (initially transcendent, later immanent) gods with their own agendas. All of which gives rise to the utterly false but utterly useful belief and the sine-qua-non of personal survival, namely: ‘There is only one true god! Mine!’ and which in turn gives the true, because focussed @100% believer the right, sometimes duty, to rob, rape and murder those who worship a different ‘my one true God’.
*…. i.e. by theists. In the pantheism proposed in the 11th century in India by Ramanuja, Brahman/God/Theos was, for political reasons, interpreted as personal. The 16th century pantheism of Spinoza proposed, as the ancient Indians had done, that God/Brahman is a substance or essence. The Shakyamuni (later nicknamed ‘The Buddha’), Chinese Taoists and most laid back moderns not on a political power trip favour the view the God (to wit, the creative urge) functions as an abstract set of (possibly physical or self-organizational) rules (≈ conditions). Non-theists refer to themselves as pan-deists. Pan-deists, that is to say, believers in spontaneous universal, hence ubiquitous self-organisation and manifestation, supposedly derived from cold light of day observation, was first expressed in the early Upanishads in aphorisms such as: ‘I am Brahman’. ‘You too are Brahman’, ‘All is Brahman’, ‘Thou art that’. The same abstract thinkers also introduced the politically expedient ‘fake news’ about personal transmigration/reincarnation and karma.
**… in other words, ‘as above, so below’, so Hermes Trismegistus. “The universe is (the same as) God, God is (the same) as man, man is the same as the cell, the cell is the same as the atom, the atom is the same as...and so on, ad infinitum.”
***… as primary survival or self-organization algorithm ≈ fractal***, i.e. as Universal Turing Machine. The primary because universally applicable algorithm/fractal is (equivalent to) the non-emerged hence non-decaying nirguna (i.e. non-local, therefore no-elaborated) Brahman/Atman. Any one of its n elaborations appears as saguna (i.e. localised, .i.e. specified by attributes) Brahman/atman emerging and decaying as samsara.
****… The Irish monk John Scotus Eriugena (c.810-c.877) and the German Dominican Meister Eckhart (c.1260-c.1329) both arrived at and then proposed a Christian pantheism. Both were condemned by the Vatican. Meister Eckhart was probably assassinated for rattling the Christian cage.
More on Ancient Indian pantheism